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Old 08-28-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default Essentials/bonus for a brew kettle?

What are the essentials for a brew kettle?

and

what are the things that are NICE to have on a brew kettle.

1) Sight Level -obviously nice to see what volume is in the kettle before/after boil.

2) Thermometer? Is this necessary for just a boil kettle?

3) SS Ball valve w/ barb. Nice for draining

4) Screen connected to ball valve drain. Useful? or does it get blocked if you use whole leaf hops vs pellets/plugs?


Basically building my own kit and was curious if it's worth it to go for Boilermaker/Polarware/Megapot 40 qt and drill to have drain etc put in.

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibumdc View Post
What are the essentials for a brew kettle?

and

what are the things that are NICE to have on a brew kettle.

1) Sight Level -obviously nice to see what volume is in the kettle before/after boil.

2) Thermometer? Is this necessary for just a boil kettle?

3) SS Ball valve w/ barb. Nice for draining

4) Screen connected to ball valve drain. Useful? or does it get blocked if you use whole leaf hops vs pellets/plugs?


Basically building my own kit and was curious if it's worth it to go for Boilermaker/Polarware/Megapot 40 qt and drill to have drain etc put in.
Essentials:

1. Handles

2. Lid

Everything else, to me, is in the "nice" category.

1. I use marks on my mash paddle to tell how much wort I have.

2. Not necessary for some, but since I chill in the boil kettle I need one. I just have a long-stemmed dial thermometer that clips on the side and tells me when I'm <70F.

3. I drain it by picking it up and pouring. This also ærates; 2 birds, etc.

4. If the beer is low in inclusions like hops, I just pour it all in the fermenter. If there's a lot, I have a big SS strainer I pour the wort through (this also helps ærate).

As you have probably gathered by now, I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle when brewing. I have no particular reason or desire to change, either.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #3
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I guess I should have said no funny business.


Handles? We don't need to stinkin' handles!
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:26 PM   #4
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For me, a ball valve (I use brass) and pickup tube are essential. I don't ever want to pick up and pour another full kettle.

Thermo might be nice if you use an IC. I don't, so I never need to know what the BK temp is.

I've got sight glasses on my MLT and HLT. Using beersmith calculations I can get within a qt on my final volume. Good enough for me.

Most filter screens clog. Giant hanging hop bags are the way to go.

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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I wouldn't life a full pot either. Ball valves are not expensive and good to have. Thermometers are pretty unnecessary, but useful with an IC as said above. I've never used a hop bag and I don't think I'll start. All my hops were whirlpooled and left behind. What made it into the fermenter was never a big deal. The system I am brewing on now has a screen and a diverter plate and I've never had issues, even with pellet hops.

Oh, I don't think a lid is necessary either. I've never used one.

Summary: Pot and ball valve would be about all I'd need.

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