Converting propane burner to domestic gas (natural gas)

For those who use gas to fire their BIAB brews.
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jube
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Converting propane burner to domestic gas (natural gas)

Post by jube » 2 years ago

Does anyone have any experience of this? I have recently moved to an apartment building where they don't allow propane tanks to be stored which makes brewing a bit difficult with the setup I have at the moment.

I could just smuggle in a tank but I'm wondering if I could convert my system to run off the installed gas in the apartment. There are plenty of superfluous gas outlets in the bathroom and kitchen (attached to gas convectors/heaters I don't use).

At the moment I'm using a cast iron burner which is about 6 kW from memory with a tank and adjustable reductor.

I have a 90 Lt vessel so the kitchen stove won't make much of a dent in heating up this volume of water.

Has anyone done anything like this?

I do know that natural gas has a lower heating value than LPG and is at much lower pressure and is 'thicker', but it is also much cheaper.

Any advice would be appreciated.

I don't really want to blow up my apartment

The burner is something like this one
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Last edited by jube on 25 Apr 2015, 17:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 years ago

Do you have an outdoor patio/ balcony? Maybe think about converting to electric.

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

You are correct about the lower pressure (much lower) but I'm not versed in the conversion. That said, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reconsider the gas burner and look at going electric if you are going to be brewing indoors, carbon monoxide poisoning is a stupid way to die!

---Todd
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Post by Yeasty » 2 years ago

I'd say the burner will work once you have adjusted the air intake BUT unless you are brewing outside I'd go electric. These burners give out as much heat downwards as upward so unless you have a solid heat/fireproof surface to put it on I'd give it a miss.

:luck:

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jube
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Converting propane burner to domestic gas (natural gas)

Post by jube » 2 years ago

Thanks for the various replies... Yes carbon monoxide poisoning would be a bit unfortunate but I was only planning on brewing with the windows wide open to help get rid of all the steam being boiled off as much as anything. If there isn't sufficient ventilation I can imagine a mould problem appearing before long.

Regarding heat going down... I know what you mean, I always put down some sort of insulation before brewing to stop the possibility of cracked tiles. Now I have a raised brewing stand so I'm not worried about that at this stage.

Regarding electric... I'm a bit scared of that too. I might end up blowing the wiring in the flat. It is old wiring here and I don't think it would have the guts to keep 70 Lt at a rolling boil for 90 minutes.

Unfortunately no balcony or terrace but big double windows which can be opened in the kitchen.

One option might be to buy an old gas fired water tank and use the gas ring from that as the heat source.

Any more advice from anyone who had done this would be appreciated.

Jube

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Post by thughes » 2 years ago

jube wrote:One option might be to buy an old gas fired water tank and use the gas ring from that as the heat source.
An excellent idea, one that I had thought about and then forgotten. (I even went as far as collecting the water heater burner assembly from a plumber friend).

I do know that a conversion from LPG to NG will require a different regulator and gas orifice as well as enlarging the burner holes.

Regarding carbon monoxide, it is heavier than air, which is what makes it so insidious. You can have it build up at floor level so that you're fine when you're standing in the kitchen with the windows open but it will get you when you go take a nap on the couch after you're done brewing. (if you're going to live dangerously, at least promise us you'll get yourself a few CO detectors!)

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 26 Apr 2015, 04:53, edited 1 time in total.
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