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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Cheap turkey cooker or higher quality burner?
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default Cheap turkey cooker or higher quality burner?

With Christmas around the corner it is time to make a decision on gifts. I started brewing this summer and have really enjoyed it. I made my 4th batch last night on my stove top but it is clearly time for me to get out of the kitchen and start full boils (plus the wife hates the smell...cant blame her). Right now i am in the infancy of the hobby and only doing extract brewing. I don't anticipate doing all grain anytime soon. I also wont be doing 10gallon boils anytime soon but I could see trying that down the road. I just use a swamp cooler right now but want to try making a Son of Fermentation Chiller.

Their are turkey fryer kits out there right now for $40 but it is worth is to spend an extra $75-$80 in order to get a better burner (SQ14) and larger pot.

I am basically trying to decide between these 2 options. For $40 it is hard to beat the deal at BassPro but will the burner be good enough to quickly heat a full boil if i am starting with 6 gallons.


Bass Pro
Bass Pro Shops® 30-Quart Propane Turkey Fryer | Bass Pro Shops

Amazon Package
Amazon.com: Bayou Classic Stainless Steel Stockpot: Patio, Lawn & Garden
Amazon.com: Bayou Classic SQ14 Single Burner Outdoor Patio Stove: Patio, Lawn & Garden

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Old 11-21-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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I use turkey fryers as do a bunch of others. IF I was going to spend the cash at first it would be on a turkey fryer and the biggest pot I could afford then on some way to control ferm temps. Granted my next purchase will be burners but these two second hand turkey burners have made a ton of good beer for me.

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Old 11-21-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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Turkey fryer is fine for 6 gallons. But if you're not paying, why not go for the best!

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Old 11-21-2011, 03:11 PM   #4
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OH YEAH and another thing..rather than a son of fermentation chiller, take a look at this.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ebay...-parts-261506/
I literally built one of these last night in about a half hour ( minus the time I spent trying to figure why it wasn't working then discovering I had a broken wire lol) I built a stir plate and traded that for the controller so I have under 20 bucks in mine I think, DEFINITELY under 25. snag a fridge off of craigslist and BLAM a fermentation chamber completely temp controlled! AND probably under the cost of the SOF.
I am completely ignorant on doing electronic stuff but these instructions were so easy a kid could probably do this. The only thing I would change is that I would buy a project box from radio shack and put it in that . I think it looks 100 times better.

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Old 11-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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In the grand scheme of things, the only practical difference between a $50.00 turkey fryer propane burner and $100.00+ uber brewing burners is EFFCIENCY - you will get to temp/boil more quickly using less propane with a quality burner. If you brew enough, this pays for itself, but there's certainly nothing wrong with using a cheap turkey fryer.

Just plan on getting one that puts out AT LEAST 50K BTU, which is about what it takes to get 5-7 gallons of water to 155 in about 20-25 minutes.

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Old 11-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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i use a turkey fryer set from Academy. 30 quart pot, that came with a turkey basket for BIAB, and a dial thermometer. i went with a little bit "higher grade" kit with stainless steel parts, and it didn't come with a burner so i bought one there also. total for the 30qt S.S. turkey fryer set ($40), 58,000 BTU burner ($30), and propane tank ($45) was $125ish with tax. i'm doing BIAB partial mashes with it, and when i plan to go to all-grain, i'll just get some 5 gallon round coolers and the parts needed for a MLT & HLT.

i live in an apartment with an attached garage so space to store equipement is limited, and the turkey fryer set was the best economical choice for me.

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Old 11-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #7
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I bought my SQ14 on Amazon and a 10 gallon pot. Total was $100.

If I had to choose, I would go with temp control first. Keeping a steady fermentation temp is more important than doing full boils.

You can definitely do a nice ferm chamber for pretty cheap. CL fridge with eBay temp controller is really all you need.

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