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Old 10-05-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
xenophobe2020
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Default Outdoor propane burner & pot

Hi all,

Ive got a couple BIAB AG batches under my belt that Ive done inside on my stove with a smallish pot, its been a huge PITA, due to my pot size I've had to split the boil into two which is obviously less than ideal.

As such, I've been shopping around for a propane kit that comes with a burner/stand & pot to take my operations outside (besides being able to do full boils my wife will be extremely happy to get this process out of the house). I have a keg that I will eventually be converting to a brew pot, but in the meantime I'd like to get a kit with a 30ish qt aluminum one that I could use until the keg is converted and then re-purpose later on. I'm hoping to get something in the $60-80 range, I've come across this one from Menards in a couple of threads on here but haven't really seen that anyone has actually purchased it:

http://www.menards.com/main/outdoor/.../p-1624774.htm

If anyone does indeed own this, how has your experience been with it?
Does it have a safety shutoff? Is it easy to bypass?
How is the stand build quality? In a perfect world I'd like to purchase something that could accommodate my converted keg without modifications.

I'm open to other options if anyone has experience with something else that they would recommend.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 10-05-2011, 05:19 PM   #2
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I have a similar kit, although not the same one. My pot is a 30 qt too, and I wish I had another 4-8 qt capacity for doing bigger beers. I will be limited to about 1.060 SG beers if I want to do a small dunk sparge w/ all grain. For now, I add 3 lbs of LME for bigger beers.

Another point to bring up is how long are you going to use this setup? Mine has served me well over the 10 or so that I've done. But I'm already wishing I had a Banjo or Blichman style burner. They are more efficient on propane, but also can save you 15-20 minutes getting up to boiling temps since there are so many propane ports. I would buy the banjo burner itself for $40, but it looks to be 0.5" too large in diameter for my stand

Also mine has a safety shutoff that I detest. You have to push a button every 10 minutes or it shuts off automatically. Dumb. Not to hijack, but if someone knows how to bypass please tell.


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Old 10-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #3
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I have one that looks just like it that I started out with. They work fine however they eat gas like Charlie bangs 7g rocks. Very inefficient. Mine did come with an automatic shut off and looking at the pic I would say that big black box with a knob is also a shutoff. That sucks if you forget about it and it keeps turning off every thirty minutes. I bypassed mine by taking a piece of scrap metal actually an old saw blade and pushing down the starter button on top of the timer with the blade. I then secured the blade in place using some leftover electrical wire that I had around. I just wrapped the wire around the blade and the housing so it kept the button pushed in. That keep the gas on at all times. This one may be different since itís hard to see in the pics but if it does have the button on top it should work for you also. I gave up using mine and spent the cash on a toptier. To me the savings on propane easily took care of the extra cost in just a few months. You can find other high efficiency burners besides that blickmann as well.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:43 PM   #4
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I've got a burner that looks identical to the one pictured there, right down to the 20-minute safety cut-off timer (the little black box with a knob on the front).

The safety cut-off was very easy to bypass - I found a video on youtube showing exactly what I had to do, took me all of 10 minutes.

I can definitely confirm what other folks have already pointed out - it takes a while to get a full 6 or 6.5 gallons (using fermcap-S and praying the whole time) up to a boil. I'd definitely prefer a larger pot (currently looking at a couple 40qt options, gonna use the older pot for my HLT), and reading the other replies here has me considering looking at a banjo burner setup...
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:43 PM   #5
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thanks for the replies, definitely making me think about just getting a better burner & hold off on the outdoor brewing until my keg is converted.....
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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OK, I'm back with more questions....

After a bunch of research i found myself leaning towards getting the bayou classic SQ14 which seems to be pretty popular, or the bayou classic kab4 which seems like it might be overkill for me, i dont see myself ever going to 10+ gallon batches.

what im finding though is that both will eat through a propane tank in 2-3 5 gall batches, are you people with the one similar to the menards one burning through more or less than that?

thatguyryan, what are you averaging per propane tank with your Blichmann? is it really that big of a difference?

Id love to get one that burns at a higher efficiency but looking at the blichmann prices it will be tough to justify(especially to the wife), does anyone know of any other high efficiency ones that might be a little more cost effective?

Thanks again, as usual on this board this is proving to be very helpful for me.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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I do 13 gallon batches and can get about 3 batches I would say out of a tank depending on conditions boil time and total boil volume. It also depends on your pot size and how high you crank it. I have a 20 gallon Blichmann so itís a wide pot and I still only turn it up about Ĺ-3/4 the way to get a full hard boil. Any more than that and the blue flames will shoot out around the pot causing a loss of heat and waste of gas and too much boil off. I also brew indoors so no wind and somewhat controlled temperatures! I say somewhat since once that mother is on it gets toasty! But with the old turkey fryer I was lucky to get 2 batches and that was when I was doing 7 gallon batches outside.

So yes it is a difference. I can also get a full 15 gallons to boil in less time I could get 6-7 gallons using the old fryer. So it saves money on propane if you dial it in properly but it saves a lot of time. As for the propane use for the Blichmann VS Bayou I donít know. Maybe some others can chime in on that. I would think others should be getting better propane usage out of the Bayou's. But it's all about having the proper flame and stopping the wind. Some may just crank it all the way up when itís not necessary causing a waste of fuel.

If you think you will ever brew larger batches even a year down the road I would suggest the larger burner. That smaller one would work fine for smaller batches but would probably struggle if you ever increase your volume down the road. One other thing I would suggest is no matter what burner you get build some sort of wind shield around your burner to keep it more efficient and to keep it from blowing out. Wind and outside temps without a proper shield will just suck the heat away and you will eat gas with any burner in those conditions.


Good luck with you purchase!
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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I use a turkey fryer set up as I too have just started home brewing. Price wise mine was $5 less, but I like the look of your stand better. It looks like it could hold a larger pot.

For me it works great, I can go to boil from ice cold in about 15 minutes for 5 gal of water. I have occasional shut offs occur, but not so much yet that I want to rewire. While not the "ideal" delux set up, it seems to work just fine and for the price gives me value. Doesn't eat propane too much, which was a concern at first, which turned out to be unwarranted.

I brew outdoors because the last thing I want to do is have another thing p o my wife. If it makes her mad, she has no problem letting me know. I'd rather be outside with a happy wife, than inside with one despising my brewing.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solbes View Post
Also mine has a safety shutoff that I detest. You have to push a button every 10 minutes or it shuts off automatically. Dumb. Not to hijack, but if someone knows how to bypass please tell.
mine had a dial timer which was easy to rig up a wire holding the timer in the full time position. have you ever tried using duct tape or gorilla tape to hold the buttion in the pressed in position and see if that works?
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
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If you dont waste the propane, you should be able to get 6 to 8 five-gallon batches out of a 20lb tank. I get around 7 per tank, which includes 60 minute boils and heating strike&sparge water.

The key is to not waste the gas! Keep it out of the wind, dont run it full blast. If you see flames around the sides of the kettle then it is too high and you are wasting heat/gas. Also, once boiling, you can cut back the gas about 50% - just enough to maintain a rolling boil - not bubbling and splashing all over.


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