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Reduce boiling time. A pot with heat sinks? What the what?

Last night I brewed, I’ve brewed several times now and have figured out my routine.

Fill pot with 6 gallons, stick it over both burners on the cooktop, adjust setting to “high”, go watch TV.

I am normally a pretty patient person so I tend not to stress but last night I timed the process from start to boil and it took me about 90 minutes to heat up the 6 gallons. This translates to me watching too much “storage wars” which is a downright terrible show and I don’t know why I spend my time with that.

Anyway, after last night I’ve spent my first hour in the office today researching how I can speed this process up. Of course there is the Blichmann and the Edelmetall and the other lesser burners (I’m a buy it once kind of guy so I typically try to go full nut on stuff I think I’ll use for a while). Then I thought about induction and fairly quickly ruled that out. Pretty sure I’ll be going with the Blichmann.

Then something interesting happened, I thought “The burner is only half the equation, what about the pot? What if there was a pot with heat sinks?” Lo and behold there was! This thing called a Turbo Pot.

http://www.dvorsons.com/eneron/product.php?recordID=261

It looks like it’ll do the trick and it comes in plenty of sizes but I’m curious if any of you have any experience with this product or something similar? Even your general thoughts are acceptable.

It could use some refinement for brewing but that isn’t something that people haven’t done to a pot before.

I would imagine there are diminishing returns on something like that. Their example showed cutting the time in half to boil 1.5 liters. You’re talking about 16 times that amount. I can’t speak from experience though, just more of a gut thing.

Don’t know about cooking time speedup, but if it’s getting anything like the energy efficiency improvement they claim then it might be a money saver. Nearly doubling the number of batches you’d be able to get off a tank of propane ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

I haven’t heard of this particular type of kettle, but it does sound intriguing.

I can give a huge endorsement to the Blichmann floor burner though (I would strongly recommend the leg extensions), both in terms of shortening brew day and propane economy. I have gotten as many as 8 all-grain brews out of one tank with mine, many with 90-minute boils and a few decoctions here and there.

In terms of speed, I get from hot water out of the faucet to strike temp usually within 10 minutes, then from mash temp to boiling in about 20. I have had all-grain (brew in a bag) sessions that have been 3.5 hours, from the time I pull my stuff out until its all put away with me on the couch.

Great pick up.

[quote=“Pietro”]I haven’t heard of this particular type of kettle, but it does sound intriguing.

I can give a huge endorsement to the Blichmann floor burner though (I would strongly recommend the leg extensions), both in terms of shortening brew day and propane economy. I have gotten as many as 8 all-grain brews out of one tank with mine, many with 90-minute boils and a few decoctions here and there.

In terms of speed, I get from hot water out of the faucet to strike temp usually within 10 minutes, then from mash temp to boiling in about 20. I have had all-grain (brew in a bag) sessions that have been 3.5 hours, from the time I pull my stuff out until its all put away with me on the couch.

Great pick up.[/quote]

+1 to this. And definitely get the leg extensions. Also you don’t need to crank the heat on it. I usually have mine around the 1/3 mark to keep the water at a nice rolling boil.

You could also consider buying/building a 120V heat stick to assist in heating water/boiling wort. They are relatively inexpensive and can help save gas too.

http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“Pietro”]
I can give a huge endorsement to the Blichmann floor burner though (I would strongly recommend the leg extensions), both in terms of shortening brew day and propane economy. [/quote]

+1 to this. And definitely get the leg extensions. Also you don’t need to crank the heat on it. I usually have mine around the 1/3 mark to keep the water at a nice rolling boil.[/quote]
I’ll also endorse the Blichmann with leg extensions. You can totally justify this purchase; it’s great for big seafood boils too (we use my old 5 gallon pot). Not sure about the pot you’re looking at, I went with a 10 gallon Boilermaker.

Just weighing in on the Turbo Pot. (what the what)

My guy pals and I used a 27 qt model this weekend for brewing…I think it was 27 qts. I will go back and look when I’m back at the house. We got 5 gallons from 65 F or so to 175 F in approximately 10 min using a Dark Star propane burner (54,000 btu). I think the efficiency gains of the pot will vary a bit with your burner configuration…

I wasn’t able to weigh the propane tank before and after as my scale is broken but I am going to play around with a normal pot and Turbo Pot of same capacity this weekend and test out boil times and propane consumption by weight before and after each run.

I don’t think it will be 50% efficiency gain but more in the ballpark of 30-40%…which is still nothing to laugh at, considering cutting down on heat up weight times and also conserving your propane tank since you can throttle down input while maintaining a boil. Instead of 2 brews per tank you could get 3 and also save a trip to the store to exchange your tank. In my opinion the pot also provides a more even heat distribution and minimizes risk of scalding at the bottom.

I will post my results when I get more time to play with it this weekend and take good notes.

Besides that, it’s a nice conversation piece and a cool looking toy ^-^. Works great for soups and seafood boils as well. I tossed some dungies in mine earlier in the crab season.

:cheers:

-M

So if your blichmann burner 72,000 btu burner raised HOT water from the sink (what is that around 90F?) to strike in 10 minutes and the Turbo Pot got 65-70 F tepid sink water to 175 F in 10 minutes on a 54,000 btu burner…well…those numbers look pretty good for the Turbo Pot. How much water were you using?

Color me skeptical. A chart based on 1.5 quarts may have close to zero relevance at 6 gallons. Maybe ask the supplier if they have data on other amounts (good luck).

I assume you have 4 burners on your cook-top? Grab a couple smaller pots (typical 6QT?) and you can use those to heat about 2.5 gallons of the 6 in parallel. With only ~ 3.5G in the big pot, that should come to a boil in far less time. When those smaller pots boil, swap with water in your big pot, repeat if needed. Heat sticks were mentioned, those will help.

I’ve heard of people putting a heat stick on a timer, and setting it to start a couple hours ahead, though if that means unattended, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with that.

-ERD50

It’s fine to be skeptical. I was too about translating those same efficiency gains to a larger size. And what I believe is it’s going to have a lot more to do with the shape and btu input of your burner…smaller low input ring type burners being less efficient as you go up in a pot size that is a larger diameter. You should probably match the diameter of the burner and pot as evenly as possible.

I just brewed with the 22 qt (just for sparge water) and 44 qt model again in Sacramento with a friend last night and we did roughly 9 gallons finished wort using about a quarter of a propane tank. We maintained a consistent 214 +/- 1 F throughout the boil and turned the propane so far down that you could not see any blue flames at all. just a small cluster of yellow flames. at one point it was so low that it actually blew out. We laughed and lit it again. Besides that, I was using a nice Fluke digital thermometer with probes and we played around placing them in different areas of the pot and the temperature uniformity was really good. no more than 2 degrees off anywhere we measured, usually less than 1 degree.

I’m going to home depot tonight to get more propane and a scale so I can weigh the propane tank before and after as I said. Pictures and video coming soon.

PS. My friend that I brewed with is Thomas btw, and by the end of the session, he was not doubting :wink:

PPS. if you think I am using a 4-burner range top you clearly didn’t even really read my previous post -___-. I have 2 54,000 btu dark star burners. and aside from putting on a natural gas submeter I would have no way to evaluate the actual fuel consumption performing this test on a gas stove.

I just wanted to chime in with something that might be obvious but should at least be mentioned. This type of pot may help with gas burners, but I think it’s quite likely to be less effective on electric cooktops due to the reduced contact area.

indeed. their marketing materials state so. but how many people brew with an electric set up anyway? Granted electric appliances are inherently more efficient than gas…but I think there is issue with the ability to supply sufficient kW to the burner to heat at an agreeable rate in a residential setting. And here in CA our electric rates are higher than the national average so people like gas…

[quote=“Merana Tijoux”]It’s fine to be skeptical…
PPS. if you think I am using a 4-burner range top you clearly didn’t even really read my previous post -___-. I have 2 54,000 btu dark star burners. and aside from putting on a natural gas submeter I would have no way to evaluate the actual fuel consumption performing this test on a gas stove.[/quote]

My comment was directed at the Original Post, maybe you should have considered that before attacking my reading capability:

-kenc

I do, for one. There are more and more of us who brew smaller batches indoors. I know I would certainly love to be able to hit a boil quicker with my current setup.

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