Author Topic: Propane burners and soot  (Read 3062 times)

Offline nofunsally

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Propane burners and soot
« on: September 16, 2011, 11:47:14 AM »
Hello,
I had been using a non-name propane burner I purchased at the hardware store Menards for $30.  It worked, I use a ten gallon kettle and usually boil about 8 gallons of wort. However, it was always burning rich and left an incredible amount of soot on the pot.  I tried adjusting the air input to no avail.  I recently moved and left the burner out for the scrap metal collectors.

It had a base like the Bayou SQ14 but the burner looked like the one in the SP10.

So .. Does anyone else have problems with incomplete combustion? Is the because of the burner type? Or, did I just get what I paid for? 

I'd like to buy a new propane burner very soon, but want to make sure to avoid the soot problem.

Cheers,
Mike

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 12:39:51 PM »
I've never seen soot from either of my burners or the many that my friends own. This includes both cheap and expensive ones too, so maybe it was just an anamoly.  Maybe the airway was formed badly or something.
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Offline dano14041

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 02:43:06 PM »
I think I have the same burner you are talking about. I have found that turning the propane up as high as possible then adjusting the air intake is the only way to keep the soot down. I still have some soot, but not as much as when I only have the propane is not at full throttle.

I am looking at the Blichman burner with 24" legs to use with my brew kettle, and use the little knock-off to heat up strike/sparge water. It isn't as hard to clean the 5 gal kettle as the 15 gal kettle.
Tulsa, OK

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2011, 05:06:37 AM »
won't help to eliminate the soot (proper adjustment is your best hope there), but before you put the kettle on, pour a little bit of liquid dish soap on the bottom of the kettle then rub it around with your hand till coats the entire bottom and an inch or so up the sides. maybe a bit higher on the sides if you're getting soot there. it will make cleanup a breeze. old trick for cleaning camping cookware.
Mark Tumarkin
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2011, 05:21:51 AM »
Happened to me once when a spider or something crawled into the air intake. Blasted it out with compressed air and no more soot. So check the air path not just the external control. You need more oxygen.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 06:08:48 AM »
Happened to me once when a spider or something crawled into the air intake. Blasted it out with compressed air and no more soot. So check the air path not just the external control. You need more oxygen.
This is good advice.  We get lizards making themselves at home in the air intake around here all the time.
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Offline nofunsally

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2011, 10:47:23 AM »
Thanks for the tips.  I already parted ways with the previous burner. So I guess I'll just get the SP10 for my new one. I feel comfortable assuming the soot was a bad product or blockage.

Cheers,
Mike

Offline punatic

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2011, 10:19:13 PM »
Happened to me once when a spider or something crawled into the air intake. Blasted it out with compressed air and no more soot. So check the air path not just the external control. You need more oxygen.
This is good advice.  We get lizards making themselves at home in the air intake around here all the time.

+1 on the lizards.  When I lived in Florida I would have to do a lizard extraction from my burner before every use.  There was one in there every time!

Here in Hawaii it is seasonal moth cocoons.  

Old habits die hard.  I clean all orifices on my burner before each use now.  A cut piece of wire coat hanger and about three minutes of work, and then a brief wide-open blast of unlit propane to blow out debris insure efficient combustion.

I recently spotted a very nice locally made propane burner at the local Ace Hardware.  It has one burner that is made up of three separate concentric rings of flame ports.  Each ring has three circles of flame holes.  Each ring has a separate flame control valve on the gas manifold.  It can be contolled from barely warming a tea kettle to lifting a hot air ballon.  The frame of the burner is made out of ornate heavy steel, sits about 12" off of the ground, and has claw-foot feet like an old style bath tub.  Awesome!

Every time I go into the store I stop and look at it.   I feel like Elwood Blues drooling over the toasters in The Blues Brothers movie.  I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks.  I have let it slip that this burner is at the top of my birthday list..
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 10:21:29 PM by punatic »
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Offline nofunsally

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 06:55:31 AM »
So, does anyone hate the SP10? I think I am just going to get it since it seems to be generally well received.

Cheers,
Mike

Offline hokerer

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 07:37:51 AM »
So, does anyone hate the SP10? I think I am just going to get it since it seems to be generally well received.

No hate here.  Been happy with my SP10 for years now.
Joe

Offline Delo

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 08:28:58 AM »
Two things to consider about the SP10.
1) The regulator(from 20psi to 10 psi) and hose(length and material)  have changed so be aware of that. You may not get what the description says on the box.
2) The sp10 will smoke when you first use is because it is painted. You may want to burn the paint off before you brew.  It took a couple of times before the paint burned off completely.
BTW I'm very happy with my sp10, but I have the older version.

Offline nofunsally

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 08:52:42 AM »
I was prepared for the paint burning, but I don't what the differences of the regulators means for my brewday.  What is the practical difference between 10 and 20 psi?

Cheers,
Mike

Offline Delo

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 09:15:10 AM »
I would guess a lot less btus.
A friend I know was looking into buying the sp10 a while ago and had noticed the photo didnt match the description.
If you look at thephoto here http://bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm there is not a braided steel hose like the description says. He wound up buying a burner from a garage sale so neither of us checked on it.  I just checked and found there are some complaints from people on amazon.  It looks like they either changed the regulator assembly and still advertise as braided steel hose with 20 psi regulator or the wrong regulator is being sent with the burner. 

Offline Kit B

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 11:08:34 AM »
I don't advocate anyone messing with the dangers of flame & propane, but I found that an adjustable 60 psi regulator from my local Menard's store & a new orifice from Northern Brewer made all the difference on my burner.
I never crank the reulator, but it makes the 5 psi regulator that my burner came with seem like a bad joke.
My burner freakin' ROCKS, now.
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Offline nofunsally

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Re: Propane burners and soot
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 11:15:11 AM »
Thanks again for the information. I guess I need to, again, scour message boards and find the burner. 

Cheers,
Mike