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Old 07-22-2009, 11:05 PM   #1
LandoCalrissian
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Default Blichmann Boilermaker for MLT/Boil Kettle/both/neither?

I'm (finally) putting together an all grain shopping list, so I can start homebrewing. The Blichmann stuff seems to be fantastic, and as far as I can tell, the only bad thing anyone has to say about it is the price.

I know lots of people would buy kegs, or simple steel or aluminum pots, and put the spigot and thermometer in, but I am barely handy enough to build stuff from Ikea, so I would rather not try to install a water-level window on my own.

I am planning on an aluminum pot for strike+sparge water, but it seems like the window and thermometer would be very useful for a MLT and a boiler, and the false bottoms (which are supposed to be good, right?) should help filter the grain and the boiled wort?

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Old 07-22-2009, 11:08 PM   #2
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The Boilermakers feature really are great for either an MLT or a Boil Kettle. The false bottoms are very good at getting clean wort, but are not suitable for boiling. They do have a boil screen to use if your Boilermaker is being used for a boil kettle.

Ed

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:07 AM   #3
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I just bought Boilmakers for all 3 of my kettles online. Then my local store told me that they could have gotten me a better price them what is posted on the Internet sites. You should ask around, they gotta have one hell of a markup that might be a bit negotiable

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcjustin View Post
I just bought Boilmakers for all 3 of my kettles online. Then my local store told me that they could have gotten me a better price them what is posted on the Internet sites. You should ask around, they gotta have one hell of a markup that might be a bit negotiable
Their mark-up is not high at all. In fact it is quite low, as Blichmann has a minimum price a retailer can advertise for their products. That is why almost every retailer sells them for the exact same price.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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You can use them for all three brewing vessels, if you wish. I did. Here's a pic:

Aside from the price, there's a few other things to be aware of:

The boil screen is useless if you use pellet hops. It will clog solid immediately.

They can be tricky to size. The thermometer probe is located way to high in my opinion, at least on the smaller sizes. It would be more useful to be right above the outlet. Not a problem for me though as I grab temps off thermowells mounted on the outlets anyway.

The bottoms are stepped, so make sure you have the kettles BEFORE you build your frame to make sure they'll be supported correctly.

Good luck!
Michael

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Originally Posted by LandoCalrissian View Post
I'm (finally) putting together an all grain shopping list, so I can start homebrewing. The Blichmann stuff seems to be fantastic, and as far as I can tell, the only bad thing anyone has to say about it is the price.

I know lots of people would buy kegs, or simple steel or aluminum pots, and put the spigot and thermometer in, but I am barely handy enough to build stuff from Ikea, so I would rather not try to install a water-level window on my own.

I am planning on an aluminum pot for strike+sparge water, but it seems like the window and thermometer would be very useful for a MLT and a boiler, and the false bottoms (which are supposed to be good, right?) should help filter the grain and the boiled wort?
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #6
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I have a 10 gallon I use as a boil kettle and for heating strike water before I transfer it to a cooler. The pot is nice, but beware that the boil screen does not play well with pellet hops. Leaf is fine, but I put all my pellets in large (4") tea balls/baskets to keep the sludge from clogging the screen.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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Thanks, everybody.

Speaking of size: the price difference for two 15gal is only a shade more than two 10gal, and will obviously give me more options, later. But just starting out, will 15gal pots be *too* big? If I want to do a simple (low gravity) 3gal batch, will it just be lost in the bottom of that huge pot, or will it be Ok?

I'm having a really hard time sorting out which size makes more sense. I read this, and it seems like 10gal is a decent bet, but if I want to upgrade later, it will cost an arm and a leg…

Thanks again.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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I've got a 10 gallon I've been using as my sole AG piece for both MLT and BK and its great. The aforementioned problem with pellets clogging the boil screen is sadly true. I put my pellets that go into the boil into large straining bags that get tied up well, and leaf goes into the kettle naked. Works great. I plan on acquiring additional boilermakers for all of my AG brewing needs.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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Would someone here PLEASE tell me the outside diameter of the punched mash tun false bottom on their Blickman, and then the size of pot it came from. Then I can sort out which size to buy to go in the pot I have....

Thank you,

Rog

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Old 07-23-2009, 07:34 PM   #10
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It won't work with anything other than the Blichmann kettles due to their stepped bottom design. It's only supported in the center by a thin rod, and then all around the circumference by the stepped bottom.

Check the Blichmann site for pics, and dimensions.

Michael


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Originally Posted by silverbrewer View Post
Would someone here PLEASE tell me the outside diameter of the punched mash tun false bottom on their Blickman, and then the size of pot it came from. Then I can sort out which size to buy to go in the pot I have....

Thank you,

Rog
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