Another step in my upgrade to all-grain was purchasing a free-standing propane burner.
While my new apartment came with lots of storage space and a great layout, it also came with an electric stove. I have a few friends who brew on electric stoves and they hate it. They say it takes forever to get the wort to a boil, and maintaining a consistent temperature is next to impossible.
I hit the ‘nets and got to researching. I looked into a few options, the first being 4 free-standing electric burners. These high-output burners could give adequate power to boil 6+ gallons of wort, but balancing my brewpot between them all was an issue, not to mention the “ghetto” nature of putting a pot on 4 different burners at once.
In the end, the most logical step was the one most homebrewers have already taken – getting a free-standing propane burner. I got acquainted with the different burners out there, and narrowed down my preferences to a quality burner with good output and a low PSI so I didn’t burn through propane like crazy.
I decided on the Bayou Classic SQ14 Single Burner Outdoor Patio Stove. The 30,000 BTUs was a pretty good amount of power, and the 10 PSI regulator would keep my propane use at a reasonable level. Plus, at $50, it was pretty affordable.
So far – I love it! It kicks pretty good. I can get about 6-7 gallons of wort to a boil in about 15 minutes. It’s a far cry from the hour plus it would take on the electric stove. It has an oxygen regulator as well, which lets me get a nice blue flame to shave a few minutes off the time to boil. Plus, I’ve started heating up my sparge water with it. I can start the burner right before I mash out, and when the 10 minutes of the mash out are up, the water’s already at 170 degrees.
This burner has really shaved a lot of time off my brew day, and has helped me produce better beer.