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Old 12-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default Sanke's vs. BrewPots

I am currently in the process of gathering all information and materials to begin my basement build. I am very curious how a sanke is better than a brewpot or vice versa. Don't get me wrong, the Blichmann's are rather awesome, but heavy on the wallet. My grandfather is a career welder and a well respected one at that, so the welding isn't an issue. If you had access to the resources I have (plasma cutter, welder, free labor) just have to bring the beer to enjoy with gpa, including 3 excellent conditioned Sankes for a total of $60, what would you do? Can you seriously tell me that I would go wrong is doing my build with sankes?

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Old 12-25-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
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Kegs with no hesitation what so ever.

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Old 12-26-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
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From someone who is referenced in EVERY SINGLE electric brewing thread. I can probably take that as a hint. I've been reading.

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Old 12-26-2012, 03:27 AM   #4
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Kegs with no hesitation what so ever.
Always been a kettle user, mind if you expand on this reasoning a bit? Mainly cost based decision?
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:37 AM   #5
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You don't need to go with welded. The only welded item on my current boil keggle is the TC ferrules for my sight tube. Next one I build will go weldless again.

I'd build a system using sanke kegs in a heartbeat. Provided they're large enough for the volumes you'll be making. IME, they're good for up to about 12 gallons into fermenting vessel (normal OG range). They also work just fine for 5 gallon batches.

One thing I'll also mention is you really don't need thermometers installed in any of them. I didn't install one on my current boil keggle (and don't expect to in the future either) and removed it from my current mash tun keggle (no plan on installing one in the next mash tun keggle I build either). I use a Fluke 52II thermometer, with 4" long type K sensors that can be submerged without issue for our temperature ranges. I simply drop one (or two) into the mash tun when heating the strike water (direct fire with propane), put it back in once I've doughed-in, check on it from time to time, and don't worry about it. One less thing installed on the keggle to worry about getting bumped and such. You can use a long stem, instant read thermometer (digital being preferred, just get a good one) to do a similar job. Being able to check the temp in multiple places is of more use than having a fixed spot thermometer.

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Old 12-26-2012, 03:59 AM   #6
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Not necessarily cost based, but when checks and balances are considered, why wouldn't I go sanke when they are readily available, for WAAAAAYYYY cheaper, and everyone on here that uses them are pleased with the outcomes of their brews. That's all, just kind of testing the waters of the congregation here.

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:00 AM   #7
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they are all 15.5 gallon sankes, I am wanting to up my batches to 10 gallon batches.

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:02 AM   #8
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i didn't think about using just a good digital one. although the welded/stationary ones are nice for constant temperature monitoring

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
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they are all 15.5 gallon sankes, I am wanting to up my batches to 10 gallon batches.
Then go for it. I've found I like going weldless for things like the ball valves (and dip tubes). For one thing, you can install a 1/2" NPT to 1/2" compression fitting directly into the ball valve (through the keggle wall) without any need for a bulkhead fitting. I've done it and it works great. Then just get/make the dip tube so that it picks up from where you want. I have the tools to make the dip tube go where I want (can bend them as needed). If you have access to a pipe bender, that can do 1/2" OD stainless pipe, then just do that.

There's tons of people on here brewing 10 gallon batches in 1/2 barrel sanke keggles (with mash tuns and such). If it wasn't a great option, you'd have tons of negative posts about doing it, or people would be warning you about it when you asked. That's not the case, at all.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
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i didn't think about using just a good digital one. although the welded/stationary ones are nice for constant temperature monitoring
Less useful, IME, than you think. You get the reading from ONE spot in the mash tun. Temperatures can vary across the entire mash volume. So, the reading from the bottom 1/3 of the mash tun will be different from the top 1/3, or even the other side of the mash tun (across from the thermometer). For me, all future mash tuns will be without dial thermometers installed. When I go to batch sizes that are above what fits in keggles, and are under a muti-barrel system, I'll request that the thermometer NOT be installed. With my thermometer setup, I can take a reading from the false bottom all the way up to just below the surface of the mash. IME/IMO, far more valuable information that way. Plus you can easily calibrate a quality digital unit. The normal dial thermometers you see (for our brewing level) have an adjustment screw on the back. All that does is move the face to get the reading closer. I would just save the funds from getting three of those, and use it towards a much better system. If you have the funds, get a Fluke 52II. If you want, I can PM you the link for the sensors I use on brew day.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
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Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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