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Propane burners

I just bottled my first batch of homebrew. Started out with a 5 gallon extract kit from True Brew. Everything has gone well so far. I did discover one problem, boiling a couple gallons of water on an electric range takes forever. I am definitely going to buy a propane burner for my future brewing.

My question to all of you is what burner to get? I have looked at the camping/tailgating ones from Sports Authority and Dicks as well as the 4 on this website. I do plan on upgrading to all-grain eventually so I know that I will need something that can handle large volume pots. Outside of that I am just looking to speed up my brew time. I’d rather not spend too much, unless it is on a truly superior product. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

First let’s address the stovetop. Partial boils on a stovetop should be fairly easy. If you have a hard time getting to a boil there are a few things you can do to improve the time it takes. If you can’t maintain a boil, definitely move to a propane burner.

Insulate the pot: Find some heat resistant material to wrap around the pot. Aluminum foil is a cheap method.
Boil with the lid on: You can get water to boil faster if you don’t let the heat dissipate from the pot. After you add extract and get back to a boil, take the lid off. If you can’t maintain a boil, cover halfway.
Use hot water (~120F) to fill the pot. You only have to heat another 100 instead of 150* or more.

As for getting a burner, you have tons of choices. I use a turkey fryer for my partial boils that I got at Home Depot for $40 that came with a 7 gallon pot.

I wouldn’t boil with the lid on. At least don’t do it if a majority of your grain bill is Pils. But in general, boiling with the lid on is not good practice. During the boil chemicals like DMS need to be boiled away. Leaving the lid on will dump those right back into your boil kettle.

Also, I’m picking up that $40 burner and kettle from Home Depot tomorrow. Plan on brewing Saturday am. I’ll post sometime saturday or sunday telling how it went.

Bringing water to a boil with the lid on is not hazardous. I agree that after extract is added, it’s best not to but many homebrewers who cannot maintain a boil do cover their pots at least partially.

I was just talking about boiling. You should boil with the lid off. If you’re mashing with Pils malt, you really need to boil wit the lid off. Not trying to argue. Just stating a fact. As for extract, I really don’t know. Maybe all the bad stuff is already removed while the extract is being made. But if you move on to partial mash or all grain brewing, you want to boil with the lid off.

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