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Old 03-16-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
ghart999
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Default Questions on running fuel for a brew rig.

Hi all. I am starting to build a single tier brew stand with 3 burners capable of doing 10 gallon batches.
I am not set on burners yet as I am debating about doing NG versus propane. I have a NG line that terminates outside my house about 10 feet from where I need to brew which is great. However, I have no idea how big the gas line is right there. Can I tell based on the outside diameter how big it is? Also what the minimum size that would be acceptable to run 2 burners simultaneously at near full bore?
Lastly, we building a gas bar like I see everyone doing on their rigs, can I just place a gas ball valve at the inlet of each burner and turn them on/off as needed? I don’t plan on any fancy automation. I just want to light them with a lighter as needed and be able to successfully run 2 burners at a time when needed. Also I assume a single regulator for either propane or NG would just be enough and I wouldn’t need one for each burner right?
For burners I am leaning towards the Hurricane or Banjo burners whether I do NG or propane.

Thanks all.



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Old 03-16-2010, 07:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghart999 View Post
Hi all. I am starting to build a single tier brew stand with 3 burners capable of doing 10 gallon batches.
I am not set on burners yet as I am debating about doing NG versus propane. I have a NG line that terminates outside my house about 10 feet from where I need to brew which is great. However, I have no idea how big the gas line is right there. Can I tell based on the outside diameter how big it is? Also what the minimum size that would be acceptable to run 2 burners simultaneously at near full bore?
This isn't an easy answer ghart999. Gas pipe is sized based on BTUH requirement and distance from the meter, as well as the total draw of the system (for the main line in the house). Without knowing what the total BTUH draw is, and what your main line in your house was rated for in BTUH, no one will be able to answer 100%.

The outside diameter will tell you the size of the pipe, but the distance to the farthest existing appliance (from the meter), and overall BTUH draw on the system weigh in, so again, without more info, no 100% answer can be given.

If you look at the rating plates for all existing NG appliances, you will know total current draw, and there MAY be a plate on the pipe running off the meter that specifies what the piping system is rated for in draw.

If there is available capacity, the next step is to determine the BTUH draw of the burners, which is governed by the regulator(s) you have.

If you can get that info, I can certainly look in my code books (which are for Canada, so may not be code for you, but will be safe), and let you know. PM me if so, I may not see this thread again.


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Old 03-16-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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I agree that the answer isn't easy. If you measure the line you see outside, assuming it's black pipe you'd subtract about 1/4" to find the ID. You also have to measure the length of that run until it hits the next larger trunk. I'm running on the borderline for sure via a 32' run of 1/2" before it hits the 1" trunk.

Make sure that line isn't TEE'd off a 1/2" line of another major unit like a furnace or water heater.

If you've got less than 20' for 1/2", you're probably fine. If it's 3/4", you're in really good shape. I have a tap off of a 3/4" run that I put in when I was running the line for my NG grill and I've run my rig off that and the flame is noticeably better.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:10 PM   #4
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OK. Thanks all. I will have to do some research tonight. It tees off right next to a gas fireplace.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:10 PM   #5
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A 1/2" pipe is a little under 7/8" (0.840)OD, 3/4 is a little over 1" (1.050) OD, and 1' is about 1&5/16" (1.340) OD. The safest way to run your brew rig on NG is to make a new connection at your meter. There is typically a tee fitting on the outlet of your gas meter with one opening plugged. Shut off the gas at the meter, unscrew the plug, scew in a short nipple with a shut off valve (SOV) on the other end. Leavind the new SOV closed (and locked if possible), you can turn the gas back on at the meter, then go inside and check for proper operation of appliances. Most water heaters have standing pilots, so you'll have to relight that, at least. Unless your kitchen stove, clothes dryer or furnace are antiques, they'll have electronic ignition, so no worries there.

Now, with your new branch SOV still closed, you can extend the piping to your brew rig. You can google gas pipe sizing to get a chart to make sure your diameter will be large enough for the length you wind up at from the meter.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:23 PM   #6
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If you can make Natural Gas work for you do it. I started off with propane and the refills get expensive. Natural Gas is much less expensive and in my personal opinion a little safer. Just my 2 cents FWIW.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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The problem with running a line from the gas meter, is that the meter is exactly on the other side of the house and a bitch to try and deal with. I do have my hot water heater and furnace in the basement, not supper far from the place I need to brew. Its in the basement with a crawl space, so I might be able to run something from there if needed.

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Old 03-16-2010, 10:22 PM   #8
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ghart999, when I first replied, I thought I had read that you have an existing line that ends approx 10' from where you want to brew. If this isn't the case, I suggest that you need to call a licensed gas fitter in your area to install a line that will service the site you need.

Please, unless you are qualified to do so, don't add a branch line to your main line. Tying in with a soft connection is something that quite a few people on this board can help with I am sure, but a hard connection is a different matter.

If you don't want to take my word (as a random internet guy), call your insurance company for some free advice.

Natural Gas explosions happen too often in houses around the world.

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Old 03-16-2010, 11:00 PM   #9
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No I do not need to run from the main line. I was responding to someone else who suggested that I do. I do in fact have an existing line about 10' from my brew area. I just don't know how thick the line is yet.

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Old 03-17-2010, 02:38 AM   #10
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What's the diameter? 7/8" black pipe should be 1/2", 1 1/8" for 3/4". I would keep it at 3/4" long as you can until at the disconnect flex hose at the brewing rig. Lack of flow results in lack of BTU's of heat output. Most heating is into the air even with NG but way cheaper than propane. JMO go electric.



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