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Old 04-19-2011, 03:48 PM   #1
shuf
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Default Natural gas setups

Do we have a wiki or any sticky pages on for using natural gas for brewing? I’m looking for an example of a natural gas fired boil kettle for 5-10 gallon batches, but searching around the forums there are a lot of articles that vary wildly in usefulness and most are dead ends. So far I’ve gathered that folks are either buying a natural gas wok style burner or converting a propane burner, but it’s not clear what tradeoffs are involved.

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Old 04-19-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
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Your trade off is that Natural gas will not heat as quick as propane however if you have the connection there is nothing like an endless supply of gas. The difference is that you would have to swap out the burners and regulator as the orifices are larger on the natural gas. You can still use jet burners or banjo burners if you like just make sure that they are rated for the type of gas you plan on using. For my setup I use propane and it costs me a thank of gas per brew ($20). As I am using 10" jet burners which suck the fuel but man does it put out some heat. I can get a 10 gal batch to boil in about 15min.

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Old 04-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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There a number of natural gas fired systems on the board here, the conversion of 10" hurricane burners is as simple as changing the gas fitting to a NG fitting. The fitting/valve can be found at Williams brewing, and swapped out in minutes. If you want to go with either low pressure propane or NG then it would be a matter of getting fitting/valve for both fuels.
The multi jet burners are impressive in their output but most of the heat is wasted in flames up the sides, and they only like to run wide open, lower settings cause the flame to go dirty and soot up things. If you fire the boil kettle burner at a medium level after 2" of wort in the kettle, you will normally be at a boil when the sparging is done. Running the boil kettle burner at high fire for boil is not needed, only the HLT burner needs to run wide open when heating strike water.

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Old 04-20-2011, 12:16 AM   #4
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Do your homework to find out the pressure at your house versus pressure required for the natural gas burners. I found some burners that required 11 inches of water column (pressure) when my house regulator only supplies 4 inches of water column. I never found a natural gas burner for 4 inches WC.

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Old 04-20-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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I just converted to 3 Banjo burners 2 months ago and had the same questions.
What the consensus seemed to be was the Wok burners provided ALOT of heat but are hard to control because there is no air shutter.
The banjos can be converted to Natural Gas by drilling out the supplied orafice and are greatly controlable. (I stepped up to 1/8").
While they are not as hot as propane would be, I they are plenty hot enough for 10 gallon batches.
I bought them here http://www.agrisupply.com/bg-high-pressure-cast-iron-burner-/p/64494/cn/5400000/.

Please don't play with natural gas and fittings unless you are completely comfortable doing so.

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Old 04-20-2011, 12:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, really appreciate the input. I found BobbyM’s article and website to be pretty helpful for the wok setup, but it sounds like converting the hurricane burners gives better control. Here are some follow up questions:

+Kladue, is there a good way to search for other member’s natural gas systems? So far I’ve only been searching through posts, but I wasn’t sure if there was somewhere else to look.

+What pressure do you need at your house to run a converted hurricane burner?

+There seems to be a rumor that the conversion kit for the hurricane burners also works on the banjo burners, can anyone confirm?

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Old 04-20-2011, 01:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuf View Post
+There seems to be a rumor that the conversion kit for the hurricane burners also works on the banjo burners, can anyone confirm?
The natural gas orifice from Brewershardware says it,"Fits other Banjo/Hurricane type burners and allows them to operate at low pressure 11" WC Natural Gas."

I just received my burners and orifices from them yesterday and hope to get started on my stand in the next week or so.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:32 AM   #8
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The hurricane and banjo burners are the same casting with different trade names. They both have 1/4" NPT threads the gas inlet fitting, and valves with orifices for high pressure propane, low pressure propane, and natural gas are available for under $10 each. Typical residential Natural gas pressure is 4"-6" WC (27" = 1 PSI), low pressure propane is normally 11" WC. When you go with NG or low pressure propane the standing pilot Honeywell VR8200 valves are the lowest cost and safest method of control around. For about $65 for the valve, $15 for the pilot burner, and $4 for the thermocouple you can safely control one burner.
Do a search for "Natural gas Brutus rigs" and you should turn up some examples of natural gas fired brew rigs.

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