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Old 12-25-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
zacster
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Default How big a pot for BIAB 5gal?

I'm looking to buy a brew kettle to do 5 gallon batches, and I stumbled upon this BIAB technique yesterday. I had thought about the technique on my own when I did a partial mash brew a few weeks ago, using my small pots and a fairly large amount of grain.

Anyway, what size should I buy if I want to use this method? Is 10gal big enough to do a 5gal batch comfortably? I'm looking for stove top use, and there is only so much space on top of a stove. I was originally going to buy an 8gal last year but never did, and the bug has hit me again. I somehow don't think 8gal is big enough with all the grain, although I guess I could always top off once the grain is out. I think a 15 gallon is too tall for my kitchen. My stove does have a high-output burner, but even in my smaller pots it takes some time.

So, 8, 10 or 15?



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Old 12-25-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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I would go with 10 minimum. For a 5 gallon biab no sparge you will have 7+ gals of water plus the grain. Then that will leave you about 6.5 to start the boil.



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Old 12-26-2011, 04:19 AM   #3
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10 gal will suite you nicely. I use 40 qt aluminium pot for BIAB (5 gal batches) and I brewed almost everything including 22 lbs grainbill RIS and 20 lbs Maibock. Efficency suffers a little, just compensate with more grain and don't be affraid to deviate a little from normal BIAB path, like starting with less water, sparging with more.

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Old 12-26-2011, 05:59 AM   #4
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I think I'll go with a 10 gal then. Now which one? Northern Brewer has the megapots, the Blichmann is high end, There are some high quality pots from Midwest Supply, Amazon has some. There are turkey fryers. I want a ball valve and thermometer. I'd also like a basket. There are many options, and many prices. I don't want to cheap out, but I don't want to spend a fortune either.

Maybe I'll start at my LHBS. If they have something within range I'd rather buy there.

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Old 12-26-2011, 06:30 AM   #5
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I was using an 8g pot for biab for a while. It is ok for 16lbs or less. But it will get tight and messy above that. Now its just my boil kettle. I got such a good deal on it that it made sense to get the 8. I wish i had gone with a 10g pot though.

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Old 12-26-2011, 07:51 AM   #6
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I have a Megapot, a Blichmann, a turkey fryer pot, and another generic pot. I don't like the aspect ratio of the Megapot and similar pots (e.g. Morebeer's pot) that are all probably from the same manufacturer in China. The larger diameter means you boil off faster and also lose more wort to trub, transfer losses, etc. So especially for BIAB this means you will need something like 1-1.5 gallons more liquid in there just to end up with 5 gallons into the fermenter on a typical batch. Also, at least for the 15 gallon Megapot, I feel like it's just a bit too bulky to easily manipulate when I'm trying to dump it out, clean it, etc. Whereas the narrower pots are no problem at all.

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Old 12-26-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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I'll have to look at them all again to see what shape would suit me.

And having looked at them all, I'm beginning to think the Blichmann isn't so expensive after all. Everything about it is done right, plus the calibrated sight gauge is not an easily added accessory. You get what you pay for. Probably the one drawback, and this is marginal, is that I would never use it for anything else as I wouldn't want to muck it up.

I have some Amazon gift cards, I wonder if they sell there.

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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The Bayou 15g look really good size wise and they're reasonable at around $150 i think.

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:59 PM   #9
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My wife has agreed to buy me the Blichmann as an early b-day present. They also carry it at my LBHS for the same price as everyone else, except plus tax but less shipping. I'll defer on the add-on accessories such as the hop-blocker and false bottom for now. I've been brewing without straining for years now and don't see any ill effects, and the false bottom is unnecessary for BIAB.

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Old 12-26-2011, 05:42 PM   #10
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Here's the one I use

It's a 10.5 gal(42qt) Polar ware Brew Pot, 239.99 from Austin Homebrew Supply. Here's a link
Austin Homebrew Supply

The height to width ratio is closer to a tall Blichmann rather than the wider Megapot, so you'll have less boil off. I do full volume mashes with around 8.5 gallons of water and 13 lbs of grains its filled to about an inch from the top. That's for a 6 gallon batch size of 1.053 gravity, and that's before trub loss.



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