Sunday, December 28, 2008

Testing the Blichmann Boilermaker kettle

Testing the Blichmann BoilermakerFor anyone still looking for a good brew kettle and are considering buying a Blichmann Boilermaker, this blog post and video will help demonstrate how well this kettle works out in the elements. On a cold windless December day in Northern Colorado I put the Blichmann Boilermaker to the test to see just how fast I could bring 10 gallons of 40°F cold water up to a boil. This was the first trial run using this new 15 gallon brew kettle and I wanted to see how well it would stand up to a high powered propane burner.

I placed the Blichmann Boilermaker on top of a Bayou Classic SP10 propane burner. The 2008 version of the burner unit supposedly puts out over 185,000 BTUs and from the estimates I had read, it will bring 10 gallons of water up to a rolling boil in about 40 minutes. Please note, newer models of the Bayou Classic SP10 may only put out 55,000 BTUs.

Setting up the burner and kettle takes very little time and filling the kettle using only a 2 gallon thermos took about 10 minutes including running back and forth into the kitchen to fill up the container. It was too cold to run a hose from the house as I feared the outside pipe might break if I tried using it in December.

My home brewery sits at about 4850 feet above sea level. At the start of the boil, the outside temperature was about 27°F. Another local brewer told me that the boiling point of water at high altitude was about 5-10 degrees lower than at sea level. I wanted to confirm that mark and today was the perfect day for it.

Watch the 5 minute video below and see how well the 15 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker stood up to the test. You can also view it on YouTube directly.

Test Results:

Time to reach steeping temp: 155°F, 30 min.

Time to bring to full boil: 43 min.

Temperature at full boil at 4850 altitude: 206°F

30 min. past full boil, amount of water boiled off: 0.5 gal.

The Blichmann held up very well. No leaks occurred from any of the 4 holes. There was very little heat marks at the bottom of the kettle after 75 minutes of constant flame. I was very pleased that I got 10 gallons to a full boil in just 43 minutes out in the cold Colorado weather.

Watch Fermentedly Challenged brew with the Blichmann Boilermaker.

Price a 15 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker.

Related articles:
- Bayou Classic SP10 propane burner test.
- Putting together the home brewery.
- Choosing a brew kettle.
- Choosing a fermenter for your homebrew.

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