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Propane Burner/Cooker suggestions?

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vtfan99

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Just joined the forum recently and thought I would tap the knowledge of those here. I'm currently making the jump to all grain. I've already picked up a 15.5 keg and am in the process of converting it. What I would like to know is if anyone can make a suggestion of a good quality propane burner. I'm looking for something that is relatively powerful but still efficient. I would prefer to avoid the "jet" type burners. I don't want to wait forever to achieve a boil, but I don't want to buy a new tank of propane every batch either. I saw the Hurricane burner on the Northern Brewer site and that looked appealing.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

tnlandsailor

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Don't skimp here. Bigger is better. Size matters. You want a rolling boil and you want to be able to bring 13 gallons of wort to a boil fairly quickly. Get something in the 150 kBTU range, 200k if you can find it. The 30 and 35 kBTU burners are a real dissappointment unless you are only boiling 3 gallons The cookers at Sabco are pretty good. I use two 170k burners for all grain (one for the HLT and the other for the kettle) and a single standard sized propane tank. Between heating strike water, sparge water and the 60 minute boil, all on the same tank of propane, I get about 3 brew sessions per tank. That's making 6 gallon batches each time. Not bad really. I wouldn't sacrifice the power and speed that a high horsepower burner will give you...but it's your nickel.

Prosit!
 
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tnlandsailor said:
I get about 3 brew sessions per tank
At about 15 bucks for the 5gal propane tank, that is a big part of the expense of a batch of beer! If your spending only 10-15 bucks on ingreedients this makes a huge percentage :( I am one who fortunately can, so I will spend it if this is something that will improve the quality of my beer but I am also one who considers it a challenge to minimize the cost of the beer. It's just neat to me to be able to tell someone that they are drinking a 25 cent beer that is as good and better than the ones they spend over a buck a piece at in the supermarket! I wonder how many people actually consider this expense when they evaluate the cost of their brews?

I am currently using a 35k burner (well, I imagine thats it since it came in a turkey fryer kit). I am a bit concerned over the lack of rolling boil in my 6.5 gallon boils. I do get a boil but I want just a bit more. I think I will go with the 100k model and see how it goes. They do have 200 and 300k models at this site as well. I invision myself going to 13gal boils in the future so at that time I may have to go bigger than the 100k but time / experience will direct that decision.

Well, just my opinion of the turkey fryer... no experience to share with the larger ones.
 

Porter fan

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I've been useing the turkey fryer heater and it works great for me at $39.00 bucks it not too bad on the wallett ether..But I'm only doing 6.5 gal baches. With the lid slitly ajar in 15 min I'm cooking the malt and hops geting a good rolling boil with it turned down about a half way. It has improved the taste of the beer and cut down on the time I spend brewing.This can be a good or bad thing depending on how one looks at it.. :D
 

andre the giant

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I don't know what BTU my burner is, because I got it from a friend. It's just a turkey fryer base. But when I crank the thing up, I can bring 5 gallons of room temp water to boil in 15 minutes or so. Getting the wort to boil is never a problem, achieving boil without a boilover is. I get a really nice rolling boil at about 50%. If I crank it up a bit, I can git a vigorous boil that threatens to overflow my insufficient 6 gallon pot.

As much as I love my freebee burner, for a 15 gallon batch, you'll need something with more oomph.
 
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