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Old 04-19-2011, 01:38 AM   #1
Apr 2011
Philadelphia, Pa
Posts: 38

In about to do my first brew got a general kit but didn't have a stock pot. Want to brew in 5 gallon amounts What size pot should I get and do I get aluminum or stainless steel? Also I don't have a wort chiller do I need that?

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Old 04-19-2011, 03:09 AM   #2
CPORT546's Avatar
Feb 2011
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 111
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

Pot Size-Assuming you are doing extract and only needing a partial boil a 5 gal pot is pretty common that is what I started with. If you want to move to all grain brewing you would want to think more along the lines of 7.5-10 gallons. But also keep in mind it has to fit your stove or where ever you are getting your heat. Or if you get lucky your neighbor after a couple of beers will offer you his old keg and to cut the top off for you.

This is the pot I started with.

Alum vs SS-You can search the threads and this will be debated over and over. Personally I went with SS because it doesn't scratch or dent as easily.

Wort Chiller-You dont need one a sink full of ice water will get the job done for me it took about 20 lbs. I like making stuff so I made my own rather than buying one. I made a 50' for the same price as buying a 25' one. I did maybe 3 batches with and ice bath.

Hope this helps. Try searching old posts I have learned just as much reading old posts on here as I did out of books.
Primary: Cali Common, Robust Porter
Bottled: Pumpkin, ALDIwein, Dunkelweizen, American Lager, Belgian IPA, Vanilla/Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Haus IPA, Hefe
Kegged: Apfelwein, Athanum PA, Dortmunder Export
Upcoming: Watermelon Wheat, Caz Willie IPA, Mosaic PA, Spriced Cherry Dubbel

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Old 04-19-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
kegtoe's Avatar
Sep 2009
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,200
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts

you dont need a chiller. if you enjoy the hobby and spend any amount of time on this site at sometime you'll want to persue partial mashes or all grain. ( I never thought id go all grain but after 1.5 years and 25 extracts i got the all grain bug). If you can afford it get a big pot 7.5 to 10 gallons like CPORT said. It will give you room to grow into the hobby and reduce the risk of boilovers.

As far ass SS vs aluminum there are planety of threads dabating that. the two biggest pros o aluminum over stainless is weight and cost. However, some believe that aluminum has agents that can cause cancer and alzheimer disease. SS also lasts along time. if you ever drill through it for a spigot, most SS pots are heavier and wont flex as much.

Good luck with your brew and remember to use the search function while on the site.

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Old 04-19-2011, 05:03 AM   #4
Jan 2011
Chicago, IL
Posts: 50

I went ahead and got the wort chiller right away, because I'm in a small condo, and there's really not even space in the sink for an ice bath, and the bathtub would just be too much of a pain.

I also went for an 8gal pot so I can do full boil extracts off the bat, since it seems to make more sense to pay 105 for a big pot, rather than 60 for a smaller one and need to move up before too long.

I actually found a local restaurant supply store, and got a 32qt stainless pot, pretty heavy duty for like 105+tax... I previously had a $40 bayou aluminum turkey fryer pot, and the difference in the quality is pretty huge. I didn't think the aluminum held in the heat well enough though, so I returned it and got the new pot. On my old stove though, the burner made the difference pretty small, but we just got a new stove, so I'm looking forward to a rolling boil on my 2nd brew.

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Old 04-19-2011, 05:12 AM   #5
Bensiff's Avatar
Mar 2008
, Washington, the state
Posts: 4,938
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You can get an economy 7.5 gallon stainless pot for cheap that will work great for 5 gallon batches. You will wan to install a ball valve though. If you are doing full boils you will want a wort chiller as lifting that much hot wort is dangerous in more ways than one. As far as stainless v aluminum there are some pros and cons. The stainless is more durable and rigid while aluminum is cheaper and lighter. If aluminum makes you sick than you are already screwed, but there is not scientific evidence that aluminum causes alzhiemers or anything like that.

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Old 04-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
Apr 2011
Philadelphia, Pa
Posts: 38

How did everyone start. Just buying the ingredient kits and then eventually look up recipe and tweak them?

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Old 04-19-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
Apr 2010
Southern, NJ
Posts: 754
Liked 36 Times on 30 Posts

Started this time last year with Mr. Beer then extract/steeping, some kits & some recipes from here. AG now and still using recipes from here and tweaking.

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Old 04-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #8
Malticulous's Avatar
Aug 2008
St. George Utah
Posts: 4,146
Liked 72 Times on 57 Posts

I started with nice a 16qt SS, then I got a turkey fryer with a cheap 30qt Al pot, then I got a cheap 60qt SS pot. I still use all of them.

I've yet to put a ball valve on any of them. I can pour out 11 gallon batches (at least I could before I broke my wrist at work.)

I think the turkey fryer was the best thing I did. The burner and the pot was less than $60.
Everything is better with a beer.

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Old 04-19-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
SnallygasterBrewery's Avatar
Mar 2010
Frederick, MD
Posts: 227
Liked 6 Times on 3 Posts

+1 on the aluminum outdoor turkey fryer kits. They're the perfect size, reach boil quickly, and are cheap. I've had one for years and it's still in commission for brew day. The myth of AD being linked to aluminum has been largely debunked by many scientists and organizations (wort pH isn't acidic enough to leach large amounts of aluminum, anyway -- tomatoes, which are more acidic than wort, might leach 3-5mg of aluminum when cooked, and safe consumption guidelines set by the WHO suggest 50mg/day as an OK amount... though in actuality you probably consume far far less).

Ultimately, to me, it's an issue of price vs. value. My aluminum pot does what it needs to do for me, and I'm careful not to dent or scratch it -- works for me!

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