Originally Posted by skibumdc
What are the essentials for a brew kettle?
what are the things that are NICE to have on a brew kettle.
1) Sight Level -obviously nice to see what volume is in the kettle before/after boil.
2) Thermometer? Is this necessary for just a boil kettle?
3) SS Ball valve w/ barb. Nice for draining
4) Screen connected to ball valve drain. Useful? or does it get blocked if you use whole leaf hops vs pellets/plugs?
Basically building my own kit and was curious if it's worth it to go for Boilermaker/Polarware/Megapot 40 qt and drill to have drain etc put in.
Everything else, to me, is in the "nice" category.
1. I use marks on my mash paddle to tell how much wort I have.
2. Not necessary for some, but since I chill in the boil kettle I need one. I just have a long-stemmed dial thermometer that clips on the side and tells me when I'm <70F.
3. I drain it by picking it up and pouring. This also ærates; 2 birds, etc.
4. If the beer is low in inclusions like hops, I just pour it all in the fermenter. If there's a lot, I have a big SS strainer I pour the wort through (this also helps ærate).
As you have probably gathered by now, I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle when brewing. I have no particular reason or desire to change, either.