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Old 05-02-2011, 02:05 AM   #1
hops2it
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Default Equipment question and a bit about me

Hi. Been lurking for awhile and decided to join the fray. I've been a member of many forums through the years so I DID take the time to read through several of the stickies and I must say, this site has a wealth of knowledge to be absorbed before the first question is asked.

That said, here's a very brief history of my skills...I'm a newb. I've brewed perhaps 7-8 batches, mostly all extract and steeping grains in most cases. I have a 5 gallon kettle that I've had forever and was originally purchased as a large stew pot back in the day so basically I'm in for nothing in that regard. I've typically made partial batches and topped up to 5 to avoid boilover and have done them indoors. However, the wife/kids are on my case so I'm ready to move the operation into the garage, hence my question:

I read the "full boil thread" and I think that's the route I'm ready to take. I'm here to ask for opinions on what I should purchase. Turkey fryer with supplied kettle? Burner with a better/larger pot? Money, within reason is not that much of an issue and what I DON'T want to do is buy something that I'll end up upgrading in a year. I'm kind of a guy that likes to buy or fabricate quality stuff up front and grow into my equipment if anything. Not trying to open my own brewery here but with my goals in mind...several more extract batches with some AG efforts certainly around the corner...what do you recommend for an initial boiling rig figuring that mash tun, chiller, etc are future buys at this point?

Too newb or answerable?

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:19 AM   #2
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I like my SQ-14 bayou burners. I bought one and liked it enough to buy another when I got tired of moving keggles full of hot liquid on and off my one burner. It has a big enough stand for whatever kind of pot you might get in the future. It is a good price on amazon and comes with free shipping. I would buy a thick stainless pot that is 32quarts or more though. I bought a cheap stainless one and it lasted a year then stared getting cracks around the handles. Most of the pots that come with turkey fryer kits are aluminum(bad for brewing) or thin stainless.

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hops2it View Post
Hi. Been lurking for awhile and decided to join the fray. I've been a member of many forums through the years so I DID take the time to read through several of the stickies and I must say, this site has a wealth of knowledge to be absorbed before the first question is asked.

That said, here's a very brief history of my skills...I'm a newb. I've brewed perhaps 7-8 batches, mostly all extract and steeping grains in most cases. I have a 5 gallon kettle that I've had forever and was originally purchased as a large stew pot back in the day so basically I'm in for nothing in that regard. I've typically made partial batches and topped up to 5 to avoid boilover and have done them indoors. However, the wife/kids are on my case so I'm ready to move the operation into the garage, hence my question:

I read the "full boil thread" and I think that's the route I'm ready to take. I'm here to ask for opinions on what I should purchase. Turkey fryer with supplied kettle? Burner with a better/larger pot? Money, within reason is not that much of an issue and what I DON'T want to do is buy something that I'll end up upgrading in a year. I'm kind of a guy that likes to buy or fabricate quality stuff up front and grow into my equipment if anything. Not trying to open my own brewery here but with my goals in mind...several more extract batches with some AG efforts certainly around the corner...what do you recommend for an initial boiling rig figuring that mash tun, chiller, etc are future buys at this point?

Too newb or answerable?
If I were you, I would go with a 15 gallon pot. If you do some research, you should be able to find one with any valve or thermometer for about $120-$130. I would then look for the burner online. I got a Bayou Classic SQ14 (I believe that's the model) off of amazon delivered for about $50-$60. I would however take the time and money to install a ball valve and a sight glass. It doesn't have to be done right away, but it is worth it. You would be set to make the jump to all grain short of your mash tun for about $250. I did get a 15 gallon pot from my LHBS for $122 plus tax. I would also build yourself a counter flow chiller. My system works great and what I just recommended is where I am at.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:23 AM   #4
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If you are planning on doing all grain in the future, then buy your equipment with that geared in mind. I have a 15.5 gallon keg (a used Anheuser-Busch keg), converted into a boiling kettle. It works great and can handle larger boils (for example if you want to do a 90 minute boil, you need more water). Zero risk for boil over. My propane burner isn't great. That is something I will be upgrading at a later date.

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:24 AM   #5
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I went the route of a gas burner and bigger pot. If you're going to stick with 5 gallon batches, I would get a minimum 10 gallon pot, either stainless or heavy aluminum. Either is fine for brewing, all my kettles are heavy aluminum. The 10 gallon pot makes the move to all grain very easy if you try brew in a bag.

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:36 AM   #6
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Oh, almost forgot. Welcome to the forum!

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:46 AM   #7
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I am newer too ( 2 extract batches). I bought the sq14 burner and a 7.5 gallon stainless steel pot on amazon for about $130 shipped. I love them both, but it wouldnt hurt to go to a 10 gallon pot Welcome

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Old 05-02-2011, 05:46 AM   #8
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After reading, and having one messy boilover (2 hour cleanup) I strongly suggest a 10 gallon pot if you are keeping at 5 gallon batches, but many people I read are heading to 10 gallon batches, so you might want to consider that in your purchases. I plan to spend $200 on my brew kettle alone to give you a price point. If you get a turkey fryer an idea is to use the supplied kettle as a mash tun if you are good at that kind of stuff.

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Old 05-02-2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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Definitely leaning toward a larger pot now. Appreciate the feedback so far.

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Old 05-02-2011, 11:27 AM   #10
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A 10 gallon pot, along with your existing pot, add a 10 Gal Igloo cooler Mash Tun and your set for all grain. I'd agree with the valve on the Boil kettle. My 42qt Boil kettle is fun to lift off an on any waist high surfaces. I must be getting old.

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