Here are our recommendations for the 4 best propane burners for brewing:
The Dark Star Propane Burner 2.0 for Home Brew
This burner has an excellent wind guard and a 17” diameter to make sure that it can handle almost any pot. The supports are great as well, being able to hold up to 175lbs to allow for even big batches to be done with a surprising amount of ease.
The burner itself is a 65,000 BTU Banjo-style burner which will put out the heat over a wide surface and protect your product from developing hot spots. Add in a great temperature control and you’ve got a professional quality burner for a great price. Pick it up and you won’t be disappointed.
Edelmetall Brü Propane Burner for Home Brewing
For those who are willing to pay a premium in order to make sure that they’ve got the best burner possible, there’s this impressive propane burner from Edelmetall. The fine controls and 72,000 BTUs of output make it a fantastic investment for those who are trying to make sure that they have the ultimate control over their brewing process.
The legs also have extensions (see full specs), and the entire thing is crafted of high-quality materials that also manage to look fantastic. While it might be a bit out of the price range of some folks, for those who demand perfection in their brewing tools it’s absolutely perfect—one of the best homebrew propane burners on the market
Bayou Classic SS84 Stainless Steel Brew Burner
This stainless steel brew stove is pretty awesome for those who choose to make the investment. Rather than a bunch of fanciness going on, this is a bare bones model with a 360° windscreen. While the windscreen might not be up to par with our other choices, it stands out in one crucial area.
It puts out an impressive 165,000 BTUs. The insane amount of heat combined with a stable four legs and high-quality construction definitely justifies the cost for most people and it’s a great investment into the future batches of high-quality brew you’re going to be producing. It’s among the best propane burners for brewing on the market.
Bayou Classic Propane Burner and Brew Kit
If you’re just getting started, you might want to go with a kit like this one from Bayou Classic. Since it comes with a 44 quart pot right out of the gate, which is perfectly sized for the burner, you can avoid having to make sure that the pot fits perfectly without ever seeing the device.
The burner itself is one of the awesome ones which Bayou Classic is famous for, putting out a considerable 58,000 BTUs (see full specs) and having a great windscreen. If you’re just starting out then the modest cost of this burner, combined with the pot it comes with, can let you get going in record time.
Finding the Best Propane Burner for Home Brewing
What exactly you’re going to be looking for really depends on how big of batches you’re doing at a time. As a general rule, you’re going to want something bigger for bigger batches.
Pretty much any brew burner worth the name is going to have some kind of jet burner. Banjo burners are the most common of these, and if you’re going to buy a burner specifically for brewing, there’s simply no reason to try using anything else.
You’ll want to keep the following in mind when you’re looking at your new propane burner for brewing.
Propane Burner BTU Output
A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is the amount of energy it takes to raise a pound of water 1°F. When used as a unit of measurement for a burner it refers to the BTU output over an hour of the burner in question.
But that really doesn’t explain much, does it?
You’re going to need 1.178.6 BTUs to boil a gallon of water in an hour at 100% efficiency. Of course, efficiency doesn’t work that way in the real world, so your time estimates are always going to be off.
For a benchmark, to bring a 62-quart pot to a boil in 20 minutes, at 100% efficiency, you’re looking at about 20 minutes.
The higher your BTU output, the quicker you’ll be able to boil for the most part. It’s generally not worth actually crunching the numbers if you’re a hobbyist. Just opt for something in the power range you think you need.
Of course, you might want to know how long you’re going to get out of your propane tank as well.
A pound of propane has around 21,500 BTUs, a little bit more actually but that number will work for giving you a rough estimate. This means that, for instance, a 43,000 BTU burner will go through two pounds of propane an hour.
Most tanks are twenty pounds, but in real life you’ll usually only have seventeen pounds or so in the tank. Unfortunate, but true.
You can easily estimate how quickly you need to replace the tank, however.
With propane burners for home brewing, construction quality always matters, but there’s one factor which stands out when it comes to brew burners: the rated weight.
Water weighs roughly eight and a third pounds per gallon, so a burner which is rated to hold 175lbs will hold roughly 21 gallons of water. Of course, you might want to go a tad under that to be sure, but there it is.
Three legs versus four legs also matters. Four legged models will tend to hold more weight and be more stable. Go with them if you can at all.
Brewing is a fine art and a great at-home hobby for many people. Your equipment matters though, and making sure that you have the best propane burner for brewing is an awesome way to get everything to a boil without sooting up the bottom of your pot. Take a little bit of time, crunch the numbers, and you’ll end up with a serious advantage in a hobby you can enjoy. Good luck!