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Recommendations for a tall burner

Hi all,

I have a Bayou Classic SP50 and while it heats pretty well, it is horrible in its efficiency of gas. On average, I get 1.5 - 2 brews per 20lb propane tank. Not good! This is for 5 gallon all grain brewing in a cooler system (heating strike,sparge, mashout and 60 minute boil).

I would like to replace this with something that would be more efficient but I still want a tall burner. The SP50 stands about 2 feet off the ground.

Does any one have any recommendation on a replacement? Has anyone just tried replacing the banjo burner with something more efficient? Not even sure if that is an option…

Also, does anyone use larger tanks? I was thinking about changing to a 40lb tank but not sure that would really deliver any benefit. Perhaps lugging around a larger tank would be less fun…

Thanks in advance!
-glueslug

The only “tall” option I’m aware of is the Blichmann with leg exentions. I use the SP10 on cinder blocks. I hate hauling concrete around on brew day.

Not sure what the benefit of 40lb tanks would be over couple 20lb tanks. I think the downside would be not being able to exchange them if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to mess around with a refill.

+1 to the Blichmann with leg extensions. I have one and love it. The top of the burner is about 2ft off the ground. Mine’s relatively new and ive only used it for 2 brews but my tank appears to have another 2+ brews left in it (just judging by weight compared to another full tank).

The main benefit of having 2 tanks is you can have another ready to go and run your other tank all the way down with out having to “pray” you have enough to make it through the session.

Also, the blichmann will easily bring your water to a boil and keep there very quickly at less than half power. So no need to crank it, as it will only wastes gas.

I would keep what you have, frankly. You might want to get your propane tanks filled at a place that fills them by weight. It is amazing how much more I get out of the tank from the rental equipment place that fills by weight - the other places are maybe 3/4 fills at best. I think one of them was sued in a class action at one point for such underfilling. I know that there are safety restrictions, but I think some of them still only go with 3/4 filling to be able to sell for a “lower” price, but the refillable place does it even cheaper per pound and they fill it more fully, so I don’t have to get refills as often. I did also go to a backup 40 pounder, just to have around and it lasts a goodly long time. Also, try heating strike and sparge with an electric bucket heater - I have them on timers, so the water is ready in the morning when I get my grain crushed. My only use of propane is the boil kettle these days…except when bumping up an extended mash that has cooled too much.

:cheers:

I am not sure what how your set up is configured but have you considered building a heat shield around the burner and boil pot? When I added mine the heat times and amount of burn to boil for 60 min went way down.

[quote=“ynotbrusum”]…get your propane tanks filled at a place that fills them by weight. It is amazing how much more I get out of the tank from the rental equipment place that fills by weight - the other places are maybe 3/4 fills at best…

:cheers: [/quote]

This is absolutely true - Home Depot or any of those quick tank exchange places will only put 15 pounds of LP into the 20 pound tank. It is usually stated in the fine print somewhere on the tank and/or the cage that holds the bottles. The really frustrating thing is that the price isn’t lower, so you’re getting ripped off. I do remember that the couple of exchange tanks we had ran out of gas noticeably faster.

I rotate through two 20-lb tanks, and can get them refilled at a rental place down the street for nearly the same price as a tank exchange (that gives you only 15 lbs of LP.) And it might take only a minute or two longer than tracking down the worker at HD that has the key to the cage.

I have two 30 lb tanks and two 20 lb tanks and have them filled by the gallon at a local rental place.

The 20 lb tank cost about $15 to fill and the 30 lb tank was about $20 both were empty when I had them fill and the total price with tax and fees was $42.

I have the Blichmann with leg extensions and love it. On propane, I filled 2 20 pound tanks today from empty for $20 and change.

Thanks everyone! I failed to mention that I do use two 20 lbs tanks as well, and have them filled by a propane supply company. Its incredibly reasonable (price wise) to have the filled that way. Often I will take mostly empty tank and have it filled (completely) for about $8 or $9.

As for those recommending the Blichmann with leg extensions, I have been looking very, very closely at them. I think its the price that keeps me hesitating. While not outrageous, I can’t help but wondering if they “are that much better?” Knowing all the super-satisfied customers of Blichmann, I am sure they are. I have done the same thing with their brew kettles…

Cheers!
-glueslug

[quote=“glueslug”]
As for those recommending the Blichmann with leg extensions, I have been looking very, very closely at them. I think its the price that keeps me hesitating. While not outrageous, I can’t help but wondering if they “are that much better?” Knowing all the super-satisfied customers of Blichmann, I am sure they are. I have done the same thing with their brew kettles…

Cheers!
-glueslug[/quote]
I can’t really say it’s the best as I only had a blowtorch burner before the Blichmann, but I love it. I did receive it as a Christmas gift a few years ago so price wasn’t really an issue. The manifold is the same as many other models. I do like the low pressure regulator (which could be put on other burners), good wind protection, pot supports, holes in the steel to stick my bbq lighter, etc.

Blichmann is expensive though and as much as I like the burner, I don’t think I would spend the money on a Boilermaker. The only other Blichmann item I have is the beer gun (also a gift) and it’s nice too.

I feel the same way, so I actually use a small card table with fold in legs while I brew. It’s sturdy enough for my 5gal brew days and it gives me good height.

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