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Old 01-23-2011, 03:29 AM   #1
Rich_S
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Default Brew Kettle Size

I'm currently using my turkey fryer setup as my brew kettle. I'm looking to buy something nice with a thermometer and ball valve, so I don't need to pour wort through a funnel and filter into my carboy.

Right now I do 5 gallon batches. I considered a 10 gallon kettle. But then I figured I should get something big enough to accommodate 10 gallon batches if I decide I wanted to do them in the future.

I'm looking at the Blichmann kettle. I figured a 15 gallon would be enough to handle 10 gallon batches in the future while not being ridiculously oversized for a 5 gallon batch. Then I looked on their website and saw they recommend a 20 gall for 10 gallon batch boils.

So what's the deal? Is a 15 gallon pot too big for 5 gallon batches and too small for 10 gallon batches or not?

I also searched and saw talk about people relocating thermometers for small batches, but even in the stock location, it should be low enough to be submerged in a 5 gallon batch (since I'd start with 6 gallons preboil, and the thermometer is less than a third of the way up).

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:19 AM   #2
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I boil 10 gallon batches in a 13 gallon modified keg all the time. By 10 gallon batches I mean 12 gallons of collected wort and boiling for 60-90mins (depending on what I'm brewing) I come close to a boil over with this much wort at the hot break - but it's never boiled over. I typically adjust the heat some so I'm still getting a rolling boil - but not a vigorous one til after the hot break is over. However variables include my starting SG and what my target original SG is at the beginning of the boil. Having said all of that - my opinion is that bigger is better and yes if you are dependent on a thermometer for your boil kettle - but sure the placement is appropriate for all of the batch sizes you plan to do. Hope my experience helps.

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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15 gallon would work fine for 10 gallon batches. That's why so many people use 15.5 gal. converted Sanke kegs as their boil kettles.

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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I was looking at getting a 15gal Boilermaker( I do 10 gal batches in a keg with no problems). Then I looked at the 20gal pot.

15gal Boilermaker is 368.99 the 20gal is 398.99. For $30 i'd rather have the 20gal. If you going to buy one don't buy a 10gal pot, go with 15! If you buy a 10gal you'll be kicking yourself after the first time you use it and asking youself, why didn't i buy the 15gal.

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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$400?! Gotta love the $30 Sanke BK.

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Old 01-23-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
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$400?! Gotta love the $30 Sanke BK.
I know!! I think that's why I still brew with a keggle..
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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I hate my Sanke kettle and soon I plan to shell out the $400 just to be rid of the damn thing. IMO, it will be worth every penny and more.

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Old 01-23-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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Why do you hate it so much?

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Old 01-23-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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1. It's very heavy
2. The concave bottom heats unevenly (gas fired) and precludes mounting a drain valve desirably closer to the bottom. Some type of pickup tube is usually a necessity.
3. The keg skirt remains extremely hot long after flame out which interferes with rapid cooling of the kettle contents.
4. They are ugly and only marginally less so when polished up.
5. They do not work all that well as direct fired mash tuns compared to a flat bottomed kettle.
6. They are very heavy.

I do presently have and use a converted keg kettle, but soon it will be replaced with a real 15-20 gal kettle. Probably the 20 gallon one, but I'm still mulling over which to get.

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Old 01-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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Interesting points. I'll have to think about those.

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I'll make my buddy do it with me next time. That'll make me go harder at it.
"If guns don't kill people, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?" - Ozzy Osbourne

Sent from my iPhone 6.

Canon T2i | EF-S 18-55mm | EF 28mm 1.8 | EF 50mm 1.8 | EF-S 55-250mm

3 whipped dog straights, Gillette Ball End Tech, 1959 Gillette Fat Boy

Secondary: Strawberry Melomel
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