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Thread: 5BBL Burner Question ???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Upland, CA, USA
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    3

    Question 5BBL Burner Question ???

    Hey guys, just ordered our 5BBL brew kettle and had a question about burners (not included). Our kettle manufacturer says we need to power it w/ 500,000 - 600,000 BTUs... He suggested putting several smaller jet burners together to achieve this power... like a couple 32 jetters. 1st off, is there any reason we need this much power? I've seen guys on here powering 10-15BBL kettles w/ 400,00 BTUs. What kind of burner would you recommend for this size kettle using PROPANE? We are planning to swap out a small 20lbs propane tank every batch or 2 until we can afford to install a natural gas main. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Chestertown, Maryland
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    349
    A 20lb propane tank/regulator is likely to freeze up at that boil size. Better to go with a larger tank/low pressure regulator solution to start with.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Upland, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChesterBrew View Post
    A 20lb propane tank/regulator is likely to freeze up at that boil size. Better to go with a larger tank/low pressure regulator solution to start with.
    we've heard arguments on both sides of the fence on this one... what would be your opinion on the smallest we could use? We need it small enough to still be easily mobile and not attract any fire code issues. What if we were to use 2 burners as stated above w/ a 20lbs propane tank for each (2 in tandem)?

  4. #4
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    Nov 2011
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    Chestertown, Maryland
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    Sorry, I use low pressure propane exclusively.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Upland, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChesterBrew View Post
    Sorry, I use low pressure propane exclusively.
    What size tank do you use?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    16

    5bbl question

    Hi Vikingman,

    To achieve 10% evaporation over 90 minutes, you need an input of 7kW per UK bbl. Your rig is 3.6 UK bbl so you need 25kW or 25 x 3412 btus equals 85,300btus. Bear in mind that the burners if arranged underneath the copper, will probably only be 50% efficient, so you need a minimum of 170,600btus.

    Regards
    Michael

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    White CIty, OR, USA
    Posts
    53

    Find a combustion person

    Hi. I have a 7bbl HLT for which I purchased and had installed a 455,000 BTU propane jet burner. I am not a combustion expert, but I had one do the work for me. What I learned from asking questions and watching is that even though you may have the capability to generate a large amount of heat, you may not be able to use all of it. My burner is enclosed by a skirt around the bottom of the tank and is insulated with rock wool. The flame strikes a deflector plate to keep as much of the heat as possible under the tank, and the flu has a damper. Still, when tuning the system, we had to derate the burner to 225,000 BTUs because measuring the stack temperature revealed that much of the heat I was paying for was blowing out the top. Even so, I find this is adequate. I am making 5 barrel batches and heating 160 gallons of water at a time (my HLT also contains a HERMS coil at the bottom). You can't do what I am about to suggest with a BK, but with your HLT the most efficient way to heat your water would be to have the flame fire directly into a 4 inch stainless steel tube that snakes back and forth in the bottom of your tank before exiting out your flu.
    James Romano
    Owner, and everything else . . .
    Fire Cirkl, White City, OR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Post Falls, ID
    Posts
    61
    We have a 7 BBL direct fire kettle with a 400,000. btu burner. We get to a roiling boil in less than 15 minutes coming off mash. We maintain that with a fire rate of < 1.

    The thing I remember most about why 400k btu is important is that the building inspector and fire inspector said that going beyond 400k btu would require a fire wall built around the burner. This is part of the universal building code that most cities have (foolishly) adopted.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Chestertown, Maryland
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    Quote Originally Posted by VikingMan View Post
    What size tank do you use?
    Sorry, I missed your earlier question. I'm using a vertical, above-ground 125 gallon tank (still brewery-in-planning on a 1.5bbl pilot system) but will upgrade to at least a 500, if not 1000 gallon underground tank once our final location has been verified.

    The person I bought my pilot system from (a nanobrewery in PA) said he originally tried to run off of 20lb tanks and had freezing problems when doing so. My burners are only 90,000 btu each, too.
    Last edited by ChesterBrew; 04-18-2013 at 10:08 AM.

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