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Old 08-31-2013, 09:36 PM   #1
bmathews
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Default brew kettle

Hi guys I'm looking to buy a new kettle and looking for suggestions. As of now I do extract brewing but will prob grow into all grain some day. I like the ball valve option and welded if possible. I was also wondering if anyone haf hear of spije brewing they make kettles and fermenters



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Old 08-31-2013, 09:45 PM   #2
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I see Spike brewing all of the time on Craigslist. I was always worried about the quality of the kettles, but their work looks solid. Amazon has a lot of reasonably priced kettles. There are quite a few aluminum kettles that are pretty good size for a reasonable price. I am planning on buying this one in a few weeks.
I have a bayou classic 15.5 gallon SS and it has worked pretty well.

You can definitely install your own ball valve if you are ok with non-welded fittings.



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Old 09-01-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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Spike brewing pushes their products on this forum quite a bit. I use the same kettles that they offer but I installed my own weldless fittings. They are good quality economy kettles. If you want a welded economy kettle I think spike is a fine choice. You can find the same kettles on amazon and they are sold by other home-brew equipment suppliers but spike is the only one I've seen offering the welded option as the steel is fairly thin. I guess that makes it more difficult to weld (I know next to nothing about welding).

What size were you looking for?

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Old 09-01-2013, 01:19 AM   #4
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Watch homebrew finds, they often post great kettle deals. No point paying non-sale prices.

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Old 09-01-2013, 01:49 AM   #5
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Im not sure either a 10 or 15. Im only soing 5 gallon batches now but I may do 10s in the future

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Old 09-01-2013, 02:00 AM   #6
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I also like the pots that are taller then they are wide

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Old 09-01-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
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KaTom Restaurant Supply has the Polar Ware 361BP kettle for $174.87 + shipping (http://www.katom.com/002-361BP.html). The 361BP is made in the U.S. and sports a U.S.-made ball valve, which is a killer deal at $174.87 because everything else in this price range is made in China. The optional Howe-manufactured Polar Ware 5015 thermometer can be had for $17.78 (http://www.katom.com/002-5015.html). Howe charges $50.00 for a non-OEM version of this thermometer on their website.

I owned an older incarnation of the 361BP kettle back before I took an eleven-year hiatus from brewing; therefore, I naturally migrated to the 361BP when I recently decided to re-enter the hobby. Unlike a fuel wasting keggle, the 361BP will pay for itself over time in fuel savings because it has an efficient one-to-one height to diameter ratio (i.e. it was designed to boil liquid, not serve beer). The latest incarnation is even nicer than the old version of the brew kettle in that the 1/2" ball valve nipple on the bottom has 1/2" NPT female threads on the inside of the kettle, which allows one to install a boil screen. One had to use a false bottom that sat above the outlet on the older version of the kettle if one wanted a boil screen (I use whole hops).

With that said, I believe that the 361BP is not long for this world; therefore, if you think that one may want one of Polar Ware's American-made kettles, now is the time to place one's order. Polar Ware was recently acquired by Vollrath. It looks like Vollrath is planning to use the Polar Ware brand name to sell import restaurant kitchenware, stock pots, and brew kettles (the economy Polar Ware kettles that are in most homebrew shops today are imports). I owned a Vollrath 10-gallon kettle as well, but I had to pay someone to weld a nipple onto that kettle. Polar Ware was the first commercial-grade stainless steel stockpot manufacturer to offer pre-built brewing kettles. Unless one moves to brewing bigger batches or takes a break for the hobby and sells all of one's gear like I did, the 361BP will be the last kettle that one will need to buy; therefore, heed the old adage and buy once, cry once!

By the way, never purchase a high-quality stockpot from your local homebrew store. Restaurant supply houses are a much better source for commercial-grade stockpots. The 361BP sells for $300.00 in my local homebrew store. KaTom is selling the same product for $174.87. That price delta represents a $125.00 middleman markup.

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Old 09-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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This is a great deal:

http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2013/08/16-gallon-bayou-classic-kettle_29.html

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Old 09-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoWBrewer View Post
The OP wants a kettle with welded fittings. The Bayou kettle uses bolt-on bulkhead fittings. Bayou's brew kettles and fittings are on pages 13 and 14 of their catalog (http://www.thebayou.com/Pages/Print_files/Catalog%282013%29%20Email.pdf). Most of Bayou's stuff is made in China.

KaTom sells the American-made Polar Ware 601BP 15-gallon kettle for $214.47 + shipping (http://www.katom.com/002-601BP.html). It uses the same optional Howe-manufactured OEM thermometer as the 10-gallon 361BP. The thermometer fitting and the ball valve nipple are factory welded to the kettle on the 361BP and the 601BP.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyAmateurZymurgist

The OP wants a kettle with welded fittings. The Bayou kettle uses bolt-on bulkhead fittings. Bayou's brew kettles and fittings are on pages 13 and 14 of their catalog (http://www.thebayou.com/Pages/Print_files/Catalog%282013%29%20Email.pdf). Most of Bayou's stuff is made in China.

KaTom sells the American-made Polar Ware 601BP 15-gallon kettle for $214.47 + shipping (http://www.katom.com/002-601BP.html). It uses the same optional Howe-manufactured OEM thermometer as the 10-gallon 361BP. The thermometer fitting and the ball valve nipple are factory welded to the kettle on the 361BP and the 601BP.
Thanks for link. I am in the market for a kettle myself. I always prefer American made. It is so rare these days that I almost stopped looking.


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