What do I need to know about high-output burners?

Do I need a high-output burner to brew all-grain?

While a high-output burner is not required to brew all-grain, it is highly recommended. The reason is that when brewing all-grain, you are boiling a much higher volume than you would brewing extract. Doing this on your kitchen stove, it will take a very long time for the wort to come to a boil. A high-output burner will allow you to bring the wort to a full boil in a fraction of the time, and also ensures that you get a good, rolling boil.

Can I use a high-output burner indoors?

As far as using them indoors, the answer is NO! Midwest recommends NEVER using any propane burner indoors. Always use a propane burner in an open, well-ventilated area.

What are the differences between the burners?

King Kooker: This economy burner delivers 110,000 BTUs and includes an attachable heatshield. Adjustable burner allows you to perform full boils on larger batches and all-grain brewing. Burner top is 15.75” in diameter and stand is 12” tall. The drawback here is that you’re working with a single flame, so you need to be careful not to scorch the contents of your brew kettle. Great for a homebrewer looking to expand their brew capacity.

Hurricane Burner: This twelve inch diameter burner delivers an impressive 60,000 BTU output at a delivery pressure of less than 1 psi! While the BTU output of this burner is lower than that of the Kink Kooker, it is far more efficient and distributes the heat much more evenly. A solid welded frame surrounds the burner, making the unit almost indestructible. This model comes completely assembled and is supplied with the appropriate regulator and hose. Stand is 15.5” in diameter and 11” high. Propane only. This mid-priced burner will last a lifetime with proper use and care.

Propane Stainless Steel Single Burner Patio Stove 1114: The stainless steel makes this burner easy to clean, making the overall look of the propane burner last. The cooking area is 16” x 16”, big enough to boil 30 gallons! The flame is adjustable by using the needle valve on the regulator kit (included with the unit). Also includes 13” tall heavy duty stainless steel frame, large 16” x 16” cooking surface, UL-listed 3 ft. high pressure hose and a 10 PSI regulator, which reaches 55,000 BTUs. Widest range of flame control.

Propane Burner SP-50: By Bayou Classic. This tall high pressure propane burner is perfect for a 5 gallon batch. The face of the cooking area measures 14 inches in diameter and the height of this burner measures 21 inches. This burner includes a 10 PSI regulator producing a 55,000 BTU flame. The extra height of this burner may allow you to use gravity to drain your brew kettle as opposed to using a pump.

But I don’t have anywhere to brew outdoors! What do I do now?

Get yourself an Electric Brew Heater! Unlike propane burners, the Electric Brew Heater provides portable, precisely adjustable heat for boiling and mashing without the need for venting. It fits in a boiling pot, sparge water tank, or mash tun, and can be used for both wort boiling and mashing. This 110 volt heater features an adjustable thermostat controlling a 2,200 watt stainless steel-clad heating element, and is capable of bringing 5 gallons to a fume-free boil in just under one hour. Handy for boiling wort when a propane burner is not practical or if you’d like to brew bigger batches on your gas stovetop; using your gas stove and the Electric Brew Heater simultaneously will bring 11 gallons to a rolliing boil in just over an hour. Ideal for use as a compact sparge water tank heater or mash tun heater when you want something small and adjustable to complete your mashing system. Comes in an 11” and 15” length to fit different pots and applications. The 11” size is designed to fit our 30 and 32 quart pots for boiling, while the 15” length fits 10 gallon Igloo cooler mash tun conversions (do not boil in a plastic cooler or you will melt it), and also perfectly fits the Polar Ware 10 gallon Brew Pot and other pots that are 15” to 18” deep. Fully adjustable thermostat has an infinite adjustment that lets you set the temperature from 120 degrees F to 212 degrees F. An indicator light turns on when the element is on, so you can make precise adjustments. The heating element and down tube are both constructed of stainless steel, for years of use without corrosion. An external thermometer is needed when mashing or for setting sparge water tank temperature.

Happy brewing!

A high-output burner is a great addition to any home brewery. They are useful for both extract and all-grain brewers, so you’ll never outgrow it. Before choosing a burner, make sure that you have ample room to use it. Consider the rest of your system and make sure that the burner you select will work for you. At Midwest, we care about your safety, so we think it bears mentioning one more time: PLEASE DO NOT USE ANY PROPANE BURNER INDOORS!

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