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Old 12-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default kettle size suggestion

So, I know there a million of these out there, but i'd like some fresh input. I mainly brew 5 gallon batches, but would like to do the occasional 10 gallon batch. (I'll also add that my 7 gallon kettle that I've used for the past 6 years is due for an upgrade). I'm looking at getting a 15 gallon kettle (probably from Stout Tanks). Is this to big to do 5 gallon batches on?

I have a spare keggle that I could use for the "once in a while" 10 gallon batch, if it would be better to go with a 10 gallon kettle for the 5 gallon batches. I guess my main concern would be in having 6-8 gallons of wort boiling in a 15 gallon kettle would make my evaporation rate go up.

Thanks all!

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Old 12-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #2
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I wouldn't be concerned with evap rates. I would be concerned that if you're doing 6-8gal in a 15gal kettle that your thermometer might be too high to take a reading. We offer a horizontal config which alleviates that problem. I would double check with Stout on how high their thermo is placed.

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Old 12-05-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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You can just use the 'spare keggle' for your 5 gallon batches too... If it doesn't have some items installed on it, you can just add those (sight glass and ball valve are the two critical items IMO, thermometers are 100% personal choice).

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:51 AM   #4
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Don't really want to use the keggle I have as my full time kettle. Also not too concerned with a thermometer on a boil kettle.

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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I would go with a 10 gallon pot if you only want to do 5 gallon batches with it. Don't know how you're chilling, but immersions are more efficient if you can submerge all the coils. But, if you do get a 15, that should be big enough to do 10 gal batches if you don't have a crazy boil off rate. Why don't you want to use the keggle?

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgraham602 View Post
Don't really want to use the keggle I have as my full time kettle. Also not too concerned with a thermometer on a boil kettle.
Why not?? I use one for my 'normal' sized batches (~6.75 gallons into fermenting vessel to get 6 gallons out, filling two 3 gallon corny kegs). IMO/IME, using a keggle isn't an issue for even 5 gallon batches. Most of the time, you want a bit more than your target volume anyway. So, you'll have 5.5-6 gallons at the end of the boil/chill time so that you can get at least 5-1/4 to 5-1/2 gallons into fermenter, getting 5 gallons into bottles. Since you already HAVE the keggle, why purchase something else? I fail to see the fiscal logic there (never thought I'd ever mutter those words).
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
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i use a plate chiller. I wouldn't mind using the keggle on occasion, but I've found that it is a little bit of a pain. The dead space on it (even with a dip tube) is much more than my normal kettle.

I've got the money to upgrade to something like a Blichmann or a Stout, so I'm just trying to decide on a kettle that can handle both 5 and 10 gallons or a nice dedicated kettle for my 5 gallon batches.

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgraham602 View Post
i use a plate chiller. I wouldn't mind using the keggle on occasion, but I've found that it is a little bit of a pain. The dead space on it (even with a dip tube) is much more than my normal kettle.

I've got the money to upgrade to something like a Blichmann or a Stout, so I'm just trying to decide on a kettle that can handle both 5 and 10 gallons or a nice dedicated kettle for my 5 gallon batches.
I also use a plate chiller, with a dip tube in my keggle and leave less than a pint (maybe a cup) behind after it's drained. My Blichmann kettle left less, but not significantly so. Plus, I could always change out the dip tube to one that extracts almost everything from the keggle. IMO, that would be far less expensive (and take up far less room) than getting another kettle.

This shows how I have mine. I simply use the ball valve on the outlet side of the March pump to prevent issues there (during the boil)... Super easy.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:45 AM   #9
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I completely understand the logic of using a keggle and how they can be outfitted. It is just my personal preference not to use mine.

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgraham602 View Post
I completely understand the logic of using a keggle and how they can be outfitted. It is just my personal preference not to use mine.
As long as you understand that the keggle isn't limited to JUST 10 gallon batch sizes. While I probably wouldn't brew a 2 gallon batch in mine, I see nothing amiss with brewing 5 gallon batches with one. Just means you'll not have any boil-over issues/concerns there.

If you're happy dumping a couple/few hundred dollars more (where, IMO, you don't need to), then go for it. I just recently sold off my 10 gallon BoilerMaker kettle since it was only functioning as a HLT. It didn't even fit the Blichmann burner as well as my keggles do. I'm making a new HLT out of a short pony keg. I'll be able to stack that on top of my MLT and BK (all keggles) for most efficient storage space use.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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