Thoughts on a forge burner...

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Thoughts on a forge burner...

Postby fqu8847 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:22 pm

I have ran over several ideas for a heat source in my "upcoming distillery"... as of right now we haven't even started ground work, but I'm thinking ahead in terms of processes.
What I have mulled over are wood fired, propane, and electric. Wood heat from a rocket stove setup (not likely to be accepted), electric (expensive and more easy to scorch while being easily controlled... not my favorite approach), and propane (more my style, more readily accepted in my area, more experience with this heat source).

I have decided on propane... here lies my conundrum:
I have used a turkey fryer burner that worked great in a makeshift furnace. I have helped run several on a hoop/ring burner that goes around the outside of the pot, but I have always been a little less than thrilled with my ability to build these (ie: proper gas mix). What I am studying on now is whether or not a forge type burner would be too wasteful in terms of fuel usage.

Think of a propane forge jet burner. (Forced air, low pressure, with a needle valve for both air and propane control) I'm thinking if I could use one single burner (with the ability to control the btu) to heat an insulated shroud around the pots, it should work just like a wood fired barrel attached to a furnace around the pot.

Keep the tip of the flame about 4"-6" from the side of the pot and leave around 3" of space from the outside of the pot to the start of the insulated shroud. Vent it out a flue into a water heating assembly to preheat my next charge and/or my mash water for use elsewhere.
All of this will be inside an insulated furnace to further capture any escaping heat and to help heat the other 2 identical furnaces beside it.
Thoughts?
Old Copper Road Distillery
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Re: Thoughts on a forge burner...

Postby NZChris » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:28 pm

Be careful with the shroud idea as heating the pot above the level of the charge can cause burn on.
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Re: Thoughts on a forge burner...

Postby fqu8847 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:57 pm

NZChris, I appreciate that! Very good point!!! I am hoping that I can come up with a shroud that slides down over the top of my pots... fits tight, and goes about 3/4 the way up. Don't know if the burner would work efficiently though in terms of overall gas usage...
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Re: Thoughts on a forge burner...

Postby Antler24 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:38 pm

I gotta try to sway you into electric. If you buy the right element it isn't prone to scorching. It isn't that expensive, and you'll save that cost back in no time. My electric cost me around $75, I had a dryer cord lying around, and Spud welded for free. Now a stripping run costs me $1 compared to $20 in propane. Yes, that's not a mistake, I was using $20 propane per run lol

Edited to add, I love the idea of a volcano style still. Would take a few runs to get to feel it out and control the thing but man that would be cool, and almost free to run if you cut your own firewood. Would be great to have back in the sticks.
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Re: Thoughts on a forge burner...

Postby The Baker » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:11 pm

fqu8847 wrote:NZChris, I appreciate that! Very good point!!! I am hoping that I can come up with a shroud that slides down over the top of my pots... fits tight, and goes about 3/4 the way up. Don't know if the burner would work efficiently though in terms of overall gas usage...


I have a shroud on my 20 litre pot still boiler.
But it does NOT fit tight, there is nearly an inch gap.
Firstly because that was the size of the thingy I cut down to be the shroud.
Secondly because I think that to have a gap would be more efficient.
If it fit tight it would be the same as just having a thicker metal walled boiler; the gap allows the outside of the shroud to shield it from breezes and from cooler air, the warm air between boiler and shroud insulates it to an extent.

And if someone who REALLY understands this stuff wants to comment, please do, I am no expert.

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Re: Thoughts on a forge burner...

Postby NZChris » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:10 pm

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