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Old 10-13-2006, 03:49 PM   #1
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Default propane burner useage on wood deck?

It sounds like a fire waiting to happen, but does anyone do this? I just picked up the Bayou Classic ($40 one) because the electric stove in my new apartment couldnt heat a large (4 gal) volume of water past 150. I have a big wood deck (about 12x12) right outside my door which would be the most convenient place to do it, but i dont want to go burning the apartment building im in down. Could i put a piece of metal under it to deflect the heat?

the only other place would be in the grass way out back, but going up a flight of stairs with hot wort sounds like another accident waiting to happen. thanks in advance for any advice.


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Old 10-13-2006, 03:55 PM   #2
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I think you're OK, but alot of those Apt. Management companies are really anal about thinks like that. I'd venture a guess that more fires are caused by smoking than by cooking on your deck.


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Old 10-13-2006, 04:03 PM   #3
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Most fires with these burners are caused by either the burner being knocked over, or by the hot oil (when used as a turkey frier) boiling over and turning into a fireball.

There's relatively little heat radiated downwards, and a moderate amount laterally. I'd worry more about your landlord having rules against use of propane devices.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:04 PM   #4
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I have used my propane burner to boil wort on my wood deck literally dozens of times without incident. Wood is composed of 79% combustibles and 21% water. First, the water boils off, then at 450°F the wood particles begin evolving volatiles. Carbon ignites between 765°F and 1115°F the volatiles, which include hydrogen, Methane, Ethylene, Ethane, Benzene and Carbon Monoxide ignite within a range of 1000°F to 1300°F.

So unless you are going to have the burner facing upside down and in direct contact with the deck, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

That does not mean that it is not important to use caution. If you are really concerned, keep the wood directly under the burner wet, and having a fire extinguisher handy is always a good idea.

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Old 10-13-2006, 04:06 PM   #5
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Wondering if buying a piece of concrete backer board to place under the burner might not be a bad idea. SWMBO's old roommate had a piece of asbestos board that she used for this purpose, doubt you can still buy that these days.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:23 PM   #6
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I have my 3 tier system setup on my deck. Someone told me i should have a fire extingisher around, but i still haven't even done that yet. I have had no problems. The deck below, and the wall that it leans on don't really get hot even.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:47 PM   #7
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I wouldnt worry about the burner on your deck UNLESS you are using it with oil. heat rises therefor the amount of heat actually getting to your deck is minimal. Like said above the reason you see fires with these things is people are either retarded and put it to close (laterally) to combustables OR from spills and splatter. I have yet to see wort catch on fire . . . yeah I tried . . . It's a fireman thing.

Would a cement board wouldnt be a bad idea but I think it would probably be unneeded. I think the most the cement board would do for you is catch the spills you do have so you dont end up with a discolored sticky spot on your deck.

Then again you live in Chicago . . . if your last name is O'Leary I would take all the precautions you can . . . O'Learys tend to get a bad rap down there in the flat lands . . . and dont brew near your cow . . . and if ya see a one legged guy named Sullivan kick his ass . . .
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:32 PM   #8
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lol pumbaa. Thanks for the advice guys, I just saw all the warnings in the burner manual and figured I should double check. So if the landlord is uneasy about it i'll put a cement board underneath.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:12 AM   #9
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You could always do what I did and that's get a large oil catch pan (looks like a giant cookie sheet) from Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts. I brew in my shed (plywood floor) and I got it to catch any boil overs or other spills, you could get one to serve for both purposes.
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:20 AM   #10
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Since I got married, SWMBO keeps fire extinguishers close by for all of my projects. My profile title says it all...


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