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Old 07-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #1
mmurray
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Default Brutus Propane Questions

I need help narrowing down my problems with my newly built system.

I went with 3 BG14 burners. I bought a preset 30psi regulator and hooked everything up. On my initial test run, I lit the BK burner since it was the easiest and not solenoid controlled. It seemed to work fine once I adjusted the shutter to get a nice blue flame. Feelilng proud of myself I turned that burner off, lit the pilot lights and adjusted them. Then turned on the solenoids and both the HLT and MLT worked fine once the shutters were adjusted on them as well. Grinning ear to ear I lit the BK again to have all 3 burning in my crowning glory, once lit all 3 quickly reduced in flame until they burned out! Thinking the regulator froze up (even though it was only moderately cold to the touch) I walked away before I let it drive me nuts! The next morning I fired them an got the same result. 2 days later I had time to mess with it again, so I removed the 30psi preset reg and used a 0-60psi reg. I was immediately able to run all 3 burners no problem. Problem solved right? Not so fast!

Last night I wanted to give it a trial run with just 10gal of water per keggle to see how fast I can reach temps etc... first attempt flames seemed very oxygen starved, but still blue if that makes sense. Then the burn out reared it's head again. So I removed the Keggles to see what was going on and I just wasn't getting good flames. So I started tweaking the 0-60psi regulator to find the sweet spot. Thinking it needed more fuel I turned up the pressure on the regulator and the flames quickly burned out. Once I finally got the regulator set to what is seemingly the best setting I tried the boil kettle alone. Placed it on top and filled with 10 gal of water and lit the burner. It is virtually impossible to see the burner or flame when the keggle is in place (pictures to follow) and when I tried to look underneath I could see vapor and slow rolling flames billowing from beneath the burner, around the wind shield and from under the keggle. I was able to stop that by turning the needle valve for the burner (regulator maintained at it's setting) down, but at that point is was a very small frame and after 30 min the 10 gallons was only up to 130 degrees.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

Here is my view with Keggle in place:


From underneath:


My initial thought is to move the burner down to the bottom set of holes in the windshield and see if will draw in more air... and also do what I read somewhere on here and cut out vent holes in the rear bottom apron of the keggle. Does this sound like a move in the right direction?

Now here is a shot of my manifold I built:


My original thought was that I was having scavenging issues because the propane enters on the right and my burn out issues were when I would fire the BK which flows out the far left. Thinking the fuel would flow faster to it (across the manifold) and scavenge fuel from the 4 outlets feeding the HLT, MLT and pilot lights. But on some occasions it has worked with all 3 burning (nothing on top) as I would expect them to.

Here are some other specs that might help. each burner and pilot light have an individual needle valve. The 3 burners each have a 1/16" orifice. The original orifice came with I believe a 3/64" opening, not having a 3/64" bit I used a 1/16" (1/64" larger) to open up the new 90degree high pressure orifice to the size of the original. I did try to use 90degree orfice as drilled from the factory, but i couldn't get larger than a 1/4" flame out of the burners. So does that 1/64" larger orifice make the difference? Am I fighting a battle I can't win because of that? If so, what size do I need to drill to convert these to low pressure burners and what size regulator will I need? And finally if I go the low pressure route, looking at my manifolds etc., is there any other issues I need to look at for best effectiveness of the system?

Thanks for any Help! I just want to get this thing making some beer!

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Old 07-16-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
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if you are able to run 1 burner at a time i gotta believe you are sucking too much through that reg at one time when you try to burn all 3 burners. Could be maxing out the lp system and tripping the internal safety. What is the btu range of the regulator you are using. 3 bg14s on high pressure can burn alot of BTUs. Now this is just a guess. im certainly no expert. Do you have the same problem when only running 1 or 2 burners? There shouldnt ever be a reason to have all 3 going full blast anyway on a brew day.

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Old 07-16-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucfanmike View Post
Could be maxing out the lp system and tripping the internal safety..
I had that thought too, but was confused because I was able to light off all 3 burners and they were all going with a pretty high flame on each (wouldn't necessarily call it maxed out, but high) and I let it run for a good 5 minutes. I thought I was good at that point.

I'm thinking a lot of my issues when the keggles are on are trapped exhaust gasses. And quite possibly with so many adjustment points in the system (adjustable regulator and a needle valve on each burner) it mostly a fine tuning issue.

Anyone have suggestions on how to "Tune" the system? Should I tune 1 burner at a time and then expect them all to work the same way when they are all lit or should I have them all going and tune it to work best under max load?
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Hi

Tough to see from your pictures, but I'd say your burner / wind screen is tight enough to the bottom of the keg that there is no way for the exhaust from the burner to escape. That's going to make things tough to adjust.

If you have a single propane tank and set all three with 30 to 60 psi gas, you will chill down the propane in the tank. It's a liquid and it boils to make the gas you use. As it boils it chills down. Colder = less pressure.

People commonly run those burners with 10 psi gas and the standard (not drilled out) orifice. Typical cold to boil times for 10 gallons are in the 30 to 45 minute range. You really only need to drill the orifices if you are running 1/2 PSI through furnace valves.

First step, pull the keg off one burner and see how it behaves. That will eliminate the exhaust issue. If that works ok, move up to more burners. You only want a short blue flame that does not "rise" off of the burner. That's *plenty* of heat.

Second step would be get the keg(s) up on spacers so you can get exhaust air out from under them. See how that works.

If none of that works, you might beg / borrow a gas rated pressure gauge to see just what your regulator is really doing.

Bob

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlisle_bob View Post

People commonly run those burners with 10 psi gas and the standard (not drilled out) orifice.
I think once I get the exhaust gas out, one problem is solved. Now for making sure I am providing the proper amount of fuel to the system.

Below is a picture of what I am dealing with... On the right (the larger orifice) is the orifice that came with the BG-14 burner. Due to the tight fit of everything, I bought 90degree orifice fittings (on the left).


As you can see the new orifice are a lot smaller than the ones that came with the burners. So that is why I drilled them out. Seeing as how a 1/16" bit was the smallest I had, that is what I used. After doing some reading, I realized that 1/32" really can affect these orifices much more than I ever expected. So would I be stupid to order 3 or 4 sizes down from 1/16" bit and start with the smallest and work my way up to hopefully 3/64" (what I believe the original orifice is right now) and tune to the right orifice that way? Or would I be better served to open up the orifice and just go to LP Low pressure (11"WC) as I have seen some do on here before? If so, what is the best orifice size (drill bit size) for a 11" water column system?

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Hi

Take a good look inside those 90 degree fittings you have. It may not be all that easy to drill them out. A 90 on the original is a much better way to go (space allowing).

Bob

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Looking around for optional parts I came across something that is confusing me... but might be relevant!

I had a preset 30psi regulator that didn't seem to work, so I changed it to a 0-60psi regulator like this:


And everything seemed to work fine...

Then to make connecting and disconnecting easier I changed the Brass internal screw connection for the "Green" external screw connection like this:


And I have been having issues ever since... Never would I have thought this could be the problem, but looking for parts I came across the following on Tejas Smokers web site.

Quote:
Black ACME Inlet Low Pressure Fitting Type 1 Black ACME low pressure appliance fitting is a wrench-less, user friendly, right hand connector with excess flow and a thermally sensitive sleeve. 1 5/16" ACME x 1/4" M NPT. 100,000 btu/hr maximum output capacity designed for low pressure propane regulators (our COM#5 series, hoses, and other fittings. Perfect for use with most gas grills and other low pressure devices.

Quote:
Green ACME Inlet Fitting Type 1 Green ACME appliance fitting is a wrench-less, user friendly, right hand connector with excess flow and a thermally sensitive sleeve. 1 5/16" ACME x 1/4" M NPT. 200,000 btu/hr maximum output capacity. Designed for all high pressure propane regulators up to 30 psi. For use on large volume gas grills over 65,000 btu/hr. Not for use with equipment requiring low pressure.
Quote:
Red ACME Inlet Fitting Type 1 Red ACME appliance fitting is a wrench-less, user friendly, right hand connector with excess flow and a thermally sensitive sleeve. 1 5/16" x 1/4" M NPT. 500,000 btu/hr maximum output capacity. Designed for the 0-60 psi adjustable high pressure propane regulators. Not for use on smaller gas grills and other low pressure devices.
So now I'm wondering if there are "Flow control" devices built into those nozzles? Do I simply need to move up to the Red fitting? I am asking because the 3 burners are rated for 100,000BTU's each... if the green fitting is rated up to 200,000BTU, then that could explain why I have having a fuel shut down when I am trying for max flow! Right?

I know this doesn't negate my other issues which I will be addressing, but It simply brings up another question! Any ideas or am I just driving myself nuts here?
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:34 AM   #8
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Seems to me you should put the POL fitting back on and see if your memory is accurate...

Cheers!

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
Seems to me you should put the POL fitting back on and see if your memory is accurate...

Cheers!
Just did this and it was... I actually even installed the internal threaded POL on the 30psi preset regulator and ran all 3 burners wide open for a few minutes and no problems at all!

So now all I need to do is remedy the exhaust gas issues and I believe I'll be ready to brew!

I think the first thing I am going to do is lower the burners to the bottom of the wind screen to help bring in more air and then cut out a rear exhaust hole in the keggle apron! If that isn't enough, I'll weld on some blocks to lift the keggles up off the frame.
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