Homebrew kegging and draft beer tapping equipment including aluminum CO2 tanks, CO2 regulators, quick disconnects, Cornelius kegs, beer taps, pony taps, beer hardware, hoses and fittings.

   Home   Online Store   Filling CO2 Tanks   Remote Kegerator   Local Hours   Contact Us
Site Links
Home Page
Online Store
Filling CO2 Tanks
Remote Kegerator
Local Hours
Contact Us
Kegerator Troubleshooting
Correct CO2 regulator
About CO2 Gas
Product Manuals

Heat Source Comparison
About BTUs
Boil Control
Mash Control
Sizing Wires
Wiring Diagrams
Calculating BTUs
Brewery Wiring
Temperature Sensors
50A Controller
Sensor Placement


Homebrew Links
Start Kegging
Electric Brewpot
Homebrew Kegerator
Danby Kegerator
Freezer Conversion
Beer Tower Cooling
Tricks and Tips
Kegerator Elements
Beer Carbonation
Homebrew Recipes
Beer Recipes.org
Homebrew Clubs
RANCO Wiring

Draft Beer Links
Draft Questions
Draft Kegerator
The Brew Site

Soda Links
2L Soda Carbonation

Other Sites
Andy's Hot Sauce
JoJo's Pub


About BTUs

Bringing water or wurt from tap or room temperature takes a tremendous amount of energy, measured in BTUs. And one BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise one pound of water one degree F (Fahrenheit). The easiest way to understand what BTUs are is to to calculate the number of BTUs needed to bring 12 gallons from 150 degrees F to boil – and the calculation is:

1 (BTU) X 12 (gallons) X 8.3 (weight of one gallon) X 62 (degrees difference) = 6175 BTUs.

In other words, in a perfect world it will take 6175 BTUs to bring your 12 gallons of wurt from 150 degrees F to boil.

And once you reach 212F you need to factor the energy needed to boil – to convert part of your wurt into steam, which is an additional 8000 BTU per gallon. So, starting with 12 gallons and ending with 10 gallons you need a total of 6175 + 8000 (for gallon 1) + 8000 (for gallon 2) or 22,175 BTUs. .

BTUs from Propane Gas

Don't believe the advertising on TV when they claim gas is better than electricity - they are only right when it comes to natural gas, not propane gas.

Also, things get complicated when it comes to gas brewing - you have to consider heat transfer loss, which for any gas fired system usually starts at 50% and can reach higher depending on surrounding (weather) conditions. Start dealing with a cross wind or very cold brewing conditions and a gas fired backyard brewing setup can easily have a heat loss of 75% or more. This puts energy needed from gas at a staggering 44,350 BTUs to 88,700 BTUs. And don’t forget, you used the same propane gas to raise your mash water & sparge water up to temperature. Add 25% more for mash & sparge, and at current propane prices your total gas cost will run at about $4.50 - $9.00 per 10 gallon batch of beer.

BTUs from 120V or 240V Electric

Everything changes with electricity. When you use a submerged electric element your heat source is 100% surrounded by your wurt and the only heat that escapes is the heat that is radiating through the sides of your pot & escaping through the top. This means that almost 100% of the energy you put into your electric element gets transferred to your wurt. And at an overall efficiency is 90% or better, you will need 24,639 BTUs from electricity.

One watt of electricity = 3.41 BTU/hr, so 24,639 BTUs will require approximately  7225 total watt/hrs. Actual cost to you depends on your local utility rate but at North Alabama’s current rate of $0.08416 per KWh and adding 25% more electricity for mash & sparge, and the electricity cost of brewing a 10 gallon batch will be about $0.75.



This site is owned and operated by Tom Hargrave Sales
12021 South Memorial Parkway, Suite N-4
Huntsville, AL  35803