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Old 07-06-2011, 05:49 PM   #21
Tinga
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I exchange my tank at Menards and they claim to give 13% more gas than blue rhino or amerigas. It's the Heritage Propane Exchange system. It's about $17 for a refill I believe.

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Old 07-06-2011, 06:20 PM   #22
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I usually refill my Blue Rhino Tank. I had to exchange it at Home Depot last Sunday because the refill station was closed and I wanted to brew on the 4th. Took the tank inside, paid for my return and met the young guy at the propane tanks out front.

This was one of those stations where you can exchange a tank any time. It had these doors that opened automatically. The store worker had to scan my bar code into the machine then it started making noises checking for empty and full tanks. It opened a door and the machine told me to put my empty in that spot. Only problem is there was an empty already there. The worker closed the door. The machine opened another door with a full tank in it. Worker pulls out the tank and slams that door closed.

I tell him "shouldn't we have put the empty in that cubbyhole'? He looks a little confused then tells me to just take the empty with me that I can get the discount again that way. I was very happy to get a second tank out of that deal.

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Old 07-06-2011, 06:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by smokewater View Post
I tell him "shouldn't we have put the empty in that cubbyhole'? He looks a little confused then tells me to just take the empty with me that I can get the discount again that way. I was very happy to get a second tank out of that deal.
haha awesome
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by rdharris55 View Post
I started listening to the sound. A "roar" is blowing off propane. A high blue flame with minimal yellow tipping that's almost silent is efficient...maybe a low hissing sound. My first boil I tried to get things cranking by turning up the flame...not the right method with these burners.
I agree with this. When I run my burner, there is minimal hissing. If it's cranked, you can definitely hear the difference: it sounds like a plane taking off (obvious exaggeration, but you get the idea; LOUD.) If it's up too high, you lose heat around the sides of the kettle due to the huge flame. If too small, the water won't boil. It's all about the happy medium.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #25
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Hmmm... http://www.bluerhino.com/BRWEB/Help/...ts-tanks-.aspx

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:17 PM   #26
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I have the round Bayou and get 4-5 brews done on a tank, doing 5gal batches. I just take it to the gas station to get filled, its usually around 15 bucks.

I noticed that once i surrounded the burner with some stove pipe to keep the wind out that I got at least 1 additional batch out of a tank.

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Old 07-07-2011, 06:06 PM   #27
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Since I changed my boil pot to aluminum from stainless steel I use less gas, not sure how much less but it is significant. I also quit using exchange tanks because you're not getting 20 lbs.

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Old 07-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #28
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Good thread. Since I switched to my large (25 gal) stainless pot I have trouble getting my small burner to get 10+ gal to boil in a reasonable time. I had some bubble reflector insulation (silvery, foil-coated, about 1/4 inch thick with bubbles like packaging material, a high R-value reflective insulator) so I made a big loose box out of it (cube with no bottom) and draped it over the pot, with about 4 inches standoff. My boil time shortened appreciably. After a few uses, the material got pretty droopy from the heat because it got too close from time to time. . . (hey - what's that burning smell, don't let it touch the pot !!). I have been thinking about making a simple wood frame to keep the reflective material a safe distance away, and a removable top for the boil-off. I feel pretty encouraged to do so after reading the thread, maybe it will save me some propane.

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Old 07-09-2011, 05:34 PM   #29
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I'm glad this was a helpful thread.

We have three tanks from blue rhino which we normally exchange. I'll be looking into alternatives soon. It's not windy here, although we did create a wind shield from a 55-gal drum for our first few batches. We stopped using it once we got a sight glass and thermometer. Honestly it didn't work very well (there are some pictures of it in my photos via the sig link).

It also made it difficult to adjust the flame. Although we keep our burner inside out of the weather, I'm noticing some signs of rust in only one year around the nozzle threads. The real problem is that the oxygen / air adjuster doesn't seem to give me the precise control to burn below the "aircraft sound" level. (Should we call this an adjuster, a carburetor, a flue? or just a metal spinny disk that obstructs air flow?) Maybe this is because we already have the gas up too high. (We're heating up a keggle and a Blichmann 20g using the one burner.)

I'm happy to say that this problem became much less important after I popped open my first summer batch and found it over carbed and belgian flavored. It's a AHS American Ale kit. So now I'm tracking down potential flaws in my sanitation instead of heating efficiency.

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Old 07-10-2011, 01:52 AM   #30
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I think as I get more experience ill get more out of a tank. Realized on this brew that I can keep the flame pretty low and still maintain a nice boil. Also if I hit my numbers better I won't be heating up extra water to raise the temp.

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