Propane Burners are Preferred for Boiling your Wort

Hoppy_Propane Burners are Preferred for Boiling your Wort
If you’re starting a new homebrew venture you may prefer to use a propane burner. Propane burners are great for boiling your wort. Some people start their wort boiling on the stove top but if you don’t want the associated heat and scent in your home, a propane burner would allow you to boil outdoors. Homebrewing in your own backyard can be a relaxing experience with an easy cleanup. Learn more about the advantages of brewing outdoors below.

The Outdoor Advantage

There are some real advantages to taking the brewing process outside: having space for a full-wort boil, making cleanup easy, and cutting down on wasted water, to name a few.

Full-wort boil: The ability to boil the entire wort on a natural gas or propane cooker is one of the biggest advantages to brewing in the great outdoors. A full-wort boil is important to beer quality, and sometimes it’s hard to do in the kitchen. Ten- or 15-gallon batches are just about impossible on a kitchen stove, because the pots are much too large to fit on a single burner. And even if they did, it would take a long time to bring one to a boil.

Even a five-gallon batch requires about a seven-gallon brewpot. A pot that size often won’t fit conveniently under a kitchen range hood. If it does it will probably span a couple of burners, which can scorch the stove top. Electric ranges can cause some problems in brewing, such as scorching malt extract in the bottom of the pot. Temperature control on an electric range is difficult because the heating element stays hot after it is turned off.

The solution to all this is purchasing a natural gas or propane cooker to use outside. Bigger is better for this, so don’t be afraid to get a big one for homebrewing. Gas and propane cookers are economical, usually less than $50 without the propane bottle. They go from about 50,000 BTUs to 200,000 BTUs. BTU, or British thermal unit, is a standard measure of heat (a BTU is the amount of heat it takes to raise one pound of water at a specific temperature one degree).

A 200,000-BTU propane cooker at full throttle sounds like a 747 taking off, frightens small children and timid men, and brings five gallons of cold water to a boil in about 15 minutes.

All gas cookers must be used outdoors, unless you have an inspected and approved venting system installed for the exhaust gases.

If you are brewing 10- or 15-gallon batches, be sure to get one of the cookers with extra steel support to handle the weight. Your homebrew supplier can help you find a cooker made especially for homebrewing. The “shrimp cookers” made of round wire and sold by chain stores will bend under the weight of a big brewpot.

Easy cleanup: Brewing outside can save a lot of cleanup time in the kitchen. At the start of a full-wort boil, it seems that the pot tends to boil over once or twice just before the hot break. Indoors that’s a big deal. If you can’t stop the foam from going over, the stove has to be cleaned. Outdoors, all that is involved is hosing off a patio slab after the brewing session. Since I brew outdoors in all weather, I have found that being outside can even help control a boilover. A handful of clean, fresh snow tossed into the brewpot makes the foam go down!

If you’re ready to start your brew visit The Hoppy Brewer in Gresham to get your: Bayou Classic Outdoor Propane Burner

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