I'm building 1bbl brew system one question I have relates to a recommended burner

Do you think any burner would do for brewing the whole bbl? I'm inclined to get a Bayou burners that for outdoors use: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100387839/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=burner&storeId=10051 .

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    Could you please split this into 3 questions? The answers to each question will get confusing, otherwise. – baka May 28 '12 at 20:05
  • Thanks for your answers, and sorry i didn't respond earlier, i didn't get notifications – Juan Bojorquez Jun 6 '12 at 20:59

I would check Blichmann Engineering as not only a reference for burners, but other items like pumps and valve sizing on their big kettles (you will need a 55 gallon kettle to boil 35 gallons and get, say 33 in the fermenter and keg 1 barrel). That dual burner unit at Home Depot is probably not sufficient to hold the full boil kettle (your kettle would cover both burners). Again, check Blichmann for burners. The pump you choose will just determine how long it takes to move your batch, and it's my feeling that even the small March pump would be fine unless you're in a big hurry. Have you decided on a heat exchanger? That would be a critical component. And what vessel will you ferment in, and how will you control the fermentation temperature? Again, critcal and somewhat 'harder' than the boil kettle, burner and valve size.

  • Just to be clear, I'm not saying you should BUY Blichmann products, just that they would be a good start in analyzing large volume brewing. I saw some stainless steel 55 gallon drums on Craig's list. That's where I'd start. – Dale Jun 3 '12 at 12:56

You do not need a 55 gallon kettle to boil 35 gallons. A 35 gallon pot would do the trick, if you can find one. You need some head space to avoid boil-overs, but an extra 20 gallons is a bit much. We use 300,000 or 400,000 BTU banjo burners on our 60 gallon drum kit. Yes it takes a while to get to boil for that much, but we can get about 35 gallons to a boil in under 45 minutes, especially from sparge temp.

I don't think the burners you link to are the most appropriate for your scenario. I would go with something like the Bayou Classic 10" Banjo Burners . The BTU rating is determined by your regulator...hook up to an LP tank with a high pressure regulator and you're good to go with about 350,000 BTUs or so.

Use the regular home brewer March pump, it works fine for large batches and is reasonable in cost -- or maybe buy a chugger if its cheaper? Either or on the pump, as long as it's rated for hot stuff.

And only use Blichmann if you want to spend more than necessary on any equipment. Their products ARE cool, but as a home brewer, don't you WANT to make your own gadgets? Just because they're made by a company in china with better engineering, doesn't really make them better products...mostly they're just more expensive, and less fun (because you don't get to build test and perfect them yourself!)

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    Jason, You might check your math or assumptions on the volume of the boil kettle. To get 31 gallons in the keg at the end, you'll need somewhere near 42 gallons in the BK. Evaporation might take 5 gallons, shrinkage (4%) and trub take 3 gallons, fermenter and transfer losses might take 3 gallons. Even if my numbers are off by 50%, that still would mean 37 gallon boil. – Dale Jun 3 '12 at 12:54

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