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Old 05-28-2011, 06:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by crowbait View Post
if your cheap like me at least 12 5 gallon batches. I heat my mash water on the stove, as soon as I mash in I start my sparge water on the stove than I use the propane burner for my 60 minute boil. Also helps to brew in the garage out of the wind.
How do you know it's cheaper to heat your mash and sparge on the stove? I couldn't see bringing 9 gallon of mash water and 8 gallon of sparge water on a stove.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:05 AM   #12
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How do you know it's cheaper to heat your mash and sparge on the stove? I couldn't see bringing 9 gallon of mash water and 8 gallon of sparge water on a stove.
I'm sure it's plenty cheaper on the stove. He's doing 5 gallon batches, too.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:20 AM   #13
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Ya, 17 gallons would take a bit on the stove. I heat 4 gallons to 175 from a outdoor tap at 50 in about a 40 mins. Which is usually the amount of time it takes to prep everything I need anyways. I've done some catering, a half hours time on a household oven equates to about 15 cents.

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Old 05-31-2011, 03:48 AM   #14
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I get about 2 - 2.5 batches out of a propane tank, using BG-14 banjos. Heating 19gal strike water 50-165 takes 40 mins or so, then heat it up to 170 and hold it. Sometimes I use more propane to step the temp up in the mash tun on a BG-12. Then take 15-20 to go from sparge to a boil, and hold the boil for at least 60 minutes.

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Old 05-31-2011, 03:52 AM   #15
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I had a full tank and just boiled two batches (hour boils - so maybe 3 hours total running gas) and it's noticeably lighter. I was wondering the same thing today, I'm guessing I have maybe 2 or 3 batches before this tank tanks.

Keep a spare handy.

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:24 AM   #16
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I just did a 10 gallon batch with all the water heating and boiling done by a KAB6. First time using it and I probably used between a third and a half a tank, going by the tank gauge and just feeling the condensation line.

I'm hoping I can figure out how "go easy" on it and still get quick boils, but I fear I'll probably use more when it's cold outside. It was quite the opposite of cold outside yesterday.

Also, the tank swap places like Blue Rhino or Amerigas only give you 15 lbs. If you get it filled it will be closer to 20 lbs.

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:29 AM   #17
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This thread is reinforcing my thoughts to go all electric. I havn't purchased a propane burner yet, but am using heat sticks on the stove so far. Just need to outfit my 21 gallon VAT with a 5500watt burner. $4 or so for 5 gallons of brew...too much.

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Old 06-01-2011, 08:53 AM   #18
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This thread is reinforcing my thoughts to go all electric. I havn't purchased a propane burner yet, but am using heat sticks on the stove so far. Just need to outfit my 21 gallon VAT with a 5500watt burner. $4 or so for 5 gallons of brew...too much.

Electric is very nice to use, but expensive to set up and wouldn't pay for itself in energy savings for a long time. Propane, even at $5 a batch, is still much cheaper than the relative cost of ingredients- especially if hops were to go up in price again like they did in 08/09.

It's like buying a new Nissan Leaf to save on gas instead of driving your 15 year old Ford Explorer. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:42 AM   #19
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This question recurs, and the answer is entirely dependent on such variables as 1) your system, 2) the brews that you do, and 3) how hard you boil, and 4) re: the post of "crowbait," how you heat your water. I was getting around 5 batches per tank, when a big price jump in propane made me rethink my process.
With very little extra effort, I can now heat not only my MLT preheat water but a good bit of my strike and sparge water indoors on our propane cooktop, where I can take advantage of the cheaper gas coming from our 1K gal. bulk tank, rather than the more expensive stuff coming from the 20 lb. grill tank.
My last batch, I used only 2.5 lbs. of propane from the small tank. Do the math.

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Old 06-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by lordbeermestrength View Post
Electric is very nice to use, but expensive to set up and wouldn't pay for itself in energy savings for a long time. Propane, even at $5 a batch, is still much cheaper than the relative cost of ingredients- especially if hops were to go up in price again like they did in 08/09.
Electric is more like $1 a batch. Depending on how often one brews, the equipment costs can be recovered quite quickly.
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