For now I brew 5 gallon batches, but I my want to brew 10 gallons, so I got a 15 gallon pot. (I may have to watch for boil overs, and use Fermcap, but I didn't want 2 kettles, nor a 20 gallon kettle for 5 gallon batches).
The problem is the Brewmometer is mounted at the 6.5 gallon mark, and is not submerged, at the end of the 5 gallon boil, so I cant see the temperature when cooling with an immersion chiller. There are 3 reasons I want to know the temperature is:
1 - to stop at around 150F, so I can add aroma hops and let them sit for 20 minutes.
2 - to know when to switch to a pump that pumps in chilled water
3 - to know when pitching temperatures are reached
Here is my low tech solution to raise the wort level 2 gallons, buy 2 of these:http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=26048
I put them in (filled with water) after sanitizing them, just after I turn off the heat. The melting point of HDPE is 266F, so its ok for the minute its at 212F, because I turn on the IC right after placing them in.
They are thin, so the can fit in the pot with the IC.
Their height is good, so that the handle protrudes for easy lifting, yet they raise the wort level to the correct level, covering the thermometer probe.
They are made of HDPE so they wont leech chemicals.
I also bought this nice, but delicate, strainer (it fits perfectly in 6.5G buckets):http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=37445&catid=685&clickid=searchres ults