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Old 12-01-2008, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default how many boils per 20lb propane?

I have just completed my 5th boil session on a 20lb tank of propane. I use the Camp Chef 60K BTU burner (example on Moorebeer.com). I don't have a guage to tell me how much propane I have left in the tank so I am curious how many boils others get from a 20lb tank of propane?

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I do 60 min boils,
8 gallons initially in a covered 15 gal SS kettle
It usually takes ~14 min from sparge to boil on high flame
take cover off, reduce flame, (~35%??, just a guess) maintains rolling boil


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Old 12-01-2008, 07:59 PM   #2
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I don't know, but I usually get about 5-6 out of mine, 90 minute boil and I use it to heat my mash water, sparge water, and it takes about 20min on a high flame to get to a boil after the sparge. I ran out once mid-boil and had to run to Lowes to exchange the tank real quick. I think the best idea is to get two tanks and keep one full, that way you can use the tank till it's empty, and just hook on another one when it goes out instead of running to the store mid-boil. I hate exchanging a tank that I know still has a little gas in it, but I don't want to run the risk of running ou tof gas.


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Old 12-01-2008, 08:02 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.

I can usually count on anywhere from 5-8 batches, but I do 10 gallon batches.

It was the best money I spent to get a second tank. Now instead of second guessing my remaining gas, I just run the tank dry and swap in the other one. This also makes sure I'm not paying to fill a tank that still has some gas left in it (we pay a flat fill charge around here).

A second tank also speeds up the brew session because I can start my wort boil even as I'm heating sparge water in my liquor tank.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
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If I think it's going to be close, I'll bring out the bathroom scale and check the weight. I figure on the high side that I need 5lbs to complete a brewday. The empty weight is stamped on the tank, so it’s easy to figure if you need to have your backup tank full before starting.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:19 PM   #5
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depends on how many turkeys I fry in between..
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:53 PM   #6
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I get at least 5. I do have a 2nd tank so I can run the tank all the way down.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:03 PM   #7
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I've had mine go as many as 10 batches, but I normally heat my mash & sparge water on the wifeys elec stove, or on the woodstove.

I bought a 40 pound tank to augment my 2 20 pounders. One of the better purcheses ive ever made!
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:42 AM   #8
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What are they charging per pound or gallon in Va.?
Here in Calif. we have Blue Rino the supplier for all the local hardware and food stores. A exchange for a 'ex 20# now only filled to 15# with the new epa valve and fill float limit comes to $23.99 for 3.75 gallons or $6.40 a gallon. $23.99 divided by 15# is $1.599 a pound. Not cheap here in the S.F. bay area with over 99% used for BBQ's vs homebrewers.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:47 AM   #9
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Not sure how many I get (I do 5gal batches -usually 6 or so gallons and a hour to hour and a half at full boil) but I had a second #20 given to me, so I always keep one full one on standby.
Once I get HERMS built, I've been considdering getting a larger tank, and running a feed line to the burners and hanging onto the #20s for "emergencies" (wifey leaked out that she was planning on getting me a gas grill for christmas -though with my recent expendature (basically giving AHB my credit card in exchange for parts) that my well be put on hold. Hell, I've burned charcoal for so many years that I won't lose too much sleep over it. I'd rather use the gas for beer anyway).
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:38 AM   #10
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why guess when you can know?
Heartland America: Propane Gas Meter

I got mine from lowes, and i'm pretty sure they have them at home depot and other hardware stores as well. well worth ~$15-20 IMHO


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