Originally Posted by TWAL
I have read a lot of folks saying go big so you don't have to buy again later however my question is how small a batch can I brew in a large kettle ? A 3 gallon batch in a 15 gallon pot,is that too little/too large ?
We have 40 Qt. Aluminum Pots
for $80 (looks like we're out of stock at the moment, but there's an order coming in next week). Just a comparative option. Our 60 Qt. S/S are $195 (not including shipping of course). We don't have a "10 gallon" S/S option at the moment.
Not to mention, 10g is somewhat of a weird tweener size. Most kits come in 5 or 5.5g options. So doing double batch kits, you'll end up with boiling well in excess of 10 gallons, so a 10g pot is too small. Most full boil pots are 32 Qt., which gives you plenty of extra room for doing regular 5 or 5.5g batches. If you had an 8g pot, you could easily do full boil small (normal) batches, smaller than normal batches, as well as larger batches -- you'd just end up making concentrated wort and topping off in the fermenter.
Furthermore, it sounds like you're stilling doing extract or partial mash. That's perfectly fine, but considering where you may end up with regard to brewing style has an impact on your pots. If you plan on doing all grain, are you doing BIAB (brew in a bag) or cooler mash or what? If you have a 15g pot, you can probably do BIAB for 10g batches. But if you're doing partials, I wouldn't spend the money on the extra pot size. Also, if you are doing this indoors on a stove, a 15g pot is probably too big to use effectively.
The point is that there are many other factors that will impact what size pot which would best serve you. If you are learning still, spending a little less on something that you can consign or trade later on at your LHBS (yes, this is a distinct advantage to using the local guys vs. the big on-line folks
) may be worthwhile.
Hope this helps.