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Old 10-31-2011, 04:05 AM   #1
CanadianQuaffer
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Default Questions for Blichmann kettle owners

Hey all,

My wife has indicated that she's willing to buy me *any* kettle I want for Christmas ...I was thinking about a 15 gallon mega-pot from Northern Brewer but since she said "any" I'm now looking at the Blichmanns.

One important thing is being able to brew both 5 and 10 gallon batches in it. I was hoping the owner of a 15 gallon Blich could tell me if 5.5-6 gallons of wort in the kettle would reach the thermometer probe.

Also (and any Blichmann owner can answer this) how well built are these? I have a 10 gallon mega-pot and am thoroughly impressed with how tough it is. Thick walls, really thick bottom, tough as nails. What's the Blichmann like in that regard?

Thanks!

Nick

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Old 10-31-2011, 04:20 AM   #2
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I have a 10 15 and 20 boilermaker. The temp on the 10 is at 4 g and is at 6.5 g on the 15. On my 10 and 15, i used a step bit and lowered the the probes so that they would be good at an HLT and Boil kettle for 5 gallon batches. I recently got the 20 because I'm doing more 10 gallon batches and they push the 15 to the top at the start of the boil. Overall they look great and perform very well. Worth the price to me.

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Old 10-31-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
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One important thing is being able to brew both 5 and 10 gallon batches in it. I was hoping the owner of a 15 gallon Blich could tell me if 5.5-6 gallons of wort in the kettle would reach the thermometer probe.
No, it would not. The standard thermo is at 6.5 gallons on the 15G kettle. However, you can move it lower...they sell a hole plug for plugging the previous hole.

I had the same dilemma. I usually do 5.5G batches on the stovetop, but wanted to do 10G batches outside in the future. However, my dreams were crushed when I realized that the 15G was too tall for my stovetop...so I got the 10G.

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Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
Also (and any Blichmann owner can answer this) how well built are these? I have a 10 gallon mega-pot and am thoroughly impressed with how tough it is. Thick walls, really thick bottom, tough as nails. What's the Blichmann like in that regard?
Honestly, I've never seen a megapot in person...I used a 30qt stainless steel $80 pot beforehand. The Blichmann is like 3 times the weight, but that's to be expected with a larger size and extra accessories (dip tube, valve, sight glass, thermo, etc.).

I really like my Blichmann. It just seems like they thought of everything and it's purpose-built. The sight glass can be cleaned in like 30 seconds with the included allen wrench and sight glass brush. I'm very happy with it.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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I have a 15 gallon. As ruffdeezy said, you'll need to relocate the temp hole for a 5 gal batch. It's nice and shiney. And I liked the stepped bottom for use with a false bottom for a MLT. And the site gauge is nice. However, I'd have a hard time justifying the cost if I had to do it again. But they do look nice.

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Old 10-31-2011, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianQuaffer View Post
Hey all,

My wife has indicated that she's willing to buy me *any* kettle I want for Christmas ...I was thinking about a 15 gallon mega-pot from Northern Brewer but since she said "any" I'm now looking at the Blichmanns.

One important thing is being able to brew both 5 and 10 gallon batches in it. I was hoping the owner of a 15 gallon Blich could tell me if 5.5-6 gallons of wort in the kettle would reach the thermometer probe.

Also (and any Blichmann owner can answer this) how well built are these? I have a 10 gallon mega-pot and am thoroughly impressed with how tough it is. Thick walls, really thick bottom, tough as nails. What's the Blichmann like in that regard?

Thanks!

Nick
You can certainly make a 5 gal batch in a 20 gal kettle but the thermometer will not be useful on a 20 gal Blichmann.

I used to use the 15 gal Morebeer kettle for 10 gal batches but I only had about 1.5" - 2" of head space at the start of boil and had to monitor it continuously until boil and hot break subsided to avoid a boil over. I now have the Blichmann 20 gal and much less anxiety. One could still have a boil over but that would be 100% pilot error.

I always make 10 gal batches except for my 5 gal December barley-wine.

Bottom line: Go larger, you can't make a smaller pot any bigger.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:40 AM   #6
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Yeah I say get the 20 gallon if you want to make 10 gallon batches. You can do it in the 15 but nothing high gravity. I use the 15 for 5.5 gallon batches but the temp probe does read the pre-boil volume which is always at least 6.5 gallons. By the time the liquid level reaches below the probe I don't need the probe, if that makes sense.

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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I have the 10g Blichmann and I have no complaints about it other than I wish I had gotten a 15-gallon.

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #8
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While I don't own any of the Blichman kettles, my buddy does and I've had many opportunities to brew with them.

Measurement info above is all good, I won't add to that.

In other experience: for general brewing, I've been very pleased with their kettles. They do all the things they're expected to do, and well. Their brewmometer is nice and easily calibrated. Sight glass appears to be accurate, and they provide good tools for cleaning them out post-brew.

The one complaint I'd make just showed up this weekend. Using the 15 gallon Blichman and the Blichman false bottom for said kettle, we mashed for a 12 gallon batch of porter. I don't recall the weight of the grain bill, but it came out to a 1.071 OG. The "foot" at the center of the false bottom actually dented the bottom of the kettle. I'm not sure if this is due to a weak bottom on the kettle, a poor design for the single support at the center of the false bottom, or some other issue, but creating that ding the first time we tried using the false bottom actually was upsetting to me - and I don't even own the dang equipment!

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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I own a few of the 15g boilermakers. They're great pots. If you're worried about the temperature probe in your boil kettle....why? It's either boiling, or it's not. You only really need an accurate temperature reading in the mash tun and HLT, right?

Besides, once you start doing 10 gallon batches, you wont go back to 5's! Whoever said you cant do high-gravity 10 gallon batches must be boiling for 3 hours or something crazy to reduce the wort. I made a 10 gallon batch of 1.080 stout last week on my rig with a 15g mash tun and 15 g kettle and had plenty of room to spare.

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Old 11-01-2011, 02:21 PM   #10
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If you're worried about the temperature probe in your boil kettle....why? It's either boiling, or it's not. You only really need an accurate temperature reading in the mash tun and HLT, right?
I do stove top brewing and I use my Boilermaker for both the strike water and the boil. I have a 7.5G HLT pot for sparge water, but I find it easier to do the strike water in my Boilermaker since it has a sight glass and thermometer.
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