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Old 07-30-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
dismantle360
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Default Blichmann 20Gal Boilermaker

I am so stoked I cant wait till it shows up. Just ordered it from my LHBS

SWIMBO said go get it and its been gotten. MUHAHAHAHA

My first batch will hopefully be next weekend to christen the pot if it shows up.

Will let you all know my thought's.

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Old 07-30-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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You are a lucky bastard.

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Old 07-30-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
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That is a great pot. Congrats!

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:13 PM   #5
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I just can't get over how expensive they are. I think I'd be looking for a cheaper solution.

For example, I bought a 102 quart (25.5 gallon) stainless steel crawfish pot for $212 (they are now $219). It came with a boil basket (not needed for brewing) and a lid. I could add a Brewmometer and a three piece 1/2 inch stainless valve and two full 1/2 inch weldable couplings for $60, plus another $50 for having a welder drill holes and weld the couplings for me. I personally don't like sight gauges so I wouldn't bother with that.

My total cost ends up being under $325 plus whatever I pay for shipping or tax. Let's say $350 and I end up with a 25 gallon brew pot instead of a 20 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker that costs $398. I can do 20 gallon batches in my pot that wouldn't be possible with the 20 gallon Boilermaker.

My crawfish pot is 1mm thick, which is closer to 19 gauge than the 1.27 mm thick 18 gauge Boilermaker, so the Boilermaker is slightly better. That's the one thing I don't like about all these big pots. They use thin metal. 14 gauge (2 mm) would be really nice, and 16 gauge (1.5 mm) would be adequate.

Consider the 142 quart Bayou Classic stock pot. It is 16 gauge 1.5mm thick metal. It is 35.5 gallon capacity. It costs $350. Spend another $110 as in the previous example to add thermometer and valve, compare your $460 cost with the $509 cost of a 30 gallon Boilermaker, which is still only an 18 gauge pot even at that size.

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Old 07-30-2008, 11:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk View Post
I just can't get over how expensive they are. I think I'd be looking for a cheaper solution.

For example, I bought a 102 quart (25.5 gallon) stainless steel crawfish pot for $212 (they are now $219). It came with a boil basket (not needed for brewing) and a lid. I could add a Brewmometer and a three piece 1/2 inch stainless valve and two full 1/2 inch weldable couplings for $60, plus another $50 for having a welder drill holes and weld the couplings for me. I personally don't like sight gauges so I wouldn't bother with that.

My total cost ends up being under $325 plus whatever I pay for shipping or tax. Let's say $350 and I end up with a 25 gallon brew pot instead of a 20 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker that costs $398. I can do 20 gallon batches in my pot that wouldn't be possible with the 20 gallon Boilermaker.

My crawfish pot is 1mm thick, which is closer to 19 gauge than the 1.27 mm thick 18 gauge Boilermaker, so the Boilermaker is slightly better. That's the one thing I don't like about all these big pots. They use thin metal. 14 gauge (2 mm) would be really nice, and 16 gauge (1.5 mm) would be adequate.

Consider the 142 quart Bayou Classic stock pot. It is 16 gauge 1.5mm thick metal. It is 35.5 gallon capacity. It costs $350. Spend another $110 as in the previous example to add thermometer and valve, compare your $460 cost with the $509 cost of a 30 gallon Boilermaker, which is still only an 18 gauge pot even at that size.
I'm not sure you are making a good argument that your 'crawfish' pot is 'cheaper solution'. The Boilermaker pot at your own admission is only $50 more and you DO get a sight tube along with a better engineered product. 3-piece ball valve, off set handles, chamfered bottom, seamless ports for thermometer, valves, etc. The fact that you dont like or use the sight tube isn't to say it is expensive. It may be slightly less on paper, but I don't think you are comparing apples to apples.

I am not saying they are cheap by any means, but I looked hard for less expensive alternatives and if you are buying a stainless steel pot and keeping everything stainless, by the time you add all the valves, thermometers, sigth tubes, etc., the Blichmanns aren't really that out of line unless you are using kegs for tuns and kettles.

I have the 15 G mash tun and a 20 G boil kettle and I have no regrets purchasing them. I would do it again and highly recommend them. They function flawlessly and clean up amazingly.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:42 PM   #7
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Maybe it is apples to nectarines, but the crawfish pot would work out better for me. I probably ought to leave it at that.

I would not want a sight gauge, so for me it makes sense to omit it if I'm building my own. It is a "con" against the Blichmann on the "pro / con" checklist for me, if I were weighing alternatives.

The exact same 3-piece valve Blichmann valve ($30 from William's Brewing) and Brewmometer ($30 from Austin Homebrew), comes to $60 as I said, and you could beat that by about $5 by using an equally good non-Blichmann three-piece valve, and by $10 using a non-rebuildable valve. Frankly, I have both types and I have never had a reason to want to disassemble my three piece valves. I have to tighten it now and then so it doesn't leak, unlike my non-rebuildable valves that don't have that problem.

Perhaps I don't understand the value of a chamfered bottom. They say it supports the optional false bottom (useful in the mash tun), but I think that is not a big deal, IMO.

What is a seamless port? If I drill a hole in a keg or a crawfish pot, it is also seamless. Are they using rubber grommeted bulkhead fittings? If so, that is not an advantage over a welded coupling.

The crawfish pot has 5 more gallon capacity.

Finally, is $50 cheaper or not? If you can weld sanitary fittings in stainless yourself, it is $100 cheaper. How about the advantages of the thicker steel and greater capacity still with a savings of $50 if you step up to the next size (142 qt = 35 gallon crawfish pot vs 30 gal Boilermaker).

Multiply the savings by three pots HLT, MLT, BK, and it's $150 or $300 if you happen to be able to weld the couplings yourself.

In the long run it isn't such a big deal one way or the other. I'm glad you like yours. I do happen to think the snap in drains and the false bottoms are super snazzy.

Edit: Oh, I forgot the offset handles. Well, if I turn my crawfish pot 90 degrees before drilling and put the holes under one of the handles, voila.

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Old 07-31-2008, 08:51 AM   #8
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You have a great SWIMBO, and I'm sure she never let's you forget it.
Fighting the rising wave of nasty green jealousy. (I live in an apartment, and that stuff just will not work with my wonderful naggers, I mean neighbours.

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Old 07-31-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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That's awesome and it's a piece of brewing equipment that you'll never need to replace.

Congrats!

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Old 08-01-2008, 01:56 AM   #10
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Congrats, you will enjoy immensely, I have enjoyed mine. As soon as my Brutus project is built, I will add two more.

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