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Old 11-02-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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Default New Help Choosing a Pot - Please

I was wondering if anyone had any comments on the Chefmate 20 QT stainless steel stock pot for $50 from Target. It looks decent and it's relatively cheap. I'm going through the same thing as others - deciding which size and which metal.

I have a kit but not the kettle yet. I just got my kit last weekend and now need to get a kettle and maybe an immersion cooler. I'm planning on partial boils at first but may go into extract full boils. No AG in the immediate future (months +, I want a few batches under my belt first).

So with that said...do I go ahead and get a 20 qt and do a few batches and then go with a 30 Qt?

Then comes the question of SS vs Aluminum.

If I get a SS 20 qt...I'll probably spend $50 or so (although I can get a good quality one - NSF listed, heavy duty, 1mm thick on from a local restaurant store for $62)...if I get an Alum pot - I'll probably spend around $40-45 with a lid from that local restuarant store but they are all heavy duty as well - 4mm thick and NSF listed as well.

I already have a turkey fryer pot - 30 qt alum and a burner...loaned from my father. But if I go SS - then we're talking close to $100 for a decent pot. Remember I'm just starting...I'll be doing extract brews for a while and not getting into partials for a while...and AG are way out. I know that some folks would say - buy what you can afford...well I can afford the larger SS (32+ qt) BUT I also don't need to spend the $ and then not use any of it or turn around and sell it a few months out because I didn't stay with it. I've thought about this so much I've paralyzed myself in deciding. I know some folks use partial boils and they are happy...some full boils and say it's better (refering to extract brews here only).

Can anyone help enlighten me? Thank you.



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Old 11-02-2011, 06:09 PM   #2
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Buy cheap buy twice...you will be over the 20qt really quick. If you plan on going to brew 5 gallon AG batches some day, or even just doing full boils you might as well try to get a 40QT stock pot. If you look around online and on CL you should be able to find something. With thanksgiving coming up there should be some good deals on turkey fryers at Home depot, sears and other places like that.

Check out the sticky about SS Vs Aluminum.



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Old 11-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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Yup - if you skimp and save money now, you'll end up buying two cheap things. Just buy a big one that you won't outgrow, and get stainless steel. Wait until you have the money saved up - you'll be glad you did..

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:13 PM   #4
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I've been really happy with the 40 Qt aluminum pot I picked up at costco business center.

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Old 11-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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If your father will let you use the turkey fryer for a few batches, why not go that route and see if you like brewing?
If yes, you can invest in some quality gear.
If not, you've only spent money on ingredients and a little bit of gear.
Just remember to clean the hell out of the fryer if it's ever had oil in it, or your beer will suck!

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Old 11-02-2011, 11:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman_48442 View Post
If your father will let you use the turkey fryer for a few batches, why not go that route and see if you like brewing?
If yes, you can invest in some quality gear.
If not, you've only spent money on ingredients and a little bit of gear.
Just remember to clean the hell out of the fryer if it's ever had oil in it, or your beer will suck!
Yes - he has a new toy for the holidays that he just got - a smoker. He only used the fryer maybe 2-3 times. I just took a look at it and it's basically spotless with exception to the top 1 inch or so of the pot near the rim. Other than that I see nothing...no stain...no oil...etc.

The thing is using the 30 qt would be over kill for a partial boil though. I'm going to start that way since many of the kits are partial boil recipes. They don't put instructions in the kits on how to adjust the hops...etc. with a full boil because they are meant for partials.

I could easily just buy a heavy duty 32-40 qt SS with a spigot and be done. But then I would also be laying down $150+ for that without knowing if I'm going to stick with it. That is why I was thinking 20-24 qt to begin with...that way if it doesn't work out...then I have a large stockpot that I could use for boiling corn...or other cooking for larger groups that come over. Currently my largest stockpot is 8 qt.

I guess I'm asking if the smaller route is the way to go considering what I'm thinking and then comes the SS vs AL....more from the view of which is better value...not so much the aluminum vs SS on the cooking of the wort.

Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:21 AM   #7
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Yeah, if you have cabinet space in your kitchen and can use a 20 quart for chili or corn and such, go for it. Or maybe your grandma or someone has a bigger pot they'll let you borrow for your partial testing?
If you enjoy partial boil, you can try a couple full boil in your dads fryer down the road.
Nothing wrong with not wanting to blow a bunch of cash on something you might not want to do long term.

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Old 11-03-2011, 02:33 AM   #8
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If you have a turkey fryer pot and burner then you're good to go. Spend that money elsewhere.

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Old 11-03-2011, 02:59 AM   #9
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This seller has good prices on stainless. There are people here on HBT that have these.
http://stores.ebay.com/Concord-Cookware-inc?_rdc=1

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly_belly
If you have a turkey fryer pot and burner then you're good to go. Spend that money elsewhere.
This. Use the turkey burner or at least the pot on the stove. It is perfectly fine to have lots of extra space!

Buying a 20qt SS pot then replacing it in a couple months seems stupid to me. Use the turkey fryer, if not buy a turkey fryer yourself, they are a great deal. Aluminum is fine, SS is heavy.

I bought a eagleware commercial aluminum pot and lid for $50 brand new on craigslist.

Search BIAB on these forums. all grain is easier than you think. All you need is a 30qt pot or bigger and a nylon paint strainer bag from wal mart.


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