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Old 10-18-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
ljforster701
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Default Stout Brew Kettles

Just wondering if the Stout Brew Kettles are worth the money. Currently do extract but will be moving to AG. Looking for equipment that's going to last. Am I better off buying equipment that will do 10 gal batches from the start meaning 10 gallons worth or beer or buy something that results in 5 gallons worth of beer. Don't really want to spend the money twice. Thanks in advance

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:18 PM   #2
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I don't know anything about Stout kettles, but I think from reading various threads on HBT that there are lots of good brands out there- Polarware, Blichmann, Brewhemoth's Penrose Kettle, etc. Me, I just use a cheap 30 qt SS Proctor-Silex pot. It was my starter pot 4 years ago, and has made the transition from extract to AG just fine.

The other question here, which you seem ambivalent about, is going to 10 gallons. I thought about it at one point, but decided against it. You brew 10 gallons, you have to drink (or have someone else drink) 10 gallons. In the meantime, storage space is tied up. A normal person can handle 5 gallons of beer in a pot or fermenter without resorting to pumps, lines, valves, etc......I can continue to apply the KISS principle. And, as the brewer at a local brewpub remarked to me, "You learn more brewing 100 5 gallon batches than you do brewing 50 10 gallon batches."

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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I have that same proctor-silex pot and recently tried to buy a second to do side by side 5 gallon batches. I started kegging and supplying my family with kegs so needed more output but wanted to stay lifting and pouring without having to go too pumps.

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Old 02-02-2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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I have ordered a 45 gallon Kettle from Stout. I have two of their Conical fermenters (14.5 and 27 gallon) and I love them. One comment I would make is to stay away from weldless fittings. I have two Blickman pots (10 and 20 Gallon) and they both give me fits over the weldless fitting as it always leaks. I discovered this the hard way when I had filled my 10 gallon with distilled water the night before a lager brew. I came in and all my distilled water was on the floor. I have replaced the O rings, tightened the nuts, and generally cussed them out. Stout is weldless and also has ball valves that are easy to clean.

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Im not sure how much stout kettles cost, but there probably more expensive than a bayou classic SS pot, and in regards to the weldless fittings you can always have a coupler welded onto the bayou pot. BUT there is something sexy about those Stout kettles, I really dig the tall and small (in diameter) look of them. OP I think Rico567 nailed it on batch sizes, I am the only beer drinker at my house and space is limited. I have 2 5 gallon cornys plus a 2.5 gallon corny on tap and that is plenty for me, even with friends drinking it. Just means I have to brew more, but I wont get sick of the beer.

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Old 02-05-2012, 04:46 AM   #6
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Stout's tanks are the only "off-the-shelf" solution I'd consider. Anything that involves threaded fittings (whether a weldless system, or welded on NPT fittings) is going to simply be harder to effectively keep sanitary than tri-clamp fittings.

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Old 02-05-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdjohns1 View Post
Stout's tanks are the only "off-the-shelf" solution I'd consider. Anything that involves threaded fittings (whether a weldless system, or welded on NPT fittings) is going to simply be harder to effectively keep sanitary than tri-clamp fittings.
Why do you need your boil kettle sanitary? When you boil the wort in it you will effectively sanitize the pot to the same degree as the wort.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Why do you need your boil kettle sanitary? When you boil the wort in it you will effectively sanitize the pot to the same degree as the wort.
Because there are various microorganisms out there which can do nasty things even after being exposed to boiling conditions.

Botulism is one such thing - C. bot spores can survive boiling conditions, and until there's enough alcohol developing in the wort, they could grow.

There's another nasty little fellow out there called Bacillus cereus - it can produce a neurotoxin that can even survive a sterilization process, even if the bacteria are killed off. Suppose you get a little bit of trub or something caught against a weldless bulkhead's gasket and you miss it when you clean after making a batch. A spore of B. cereus ends up there. It starts growing, eating what it can, cranking out its toxins, and then runs out of food and new spores go dormant. If you hit it with some Star-San before you brew, it might kill the spores, but the toxins could be left behind, and make it into your next batch.

Effective sanitation requires a few elements:

1) Sufficient time exposure to temperature and/or chemicals.
2) All surfaces must be free of visible product residue before you even start chemical sanitation.
3) Mechanical agitation (whether sprayballs in a tank, scrubbing by hand, or by high-velocity fluid flow)
4) All equipment must be designed with no points that can harbor contaminants. That means surfaces must be smooth (generally, equivalent to a 180-220 grit finish or better), with no sharp corners or crevices that are difficult to clean. By default, that excludes threaded fittings or weldless assemblies unless you tear them down and manually clean everything. Hose barbs too, unless you take the hose off the barb. When you buy sanitary hoses (and you pay big $$$), you get something with tri-clamp ends that has the hose material joined with a stainless insert that has a very smooth, flush transition.

Plate heat exchangers can be sanitized effectively with a CIP system, provided that you're filtering out your trub pretty well, and you've got a lot of flow. A March 809 with minimal head loss would be marginal for the plates we all use. The "throw-it-in-the-oven" method would be OK - 350F for long enough would be enough to even destroy spores and heat-stable neurotoxins.

At work, we've got a milk pasteurizer (basically, a plate heat exchanger that's 2x6x6 feet) that runs about 120 gallons/minute during production. At the end of the day when we CIP, there's a booster pump that takes the flow up to more like 300+ GPM to get the mechanical agitation in the plate needed to clean effectively.

Sorry for the brain dump - food safety is something that is a very serious subject at work.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Right. I do take apart the valves and clean between each batch. Meaning they get just as "sterile" as my wort as they see the same temp for the same time. Also, if your only welding a bulkhead into the kettle and and screwing a valve on you still need to disassemble an clean.

Edit: I apologize I realise this is incredibly off topic. Stopping now.

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Old 10-03-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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Has anyone had bad welds on their stout equipment? What was wrong and how did you have it repaired?

I was excited about my shiny kettle, but all of the fitting welds leak.

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