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Old 02-10-2012, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default What size Kettles do I need?

Not having very much luck finding this answer in the forum.

I want to build myself an all grain brewing system (3 tier) to start creating my own recipes. I'm relatively new to the home brewing world.

I was wondering if anybody could tell me what size kettles I need for the various stages. I would like to make a maximum of 15 gallons (I plan on splitting the finished product between up to 2 additional friends). Obviously I need a boiling kettle of around 20 gallons to accommodate any foaming during the boil. But I'm pretty sure I dont need two additional 20 gallon pots for the mash kettle, and the water kettle.... or do I?

I found a post that sad you need roughly 1 and 1/4 quarts water for every pound of grain in the mash kettle.... but I havent even started looking at how much grain goes into a recipe (I'm still a few months out on this project). I know I need to read and study more on this, but I'm trying to figure out a price range to build myself one of these units so I can get a better idea on when I can make this a reality. If anybody could help me, that'd be great.

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Old 02-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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Just get it over with.
http://www.homebrewing.org/55-Gal-Bl...t-_p_1149.html

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Old 02-10-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
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It really depends on how strong of a beer you want to brew. With a mash tun equal to your batch size you can produce a roughly 1.065 beer @ 75% efficiency. Whether or not that is adequate you and your brew buddies will have to decide.

Or go with what mux suggested

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Old 02-10-2012, 01:07 AM   #4
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Go here and click the Sizing Guide tab.

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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I was in the same boat and went with the 20 gal pots.The main reason was the 20 gal pot aren't that much more the the 15's.

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:30 PM   #6
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If you intend to brew maximum size of 15 gallons and dont want to brew something like 15 gallons of barleywine, I think the ideal kettles (on a budget) would be as follows:
15 gallon HLT, 15 gallon MT, 25 gallon kettle (~100qt)

For reference here is a thread about MT size:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/
you can simply take the "max gravity" for 5 gallons, subtract 1 and divide by 3 for a 15 gallon batch (approximately)
i.e. 15.5 gallon (keg) MT: 1.183 = (1.183-1)/3 =~.06 so 1.060 max starting gravity.

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Old 02-10-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Most grain bills are 10+lbs. per 5 gallons. I advocate mashing in something at least the size of your batch, so 15g. in your case. That gives you some space for displacement...but slightly bigger would be even better.

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Old 02-10-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Get the largest one you can buy. If you use the rule of thumb of 1.5 qts per Lb and the average grain bill is around 10-15 Lbs then the minimum to allow for boil off should be about 16 gallons to make a 15 gallon batch. Boil off will be something you have to kind of guess at till you get some experience with you specific equipment. If you can get a bigger pot then that would be better since you strike water can be sitting in the mash tun while your heating youre sparge water and you wont be delayed because of witing for water to reach the right temp. Once you boil you will lose a bit thus the minimum 16 gallon figure. 20 is better if you can afford it to minimize boil over issues and wort loss. Just my .02 and I'm still a newby but have been studying all the stuff to build a sculpture for all grain here. And for the record Stainless is the way to go....but the prices really hurt. Bigger is better, no matter what. you can always partially fill a container, but it will never hold more than it size allows.....
Bob

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Last edited by Rbeckett; 02-10-2012 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Misread OP Gallon requirement. Sorry
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbeckett View Post
Get the largest one you can buy. If you use the rule of thumb of 1.5 qts per Lb and the average grain bill is around 10-15 Lbs then the minimum to allow for boil off should be about 16 gallons to make a 15 gallon batch. Boil off will be something you have to kind of guess at till you get some experience with you specific equipment. If you can get a bigger pot then that would be better since you strike water can be sitting in the mash tun while your heating youre sparge water and you wont be delayed because of witing for water to reach the right temp. Once you boil you will lose a bit thus the minimum 16 gallon figure. 20 is better if you can afford it to minimize boil over issues and wort loss. Just my .02 and I'm still a newby but have been studying all the stuff to build a sculpture for all grain here. And for the record Stainless is the way to go....but the prices really hurt. Bigger is better, no matter what. you can always partially fill a container, but it will never hold more than it size allows.....
Bob
Anything much smaller than 20 doesnt leave room for a) boils longer than 60 minutes, b) prevention of boil overs, so 25 is really a more reasonable number.

Also: The stainless aluminum issue has been discussed to death, realistically the way to go is what you can afford/gets the job done.

Additionally, Really you need no more volume in your hot liquor tank than your desired final boil volume, as you can heat your sparge water during the mash if you dont use a direct fire mash system.
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