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 current version of the burner unit puts out over 55,000 BTUs and from the estimates I had read, it will bring 10 gallons of water up to a rolling boil in about 40 minutes.

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 G2.

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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