I'm in the process of trying to find a suitable boil kettle for 10 gallon batches. Unfortunately money is tight so I can't just buy whatever. However, I want to the most bang for my buck and for about $200 I can get a 55 gallon SS drum. Alternatively I can buy a 15 gal SS Bayou classic for $107 from amazon (cheapest I've found). For about 200+ I can get various other 15 gallon pots from various retailers.
My questions, then, are why would I want to get a smaller pot? For $200 bucks I could get a 55 gallon drum and make 10 gallon batches in it. Or I could get a 15 gallon pot for 107 and "limit" myself to about 12 gallons or less. Also, are there any negatives to using SS drums?
I have no intention (right now) of making more than 10 gallons of beer at a time. Is there a reason I shouldn't get the 55 gallon drums?
Boil off is much larger with a smaller batch in a 55 gallon kettle, and boil control is significantly harder with a 55 gallon kettle with a small batch. Smallest size for 55 gallons (my setup anyways) is about 25 gallons. You would want to match your kettle close to your batch size.