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Old 11-14-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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Default Natural Gas Questions

I know that this subject has been debated, ad ad nauseum, but I cannot seem to find a concrete answer that is to my liking.

I have NG in my house already. Next week, I am having my ancient oil burner removed and switching to a NG system (summer/winter single-vent type)

I am also having the guys run a line to my grill (which I am also replacing new with something converted for natural gas) and a line to my brew stand.

I currently run no less than 15 gallon batches (boil as much as possible in keggle and top off in fermenter) using a HLT with HERMS and a Boil kettle so I will only be running 2 burners at a time.

I have seen the constant debate over the 23 vs. 32 tip vs. whatever tip burner, as well as, which size pipe to use, etc.

Can anyone tell me what my best option will be, especially if I want to upgrade capacity in the future? I would think the 32 tip burner would be best, as I can cap-off some of the tips if I cannot get a clean low flame, or would a different sized feed line help in this matter? I may go to 30 or 50 gallon in the future and I would hate having to justify buying new burners to SWMBO as this is my best chance to hot-rod the brew stand.

I pretty much have carte-blanche with regard to the gas plumbing. All I need to do is procure the burners, and the HVAC guys will plumb it to whatever my needs may be.

I do not want this to be a trial and error excursion. I have propane now, and it works. I want to go to the brau haus after they are finished and brew with my system as if nothing has changed (i.e. No hiccups, changes, experimenting on what works best)

I know I am probably asking the same thing a lot of guys have asked, but this is going to happen sooner than I expected. My oil burner is taking a crap, the tank is very old and I am almost out of oil so now is the time to convert.

Thanks, guys.

- Dan

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Old 11-14-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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I can't speculate on some of your questions, but I can tell you what I use. I have (2) 32 tip burners. I brew 30 gallon batches. They serve my purposes very well. I use them for 5 gallon batches occasionally as well. I don't understand the hoopla about them not burning right when cranked back. So the flame is a liitle more orange than blue, who cares? I'm using a single 1/2" pipe with a tee to supply both burners. I can't operate both of them at full capacity, but I can operate both at about 60-70%. If you plan on upgrading in the future, I would get the bigger burners.

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Old 11-14-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Fantastic, thanks!

I told the installer that I was looking at (2), 190,000 BTU (32 tip) burners and that I would be running them both at the same time, sometimes.

He suggested 1" right up to the brew stand and than 1/2" to the burners (3' to each one) to run them both properly. I just wanted to get a second, practically applied, opinion before ordering the burners.

Thanks,

- Dan

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBL_Brewer View Post
I can't speculate on some of your questions, but I can tell you what I use. I have (2) 32 tip burners. I brew 30 gallon batches. They serve my purposes very well. I use them for 5 gallon batches occasionally as well. I don't understand the hoopla about them not burning right when cranked back. So the flame is a liitle more orange than blue, who cares? I'm using a single 1/2" pipe with a tee to supply both burners. I can't operate both of them at full capacity, but I can operate both at about 60-70%. If you plan on upgrading in the future, I would get the bigger burners.
I have a 32 jet burner as well, and my experience was very different than BBL_Brewer.

I do 10 gallon boils, even with my valve at full open, I only got yellow flames and soot with all 32 jets, and it produced less BTUs of heat. I suspect that BBL_Brewer has higher NG pressure, than I do.

After an exhaustive period of try and error (mostly error), I found that only 6 tips produced the best results. I picked the 6 tips on the burner that all aimed at each other.

I can bring 10 gallons to boil in 45 minutes. However, the 6 tip configuration allow me to do rolling boils on 5 gallons with out soot.

I asked many times on this site for hard numbers on peoples brewing times with natural gas, without much success.

I like the jet burners, I just ordered 3 of the 10 jet burners.

Here is the thing, unless you have the natural gas pressure, or the natural gas volume (larger NG supply from the street), it wont matter what size burner you have, you wont be able to run at the higher BTU.

The next consideration, is can you get the heat into the kettle. Just because you have a great big BTU flame, does not mean that the flame is just shooting off the edges of your kettle and up the sides of the pot, waste all that heat.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #5
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Blichmann Floor Burner w/ natural gas conversion kit. I do 10 gallon batches just fine. 15 gallons wouldn't be an issue.

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Old 11-15-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
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Blichmann Floor Burner w/ natural gas conversion kit. I do 10 gallon batches just fine. 15 gallons wouldn't be an issue.
How long does it take you to bring 10 gallon to boil, from what temperature?
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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I use this 23 tip burner http://www.cpapc.com/23-Tip-Round-No...-P469C244.aspx under a 30 gallon pot and it is almost overkill, I can't run it full blast or I get boil overs.

I have a 1/2" line running to my BBQ that I connect it to and I have plenty of gas for the 1 burner.

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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I have 3 of the 20 tip burners. I have 3/4" pipe from the meter running about 20' and about 14' of 3/4" hose running to the brew stand. The manifold is 3/4" and goes down to 1/2" at the bend to the burners. This works fine. However, when I got the Blichmann TOP, the ASCO valves were 3/8". This was almost too much restriction for the burners on the MLT and HLT. Fortunately, I don't need too much juice on those two burners.

What size thread do I need to plug a few of the jets? Link to the exact product at McMaster-Carr would be a bonus.

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Old 11-15-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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What size thread do I need to plug a few of the jets? Link to the exact product at McMaster-Carr would be a bonus.
Be careful plugging the jets, you need to make sure the flame can go all the way around or some of the jets won't light themselves.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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Be careful plugging the jets, you need to make sure the flame can go all the way around or some of the jets won't light themselves.
What is the typical pattern people use to plug them?
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