Part 2, Brew Pots

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Of my old (stove-top) system, I salvaged a 10 Gal Polar Ware Pot. I use it for heating sparge water. It has worked well and is well worth the cost, although if I could go back in time I would have purchased a 15 Gal pot instead. The 10 Gal pot is fine for heating water, but you canít boil 10 Gal of wert in it. So youíre restricted to 5 Gal batches. I elected to upgrade to a larger boil pot. Doing some research I found that many home brewers use old kegs for boil pots, and some use them for sparge tanks and lauter tuns as well. It seems there are two ways to get a keg that you can convert for brewing. The first is to through a keg party and keep the keg afterwards. You will forfeit your deposit in going this route. There is also a ethical reason not to go this route. You deposit is a promise to return the keg and by keeping the keg you are breaking that promise. Some say that the deposit does not cover the production cost of the keg, thus keeping one that has been rented to you is theft. So, how do you get a keg in an ethical way? Breweries that use kegs occasionally have some that develop leaks or otherwise are no longer of use. They sell these off to distributers that modify them for the home brew market. I purchased my keg through a California based company the goes by the name CHI. They have on-line order capability, but often are out of stock. I took a chance and placed an order with them. A few days later I received a confirmation that my keg was in and was being sent to the weld shop to have NPT connections added. Unfortunately, it took 4 weeks to get two NPT connectors welded on. The admin personnel at CHI did not return my request for information until I called their office. They had issues with their weld shop. I finally received my keg this week. It has a lot of sediment and debris in it, but Iím confident that it can be cleaned out. The welds look solid, inside and out. Iíll clean them up a bit more to verify they are free of cracks. I installed a ball lock with a female quick connect and a thermometer to finish it off. Part 3, Sparge Water Tank and Lauter Tun (Comming Soon)

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February 12, 2012  •  02:02 AM
I have been trying to decide which way to go for a one time investment of a quality brew pot. I do believe the 15 gallon route is the way to go. Any size batch will work in it, at least homebrew sizes that is. I really would like to go with a keg, but finding one "ethically" seems near impossible. Also, I not willing to take out a second mortgage on the house to get one either. What to do, what to do???
November 4, 2012  •  11:14 PM
Port-D-B, you should (have) call(ed) some local craft breweries, and ask(ed) about the damaged kegs that are waiting to go to scrap. In Boston, those guys try to help us out. best of luck, thanks for stickin to the rules.