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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > 23 jets on Burners - too many, how to scale down?
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:47 PM   #1
pieper
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Default 23 jets on Burners - too many, how to scale down?

Howdy -

I brewed all grain for the first time on my new Brutus! It was a awesome although I had no idea it would take 6 hours! (up until 3:30am on Tuesday)

It took a very long time to get my kettle to a boil and I couldn't reach the ideal 'rigorous' boil.

Anyway, my burners have 23 jets and are rated at 192K BTUs. Unfortunately, I cannot have them on full blast (to get that really hot blue flame) as the flames are too big, wrap around my kettle, and are sure to drain my propane tank quickly. I believe having the yellow flames is less efficient than having blue flames as there was a lot of soot on the bottom of my kettle.

My question - I assume having 15 or so really hot (blue) flames would be better than 23 'yellow' flames. Is this correct? Should I plug up some of the jets to allow me to have my burner on 'full blast'?

Also - how long does it take to normally bring about 8 gals to a boil?

Thanks,

cmp

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Old 06-12-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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Here is a thread discussing your problem and a solution.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=52154

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Old 06-12-2008, 08:11 PM   #3
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You stated that your flames are wrapping around your kettle. Plugging up some of your jets with bolts won't solve your issue.

It sounds like your burner is too close to the bottom of your kettle. I know that a few of us (me included) have had to drop our burners another 1-2" to achive that perfect blue flame.

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Old 06-12-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarvInSTL View Post
You stated that your flames are wrapping around your kettle. Plugging up some of your jets with bolts won't solve your issue.

It sounds like your burner is too close to the bottom of your kettle. I know that a few of us (me included) have had to drop our burners another 1-2" to achive that perfect blue flame.
Yep, I had to go about 3 3/4" from kettle.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Yep, I had to go about 3 3/4" from kettle.
Im about 2.5-3" and wondering if Im too close. But I took out all the jets where the flames would hit each other and it works ok. I just cant crank it all the way up or flames pour out the sides
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:51 PM   #6
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I got flames out the side until I lowered mine to almost 4" from the bottom of the kettle.

I mispoke earlier. What I meant was that I had to drop mine a further 1-2" (to get to where I am now) because I started with the burner 2" from the bottom of the kettle.

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Old 06-12-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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I dont mind keeping the flames a bit lower to save on gas. These things will seriously suck down so propane with them turned all the way up. But then again I have to keep heat on it longer. Its a fine tuning toss up between the two.

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Old 06-14-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
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This may be a stupid question, but is your burner set for propane or for natural gas? If it is adjusted for nat gas, and you use LP, you'll get mountains of soot and smudge, plus the monstrous yellow flames.

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Old 06-18-2008, 06:09 PM   #9
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they are for propane.

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Old 06-20-2008, 03:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pieper View Post
Howdy -

I brewed all grain for the first time on my new Brutus! It was a awesome although I had no idea it would take 6 hours! (up until 3:30am on Tuesday)

It took a very long time to get my kettle to a boil and I couldn't reach the ideal 'rigorous' boil.

Anyway, my burners have 23 jets and are rated at 192K BTUs. Unfortunately, I cannot have them on full blast (to get that really hot blue flame) as the flames are too big, wrap around my kettle, and are sure to drain my propane tank quickly. I believe having the yellow flames is less efficient than having blue flames as there was a lot of soot on the bottom of my kettle.

My question - I assume having 15 or so really hot (blue) flames would be better than 23 'yellow' flames. Is this correct? Should I plug up some of the jets to allow me to have my burner on 'full blast'?

Also - how long does it take to normally bring about 8 gals to a boil?

Thanks,

cmp
Yay!

Okay, my other favored hobby (blacksmithing) comes into effect here.

Blue flames, well defined, are signs of what is called a neutral flame. That means that the fuel/air mixture that is burning burns all the fuel, and also burns up enough oxygen. In blacksmithing this is ideal, as oxidation can be just as lethal to glowing metal as it is to brewed beer.

If you're getting a yellow flame, my guess is that your mixture is too rich. There is fuel left over after primary burn, and this fuel burns inappropriately in normal atmospheric environment, creating the lovely carbon scorching that you're seeing.

Move your pot up off the burner some, use some foil if you need to to create a heat shield (or look into 3000 degree insulated fire bricks to build a heat tube that can concentrate your heat, but be careful doing this, you can easily overheat your pot, 192k BTUs is a freaking lot).

Finally, a properly designed burner does not use a lot of propane. I can achieve temperatures, in a forge, of over 2000 degrees within 15 minutes, and maintain that off of a 20 pound propane tank for almost 8 hours.

If you want to work with some insulation, look into ceramic durablanket (1 inch thickness), which is rated to like 2700 degrees. Any stray heat from licking flames will be captured by the durablanket. It should run about 7-12 dollars a running foot. You can create all kinds of nifty insulation to speed up your heating and control your fire, as this is the same stuff (in a fiberglass-style blanket) that they use on the space shuttle.
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