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Old 12-31-2012, 12:29 AM   #1
shrike
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Default Looking for recommendations on new brew kettle

I just started getting back into AG brewing after taking a break for ~ 5 years. Already have a few batches in primary. I do 5 gallon batches, brew outside with gas, recently started batch sparging (previously fly), and keg my beer.

My brew kettle isn't the greatest. I got it off of ebay many years ago and while SS, it has a lot of sharp edges. I'm tired of slicing my fingers, so I want to upgrade. I've read through a lot of the comparison posts (such as 4 Popular Brew Kettles Compared); they were very helpful. What I'd like is:

  • 10 gallon capacity. I have been boiling from 7 1/2 gal down to 5 1/2.
  • Thermo so that I can stop abusing my original glass thermometer (for when chilling wort). Damn things bangs around and sooner or later I am going to break it.
  • Sight glass (I want to get a little more precise so that I can better calculate boil off and efficiency).
  • Do a better job with not collecting trub if possible.

My local HBS had this: Bayou Classic 10 gallon Brew Kettle which would be nearly perfect except that it didn't have the sight glass. This kettle appears to be relatively new or at least I didn't see a lot of people talking about it. It has a pretty nifty bottom that is included--the SS bottom plus a SS mesh. I am a bit worried about the dead space. It doesn't look too bad, but I would probably want to install the sight glass myself... something that I am trying to avoid. If anyone has this kettle, please chime in. This would be about $220 plus say another $30 for weldless sight glass kit plus say brush and heat shield. Might cost me a little more because I think I ruined my step bit a while back. Figure we're under $300.

The alternative is probably either this Polar Ware pot which is at $330, plus I'd have to add in the thermo (~$25) plus anything I want to add in for the filtering... false bottom or otherwise.

OR I could go with the blingman... but it looks like any additional kettle bottom would be extra... to the tune of about another $75. To get a equivalent set up we'd be looking at nearly $400.

So I guess I'm looking anyone who might have had experience with this particular Bayou, especially if they've modified it. I am pretty sure this is the way that I want to go, but since we're talking more than a couple of hundred bucks (and since I might have to drill it as well), I'd like to be really sure.

TIA.

JB



Reason: Had link to 8 gal version of Bayou. Corrected it to 10 gal version.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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After too many DIY projects I decided to pay upfront. Ordered a 20 gallon Stout Kettle today with sight glass, tangential port, out port and thermowell. Comes with valves, fittings, thermometer and has a conical bottom to collect trub....It's pricey though....even the 15 gallon with all that is over $500. I didn't price the 10 gallon because I wanted to go 20 even though I'm doing 5-6 gallon batches now.


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Old 12-31-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Www.homebrewstuff.com


http://www.homebrewstuff.com/10-gall...ermometer.html

I have their heavy duty 25 gallon 3 pot setup. Great price and excellent equipment.

I highly recommend them!
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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They have it in bare setup, MLT with false bottom, brew kettle or HLT with sight glass.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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I have this pot. It's 20 gal, but if you check his other offerings he has smaller (and larger) ones. A very good price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-80-QT-Qu...item2c6b1cdc1d

Then you get a weldless kit for your ball valve and a sight glass. That will be another $60 or $70 depending on where you get it. Then you need to punch the holes with a step punch and seal it all up with Rector Seal. You can have a good 20 gal pot for about $120 or so and some elbow grease.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
After too many DIY projects I decided to pay upfront. Ordered a 20 gallon Stout Kettle today with sight glass, tangential port, out port and thermowell. Comes with valves, fittings, thermometer and has a conical bottom to collect trub....It's pricey though....even the 15 gallon with all that is over $500. I didn't price the 10 gallon because I wanted to go 20 even though I'm doing 5-6 gallon batches now.
From here I'm assuming? This wasn't an option that I'd seen before. I'll also check it out too.

JB
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Instawares.com. Update international stainless stockpots are the same as mdgapots sold everyehere. A step bit , weldless fitting and you are there. PM me with questions. They have pots of all sizes.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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I have several friends that homebrew and have different types of store bought kettles. No matter how fancy or expensive they are, everyone prefers the converted kegs that I use with sight tubes and thermo's. They're very functional and way cheaper to make as long as you can acquire a keg. Bobby at Brewhardware.com has every piece of hardware you would need to do this weather you weld fittings or go weldless. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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Take a look at the stainless kettles from www.spikebrewing.com. I have the 15 gallon with two welded fittings (horizontal) and I use it for both 5 and 10 gallon batches. I have been very impressed with this pot.

If you are interested in his pots, check the vendor section of hbt as he sometimes runs specials for members.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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Here is another option. These kettles are nice and cheap.


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