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Old 12-29-2011, 09:20 PM   #1
brantley
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Default Kettle size question

Hi everyone, first time posting. Been doing a lot of searching to determine whether my kettle will be large enough for what I want to do. I'm new to brewing but my buddy has been doing all-grain for a while. He uses the brew-in-a-bag method, but I'd like to include sparging. He brews 5 gallon batches this way (bag method) with a 32 qt. kettle. I just purchased a cheap turkey fryer with a 30 qt. kettle. When I brew, I want my kettle to function as the mash tun in order to do temperature mashing, which many of the recipes I've seen require. I plan on using a lauter tun sparging system consisting of two plastic buckets (one with the false bottom), which is explained in the joy of home brewing book. I also will be purchasing a wort chiller. My main concern is whether a 30 qt. kettle will be sufficient for brewing this way. I also want to make sure that I have a kettle that I can use for recipes that require high grain bills. In my reading, I'm still struggling to understand exactly how much liquid I'd be dealing with in my kettle if I use it as mentioned above. Seems like it would be OK for a 5 gallon batch, but I'm not sure. Any tips or advice is much appreciated! Thanks and enjoy the new year!

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
jspence1
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I just finished typing up a long response to your post that would have probably caused you more confusion than it would have helped. So I deleted it You should be able to do your 5g batches in that kettle.

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Old 12-29-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
KevinW
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For an average 5g batch I do 6.5-7.5 gallon boils so an 8 gallon kettle should do fine just have to watch your mash water ratio!

Good luck!

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Old 12-29-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
djfriesen
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My brother and I did an all grain ginger beer yesterday in his 32 (or 30?) qt kettle. It was a 5 gallon batch with only 5.25 lbs of grain and 3 lbs of honey for fermentables. We fought boilovers the whole time mashing at 1.5 qts/lb and sparging with about 5.25 gallons of water. Approximately 6.5 gallons preboil meant we were literally stirring as fast as we could and spraying the foam down with a spraybottle almost nonstop for 10 minutes. If we hadn't had a fellow brewing buddy show up when he did, we would have been hosed.

I recommend getting the biggest pot you can. You can always cook smaller batches in bigger kettles, but the reverse is not true. You could probably make do with a smaller kettle but you will have to mash thicker and might want to get some fermcap if you don't already use it. And you will really struggle to do bigger grainbills.

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