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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Moving to full-volume boils... 8 or 10 gallon kettle?

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #11
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I have an 8gal pot and if I'm not vigilant during the boil, it would get incredibly messy in no time. Fermcap and a fan are my best friends when it's time for a hop addition. Go as big as you can afford. A valve is a requirement though.

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:18 PM   #12
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or this:
http://www.instawares.com/stainless-steel-master-cook.wdi-sst60.0.7.htm?view=list

or this
http://spikebrewing.com/collections/15-gallon-stainless-kettles/products/15-gallon-home-brew-kettle-1-coupler

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #13
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IF you're set on going with purchasing the kettle, then go at least with a 10 gallon one. IF you're handy though, and have even a few [pretty] basic power tools, you can go the keggle route. Then you have plenty of room to brew whatever you want. Keep in mind, when you want to brew something bigger, you'll probably want a longer boil, so you'll need more capacity. Going too small now means you'll either be limiting yourself on those batch sizes later, or you'll need to get another kettle for those batches.

I started off with making my own 8 gallon [aluminum] kettle before getting a 10 gallon Blichmann BoilerMaker. I then made keggles to use. I sold the first boil keggle, making a replacement (configured a bit differently). I also made my keggle mash tun (made that before either BK). Since going that route, I wouldn't purchase a pre-made kettle in the 10-15 gallon size range. IMO, a keggle is a better idea. Especially if you can score a base keg at a reasonable rate (which you can do if you know where/how to look).

If you're interested in going that route, PM me and I'll send details.

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:45 PM   #14
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Get a 20 gallon!

I do nothing but 11 gal batches (2 carboys full) now. It literally only takes about 20% more time to make 50% more beer per batch! You can also make 5-6 gal batches with a 20 gal pot. Another benefit is a larger pot is actually more efficient on your large propane burner so I can actually heat my mash water in about 15 minutes and bring my 13 gal preboil runnings to boil in another 15 minutes!

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:55 AM   #15
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Wow, lots of feedback! Just to be clear, I really don't have an interesting in brewing larger batches... I have trouble consuming everything I make now. I do want to brew more, different beers, and higher quality beers. Based on that, it sounds like 15-gallon kettle or a keggle is the best option....... And I do like the looks of shiny keggles..... Hrm....

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Old 10-23-2012, 01:46 AM   #16
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I upgraded to a 10-gal megapot at the beginning of the summer and love it. Now, I do BIAB, so maybe for a multi-vessel system something else might be better, but I feel like anything bigger and I wouldn't be able to do 2.5 or 3 gallon batches without really messing up my volumes. And I like the flexibility to do 5.5-6 or 2.5-3. I'm also in your boat where I really am brewing more than I can consume in a reasonable amount of time.

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:30 AM   #17
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I really, really like the act of brewing, so I got a 5-gallon pot in which I have started doing 1-gallon biab. It is a lot if time for 5 or 6 bombers, but I love to tinker with recipes and I don't feel bad about dumping a batch if it goes south.... Tons of flexibility with that kind of set up, for sure.

I have found my small-batch beers to be far superior to my partial-boil 5-gallon batches... There are probably lots of reasons for that, but I figure having the ability to directly scale-up recipes with little or no proportional change will remove at least one variable. The complexity of this very simple process is remarkable!

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:30 AM   #18
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Just thought I'd chime in here on the 8 gal vs 10 gal kettle as I was grappling with this same decision about two months ago. I ended up going with a 10 gal pot with thermometer and ball valve ... I have zero regrets. I think with an 8 gal kettle you're going to risk boil overs, but an additional item to think about is how you're going to bring this to a boil. My 10 gal kettle sits nicely on my stovetop covering two burners (both the left-side or both the right-side, I have four electric burners) with just a bit of burners not covered by the pot. I put both of the burners on high and it takes about an hour to bring a 5.5 gallon batch up to boiling, much more than 6 gallons or so and you probably want to use a propane turkey fryer or something. If the kettle were any wider it would be unwieldy - any taller and it would start to get very close to the microwave hood. So for me, the 10 gallon size was an excellent buy. It sounds like I'm in your same position, I have trouble drinking all the beer that I make - so the capacity and functionality of a 10 gal kettle was perfect for me and sounds like it may be right in your wheelhouse as well.

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:36 AM   #19
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Hi megadave: Good point on the shape... I will be using a bayou classic sq14, which on 3 gallon boils takes about 22 minutes to get to a full boil from cold start. If I go with a keggle, which has a different height/width ratio than my current pot, I will have to refigure all my system characteristics.

So to summarize the feedback so far: 10 gallons minimum, 15 maximum, ball valve absolutely required, thermometer nice-to-have.

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakelyc View Post

So to summarize the feedback so far: 10 gallons minimum, 15 maximum, ball valve absolutely required, thermometer nice-to-have.

Thermometer isn't needed. It's a boil, or it's not. Unless you want to use it to check temp of wort being chilled..

Sight glass would rate higher on my list than a temp reading, but you might find it useful.
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