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Old 10-27-2011, 04:50 AM   #1
dest149
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So I just realized I have quite a problem on my hands. I don't have a brewing kettle. I have one that is stainless steel, and it seems big to me (so big in fact that I never use it because I feel its wasteful of water and takes forever to heat up) but I was measuring it out and I put a gallon in it and it was already half full or almost there, so its either a 2 or 2.5 gallon stock pot. I imagine this won't work even for a partial boil? My only question is, why does it mater how much water I use in my partial boil if it is all going to go to the primary anyway? Well, what I was wondering is, can I still use this. If not (probably the case), how much should I spend on a new one, and where could I buy a new one in person, because bed bath and beyond doesn't have them in that size I don't think, and I don't know where would be the best place to look for that sort of think. Maybe Macy's or Sear's? I know there is the online option but my kit comes in on Friday and I wanted to start brewing by Saturday, or Sunday the latest so shipping would be pretty expensive I imagine. Any suggestions?

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Old 10-27-2011, 04:54 AM   #2
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http://www.target.com/p/IMUSA-32-qt-...r/-/A-10910892

aluminum I know but its cheap and gets you going. Otherwise check walmart for turkey frying kits - they have big stainless pots this time of year.

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:14 AM   #3
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Can you use a 3.5 gallon stock pot? Or if I am already going to buy a stock pot, should I just buy a 5 gallon stock pot? It just seems really really big.

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:30 AM   #4
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Surely you have some kind of homebrew supply store(s) in Miami. A Google search found one called Brew Box Miami that you could check out. I'd be surprised of there aren't others as well. Nearly all of them that I have dealt with have some kind of economy line of brew kettles. The place I usually deal with here in Minneapolis has a 5-gallon Stainless Steel "Polarware" economy kettle on-sale for $28.99. That's a good price and would be more than big enough for any 5-gallon batch using malt extract as a base.

Good luck!

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:38 AM   #5
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You can use a 2, 3, 4 or 5 gallon kettle for homebrewing, you just have to adjust your recipes accordingly. Why does it matter about the size of the boil and the amount of water even though it is all going to the primary, because of the hop utilization in the amount of water you are boiling. Less boil water usually means more hops for example. Check out howtobrew.com, great source of info for beginners! Also, just my opinion, but if you are going to buy a "nice" kettle, go bigger than you think you need, once you get hooked on brewing you will not have to upgrade again for awhile.

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:45 AM   #6
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If you're going to but a specialty kettle anyway, why not invest in one that can handle a full boil? You just can't boil 5 gallons of wort in a 5 gallon pot.

If you believe in the mantra "buy right, buy once" I'd suggest a 7 or 8 gallon pot to do 5 gallon batches. My local restaurant supply sells heavy-duty 8 gallon aluminum pots with lids for around $50. I bet yours does, too.

Of course, if your stove can't get 5 gallons of wort up to a boil, you could still do partial boils in the big pot until you save up for a propane cooker.

And because you asked, yes it can make a big difference to do a full boil. You can still make acceptable beer with partial boils, but if you even suspect that brewing might be your thing, think seriously about dropping a Hamilton on a new pot.

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:47 AM   #7
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Heh, I meant a Harrison, not a Hamilton. Sorry.

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:18 AM   #8
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I agree with muthafuggle in most cases. If you see yourself getting significantly deeper into this homebrewing thing, it's better to buy for the future rather than waste money on equipment that may be just barely what you need now but will only be collecting dust in a few months. On the other hand, if this is a brand-new hobby, or if someone gave you a kit as a gift or something, and you aren't sure that it's gonna be your "thing", maybe getting just the bare essentials makes more sense.

Just keep in mind that anything less than about a 6-gallon kettle will limit you to brewing with malt extract and specialty grains. I would strongly urge anyone considering all-grain brewing to get at least an 8-gallon (32-quart) kettle.

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Old 10-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #9
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Might want to look around on Craigslist as well, but in that case I'd be looking to specifically buy from another brewer. I'm actually about to put up my kettle and convert a keg for my next/final kettle. Lots of people get in to the hobby, invest in the equipment to start up, then drop out...their loss may be your gain!

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Old 10-27-2011, 01:22 PM   #10
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You don't need a shuttle size pot to do partial mash. You only use 1-1.5QT of water per pound of grain. Starting with extract partial boils,our SS stock pots in 4 & 5 gallon size are plenty,are polished,& will last a long time till/if we go to AG. In partial mash,you're still adding extract to get to your recipe's OG.
We found a set of 4 nested ss stock pots with lids & steamer trays,all polished,at Giant Eagle on sale for $25. I took the 20qt (5G) one for brewing,& gave the rest to my wife. She now keeps the 4G pot clean to brew with. It'll actualy come to a boil easier than my 5G pot. I love the polished SS! Way easier to keep clean & beautiful.
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