So I am helping my brother replace his 20 year old water heater this week-end. (His old one has developed a leak in the tank)
Being a homebrewer, I have become fixated on possibly detaching the burner unit from the tank and useing for brewing purposes. I figure if it can heat up 30 gallons of water to 140F, it should be able to heat 5 or 10 gallons to 212F!!.
My primary goal is to be able to use the house Natural Gas instead of going through propane tanks. Knowing that it has safetys for pilots not being lit....etc adds a layer of safety as well.
As a secondary benifit, I can probably connect some controls in place of the present thermostat to make my kettle a direct fire mash tun and have more control over mash temps than my present infusion/cooler setup.
Anyone have any experiance with useing a hot water tank heater as a burner? Anyone have advice on extrating the burner intact? (Since the tank is still in service, I have not seen how easy or hard it may be?)
Thanks for any advice!