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Old 11-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
the75
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Default Which Brew Kettles should I buy for my HERMS Stand?

I'm leaning towards paying out the nose & buying these from Morebeer, but they don't list the exact type of stainless used, just saying it's "food grade": http://morebeer.com/view_product/8423/103458/Heavy_Duty_Brew_Kettle_-_With_Ball_Valve_60_Quart_15_Gallon

I could save A LOT of money & buy this kettle (18/8 Stainless): http://socalhomebrew.com/accessories/kettles#!/~/product/category=3027577&id=16012558

With the Morebeer kettles, I'll get a ball valve & the interior is threaded with 1/2" female NPT making future modifications easy. While not pictured with the other kettle, it will come with a bulkhead fitting similiar to the Blichmann kettles, bringing the total to $160.

I guess the main question I have is how big of a difference will the two valves be? Ball valve or bulkhead fitting...
I do also like the extra 1/2" fitting that's plugged on the Morebeer one, since I'm going to be whirlpooling.

Thoughts? Opinions?

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Old 11-11-2012, 03:42 AM   #2
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Go with whichever one makes you happy. That's what I would do.

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the75 View Post
I'm leaning towards paying out the nose & buying these from Morebeer, but they don't list the exact type of stainless used, just saying it's "food grade": http://morebeer.com/view_product/8423/103458/Heavy_Duty_Brew_Kettle_-_With_Ball_Valve_60_Quart_15_Gallon

I could save A LOT of money & buy this kettle (18/8 Stainless): http://socalhomebrew.com/accessories/kettles#!/~/product/category=3027577&id=16012558

With the Morebeer kettles, I'll get a ball valve & the interior is threaded with 1/2" female NPT making future modifications easy. While not pictured with the other kettle, it will come with a bulkhead fitting similiar to the Blichmann kettles, bringing the total to $160.

I guess the main question I have is how big of a difference will the two valves be? Ball valve or bulkhead fitting...
I do also like the extra 1/2" fitting that's plugged on the Morebeer one, since I'm going to be whirlpooling.

Thoughts? Opinions?
Would you be converting the cheaper kettle yourself? If you've got a drill, the step bit and some time, you could make that kettle weldless with whatever options you like. Alternately, you could look at spike brewing as I think they're taking that exact kettle and welding in fittings and reselling. I don't have any direct experience with them, only have considered shopping there for a new BK.

I know everyone on the forums is all jazzed about whirlpool fittings, but after someone showed me the easy way to do a whirlpool with a spoon, I wouldn't bother with one. It just seems like an intensely complicated and expensive way to replace a very small and very short amount of labor.

A ball valve fitting with the option for a side pickup is ideal. I also like having a sight glass, but some don't. For what it's worth, I'm all weldless and if I were to do it again, I'd probably prefer welded fittings...but not enough that I've lost any sleep over it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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I just ordered a Blichmann myself and I was looking at pots from $100 on up.


Here are a couple things where it boiled down to in no particular order. Some may seem trivial but with my own personal workings with stainless steel products and passion with cooking and cookware.

1. Handles- To me it was important how the handles were attached, riveted, screws or weld. In cookware this is important as welds are nice but often crack with repeated use and temperature changes over time. Screws tend to work loose and higher risk of bacteria, leaving good heavy rivets the best option for securing the handles and minimizing chance for bacteria to build up.

2. Polished finish- Some people criticize it as pretty bling butt high luster finishes are just easier to clean. Blichmanns just seems like a higher luster finish between the available photo's I saw.

3. Adjustable angle Thermometer- I like the idea of not having to stoop to see the thermometer and I like Blickmanns Brewmometer even though I do not currently plan on using this kettle as a mash tun.

4. Shielded sight gauge- It's just another easy check system and even though I can figure volume with a ruler from the top down...my wife is going to brew with me and I want to make it easy as possible for her and it's a safe bet she will use the kettle for other things as well that may need the guage. While available as an add later. I really would not want to have to go buy the step bit to cut holes in the kettle and or risk screwing it up.

5. Dip tube- I have a hop strainer so I need to get every drop out of the bottom that I can and would want this.

6. Price- By the math I was doing to buy a competitors kettle and add everthing I would have been at or over the price Figuring
15 Gal Pot $190
3pc valve $35 (Northern Brewer)
Adj Thermo $73 (Northern Brewer)
Sight Guage $53 (Midwest Supplies)
Dip Tube $15 (adventured in home brewing)
Neiko Step Drill Bit $13.94 (Amazon)
Total $379.94 without shipping costs

I figured by the time I added shipping I would be at about the same or a little more.


So in the end it came to weighing in on overall cost for what i wanted, customer satisfaction reviews and if I wanted to mount the sight gauge myself.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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FYI, the Socal homebrew kettle is even cheaper on ebay.

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fosgate View Post
I just ordered a Blichmann myself and I was looking at pots from $100 on up.


Here are a couple things where it boiled down to in no particular order. Some may seem trivial but with my own personal workings with stainless steel products and passion with cooking and cookware.

1. Handles- To me it was important how the handles were attached, riveted, screws or weld. In cookware this is important as welds are nice but often crack with repeated use and temperature changes over time. Screws tend to work loose and higher risk of bacteria, leaving good heavy rivets the best option for securing the handles and minimizing chance for bacteria to build up.

2. Polished finish- Some people criticize it as pretty bling butt high luster finishes are just easier to clean. Blichmanns just seems like a higher luster finish between the available photo's I saw.

3. Adjustable angle Thermometer- I like the idea of not having to stoop to see the thermometer and I like Blickmanns Brewmometer even though I do not currently plan on using this kettle as a mash tun.

4. Shielded sight gauge- It's just another easy check system and even though I can figure volume with a ruler from the top down...my wife is going to brew with me and I want to make it easy as possible for her and it's a safe bet she will use the kettle for other things as well that may need the guage. While available as an add later. I really would not want to have to go buy the step bit to cut holes in the kettle and or risk screwing it up.

5. Dip tube- I have a hop strainer so I need to get every drop out of the bottom that I can and would want this.

6. Price- By the math I was doing to buy a competitors kettle and add everthing I would have been at or over the price Figuring
15 Gal Pot $190
3pc valve $35 (Northern Brewer)
Adj Thermo $73 (Northern Brewer)
Sight Guage $53 (Midwest Supplies)
Dip Tube $15 (adventured in home brewing)
Neiko Step Drill Bit $13.94 (Amazon)
Total $379.94 without shipping costs

I figured by the time I added shipping I would be at about the same or a little more.


So in the end it came to weighing in on overall cost for what i wanted, customer satisfaction reviews and if I wanted to mount the sight gauge myself.
Great post! Thank you so much for all your insight. It really helps. Since I'm having to buy a MT & HLT too, the total difference between all Blichmann & the heavy duty kettles would be $340. The HLT on morebeer comes with a sightglass, so I should be able to dial in my process enough through that only one sightglass is needed for me to get the right volumes. I think you've persuaded me to spend a little more, but not quite sure I can crank it up to the super shiny, top shelf Blichmanns...then again...they do look pretty...
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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This forum has an obvious tilt towards the DIY and while that's great if you've got the time, tools and effort to get something right...it doesn't take long before you find a thread where someone is hopelessly trying to figure out a solution to some self-inflicted DIY problem.

Sometimes a turkey solution is the best option. You pay extra for it, but you're also buying piece of mind.

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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This forum has an obvious tilt towards the DIY and while that's great if you've got the time, tools and effort to get something right...it doesn't take long before you find a thread where someone is hopelessly trying to figure out a solution to some self-inflicted DIY problem.

Sometimes a turkey solution is the best option. You pay extra for it, but you're also buying piece of mind.
I've undertaken a few DIY projects with this hobby & while successful, I've come to realize that I'd rather pay a few dollars more for someone with experience to do it right the first time. I'll be "the man's" huckleberry if it gets me brewing faster. I am however installing my own automated gas & electronic control system on a brutus 10, but I'm also letting someone weld the unit. Half n half.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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If you haven't already take a look at our products

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #10
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I would stay away from more beer. Go with spike, they have great customer service and excellent prices.

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