Author Topic: Burner question  (Read 865 times)

Offline Howhownow

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Burner question
« on: March 13, 2014, 09:50:52 PM »
I have made the transition to ag about 10 batches ago, and have been slowly upgrading my rig since. I have cooler hlt and mlt, all gravity fed, and do all my heating from a single propane burner. One spot I am looking to upgrade is the burner. I have a very basic torch style turkey fryer that I have been using for years since I have been brewing outside. It heats fine, but is a little propane greedy, and most bothersome is tough on the bottom of the pot. I have to scrub it down after every brew or risk turning anything it comes in contact with black. Since this is not a "necessity" upgrade, I want to get both good value, and make sure I get better function (don't we all).
What are my best choices for good BTUs, low soot, efficient burners. Even if the consensus is the Blichmann, since it's my only burner I could probably validate it. If there's an option that delivers the performance with better value, that's what I'll do. Even opinions on burner type (torch vs banjo vs jet) are appreciated.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 06:08:13 AM by Howhownow »

Offline Steve in TX

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burner question
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 10:13:49 PM »
I have a square bayou classic and have been very happy with it. $50 shipped on amazon. I get 3-4 batches per tank. It is a bit loud when full bore.

I picked the square frame because it is more stable with a keggle.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009JXYQ4/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_G9Oitb10M9Y8Q

Edit - windscreen is a good idea. I had a buddy put one on mine and it helps direct the heat and hold a blue flame.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 10:20:27 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline Howhownow

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 06:12:51 AM »
Quote
I have a square bayou classic and have been very happy with it. $50 shipped on amazon. I get 3-4 batches per tank. It is a bit loud when full bore.
I picked the square frame because it is more stable with a keggle.

I was looking at that one. My questions were definitely the wind screen it was lacking (I think they sell one with for quite a bit more), and also the diameter of the burner. Will it concentrate the flame to too fine a point, resulting in uneven heating or carmelization? 

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 06:42:07 AM »
I wouldn't say it's too concentrated. Sure it is not as wide as one of the banjo burners, but it's also not $200. Nothing against the more expensive burners, I know plenty of brewers that love them, I just chose to save here and spend elsewhere.

Online Jimmy K

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 07:01:15 AM »
I have a banjo burner and I think it's overkill. If I bought again, I'd get that smaller version.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2014, 07:31:49 AM »
If soot on the pot is an issue, you can coat the outside of the pot with dish soap before it goes on the flame.  It will make clean-up a little easier.  Old Boy Scout trick, though I can't recall for sure how much easier it made the clean up.  Must have been substantial, because we soaped the pots every time.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 07:34:29 AM »
If soot on the pot is an issue, you can coat the outside of the pot with dish soap before it goes on the flame.  It will make clean-up a little easier.  Old Boy Scout trick, though I can't recall for sure how much easier it made the clean up.  Must have been substantial, because we soaped the pots every time.

I was a Scout ,too and I remember it making cleanup a lot easier. Wow, that's blast from the past !
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2014, 07:38:39 AM »
Tell me about it.  It was a long time ago.

I remember soaping the pots a lot better than I remember scrubbing them.  I think we were all wiped out when we got back and had to clean up and put the gear away.  All the gear went up by the Explorer Post room in the tower of the church.  Lotta stairs.  Especially with the axe box.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 07:54:44 AM »
Tell me about it.  It was a long time ago.

I remember soaping the pots a lot better than I remember scrubbing them.  I think we were all wiped out when we got back and had to clean up and put the gear away.  All the gear went up by the Explorer Post room in the tower of the church.  Lotta stairs.  Especially with the axe box.

If you put enough soap on the pots you could literally wipe the sooty crap off with a wet paper towel. We stored our stuff in the church, too.
Jon H.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 09:36:44 AM »
Since you are gravity fed, I'd say look at the logistics of how you cool and transfer.  Is it better to have your boil on a stand w/legs or is that not necessary.

Personally, I am working the design of my gravity stand.  Until that project is completed, I've purchased the last part of that system which is a hydraulic lift table from Harbor Freight.  I can put the burner & keggle down low during my brewing; then pump it up high enough to drain through my home made counterflow chiller, directly into a fermenter at pitchable temperature.  I got the Blichmann from an outfit in a state w/no sales tax.

My old system was a stand burner that had the whole system up higher.  It was serviceable but inconvienient.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2014, 09:44:15 AM »
I made wind screens for my cheap turkey cooker using a roll of 8" or 10" aluminum flashing and a pop riveter.  One is tight is enough to hang on the burner frame and a second one sits on the ground with a fair amount gap around the base.  Which one I use depends on how windy it is.

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Offline Howhownow

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 09:59:34 AM »
Lifting is not that much of an issue for me- the low burner I have now (maybe 18" or less at the top) is a pretty good height for me to lift/pour. I do like the idea of a mowing platform, I may put a pump on my list after I get my burner sorted out (1 step at a time).
The counterflow works well gravity fed? I am also looking into my chilling options.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2014, 12:30:48 PM »
Lifting is not that much of an issue for me- the low burner I have now (maybe 18" or less at the top) is a pretty good height for me to lift/pour. I do like the idea of a mowing platform, I may put a pump on my list after I get my burner sorted out (1 step at a time).
The counterflow works well gravity fed? I am also looking into my chilling options.
The counterflow works w/gravity if it is long enough & the cooling water is cool enough so that the result is cool with one pass and that the keggle is high enough so that the wort travels downhill to the fermenter.  50' is plenty for me.  I support the hose with a chair, to get it above the carboy.  Then I raise the keggle to be above that.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 12:32:30 PM by BrewArk »
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Offline gmac

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2014, 01:06:48 PM »
This is the one I have:
http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/KAB6_Bayou_Classic_210_000_BTU_Burner_Turkey_Fryer_p/kab6.htm

I've been told that it is the same burner as the Blichmann without the BM frame.  I love it.  I do 15 gal full boils with ease.  May be overkill on a 5 gal batch but I really like it.  It will suck a propane tank so fast that it freezes up so I have a tub of water that it sits in.

I used to have a turkey fryer with the small central burner, not sure what model and it worked well for 5 gal batches but I'm loving the KAB6.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Burner question
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2014, 01:27:29 PM »
I used to have a turkey fryer with the small central burner, not sure what model and it worked well for 5 gal batches but I'm loving the KAB6.

So, I've never actually used my Bayou Classic burner, but I hope to get around to it this summer.  I've got a big ol' pot for doing 10 gallon batches.  Am I likely to need a bigger burner?

I suppose I won't really know until I drag it out and turn it on...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton