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How much propane?

I’m tossing around the idea of buying a burner and bigger brew kettle to do full boils (and eventually move to all grain) just curious how much propane I can expect to use up in a session for the average burner doing 5 gallon batches.

I usually get three to four batches out of a tank of propane but I’m doing all grain so there’s more heating/boiling water. I also have a 220,000 btu burner :slight_smile:

It REALLY depends on what type of propane burner you buy and how you use it. I went all out and bought the blichmann burner. I used a propane tank that was on low (have the gauge thing you hook up to it) and it lasted me through 3 batches, easy. I think you can get 6-7 batches if not more off of a full tank without any issues. With the blichmann i can set the burner on low and still have a full rolling boil on my 5.5gallon stainless steel pot.

Same here. There are things you can do to save propane as well (decrease flame once boil is reached, make sure O2, propane mixture is optimized, etc.)

Are you doing all-grain and heating sparge water and all that or just boiling your wort? What volume do you usually boil?

Not all grain, extract.

I heat 3 gallons of water and boil it for 20 minutes and then cool it down - I use this water to add it in the carboy to get to 5 gallons.
Then I heat almost 5 gallons of water to which i add the extract and boil that for 60 minutes. So each one of my sessions uses up about 80 minutes of propane.

[quote=“tszabo86”]Not all grain, extract.

I heat 3 gallons of water and boil it for 20 minutes and then cool it down - I use this water to add it in the carboy to get to 5 gallons.
Then I heat almost 5 gallons of water to which i add the extract and boil that for 60 minutes. So each one of my sessions uses up about 80 minutes of propane.[/quote]

Sounds like a very efficient burner. Is it the Blichmann Floor Burner here in the NB catalog?

Yes it is, that is where i purchased it from. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/blic … urner.html
Even though you buy it from NB it actually get shipped directly from blichmann so it takes up to 2 weeks to get it

I’m doing 5 gallon all grain batches. I use two burners,one for a 8 gallon mash kettle, one for a 15 gallon kettle that I use for sparge water and to boil in. Both are Bayou classic’s, KAB6 and SQ14. I use two 20 pound propane tanks, one for each burner. I get two brew sessions out of them. I probably can get three, but I’m afraid of running out of propane during the third brew process. When I take them to get filled, they seem to be about a third full so they should make it for a third, I just don’t want to chance it. I am going to purchase a 35 pound back up tank for insurance during the third brew session just incase I run out during the boil. I can’t say I use a specific amount of propane because I sometimes boil longer to boil off water if my gravity is too low. I also use the SQ14 for making starters. If I had to do it again I would buy two 35 pounders and be done.

The KAB6 is basically a blichmann without the fancy stainless steel. What I like about the blichmann is that you can add the 24 inch legs to it

The gauge is as worthless as the high side gauge on a CO2 tank. :wink:

They measure pressure. The pressure inside the tank will be the same until all the liquid has turned to a gas. So it will read the same if the tank is full, half, or quarter full.

Correct! But it will tell me when I’m about to run out so I can get a tank ready :slight_smile:

A 20 lb tank holds 433,000 BTUs of propane if you’re running a 210,000 btu burner wide open it will use up the tank in 2 hrs.

The blichmann floor burner uses 72,000 BTUs/hr, so you will theoretically get 6 hours.

I have a 20 lb tank, used for two brews, 60 mins and 90 mins boils with time running to pre-warm to boil as well. Estimated use approx. 4/5ths of the tank. I would not risk another. My burner size is unknown, going from tank weight estimates.

I have a turkey fryer that was given to my by a family friend…I get 3 brews out of it easily…I’ve never risked a 4th brew simply because I just don’t know for sure if I have enough gas for it.

I’ve got the Blichmann also, bringing about 8.5 gallons to boil. So far i got 4 batches from a 20 lb. tank & still have propane left in it. Could probably do a 5th, but i’ll have a spare tank just in case. Nice quiet burner also.

Depending on the ambient temperature I get about 4 to 5 brews from a 20 pound tank with the blichman burner.

Mind you this will go down when the temperature drops outside but I don’t worry about it.
I do have three propane tanks now so that its not a big deal to empty one and switch it mid brew.

One thing I will point out though is that if you can have two tanks make sure you do, and find a retailer that will refill your tanks. I’ve gotten more in a tank when its filled for me than doing the exchange idea. For some reason a lot of the time they seem under filled.

It is a lot cheaper too. Even if you buy a new tank for about 30 bucks you can fill it for 15 or so on average in my area, so 45 bucks vs 50 plus to buy one from an exchange center.

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