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Old 09-24-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
Dave258
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Default Turkey Fryer Question

I just stopped at home depot to price some pipe to mak an IC. I saw they had a Turkey Fryer for $69. I think it was like a 36 quart pot with lid and even a thermometer. Don't remember the BTU's, and don't know if the pot was Aluminium or stainless.
Has eneyone seen this? Will this get me out of my house and off my electric stove? For only 69 bucks?
If I do use it, what is the best ball valve set-up for draining, and to use for a CFC instead of a IC?
Would I really need a pump to circulate, or can I just heat up strike water, mash in cooler, heat sparge water on stove, dump into mash, drain into kettle?
Another piggy back question ( i am very excited that this may work on the cheap side), watching many videos on the net on all grain brewing. How do you make the set-up people have hanging in the kettle to hold the hops? It looks like a piece of pvc pipe with a grain bag, but not sure.
Thanks for all the help!
Dave

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Old 09-24-2009, 08:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dave258 View Post
I just stopped at home depot to price some pipe to mak an IC. I saw they had a Turkey Fryer for $69. I think it was like a 36 quart pot with lid and even a thermometer. Don't remember the BTU's, and don't know if the pot was Aluminium or stainless.
Has eneyone seen this? Will this get me out of my house and off my electric stove? For only 69 bucks?
If I do use it, what is the best ball valve set-up for draining, and to use for a CFC instead of a IC?
Would I really need a pump to circulate, or can I just heat up strike water, mash in cooler, heat sparge water on stove, dump into mash, drain into kettle?
Another piggy back question ( i am very excited that this may work on the cheap side), watching many videos on the net on all grain brewing. How do you make the set-up people have hanging in the kettle to hold the hops? It looks like a piece of pvc pipe with a grain bag, but not sure.
Thanks for all the help!
Dave
A 36 quart pot will do you just fine for 5 gallon batches. Aluminum or stainless makes little difference, so you should be ok. You just have to be able to drill a hole in it and get a weldless bulkhead and a ball valve and you'd be ready to go.

A good immersion chiller will be fine. No need for a pump.

As for the hops bag, I think they're pretty much what you described, but I've never used one so someone else can answer.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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I bought a kit like that and it has served me well for almost 2 years now. I grew out of the aluminum kettle that was included, but the burner I still use every brew day....works great. The kettle I sold to another home brewer just getting started.

At first, I didn't even use a pump. A 5 gallon batch is light enough to man-handle by yourself, and super easy with a friend. But it is not hard to drill a 7/8" hole and install a weldless ball valve kit from BargainFittings.com. An immersion chiller works great, and is probably the cheapest way to go but I prefer a CFC with a pump. As for the mashing, I repurposed an old 5 gallon drink cooler and put a copper tube manifold inside with a brass ball valve. Whole thing cost me maybe $20 since I just had the cooler lying around. It was a pretty ghetto setup, but it really worked great and made very good beer so who cares. I have since moved to 10 gallon batches, but for 5 gallon batches that little cooler was a perfect fit. The only thing it couldn't do was really big all grain beers, I had to add DME to bring the gravity up.

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Old 09-24-2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice!
So for a counterflow chiller, you need to use a pump? It will not work with gravity? The pumps I've looked at are pretty pricey. In time I will get one, I am just trying to spread the cost. I just started brewing two months ago, and already added tons to my equipment. I am trying to do this on the cheap to start out.
Dave

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Old 09-24-2009, 10:31 PM   #5
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I built a counterflow and used it with gravity before I bought my pump. The only problem is I had to lift my full boil kettle above the CFC so it could gravity feed it and have the CFC high enough to gravity feed the carboy. It's doable but a total pain so you're probably better off with an immersion chiller.

I also bought a turkey fryer setup similar to the one you saw when I first started all grain. I eventually switched to a keg as a boil pot and got a banjo burner but have never had problems with the fryer and still use it as my HLT.

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Old 09-24-2009, 11:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info!
I love this site!
Dave

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:20 AM   #7
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turkey fryer will be great, and no need to welt a port or ball valve. I have one and do 5+ gallon boils with no issues. Just get some good hot mits and pick it up and pour into your primary with them. I use my IC and cool the wort in the aluminum pot, so it's almost cooled down enough to touch with bare hands, just don't trust my hands to hold it if they start to get a little too warm so i use the mits.

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Old 09-25-2009, 01:56 PM   #8
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Turkey fryers are awesome.

You don't need a pump. I use an Immersion Chiller with mine, and then siphon into my fermenter....this allows me to aerate while I siphon, (search "cheap aeration gadget").

You can run a CFC with gravity alone, however it's a lot trickier than an IC, because it's tough to sanitize the entire inside of the CFC. If you do it with a pump, you recirculate hot wort without running cooling water for 5 minutes to sanitize the inside of the CFC. Without a pump, you have to flush it with starsan first. To sanitize an IC, you just drop it into your wort at flameout (or 10 minutes before flameout, whatever you prefer).

The Hop Bag is super simple, I made one last week. I bought a 6" CPVC coupler, (5 bucks), some threaded rod (3/8"), and some nuts. Other people do it with a 4" coupler and some 6" carriage bolts. For the bag itself, buy "5 gallon paint strainer bags"...they are usually around $2 for 3. Use a hose clamp, binder clamps, or your own design to hold the bag on the PVC coupler.

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Old 09-25-2009, 02:03 PM   #9
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A turkey fryer will work very well, but don't expect the thermometer to be of any use for brewing. They are just not accurate enough for that.

A CFC will require gravity but it's not hard to lift 5 gallons. At least not for me. That said, an IC would eliminate that requirement and they do a fine job of cooling as well. Maybe not as quick as a CFC, but most people use them and make great beer. Plus you get the benefit of cooling the whole wort down at the same time, whereas with a CFC you are only cooling the part that goes through the coil, so what is in the pot stays hot until it gets drained.

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Old 09-25-2009, 03:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info on the hop bag shorty! That is exactly what I was looking for!

Dave

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