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Old 10-21-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
Moody_Copperpot
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Default Brewing with propane

I just did my first all grain batch last night and it took a looong time for the 6+ gallons to get to a boil. I know a lot of you use propane, just wanted a bit more info on that. Is that something you must do outside? I live in a suburb of Cleveland, so we have some pretty mean winters. I do have a garage, however. If I do have to brew out there, is the cold air going to be fighting with the propane burner to get me to a boil? Using something like that inside seems like it's probably a no-no, but just checking!

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Old 10-21-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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Takes me about 15-20 min to go to boil with 6 gallons with keggle. Did you reset your regulator?
If you had the regulator on when you turned the valve for the tank open it will run at a very low speed.
crank everything shut and then open the tank first. that will reset.

also, Never noticed that much of a difference brewing outside here in the winter

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Old 10-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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I wouldn't chance brewing with propane in a garage not only because of carbon monoxide danger but also because of the fire danger, but that's just me...and NC has some very soft winter weather compared to northern Ohio's.

How many BTU's does your burner have? It used to take my turkey fryer a long time to achieve a boil, but now that I have 120K BTU burners, it's like lighting the Space Shuttle Main Engine below that brew.

Also, if you are an AG brewer, when you drop your first runnings into the boil pot are you using the flame to go ahead and start heating it up to a near boil? I do that to ensure that any enzyme activity is halted and also so that my brew day is shorter. Even with the strong burner setup I have, it takes 10-15 minutes off of the time to achieve boiling.

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Old 10-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Outside is a must!!! There is an episode of Basic Brewing Radio that gets the local fire expert on, and he even recommends being totaly outside. I have done several batches in the garage, and am still here, so that is what I am going to keep doing.

I would think that the amount of time that it takes to boil would be more dependant on your burner rather than the temperature. I have a turkey fryer, and the problem I have is too much boiling, I have to move the pot off so there is not as much heat, or else there is non stop boilovers with too much of a vigorous boil.

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Old 10-21-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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I brew in Illinois in the winter. I use a ten gallon pot on a turkey fryer burner. It doesn't take too long to get to a boil. i have to crank it up a little more but it's not noticeably longer than brewing in the summer. I might use a little more propane but I still get a full two all grain brews out of a propane tank.

I also brew in the garage. I wouldn't call it a fire hazardy any more than using your grill on a wood deck lol. If it makes you feel better have a fire exstinguisher in your garage lol. Leave the garage door open so you don't get fumed out. I actually just leave mine half way open and turn a fan on to get some air moving. You might have to rig up some kind of wind barrier around your burner depending on how windy it is that day and depending on how your garage faces.

At the end of the day. I would rather brew when it's 0-10 degrees out with my burner cranking away in the garage than when it's 90-100 with the burner going in the garage. Grab some gloves, a hat, a big beer, and pull up a chair and you're set.

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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I'm betting your regulator only goes to 5psi. I bought a turkey fryer kit, only to find that the regulator was very weak.

As for brewing in the cold, I don't think the problem will be with the boil - it'll be maintaining mash temps (if you're mashing in a kettle). You may want to wrap the mash tun in a towel.

Finally, I brew in my garage and like it a lot. Especially for keeping leaves out of the BK. When it's really cold, I just crack the garage door a foot or two for some gas exchange, and huddle up real close to the kettle!

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurker18 View Post
Outside is a must!!! There is an episode of Basic Brewing Radio that gets the local fire expert on, and he even recommends being totaly outside. .
It was the first think I ever posted that was stickified...it's at the top of the equipment section. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/prop...podcast-97069/
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:35 PM   #8
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I've brewed in my garage quite a few times in the winter and I'm practically down the street. The brewing itself is pretty straight forward, it's the clean-up that is more of a pain for me in the winter.

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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I don't actually have a propane burner yet, I brewed on a stove and am looking to brew with a burner, just looking for advice. You guys are very helpful!

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:33 PM   #10
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There's something you need to be aware of if you are buying new. I posted it in another thread.

Quote:
But of greater concern for you is that that burner stand advertised has the newer safety feature that requires you to push a button every 5-15 minutes in order to keep the gas flowing.

They're a pain to use for home brewing, and noone's come up with a good way to bypass that feature.

This one doesn't have it, it is a straght un-inerrupted hose from tank to burner'



But if you look at your picture you will see a little grey box a little larger than an AA battery with a red button on it, located after the red-knobbed regulator. It uses different sized fittings so you can't even easily cut it out of the line and straight pipe the hose.



If all you can find at stores are the ones with the safety feature, than look at Cl or Garage sales.
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