Gas Burner - Have I bought a dud?

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Skiddy au

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Hi all,

I finally got around to buying a dedicated 50L pot for homebrewing, after using a improvised stock pot for the last few years. I brewed with it for the first time yesterday, but encountered a problem, I couldn't maintain a roiling boil without the lid on for the 25L or so in the pot. I do extract batches with steeping grains, and the boil off volume didn't match expectations.

I didn't give much thought to heating, and I am trying to work out if the burner I have is a dud. It is the three ring Gasmate burner from Bunnings: https://www.bunnings.com.au/gasmate-cast-iron-burner-3-ring-burner_p3180208.

I think there might some solutions, but I'm not sure if I am barking up the wrong tree/s:
  • Is the pot too close to the burner? The burner has lots of white ash on it, which I think indicates incomplete combustion. I had the pot on some bricks, as if it sits on the burner's own supports, the flame comes around the pot when on full and I don't want to burn the o rings for the valve on the outside of the pot. Total height of the burner would have been ~5cm.
  • Wind - it was breezy, and when the gusts were highest it seemed to be less effective, and when winds were lowest it came the closest to being still is when the boil seemed to be best.
  • Change to a high pressure regulator? Would more gas be better, not sure if the burner would still work, and the instructions that came with it said specifically use only the hose and regulator that came with it.
  • Is the burner just not capable of heating this much liquid effectively? Not keen on replacing, for financial reasons.
  • Does this even matter, apart from using lots of gas to get it up to temperature?
Any help or feedback would be appreciated.
 

philrob

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It's what I use under my 40 litre kettle. It just sits on top of the burner itself, and I have no trouble getting 35 litres wort to the boil.
These burners are not what you'd call precision cast, and I used a drill to open up all the individual holes. I also dismantled the gas and air inlet thingies and cleaned everything out inside. I use the standard low pressure regulator on mine under the kettle.
I have another one under my HLT sitting up on bricks, with a medium pressure regulator at its lowest adjustment. Works fine.
On each of my burners I have the air adjustment wheels turned totally to the open position.
Run each of mine on dedicated 8.5 kg gas bottles from the big green shed.
I don't run them at full bore, but adjust the flame so it shows mainly blue with minimal orange.
 

cedric

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used them for many years in uk at work. we were forced to change them about every 3 months so they could be 'maintained' by the workshop. it was very strange how one identical stove could be so different than the next.
so much so, that when we got a good one it was kept and we just continually exchanged a spare.
one stove would blacken the kettle up badly, the next stove would be ok.

from memory, it is also surprising how much a little breeze can affect performance.
 

Skiddy au

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It's what I use under my 40 litre kettle. It just sits on top of the burner itself, and I have no trouble getting 35 litres wort to the boil.
These burners are not what you'd call precision cast, and I used a drill to open up all the individual holes. I also dismantled the gas and air inlet thingies and cleaned everything out inside. I use the standard low pressure regulator on mine under the kettle.
I have another one under my HLT sitting up on bricks, with a medium pressure regulator at its lowest adjustment. Works fine.
On each of my burners I have the air adjustment wheels turned totally to the open position.
Run each of mine on dedicated 8.5 kg gas bottles from the big green shed.
I don't run them at full bore, but adjust the flame so it shows mainly blue with minimal orange.
Do you remember what size you drilled the hole open to? It might be my next thing to try. What sort of time does it take to boil?

Thanks
 

philrob

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I used a drill bit the same size as the hole. It just removed the irregularities and soot etc from the casting.
My HLT takes about 20 minutes to get 30 litres to 75ºC.
HLT a similar time to get to boiling after sparge.
I use a 3V system, and if I do a 1 hour mash and 1 hour boil, I can get it all done in about 5 hours.
I'm retired, so time is not an issue for me.
 

Sidney Harbour-Bridge

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Most of the stuff in bunnies these days is shit, if you want good gear don't shop there.

Yep I once used one of those, it can bring 40L to a simmer, you can help them a bit by adjusting the air/gas ratio by opening up the air inlets.

In the end I just bought a high pressure burner and never looked back.
 

Malted Mick

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I had a Bunnies 3 ring burner and not matter how I tried to adjust the air mixture it still burned yellow with black soot some times. Tried cleaning the jets and after banging it on the ground all sorts of debris fall out. I think that is rust and crap in the cast iron casting. If the mixture is right you should have a nice blue flame. Be careful carbon monoxide gases are released when a gas burner is not adjusted correctly. You get what you pay for and I decided to go electric because of this issue.
 

Skiddy au

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So I did a test boil on 10 L to measure the data, and the efficiency is poor vs the nominal rating:

1604824148342.png
 

hotwaterpls

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I had a 2 ring version to start off, managed to get things to a boil but took a while. As noted wind will play a part (I was looking at ways to make some kind of wind shield - someone used an old car rim cut up to sit the burner in and kettle on top). The ring adjustments will probably be the biggest factor in getting the flame right to do what you need it to do. I read conflicting information on using them with a high pressure regulator, and found a high pressure burner that was a bit more beefy so upgraded to that instead.

So you can use them, but lots of variables as others have noted. With a bit of fine tuning hopefully can get it to function a bit better- or take it back.
 

Hermies

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Hi all,

I finally got around to buying a dedicated 50L pot for homebrewing, after using a improvised stock pot for the last few years. I brewed with it for the first time yesterday, but encountered a problem, I couldn't maintain a roiling boil without the lid on for the 25L or so in the pot. I do extract batches with steeping grains, and the boil off volume didn't match expectations.

I didn't give much thought to heating, and I am trying to work out if the burner I have is a dud. It is the three ring Gasmate burner from Bunnings: https://www.bunnings.com.au/gasmate-cast-iron-burner-3-ring-burner_p3180208.

I think there might some solutions, but I'm not sure if I am barking up the wrong tree/s:
  • Is the pot too close to the burner? The burner has lots of white ash on it, which I think indicates incomplete combustion. I had the pot on some bricks, as if it sits on the burner's own supports, the flame comes around the pot when on full and I don't want to burn the o rings for the valve on the outside of the pot. Total height of the burner would have been ~5cm.
  • Wind - it was breezy, and when the gusts were highest it seemed to be less effective, and when winds were lowest it came the closest to being still is when the boil seemed to be best.
  • Change to a high pressure regulator? Would more gas be better, not sure if the burner would still work, and the instructions that came with it said specifically use only the hose and regulator that came with it.
  • Is the burner just not capable of heating this much liquid effectively? Not keen on replacing, for financial reasons.
  • Does this even matter, apart from using lots of gas to get it up to temperature?
Any help or feedback would be appreciated.
I purchased a Mega Jet burner from BCF a few years ago the cost back then was $149 and then found the same product online last year for $100 and have never looked back they pump out 85,300 BTU's that's enough to boil any size pot. The original name the yanks called them was a Nasa Burner for obvious reasons.
 

Grok

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I have an old one of those 3 ring burners and it brings a 50L keg size up to boil ok. I have gone to electric now, but still have it as a back up in case electricity goes out. I did clean each jet hole out with a drill bit, not enlarged them though because of rust and crud build up. It is important to not have any cross wind on low pressure burners, mine is in a very sheltered enclosure, so no wind at all. I also throttle back the centre ring a bit when using all 3 rings so the mixture looks about right (blue flame), it ain't perfect, looks like its limited a bit by the air ratio intake volume not quite enough, difficult to get all nice blue flame, always a few orange tips around.
 

cedric

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bunnings are usually good with refunds, maybe try another one first.
as i said, we could never workout why one stove would burn bad and blacken everything and another would be ok.
not used gas for a while, but in perth, but i was always having trouble with jets clogging up.
the camping shop i used said there were 2 causes of that goo in the pipes & needles
1) 'dirty' gas
2) gas bottles being overfilled
or does this only affect the small 2-burner camping stoves?
 

Skiddy au

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I purchased a Mega Jet burner from BCF a few years ago the cost back then was $149 and then found the same product online last year for $100 and have never looked back they pump out 85,300 BTU's that's enough to boil any size pot. The original name the yanks called them was a Nasa Burner for obvious reasons.
Something like this?
I have an old one of those 3 ring burners and it brings a 50L keg size up to boil ok. I have gone to electric now, but still have it as a back up in case electricity goes out. I did clean each jet hole out with a drill bit, not enlarged them though because of rust and crud build up. It is important to not have any cross wind on low pressure burners, mine is in a very sheltered enclosure, so no wind at all. I also throttle back the centre ring a bit when using all 3 rings so the mixture looks about right (blue flame), it ain't perfect, looks like its limited a bit by the air ratio intake volume not quite enough, difficult to get all nice blue flame, always a few orange tips around.
Tried drilling it out, but snapped my 3mm drill bit.

I have contacted Gasmate to see what they have to say, failing that, refund it is.
 

Grok

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Ah yes, you have to be careful you don't wobble with small drill bits.....
This one from Snowys is better priced, on special too!
 

chrisfromperth

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I have a 56MJ 4-ring burner. About half the output of Hermes' rocket motor.
56 MJ/h gets 30L up from sparge temperature to a boil in 10 minutes. I turn on the flame as soon as the bottom of the kettle is covered.
11-16 MJ/h keeps a rolling boil (rings 2 or 3). Depends on how breezy it is.
A 3-ring/26MJ should work fine, but it would take 20 or so minutes to reach a boil.

Some good advice in the replies so far - clean out the jets. Adjust the air so that the flames are blue.

Note: The gap between my kettle base and the ring is just on flame length.
 

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