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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > kettle question
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #1
danomy
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Hi this is my first post on this forum!
My situation is
-I live in a small apartment and would like to buy as little equipment as possible.
-I'm unsure whether I will be able to brew outside or be confined to the stovetop.
-I will be starting out with a partial mash/BIAB, with the possibility of moving AG BIAB.

I've been shopping around looking at pots like this
http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-...ef=pd_sim_ol_1

but the other day I found a deal for a 50 quart SS pot for $79.99 (sorry its a local restaurant supply store, w/ no website). Only reason I didn't buy it on the spot was
-I will be starting off cooking on the stovetop and I don't know if stovetops can handle that kind of volume (or if I'll ever need it)
-The metal is thin and I don't know how good the handle rivets are.
-Does the gauge of the pot matter for homebrew?
-It's a massive pot stored in a small apt.
-It won't fit in my sink I'll have to get a wort chiller.

The 50 quart is only 5$ more than the 36 quart. Is bigger always better for kettles? Does anyone know of a better deal or better pot for my situation?

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
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Heating a large pot on a stove can be tricky. If it is a standard electric or glass top stove, you probably have no chance of getting 10 gallons to a boil. You may even struggle with 8 gallons. If you have a gas stove with a power burner, you should be OK.

The 36 qt will still let you do full boils for five gallon batches.

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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My electric stove can only really handle about 3.5 gallons at a somewhat rolling boiler.

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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I would very highly doubt your stove-top can bring that to a continuous rolling boil. If you can still get the 50 qt. for $5 more... that's a no brainer, I would definitely take that route and go ahead and look for a good burner. I'm sure if the kettle is used in the restaurant industry, it can handle homebrewing. If you can lift it, full of liquid, and the rivets feel rigid... I wouldn't have any second guesses about it. As for the a stand-alone burner, I use the SQ-14 and love it. That's my 2c.

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danomy View Post
-It won't fit in my sink I'll have to get a wort chiller.
Seems like the extra $5.00 is going to cost $50.00 after buying a chiller. I use a 33qt pot for 5½ gallon batches. A good 35qt pot will always come in handy. A cheap 50qt? not so sure but if you have to store a large bot with minimal space, I would look more at the Bayou 35.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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I have a coupla months on you but I'm a noob also. I bought a 24 QT stock pot with my beginner stuff and quickly out grew it. I found I wanted to go bigger as soon as I found DB's partial mash/stovetop all grain thread. Luckily I still have use for it for my "sparge"pot with his method but I went ahead and bought a used 10 gallon and can get a rolling boil for 5 1/2 gallons on my gas stove top. My advice would be bigger is better, im a little pissed at myself for having to buy a new kettle so soon even though I now have a use for both.

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Old 05-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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Ok so the consensus sounds like the 50 quart. Would it be possible to do 5 gallons AG on a big beer using a BIAB? (not to sure of the grain bill or water requirements) using that pot spread across two stovetop burners? or is a propane burner the only way?

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Old 05-06-2011, 12:23 AM   #8
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Well if you see a consensus is the 50qt I think you are looking at this thread different then I am.

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Old 05-06-2011, 12:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danomy View Post
Ok so the consensus sounds like the 50 quart. Would it be possible to do 5 gallons AG on a big beer using a BIAB? (not to sure of the grain bill or water requirements) using that pot spread across two stovetop burners? or is a propane burner the only way?
I'd be really surprised if you could boil 6 gallons on an electric stove. Do you have a big pot to test it with before investing in the new boil kettle? Otherwise, a propane burner IS the only way. You also need a way to cool the wort. You'll never cool 5 gallons of boiling wort from a propane burner without an immersion chiller or another type of chiller. You can try an ice bath, but in my experience (have an engineer friend who helped with the math, also) it takes 42 pounds of ice to chill 5.5 gallons of boiling wort to 65 degrees.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danomy View Post
Ok so the consensus sounds like the 50 quart. Would it be possible to do 5 gallons AG on a big beer using a BIAB? (not to sure of the grain bill or water requirements) using that pot spread across two stovetop burners? or is a propane burner the only way?
You need more BTU's to do that sort of brewing. Like Revvy said, most stoves will boil 3.5-4 gallons OK. In order to BIAB all grain you need about a 44 qt pot and a burner to heat that much water. For a big all grain beer you would need over 8 gallons of water to start off with..... so I would get the bigger pot and an outdoor propane burner if that's really what you want to do.

I would also recommend a buying a chiller or building one if full boils are the direction you decide to go.

You might as well spend the cash and do it right the first time vs. being dissapointed the first time and spending the money eventually anyway.
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