Author Topic: Favorite/best propane cooker????  (Read 9630 times)

Offline rj

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Favorite/best propane cooker????
« on: July 25, 2009, 02:10:21 PM »
Hello All,
I'm a new brewer and having a great time learning about the process. I've done a half dozen or so extract kits since I started in March. (all Midwest Supplies kits) They've all been pretty good, although 2 of them were great! Just did my first All Grain kit last week! ( Fuggles IPA) It went pretty smooth.

I have a stainless  keg I converted to to full boils... got it set up with a stainless weldless ball valve with a copper drop tube attached to a screen I made from a heavy duty braided stainless steel flex hose. It works great.

To the point...
I'd like to get a new propane fueled cooker(20lb. tank) ... but there are so many different kinds. So, whats your favorite, or what would you consider the best for my set up?

Thanks for any help, RJ
Beer has food value. Food has no beer value.

Offline stevemwazup

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Re: Favorite/best propane cooker????
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 03:30:17 PM »
    Hi RJ, I have the square high pressure Bayou Classic for my setup, it has 55,000 BTUs.
The guy at the local brew shop told me that if I went with a burner that has a higher btu, that I would have to be careful of caramelizing the wort, ( getting the wort to hot and scorching the bottom of the brew pot )
I would be curiouse to hear what others think about a higher btu caramelizing the wort, thus giving the beer a darker color.

 If you can, think about getting a large propane tank, or maybe have two on hand if it's at all possible.
One tank should make 2 or 3 batches, but you would hate to try and squeeze that last batch out and run out half way Thur the boil.
Take care RJ.

stevemwazup

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Favorite/best propane cooker????
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 09:52:10 AM »
I like my Hurricane burner from Northern Brewer.  I have a converted 13.5 gallon Euro keg and it fits just inside the ring stand.  You may wish to verify your keg dimensions so that the keg doesn't wobble on whatever stand you buy.  You probably want the keg full outside or inside the ring for stability. 

And look into refilling your propane instead of swapping tanks.  Swaps are now filled to only 15 pounds, whereas most refilling stations will fill to the max, which is about 19 pounds.  (Just another screw courtesy of the petroleum industry.  They've been lowering their fill levels rather than raise prices.)

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Favorite/best propane cooker????
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 06:22:08 PM »
The hotter the burner the less time you wait to bring the liquid to a boil, but you pay for it in propane.  Lower BTUs mean a longer wait.  The balance is up to you.
There's also the size of the flame.  Having it bigger than the bottom of your brewpot is wasteful and dangerous, but some of the focused jet type burners can get the bottom of the brewpot so hot you'll caramelize (scorch and burn) the wort. 
The stand matters as well.  You don't want to put a heavy keg on a cheap stand.
I would also invest in a spare tank.  It really sucks to flame out in the middle of the boil.  I use a swap tank that I refill at the hardware store and swap when it gets rusty.
And then of course there's price.  You can get a cheap burner with a cheap turkey fryer kit, and you can spend hundreds through a catalog.
It's all up to what you want and what you can afford.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Favorite/best propane cooker????
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 06:24:31 PM »
Pair of swap tanks I should have said.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

tonymaud

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Re: Favorite/best propane cooker????
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2009, 06:46:54 AM »
I  was in a similar situation to you and I went with this one http://www.agrisupply.com/product.asp?pn=64482&sid=&eid=
My first all grain boiled very quickly and went great.  The ring on the burner is about the same size as the converted 15.5 gal keg and the keg sits right on it.  One problem with the one I got is it didn't have an adjustable regulator or a control valve after the regulator so with one of my propane tanks I had a hard time keeping it lit.  The dealer was very helpful though and is sending me a new adjustable regulator assembly.