Originally Posted by gcdowd
Sorry to bring up an old thread but I am in the market for a new burner. I was looking at the Bayous or possibly a Blichmann. I do 5 gallon batches but boil 7 gallons. I needs something that will heat evenly (my current burner is a little crooked and scorches the bottom of my SS pot). I also want something that does not burn a ton of propane. Also, I have a really large kettle (diameter-wise) so it's got to be able to fit on there. Not quite sure what the diameter is (I can measure when I get home). Which one would you all suggest?
Not clear on where (in garage / outside) you are brewing but my experience is that if I use a wind screen (even in “no”-wind) I can get close to three 10 gal batches on one standard propane tank (I’m using the kab4). W/out a wind screen (on a slight/null breezy day) I'll blow through 2/3 of a tank easily on 1 batch.
Take into account the temp you are brewing in and when do you start your boil in relation to sparge time (1/3 kettle fill and I start the kab4 up on extra low… it’s boiling (20min) by the time I’m done with the sparge).
The kab4 is a monster on heat but a lot of that heat is wasted going up and around the bk (hence wind screen even on “no” breezy days...but, don’t melt your ball valve). I’ve brewed in 118*F temp and 50*F temp without the tank freezing on me. If it does, hose it w/water or submerse the tank in warm water.
In short: you’ll want to move up to 10gal down the road and doing 10gal will only require 1/3 (or less) more propane. This is where it becomes economical on moving up in batch size. Also, I cannot stress enough how a wind screen improves btu/heat efficiency. Hope this helps (htp), cheers