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Old 03-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
juggabrew
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I'm looking to purchase a brew kettle to do my extract brewing. But I'm not sure of the size I want. It would be easer and cheaper to just get a 20qt ss pot to do 2.5-3 gal boils then add the remainder to get 5 gal. On the other hand, should I get a bigger pot to do full boils? Is it better to do full boils for extract?

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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It's better to do full boils with extract, all-grain or BIAB. If you get the smaller kettle you will be wanting a larger one almost right away. If you get the larger one you will be able to use it for years, even if you later go all-grain. I personally like the stainless steel 10 gallon kettles from Bayou Classic.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
fbold1
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If you're doing extracts the 20 qt. pot will serve you well. A 2 1/2 to 3 gallon boil will be fine. Do this, and later you will see if you want to increase your kettle size and move to AG.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
krackin
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Another option is to purchase a turkey frying set up including a burner. You will have a 6-7 gallon kettle with that and the basket will work well for grain bags for partial mash. You can do some AG with it as long as you are not getting too tall with your beer recipes. The burner with a decent kit should work fine for an upgrade to 10 or 15 gallon kettle when you get to that point and most likely you will.

 
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
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Early on,we found a set of four nested SS stock pots with steamer trays & lids,all polished SS at Giant Eagle for about $25 on sale. I use the 20QT,5G one as a BK/MT. I started with AE,then AE with steeping grains,then partial boil,partial mash BIAB now. I've been using the same kettle the whole time. I heat sparge water in the 3G one as well. I've been doing 2.5-3 gallon brews in AE,then 3.5 gallons with PB/PM BIAB. Keeping the stir going when the hot break starts helps keep boil overs neglidgable.
I mash 5lbs of grains & use 3-3.3lbs of extract as a late addition. OG's/efficiency have been very good,so this kettle size will last you quite some time imo.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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I think going to full boils is preferred. One note, though, if you go to full boils it's harder to bring it to a boil (your stove might not be up for the task) and it's harder to cool wort in a timely fashion.

So my advice is to get a turkey fryer setup, take the brewing outdoors, and maybe get a wort chiller too. Brewing is a lot less stressful when you know you can clean up a boilover with the hose

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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I don't think they are ever big enough....
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Yup. BK's are like your race car,they're never fast enough. In this case big enough,but the same thought applies. My 5 gallon BK/MT is plenty big enough for stove top with aftermarket heating elements from amazon.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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Having used an 8 gallon brew kettle for some time now, I have to say that getting the 10 gal. kettle is worth the money, especially if you can take it outside. I often end up using two kettles for my boil-down - the 8 gal. and a smaller 3 gallon - and even then heating it on a stovetop takes over an hour to bring the larger kettle to boiling. While my setup works well enough, I would strongly recommend the larger kettle and the exterior burner if those are an option for you. They aren't an option for me, as my garage is filled with other things and the backyard is totally unsuited for it, but if you can, do it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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Buy your equipment to be useful for your brewing future, not just your brewing present.

With that being said, before you buy your pot, you need to decide if you want to stay on your stove(how much power it has) or get a burner for outside. A good burner can be had for 50 bucks http://www.imarketcity.com/baclsqoupa55.html

IMO the smallest pot you should buy is 10 gallons. Even if you never scale up your system or switch to AG, full boils are beneficial and you're going to be starting with 6-7 gallons depending on boil off rates and boil time(60, 90, 120).


If you do scale up or move to AG a 10 gallon pot can serve many purposes on your new system. A 5 gallon pot will likely be useless.

 
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