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Old 04-09-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
zythe84
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Default Brew Pot Quality?

My main question is: How important is brew pot quality?

Recently I bought a Progressive International brand 30 qt. stainless steel brew pot from my local home brew supply store. It cost $105, and comes with a 5-year warranty. Seems like a pretty good quality pot (the box boasts of 18/10 polished stainless steel).

However, I am transitioning to all-grain brewing, and was at Dick's Sporting Goods last night looking for some kind of camping stove. While I was there, I found a complete turkey fryer set including a 30 qt. SS brew pot, a propane stove, thermometer, etc. It was 89.99, so I bought it.

My dilemma is this. Is it worth keeping the expensive brew pot, and trying to sell the cheaper 30 qt pot online, or should I return the expensive one? Even the one that came with the camping stove seems and looks pretty nice, but I just don't know what defines quality in a stainless steel pot, other than that it holds liquid and gets hot.

Any advice would be great...

Thanks,

JBL

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
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If you are transitioning to AG, then you are going to need at least 2 pots since during the sparge you will collect your runnings into one pot and boiling sparge water in another. The second pot can be smaller, but it's your call...more capacity always comes in handy it seems.

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:04 PM   #3
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Well if quality isn't an issue, then couldn't I just return the $105 pot, and buy another turkey frying set (pot and stove included) for $90?

Hmmmm....

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:07 PM   #4
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You should check home depot too, they have a complete turkey fryer setup from Bayou Classic for 49.99.

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
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If you are transitioning to AG, you will definately want a larger pot. 30-qt is barely, just barely, big enough to pull off an AG batch.

I'd return or sell the expensive SS pot and use the proceeds to buy a 15-gallon aluminum stock pot (mine cost $70). Keep the turkey fryer pot to use for heating mash/sparge water.

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:16 PM   #6
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IMO, the only real concern is that the pot is sturdy enough to withstand drilling for either a welded or bulkhead valve, and maybe a thermometer fitting. If it's sturdy enough for that, it's likely thick enough to eliminate any concerns about hot spots/scorching (which are less of a concern with full-wort boils, anyway).

Since you're starting from scratch, though, I'd suggest a bigger pot than 30Q. I know lots of people here use them for AG brewing, but they do take more attention (to avoid boilovers) and limit the OG of your brews somewhat (big OGs typically require larger sparge volumes, and thus more wort in the kettle).

If you go the turkey fryer route, probably no need to run out and buy a new pot right away...try the 30Q and see if you like it. But if you're spending for the higher-quality standalone pot, return the 30Q and get something bigger.

EDIT: yeah, like Beerthoven said

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:19 PM   #7
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Darn! The employee at the homebrew store told me that 30 qt (7.5 gallon) pot would be perfect for an all-grain brew, especially since I am only going to do 5-gallon batches...

Thanks for the advice! Where did you get your aluminum pot?

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Old 04-09-2008, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zythe84
Darn! The employee at the homebrew store told me that 30 qt (7.5 gallon) pot would be perfect for an all-grain brew, especially since I am only going to do 5-gallon batches...

Thanks for the advice! Where did you get your aluminum pot?
I got my pot from instawares.com. Its a 60-qt aluminum stock pot. You could also find a 1/2 barrel keg and convert it to a kettle. Lots of people do this.

You can do 5-gallon AG batches in a 7.5 gallon pot. The problem is, you have to watch it like a hawk so it doesn't boil over which get really tiresome. It also doesn't give you any extra room for those times when you want to brew more (say 5.5 or 6 gallons) or make a big beer, like a barley wine.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for everyones advice! Will I be able to use the 60 qt pot with the turkey fryer stove, or will I have to get a bigger burner? The stove seems big enough, I just hope it puts out enough heat...

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Old 04-09-2008, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zythe84
Thanks for everyones advice! Will I be able to use the 60 qt pot with the little camping stove, or will I have to get a bigger burner? The stove seems big enough, I just hope it puts out enough heat...
It depends on the BTUs of the camp stove. My burner puts out 55,000 BTU right now, and it works OK with the 60-qt pot. Still, I'm going to get a higher PSI regulator to increase the heat. If your camp stove is small, then you'd be well served getting a "real" propane outdoor cooker like the Bayou Classic from Home Depot.
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