Switching from Propane to NG

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Switching from Propane to NG

Postby bwarbiany on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:30 am

I've talked for a long time about making the switch, but have been held back by a lack of plumbing in my garage and my own natural fear of blowing up my house. But with the young kids, I keep finding that trying to brew in the garage is impossible because they want to run around in the driveway, and the yard, and the street, etc.

So I've decided to move my operation back into the backyard instead. And the good news is that I already have NG plumbed there on the outside of my gas fireplace chimney.

This is what I've got:

20151231_092320_resized.jpg
20151231_092320_resized.jpg (250.91 KiB) Viewed 543 times


A few questions...

1) Does this look sufficiently sized to run burners? I never really run 3 burners at a time, but sometimes run 2. My system is one of the Brewer's Hardware systems with big banjo burners.
2) Do I need to do anything to test this to make sure it's active? I know the fireplace that's 2 ft upstream of it works fine, so I think it's a good assumption that it works.
3) What do I need to change? Obviously the orifices in the burners, and I assume I need a regulator and quick disconnect on a hose to replace the propane version currently on the stand. But I don't see one that looks like what I need on Brewers Hardware site...

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Switching from Propane to NG

Postby JonW on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:54 am

bwarbiany wrote:1) Does this look sufficiently sized to run burners? I never really run 3 burners at a time, but sometimes run 2. My system is one of the Brewer's Hardware systems with big banjo burners.
Yes, that will be sufficient. My only question is why is there a mini regulator on the stub-out? Most NG is regulated at the meter and everything ends up running at the same pressure. This may actually be a bonus for you if your NG pressure is higher than most and uses the regulator at the device to bring it back down. If that is the case, you can utilize some additional pressure at the brew stand for better performance.

To really find out if your connection is sufficient, you need to test the pressure with a manometer. You can make a home made one out of clear tubing (google homemade manometer). At a minimum, you should be at 7-8" WC (note: this is only about .25 PSI - very low pressure).

bwarbiany wrote:2) Do I need to do anythig to test this to make sure it's active? I know the fireplace that's 2 ft upstream of it works fine, so I think it's a good assumption that it works.

I would assume that it works. Looks like a standard BBQ disconnect that you can get the hose at HD or Lowes.

bwarbiany wrote:3) What do I need to change? Obviously the orifices in the burners, and I assume I need a regulator and quick disconnect on a hose to replace the propane version currently on the stand. But I don't see one that looks like what I need on Brewers Hardware site...

You usually don't need any regulator on a NG system other than the one on your meter. Depending on what your pressure is at that connection, you may be able to either adjust it up or just remove that regulator completely. You can either change the orifices in your burners, or just drill them out. NG uses a 1/8" orifice, so I would just drill them.

Just a word of warning.... Using NG does not have the same BTU output as your propane, so you do lose some performance on the big banjo burners when going to NG. If you are doing 5-10 gallon batches though, it still shouldn't be an issue.
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Re: Switching from Propane to NG

Postby bwarbiany on Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:47 pm

Cool. Thanks Jon. Not sure why I have a mini-regulator, but if it's due to *higher* pressure, that's only a good thing, right?

I figure I'll keep the orifices in case I ever want to go back to propane (not likely, but hey, someday I may want to sell the stand to someone who will, as Brent did when I bought it from him).

Still need to figure out the NG hose... I was looking at the Lowes site, and it looks like they have extension hoses but might not have one with the right connections I need. But I'm sure I can figure that out.
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Re: Switching from Propane to NG

Postby DrDually on Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:33 pm

Brad
Suggest installing a shut off valve ahead of regulator
Also the brew stand should be secured with length of chain a little shorter than the hose
This will prevent the stand from pulling the hose apart
Chris aka Dr Dually
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Re: Switching from Propane to NG

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:48 pm

If you can't find the QD hose at one of the big box improvement stores, I got mine at BBQs Galore.
The future's uncertain and the end is always near
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Re: Switching from Propane to NG

Postby lexuschris on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:25 pm

I ordered my QD & hoses from Tejas Smoker's. Their hoses are damn sturdy and won't be easily mangled!

They had several choices in length & diameter... and will do custom orders(for a large fee!). I had my plumber install the QD on my backyard BBQ gas line, and he put a shutoff valve before the QD.

And No Sam ... I still have not inspected my orifices yet ... but I think they are too tight! ;)
K:-)
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Re: Switching from Propane to NG

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:57 am

lexuschris wrote:I ordered my QD & hoses from Tejas Smoker's. Their hoses are damn sturdy and won't be easily mangled!

They had several choices in length & diameter... and will do custom orders(for a large fee!). I had my plumber install the QD on my backyard BBQ gas line, and he put a shutoff valve before the QD.

And No Sam ... I still have not inspected my orifices yet ... but I think they are too tight! ;)
K:-)
--LexusChris


I didn't even think about your orifices. I was stuck on "length and diameter".
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