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Old 08-27-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Beginner brew pots for all grain setup

Hey everyone,

I am just getting into the "home brew" and after reading a lot of forums I think I want to take the curve head on and skip the extract brewing. I figure learning the hard way is a great education.

I am shopping for some brew pots, any suggestions as to which to buy and how many with what fittings? I don't want to spend $400 per kettle so please keep in mind a budget of about $100 - $250 per brew pot.

I want to do 10 gallon batches, if this is the case I think I am looking for 15 gallon brew pots?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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I've been all grain for a little while now. I'm still making batches in my crap 7.5 gal aluminum pot. I've recently been looking into upgrading my kettle as well. After much research, I have found that you should probably spend in upwards of $300 for a decent kettle. AH HE'LL NAH, I said. The ones that are $100 are made so poorly that it's not worth it. I read that on some of the cheap pots they have a sticker on them saying not to carry a pot by the handles if it is full. WHAT??? That didn't sound promising.

Cheaper solution?? What I am currently doing to upgrade my kettle is looking on Craigslist for an empty 15.5 gal keg and cutting the top off of it. Probably spend about $100 and it is heavy duty with built-in handles. Just kinda makes sense to me. Good luck on you kettle adventure.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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If you're at all handy, or have some decent tools, you can make a keggle. Hardest part, typically, is getting a good keg as the base. I found a local guy that gets them from a legit source, so I don't need to worry. I can also inspect them before purchasing one (have a few 'spare' now).

With my latest keggle build, I polished it before making any holes, or cuts, in it. Made for a much easier time polishing. I then drilled the holes, used the hole punch, and cut the top. Came out really good too.

You can get the additional hardware to do the conversion for pretty cheap (check the vendors like Bargain Fittings) depending on how far you want to go. All you really need, to start, is a ball valve, 1/2" NPT to 1/2" compression fitting/adapter, and then a dip tube. That will allow you to extract much more of the wort from the keggle than just having a ball valve installed.

I have pictures of the keggles I've made in my gallery. That should give you an idea of some of your options.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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A keggle is a great solution.

I am unfortunately not particularly handy and so opted to throw down the cash. Bought a 15 gal megapot with the ball valve and brewmometer -- both of which are great options. It is not the cheapest solution, but I figure I won't have to buy another one for some time to come.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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Found these when i was looking for a buddy

http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/05...s-kettles.html

Their sold out of the 2 spout version, but i think you could probably get by fine with just 1 for a drain, the thermometer seems fairly useless unless your going to mash in it.

As a boil pot you shouldnt really care about temperature, its either boiling or its not.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Double post...

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzeWuzze View Post
the thermometer seems fairly useless unless your going to mash in it.
Unless you are using a plate chiller, it's great for knowing when you are chilled down to pitching temp... my 2c.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmos View Post
Unless you are using a plate chiller, it's great for knowing when you are chilled down to pitching temp... my 2c.
True, but a cheap 10 dollar digital or floating thermometer works just as well because there is no time constraint and your unlikely to overchill your wort if you step away for 5 minutes, and they can be used for other things in the process.

Atleast in my mind, why spend $40 or more on an extra weld + nice thermometer that can only be used for 1 thing, when you can just spend $90 and get a Thermapen that has WAY more use in the all grain brewing process, and many outside of brewing.

Both work, its really a matter of bling factor if you want one on your pot Just throwing out other options for OP.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmos View Post
Unless you are using a plate chiller, it's great for knowing when you are chilled down to pitching temp... my 2c.
I've gotten past that. I have one thermometer right after my plate chiller, so I know the chilled wort temp. I have the sensors for my Fluke 52II that can also go into the keggle to get it's reading. Once the wort in the keggle reaches a certain temperature range, I change over and run the wort into the fermenter. No thermometer in the boil keggle. I've also removed the thermometer from my mash keggle, since it just got in the way.

BTW, the sensors I use with the Fluke 52II are far better than some floating thermometer. For one thing, I have the 52II at least a few feet away from the keggle. I don't need to reach in to get it out and a reading. I also don't need to worry about it breaking and things getting into the batch.

All the fittings in my mash tun are weldless. Only my sight glass attachment fittings are welded to the keggle. The rest is all weldless. Next boil keggle I make will be all weldless again (like it better).
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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Both good points!

For my process, I knew I wanted to do BIAB, so I opted for it. I do still use my digital thermometer too, though, for reference.

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