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Old 05-31-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
0verdrive
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Default Question about burner spacing

(Long-time lurker, first time poster here, with a question I'm hoping you guys can weigh in on)

After several years' brewing hiatus, I'm finishing up a 3-tier brew stand, which will allow me to do AG batches! I'm getting pretty close, but I have a question about flame quality related to the height of the keggles above my burners.

I have 10-jet NG burners mounted on 1/2" (rigid) gas pipe that's built into the frame. I initially set the stand to hold the keggles approximately 4.5 inches above the burners, but my HLT was closer to the ceiling than I wanted, so I dropped it nearly 3". The reduced height makes the HLT much more accessable, but effectively dropped the HLT keggle to around 2" above the burners.

I did a test burn last night to ensure that the burners were working correctly, and I noticed that the flame quality seems pretty different between my HLT and my BK. (In both cases, I had the valve barely on, but any more gas, and the flame lapped around the sides of the keggles.)

On my HLT, the flame seemed "soft" and gently pooled under the keggle. On the BK, however, the jets appeared (and sounded) more "jet-like" and powerful, but the flame doesn't seem to quite reach the keggle.

Both obviously heated the keggles, but I wonder how well they'll work when full - my overall impression was that neither setting was quite right.

The HLT flames didn't seem very powerful, but perhaps they don't need to be, as they will only need to heat water to strike temps, etc. I also noticed a fair amount of condensation under the HLT, particularly toward the beginning. Is this just a result of the cool water in a (warming up) container, or is this condensation from the gas burning incorrectly? (To sum up the questions: is the flame likely hot enough, and is the condensation normal?)

The BK flames were much more powerful, but perhaps a little too low - I wonder if they'd be more efficient if the flames touched more of the kettle? Also, does the slight yellow toward the tip of the flames indicate not enough oxygen, or is this ideal?

I've attached pictures of both for comparison - any tips/suggestions/questions you guys have would be welcome!

Thanks,
~Dean

Boil Kettle burner (~4.5" below keggle):


HLT burner (~2" below keggle):

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Old 05-31-2012, 11:17 PM   #2
day_trippr
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I also noticed a fair amount of condensation under the HLT, particularly toward the beginning. Is this just a result of the cool water in a (warming up) container, or is this condensation from the gas burning incorrectly?
Burning natural gas or propane does produce quite a bit of water vapor, and if that vapor hits a cool surface it's going to condense. So I'd say "normal", and would expect it to lessen as the HLT heats up.

To me, the flames look clean and appear to be focused on the keggle bottoms well enough to avoid excessive blow-by, and they look diffused enough to avoid obvious scorching potential. Those aspects are about all I worry about on my own system...

Cheers!
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