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Old 06-13-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
BeerFan21
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Default From stove top to propane burner upgrade

Hello all!

I am an extract with grains brewer and am still cooking in the kitchen. I
currently use a 20qt (5 gal) brew kettle and typically boil 3 gal and then add 2
gal of water to the fermenter. I am very happy with the results so far but am
looking for places to make improvements where possible (without moving to
all-grain). My idea is to get a propane burner and larger kettle so that I can
boil my full wort all at once as well as move my "production facility" to the
patio or garage which would also make the wife happy. I was at Lowe's and found
a propane burner but then there were a few choices of kettle sizes - 30 qt (7.5
gal), (42 qt (10.5 gal), 60 qt (15 gal). What size would make the most sense?
The 30 qt would suffice for now but then I was thinking long term and that maybe
the larger sizes would be useable in an all-grain setup? Thoughts? Opinions?

Thanks!

- Guy

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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You can do a full boil for a 5 gallon batch in a 7.5 gallon kettle, but you will be fighting boil-overs all the time. Go with 10 gallons. You'll be happier in the long run.

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Old 06-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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Yea I have an 8gal and it's fine, but a 10gal would be much better. I have to watch it like a hawk at first.

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Old 06-14-2009, 01:31 AM   #4
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Bigger may be better- but I'm doing my first AG batch on Monday, and I'm doing it in my 30 qt. SS brewpot. I had some doubts about the size, but after going through as brewer's assistant to my son on his AG batch of porter using exactly the same size and brand of pot, I'm confident that I won't have any trouble (this is starting the boil with a solid 6.5 gal.)

I plan to back off on the fire as soon as a boil is reached. I see neither the need nor the desirability for the "volcano" boils shown on some of the You Tube videos. This means that as the hot break occurs, the foam is easier to skim off. Of course, I've got some Fermcap-S as insurance.

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Old 06-14-2009, 02:13 AM   #5
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How do you chill the wort now ? With the 2 gal addition, it speeds up the cooling by mixing in the colder water to the wort.

If you goto full boil, you will need some kind of chiller. The partial boil method has worked for me, and has saved much time, esp chilling.

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Old 06-14-2009, 10:16 AM   #6
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I am fortunate in having a well that puts out water at the 55F ground ambient, and so I can use a plain 25 ft. copper immersion chiller and have a full 5 gal. boil <70F in 15-20 min., depending on how much I stir it.

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