Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Burners and Pilot System

The brewing process for us starts here at the Mast Tun burner (or at least my explanation of it does). It's a 185K BTU propane burner with a windscreen and height adjustable bracket. We only use this to heat the water in the Mast Tun right before we add grains to it.


Since the hot liquor tank is used as our heat exchanger, we need a powerful burner to quickly raise the temperature of the liquid inside (and subsequently the liquid that flows through it).  To handle this heavy task, we chose a 220K+ BTU propane burner.

Here you can see part of the bracket that we had to make.  Like the one under the MT, it also has an adjustable height.


Here's a shot from underneath that details what's holding it in place. The cast iron burner alone easily weighs 10+ lbs.

Before the big burner can light though, the pilot light has to be on. We have a small, constantly flowing line of gas to this pilot, but as a safety mechanism, we decided to monitor the temp at this location.   Just to the right of the pilot assembly, you can see the thermocouple.   If the temperature switch on our control panel registers that the temperature here is below our set point (300 degrees), it’ll prevent power from reaching the solenoid valve (which supplies the propane to this burner).  In the end, this prevents propane from being pumped out of the big burner if, for some reason, our pilot light goes out.
Here you can see the small flame from the constantly running pilot light.

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