brewing innovation

TopTier™ Brew Stand and Burners

The patented TopTier™ Modular Brewing Stand from Blichmann Engineering™ offers the ultimate in brewing flexibility! It fits any manufacturer's kettles or kegs up to 21" in diameter and up to 30 gal, so you can reuse existing equipment. Mix and match burners or shelves for each tier to suit your process. Plus, the stand quickly knocks down for storage or transport. 

Features

  • The ultimate in brewing flexibility!
  • Fits any manufacturer's pots and kegs up to 21” in diameter and up to 30 gallons so you can reuse your existing equipment.
  • Mix and match burners or shelves for each tier to suit your brewing process.
  • Burners / shelves are infinitely adjustable on the T-slot mounting post and can be installed on all four faces of the stand.
  • Heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel legs and high-strength aluminum mast with T-slot mounting system.
  • Heavy-gauge, stainless-steel burner frame never rusts, and there are no nasty paint-burning fumes.
  • Stainless-steel shelf fits 10-gallon round coolers and most rectangular coolers.
  • Just getting into brewing? Buy our upgrade-ready, floor-standing burners now, and they'll bolt right into our stand when you’re ready to upgrade. There's no need to scrap your old burners!
  • You can easily mount ancillary equipment to the T-slots in the frame for convenience.
  • Ships economically through FedEx / UPS ground, not truck freight, which can easily run between $200 to $400-plus depending on your location.
  • Quickly knocks down for storage or transport.

Data-Dwgs

Dimensions

Maximum capacity per shelf tier: 125 lbs.

Maximum capacity per burner tier: 250 lbs.

Maximum capacity per utility shelf: 50 lbs.

Lowest height of bottom tier: 19" (use enough elevation to drain into a carboy)

Maximum height of upper tier (bottom of pot): 72"

Maximum pot diameter: 20"

Burner Data

Our research and development team wasn't satisfied with selecting just any burner for the TopTier™, so it developed and tuned its own. While many manufacturers claim an impressive BTU capability, all they're talking about is the input energy, not the actual energy entering the pot. Isn't the whole point to heat wort, not the atmosphere?

Our requirements

  • High-efficiency
  • Fast heating
  • Non-rusting, fume-free stainless frame
  • Excellent outdoor flame stability
  • Quiet operation
  • Great low-setting performance without yellow flame (blackens bottom of pot)

Our Result

A 72,000 BTU / hour burner that blends heating power and efficiency, no louder than a whisper! In addition, low-flame combustion is clean, wind performance is outstanding, and the heavy stainless construction is built to last a lifetime! For operation on natural gas, expect 15% less power and 15% longer heating times due to the lower BTU content of natural gas versus propane.

We also documented that the published BTU of competitive burners varied wildly from actual measured results. Measuring the performance is straightforward: Simply run the burner for an hour at full power and measure the weight of the propane used in pounds. Then, multiply the weight in pounds by 21,000 to get the burner rating in BTU / hour. For example. the Bayou Classic has a published rating of 180 KBTU / hour but only measured at 68 KBTU / hour.

 

 

 

Natural Gas

TopTier™ burners run great on natural gas! Due to the lower energy content of natural gas compared to propane, there is a 15% derate but there's still plenty of heating power. Approximate heat output is 60,000 BTU / hour.

This requires a 6" H20 gas pressure, which is typical for residential locations. However, we do not recommend installing this product indoors. Consult the manual for required minimum distance from structures.

For floor burners, you will need the floor burner gas conversion kit (pictured above at right). It includes an orifice ported for natural gas and also a needle valve for flame height control. We recommend you have a professional plumber do any piping to the stand. You will not need the propane regulator and propane orifice included with the stand, so store them away should you ever wish to operate on propane in the future. Also, this requires a separate gas shutoff valve, which is not included with the kit.

For stand burners (pictured above at left), all you need to do is switch out the orifice and remove the propane regulator. We recommend hiring a professional plumber to install the gas to your stand and ensure that the installation meets local codes. Also, this requires a separate gas shutoff valve, which is not included with the orifice.

 

Competition

Compare to the competition and you'll find that the Blichmann Modular Brew Stand is truly "TopTier™"!

Feature TopTier™ MoreBeer™
Lead Time In stock! 12-13 weeks
Movable / Adjustable Tiers Yes No
Choose Shelf or Burner Tiers Yes No
High-Efficiency, High-Power Burners Yes No
Stainless Burner Frame Yes No (stainless is optional $250-$950)
Windproof  Yes No
Corrosion-Resistant Frame Yes No (stainless is optional $250-$950)
Wheels for Mobility Yes No
Easily Mount Ancillary Equipment Yes No
Buy Stand Without Pots? Yes No
Breaks Down for Transport / Storage? Yes No
Ships via UPS / FedEx ground? Yes Truck Only*
     
List Price for TopTier™ Without Pots $760 to $920 depending on configuration Price the competition, and you'll find they're hundreds more!
* Truck freight can cost $200 to $400-plus depending on your location.

 

Manuals-Video

Stand Assembly

 


Burner Operation

 

FAQ

Why do I need to build a fuel manifold and what is required?

Due to the modularity of the TopTier™ Modular Brewing Stand, which is its best feature, you are required to purchase a couple pieces of 1/2" pipe and assemble a gas manifold for it.

For example, you could have one-, two- or three-burner tiers (balance being shelves) needing fuel, and these can be installed on any of the four faces at any height. Had we designed a limited fixed configuration stand like our competitors, we would have included the piping. But that means you'd be stuck with that configuration and could never change it as your equipment, batch size and brewing process changes and develops.

Fortunately, we do include nearly all the fittings you'll need. With the product, you'll receive a black iron tee, a brass flare adapter for each tier, and also a plug to cap off the top of the manifold. All you'll have to provide are the straight lengths of pipe, which are readily available in a variety of lengths at your local hardware store or home improvement center. If you want a specific length, many of these stores will cut and thread your pipe to length for free or for a small fee. If you don't have a plumbing-supply store nearby, McMaster-Carr is an online source for these parts.

The manual provided with the stand includes detailed instructions and photos on assembling your manifold, which is a simple process. We also provide a nice stainless-steel, bellows-type gas hose to connect the burner to the manifold, as well as hardware to mount the pipe manifold to the stand. These are the more difficult and expensive parts to acquire that are not available at the above stores.

Can I mount more than three tiers on my stand?

The TopTier™ Modular Brewing Stand is highly engineered and designed to safely hold a maximum of three tiers (up to 30 gal pots per tier). For safety and liability reasons, we do not recommend installing additional tiers and we do not sell additional mounting arms for this reason. However, we do offer a 10" X 10" utility shelf (50 lbs. max), pump brackets, and chiller brackets to allow you to customize your stand. In addition, we include spare mounting nuts for you to add your own accessory items to the T-slot system. For details on those items, check the Photo Gallery Accessories tab.

Why can't I light / adjust my burner?

It is important to read the manual closely before igniting the burner. Please contact your retailer if you did not receive a manual, and do not operate the product until you have received, read, and understood it.

The TopTier™ burners are very high-efficiency, low-noise burners. You do not need to crank up the gas pressure to get them to maximum power. In fact, doing so usually makes the flame unstable, loud, and easy to blow out in windy conditions. Remember, these are not jet-type burners! When properly adjusted, you will barely be able to hear the flame and you should see pale blue flames on each nozzle about ¾ to 1” high at maximum power.

Always ignite and adjust the burner with a filled pot on top of it. Lighting the burner without a pot will cause unsatisfactory adjustment.

Igniting the burner

Please view our burner operation video on the TopTier™ page for detailed assembly and operation instructions. Prior to igniting the burners, turn the air damper so that it is open about halfway. Turn the regulator fully counterclockwise to the "off" position.  Then, turn on the tank valve to the full "on" position. You will use the regulator to control the gas flow by turning it clockwise to increase fuel flow. Make sure you are using the regulator included with the product. This burner will not operate correctly with other regulators. To ignite the burner, simply turn the regulator slowly clockwise. When you hear the gas flowing, immediately ignite the gas through the burner ignition hole.

Fine-tuning the flame

Once the burner has ignited, you will adjust the regulator and air damper to reach the desired heat setting with the red knob on the regulator and adjust the flame quality with the air damper. You do not need to have the regulator fully open to reach maximum power. Looking at the flame through the flame-inspection hole, turn the air damper until the flame is slightly yellow. Then, slowly turn it back until the flame turns pale blue (the yellow will be gone) and is still touching the nozzles in the burner casting. If the flame lifts off the nozzles, or you hear a low grumbling from the flame, it is getting too much air through the damper and you will need to close it slightly. If it is yellow, there is not adequate airflow and you will need to open the damper. As you increase the gas flow via the regulator, it may be necessary to readjust the air damper. Note that optimum heating speed and efficiency can only be achieved with a properly adjusted flame. And again, you do not need to have the regulator fully open to reach maximum power.

Accessories

TopTier™ Accessories

This bracket will allow you to mount your Therminator™ wort chiller in a multitude of positions and locations.

Utility Shelf

A smaller version of our shelf tier allows you to mount panels and accessory equipment on your stand. It can be used with the three main tiers and other accessories.

Size: 10" X 10"

Weight limit: 50 lbs.

March 809 Pump Bracket

This bracket and drip shield allows you to mount the industry-standard March 809 pump, shown here mounted horizontally. It can be mounted LH or RH facing.

March 809 Pump Bracket (Vertical)

The universal mounting holes also allow for a vertical mounting configuration.

Natural Gas Conversion (Stand)

TopTier™ burners run great on natural gas. This orifice can be purchased to replace the orifice included with the stand. A propane regulator is not needed.

Natural Gas Conversion (Floor)

For our floor burners, you will need the natural gas orifice and this needle valve, sold as an optional attachment for your floor burner.