Today is 14°F (-10°C) here in the northern suburbs of MA. In wintertime it can be tough to brew outside if you are a propane cooker brewer such as myself. When the tank is going full bore it tends to frost up and get really cold as that liquid propane in the tank vaporizes. I don't know if the propane actually freezes, but as it gets colder and colder the flow rate can trickle to a stand still and the boil becomes difficult to maintain.

Anyone else notice that? What do you do to combat it?


I have two tanks and two burners actually. What I do is fire off about 2 gallons of water and get it up to about 150F. Then I pour that one of those part tubs (for keeping a half barrel cpacked with ice). And I put my propane tank in there. The water only comes up to the top of the base ring on the tank. The tank isn't submerged in the hot water.

I put the tub on top of a couple folded down cardboard boxes to insulate it a bit from the floor, and I cover the top of it with a few old beach towels to help trap the steam. This seems to keep the tank from getting too cold and I can get through an entire session. If I need too I can fire up the second burner with the second tank and get a little more hot water going if necessary.


I have the same issue in PA on cold days. I also have two tanks (three if you count the one in the grill) so I usually cycle them first to my boil rig, then as they lose power there either into the mash rig where a slow flame is beneficial or directly into the grill.

On a very cold brew day it means I always start the boil with a full tank and have a second (non-frozen) one on hand to back it up.

The grill rarely suffers from this as it consumes it a comparatively slower rate so I can usually move it directly from a failing boil onto the grill and keep cooking the brew burgers...

  • Jeesh, cooking burgers and brewing at the same time in sub freezing temps... I just order pizza when I brew in the cold along with a strong dopplebock to keep my warm.
    – brewchez
    Jan 15 '10 at 17:36

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