Propane has been the fuel of choice for homebrewers for decades. Efficient and inexpensive, propane’s power and flexibility make brewing a breeze. Whether you’re brewing 5, 10, or 20-gallon batches, propane quickly gets your wort to a nice, rolling boil.
Out of all the propane burners on the market, we think the best burner for homebrew is the Blichmann HellFire Floor Standing Burner. Sturdy construction and blazing power make this burner an outstanding piece of equipment. Brew with confidence with the HellFire – it will get you the power you need!
There are many other options to consider and we’re here to help you decide what’s best for your home brewery.
What Is The Best Propane Burner For Homebrewing?
Propane homebrew burners give you flexibility when building their brewery. You can use just about any boil kettle, as economical or as high-end as you desire. You can always upgrade and tinker with your system to get the best results.
We use propane on traditional 3-vessel systems (hot liquor tank, mash tun, boil kettle) as well as with brew in a bag. The price vs. power ratio is amazing. Homebrew burners must be used outdoors but that’s just another positive in our book.
Brewing outside is relaxing and enjoyable.
Let’s take a look at our picks for the top burners on the market.
Anvil Forge Propane Brewing Burner
The Anvil Forge is a well made, mid-price burner. Its adjustable legs give you flexibility in burner height. On top of that, self-leveling feet make sure you’re always brewing on level ground. Power output is nice and high and a large windscreen ensures your flame won’t die out on a windy day.
- 80,000 BTU/Hr output
- Adjustable operational heights of 7″ and 16″ with optional leg extensions to 24″
- High-temperature coated steel construction
- Rust-free cast aluminum burner
- Up to 20-gallon batches
- Natural gas conversion kit available
|Adjustable height||Paint/coating tends to burn with use|
Blichmann HellFire Floor Standing Burner
Blichmann has a deserved reputation for producing great quality brew equipment. We think the HellFire is one of their finest products. The super high efficiency and insane maximum power make brewing quick and easy. The stainless steel construction makes this burner nearly perfect for homebrewing.
- Two efficiency modes: High Efficiency (80,000 BTU/Hr) and HellFire™ mode (140,000 BTU/Hr)
- 12” operating height with extendable leg option
- Stainless steel frame
- Up to 30-gallon batches
- Natural gas conversion kit available
|Very high BTU||High price|
Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker
Our Budget Pick
The Bayou Classic SP10 is a great budget-friendly option. Its reliable performance and sturdy design make this homebrew burner one of the most popular for homebrewers.
The SP10 tends to burn through propane inefficiently. On top of this, it makes a lot of noise while operating. And despite its solid construction, the painted steel chips and burns on its first use.
- 59,000 BTU/Hr
- 12” tall, wide legs designed for stability
- The fully welded design comes completely assembled
- Painted steel construction
- Full 360-degree windscreen
- Capable of up to 25-gallon batches
|Great price||Paint burns off frame during first use|
|Solid and sturdy construction||Low fuel efficiency|
Where to buy: Amazon
Dark Star 2.0 Propane Burner
The Dark Star 2.0 is a nice looking and well-priced burner. It has a sleek and compact design but has a lower maximum capacity at 15 gallons. The small windscreen might not be sufficient on a blustery day and the flame area is relatively small. That said, this is a good beginner burner – it’s reliable, efficient, and comes fully assembled.
- 65,000 BTU/Hr
- 12” tall,
- Capable of up to 15-gallon batches
- 3.5” windscreen
|Great price||Lower maximum batch size|
|Small flame area|
Where to buy: Amazon
Edelmetall Brü Burner
The Edelmetall Brü Burner looks amazing and its solid, stainless steel design ensures it’s ready for the job. On top of looking great, the copper coating makes it easy to clean. The Brü Burner is a great option for brewers with a higher budget who want a powerful and sturdy piece of equipment. If you decide the other burners aren’t metal enough, be sure to get the leg extensions too.
- 72,000 BTU/Hr
- Stainless steel with copper finish
- Precise needle valve for fine-tuning flame
- 12” operating height. Optional leg extensions raise the burner height to 27″
- Supports up to 30 Gallons
|Stainless steel construction||High price|
Where to buy: Amazon
What To Look For In A Propane Burner
We’ve highlighted our favorite burners but there are a lot of products on the market. Navigating the jargon and options can be overwhelming.
Using propane can be dangerous. We want to make sure you are comfortable and confident when operating your burner. Here is what to look for when comparing burners and deciding which one is best for you:
British Thermal Units (BTU) are traditional units for heat. Each propane burner differs in terms of design and efficiency. That means that the higher the BTU doesn’t always mean the better the burner. For brewing 5 to 10-gallon batches, burners with 50,000 to 100,000 BTU/Hr will all get the job done. If you plan to do larger batches, opt for a model with higher BTUs such as the Blichmann HellFire.
Homebrew burners have a few different options for build materials.
The burners are usually made of cast iron which is heat resistant and durable but tends to be heavy. Cast aluminum burners, like in the Anvil Forge, are rust-resistant and lightweight but a bit more expensive.
For frames, stainless steel is the best choice for its corrosion resistance, durability, and strength. Painted or coated steel frames offer some corrosion protection, but there is always the risk of paint chipping and rust formation. Cast iron frames are also available. These are less expensive but heavy and prone to rust.
You have a few things to consider when it comes to your propane burner’s operational height.
If you use pumps to transfer your wort, it might be useful to use lower burners. If you rely on gravity to transfer, consider looking into the taller models or opt for the extension legs.
You can always place the propane burner on a sturdy table or bench to raise it up. Always be cautious with elevated liquids and make sure it’s safe to operate.
Windscreens are metal barriers that protect the flame from wind. Since propane burners are meant for outdoor operation, you never know what the elements might bring on brew day. The larger the windscreen, the better the chance that the burner is protected from the wind. We recommend you choose a burner with a windscreen to ensure you never lose the flame during your brew.
Propane burners are powerful and efficient. You can use just about any type of brew kettle which means you can customize your system. They’re a great option for beginner homebrewers since you can get started with a basic kettle and jump right into all-grain brewing in a bag.
The best propane burner for homebrew is the Blichmann HellFire Floor Standing Burner. We think it’s worth the extra money. This burner will last years and it has enough power to keep around if you eventually upgrade.
If you’re just starting out, or on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker. It’s powerful, sturdy, and very affordable.
Choose the burner that is right for you, step outside, and get brewing.
Can I use a propane burner inside or in my garage?
No – do not use a propane burner indoors.
For indoor brewing, look into electric kettles, all-in-one systems, and induction.
How long will it take to bring my wort to a boil?
It depends on the burner, wort, temperature, wind, etc… but expect it to take at least 20 to 30 minutes to bring 5-10 gallons to boil after sparging.
How many propane burners do I need?
If you use a traditional three-vessel all-grain system (hot liquor tank, mash tun, kettle), you should consider using two burners. One for your hot liquor tank and one for your kettle. Of course, if your hot liquor tank is insulated (like an Igloo cooler) and you can store your pre-heated sparge water, then you can get by with one burner.
For brew in a bag and extract brewing, you only need one burner.