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Old 12-17-2011, 09:38 PM   #11
BOBrob
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Oct 2010
escanaba, michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickolas388 View Post
i was told if the beer bubbles over, you can just add a little cold water. do most people use bigger than 20quart pots though?
You want to stir faster and have a spray bottle of water to knock the bubbles down. The bubbles are called the "hot break" in your brewing process, and can get pretty exciting some times. I use a 35 qt. aluminum pot for 5 gallon brews, because you will start the boil with more water (5.5 - 6gal.) to account for evaporation during the boil. Also if you buy a new aluminum pot you will want to fill it with water and boil the water for 30 minutes to "treat" the pot for brewing. Most people who can boil outside start with a 30qt. or larger Turkey fryer. Boil over on the stove is a batch to clean up. Cheers

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:53 AM   #12
djfriesen
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Sep 2011
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From my experience as well as many a forumite:

You WILL want to upgrade later. If you can swing it, get a 40+ qt pot and an outdoor propane burner right off the bat. No reason you can't use it for the smallest of batches, and it will allow you to do 5- or 6-gallon batches (AllGrain or Extract) when you want to.

However, if money is tight, a 5 gallon pot is fine for partial boils. You can just top off with store-bought filtered water, boiled and cooled water, or (GASP!) even tapwater with little risk of trouble.

You'll just have to balance current funding versus future flexibility and capacity. I always advise: the more bigger the more better.

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:13 AM   #13
srl135
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Jan 2011
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 88

I have always heard (but never experienced) that aluminum can create un-desirable flavors in the beer and for that reason have steered away in favor of stainless steel. I am perfectly happy with a 20qt stainless pot as i only boil 3 gallons and that gives me enough additional room to contain foam.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:20 AM   #14
badbrew
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Dec 2011
l.a., ca
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I just boiled 5.25 gallons water + ingredients in my 7.5 gallon aluminum pot for the first time today on the stove. It took over an hour to boil and then I moved it to the smaller burner on high to boil the wort. Constant light boil for the whole time with no boil overs. The only thing that sucked was the drips from the overhead exhaust light.

 
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:12 AM   #15
djfriesen
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Sep 2011
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If you get a good layer of aluminum oxide on the inside surface of your pot, by boiling water in it for 20-30 minutes, you won't get any off flavors. Basically, the oxidation is inert, and will not interact with the wort at all. Aluminum is a very popular BK option.

 
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:25 AM   #16
nickolas388
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Nov 2011
farmingdale, new york
Posts: 15

thanks for all the info guys. i think im just going to keep it simple for now an ddo the brew on the stove top. what you guys are saying is that i cant do a 5 gallon batch with a 20quart pot? =( my local brew store said it would be okay if i just topped it off with some water. i already have the ingredients for a 5 gallon brown ale.


-nick

 
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:54 AM   #17

You can do a 5 gallon batch with a 20 quart pot by topping up with water. If you stick with brewing you will probably expand later.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:24 AM   #18
badbrew
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Dec 2011
l.a., ca
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I bet most home brewers use smaller pots than that.

 
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:04 PM   #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by badbrew View Post
I bet most home brewers use smaller pots than that.
I have an 18 quart pot I started with when I was doing extracts. Now I use it for heating strike and sparge water, it handles all my decoctions, etc. We are making the transition to 10g batches so now have a 20g kettle; the ol' 10g kettle will become a bit of a utility pot as well but still be the main kettle for the occasional 5g batch.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:55 PM   #20
Iceman6409
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Jun 2008
Rochester, NY
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If you are going to make 5 gallon brews then a 5 gallon stock pot is definitely not enough based on one reason. When you go to boil the wort you will always have, hopefully, somewhere around 6 to 6.5 gallons of wort to boil. You will normally boil for an hour to an hour and a half and you will lose probably in the neighborhood of 1 gallon to boil off. So think about that. for a 5 gallon batch then my opinion is a 7.5 gallon stock pot is the bare minimum. More is always better.

Also as far as stove top boiling I now do that. Basically I figured out that to get the wort boiling faster I just position the pot over both the front and back burners, if your pot will fit. It should. Then I pit the lid on just until it gets to a rolling boil and then I remove the lid for the rest of the boil. For me I can get 6 to 6.5 gallons of wort from the mash to a full rolling boil in about 20 minutes or less having the pot over both burners. That is not too bad at all. Also I HIGHLY recommend that if you do choose to boil on a stove top to cover the stove the best you can with something like aluminum foil. I don't get a lot of boil overs at all because I have a 9 gallon pot but something always seems to get out of the pot onto the stove. NOT easy to clean off at all no matter how small. So I have learned to just use simple aluminum foil and cover as much of the stove top as I can leaving just enough room for the flames to come through on the burners. That 10 cents of foil and 30 seconds to lay it down save me a TON of clean up time. Just my opinion though.

 
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