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Old 01-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
matt514
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Default what size kettle should i get for all grain 5 gallon batches?

i am currently doing extract brewing in a 5 gallon kettle. i want to step up to all grain brewing (5 gallon batches), i plan on either buying or building a 10 gallon cooler mash/lauter tun(could go with a 5 gallon MLT but i eventually want to brew some DIPAs and Barleywines so i think ill need the 10 gallon. as far as the kettle, i could probably get an 8 gallon, but will i ever get in a situation where that will not be enough for doing a 5 gallon batch? also, with my current kettle, there is no spigot so i pour into a strainer. when i eventually get my bigger kettle with a spigot for draining into the fermentor, what is the best way to strain out the spent pellet hops? i heard the false bottoms and some screens dont work so well and it winds up getting clogged right away.

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Old 01-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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8 gallon kettle is plenty. the mash tun is what is bigger if you are making higher gravity beers. I drain kettle through mesh bag in a funnel on the way to the fermenter. False bottom is on the mash tun. The kettle will only have dip tupe that really will not clog with pellet hops. Only thing that I have had clog the dip tube are tea bags or bittter orange peel.

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Old 01-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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I have an 8 gal kettle and wish I had a 10 or even a 15 so I could do ten gallon batches. Mine short and wide instead of taller and skinnier, so I boil off a lot during my boil. I did one batch in my 8 gallon without fermcap s and from now on I will use it every time. A must have, IMO, doing all grain batches in a 8 gallon kettle.

Overall it works fine though. The only time I run into trouble is if I am doing a lighter beer that requires a 90 min boil, but part of that is because my kettle likes to boil so much off.

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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If you're doing all grain 5gal batches the smallest I would recommend would be a 10gal kettle. If you plan on doing barleywines than maybe even a 15gal. Do you ever see yourself doing 15gal batches? Many people buy the 10gal kettle not thinking ahead and 3 months down the line purchase the 15gal.

As for FB and screen for hops.... They won't work. They are meant for grain not hops. Blichmann and a few other companies have hop blockers. A mesh bag will also work well and make for an easy clean up.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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honestly, i dont ever see myself getting into making 10 or 15 gallon batches, but i guess you never know. but i think everyone has convinced me to get the 10 gallon kettle, now its just a matter of convincing my wife, haha. thanks for the help guys.

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Old 01-19-2013, 09:40 PM   #6
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I only make 5 gallon batches but use a 15g kettle. When you account for trub and evaporation rates you could start a boil with around 8 gallons. And you'll need some head space for that hot break. A 10 gallon kettle would make me nervous about a boil over.

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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ok, and let's say i did want to eventually step up to 10 gallon batches, would a 15 gallon kettle allow me to do that? or would then the 15 gal kettle be too small?

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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Should work for some beers. Some bigger beers will most likely put you over the 15 gallon kettle. But, do you really need 10 gallons of barleywine at one time?

I am planning on gettin a 15 gallon kettle. I took the recipes that I like to make and ran the numbers on them for 10 gallon batches. All of my favorites would fit in a 15 gallon kettle, according to the numbers.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:43 AM   #9
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dont go less than a 10 gal pot for 5 gallon batches. I do 10 gallon batches in 15.5 gallon half barrels and it works for the most part. Still have to keep an eye for the boil to start and be careful as I usually have close to 13 gallons in there. Ill usually throw some ferm cap in if I have a lot of wheat in a recipe.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:49 AM   #10
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I have a 15-gallon keggle for 5-gallon batches and it's nice. I used to use a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer and it was borderline unusable. I had to use fermcap to even be able to get a boil going, and boilovers were a common happening. Wouldn't recommend anything less than 10gal; 15 gal is better.

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