15 gallon kettle / propane

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I want to upgrade from a Basic 10 gallon brew kettle to a new 15 gallon (so I can brew 5 and 10 gallon recipes). With some additional features/accessories
I've been looking at several:
- Spike
- SS Brewtech
- Northern Brewer Megapot
- Blichmann
- Edelmetall Bru

Wanted to get feedback / recommendations on people who are delighted with their kettle.
Thanks
 

MaxStout

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I don't know how all the prices compare, but the Megapot is good bang for the buck and well-constructed. I have the 8 gal version and am quite pleased.
I have 15 and 20 gal Concorde pots from Amazon. Not bad if you want to go cheap.

Heard good things about Spike, but I have no direct experience with them.
 

oakbarn

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For my money:

The are heavy Kettles.

You can customize for not many $$ (Electric Port, Tangential inlet)

I like welded fittings and would never go back to anything weldless.

I like that the Lid can hang on the handle.

We have never had Spike but they look good as well.

Our Blichmann's ( We had a 10 gal and 20 gal) both leaked at the outlet after a few brews and you could see the bending as the wall are not very thick.

Since it has Weldless, the Megapot would not be for me.

Since it has Weldless, Edelmetall Brü® Kettle would not be for me. Also very expensive.

We had some SS Brew Stuff as well and did not like the size of the Thermowell. It was very narrow and would not take most of my probes.

I personally do not believe that you need a dedicated tangential inlet. You can easily make one out of 1/2 Copper Fittings and a little solder skill that hangs over the side of the pot. We have dedicated tangential inlets on our Brew Kettles, but we use an over the side one as we sanitize it and it then goes into the fermenter. The dedicated tangential inlet are not used normally.

Stout Conical makes very good vessels but shipping and costs put this out for us.
 

Golddiggie

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I love all of my Spike+ kettles (full electric setup but you can use them for propane too). You can either get the 'standard' boil kettles or get them to make one into either a MT or HLT. If you want the ports positioned in different places on the BK, just get them to do one custom.

IME, their welds are top notch. They also reply quickly when you start things rolling as well as all along the process. Even after you have the item, they reply quickly to messages. I've also had every order ship out before their listed lead times (you see that when you place the order). Even during the WuTangFlu. Free FexEx shipping is also nice (orders over $100). That's everything they sell. Buy their nano system and no extra shipping charges.

One of the factors that played into me going with the Spike gear was remembering him posting about it (on HBT) when he was just starting out.
 

Bobby_M

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You didn't specifically mention what accessories you felt were needed or what the end use of it will be. If it's just a boil kettle (and you're not trying to do all grain Brew In A Bag), I highly recommend this amazing bang for the buck.


1627390385654.png


The build quality is on par or better than most of the kettles in your list and $159 for two welded ports is great value. Triclad bottom, silicone grips, embossed (not etched) gallon markings. high polish finish. Add a valve and optional thermometer and you're good to go.
 

Golddiggie

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For the Brewer's Beast kettle, that's all well and good, IF you're looking to use NPT fittings. There are drawbacks to using NPT fittings that are not present with TC fittings.
For one, fully cleaning the items is more involved than with TC fittings. If you want to take them off (which you should do at least periodically) you will need to remove the old pipe tape and apply new each time.
Another is you need to be religious about checking for leaks. Since they CAN leak if you don't do things fully correct. Sometimes it's a small drip, sometimes much more than that.
With the threads, there are more places for things to get stuck and can cause issues down the road. Not to say you'll have issues right away, but there's more risk involved. I'm sure there are tons of people that have never had an issue. I never had an issue when I was using NPT fittings, but the thought was always there (for the risk). I DID have issues with leaks at the threads though. Even when I had the couplers welded into the kettles.
Only real disadvantage of the TC fittings is cost. 1-1/2" butterfly valves typically run about $50 each. Ball valves are often less, and there are ones that are very easy to fully disassemble to clean. Far easier than what you find with the NPT ball valves (either two or three piece). Requiring zero tools to do this. I have two of those currently (one for the wort in on the MT and one at the wort out on the plate chiller).
Advantage of TC fittings is how quickly you can break down the kettle and put it all back together again. FAR faster than with the NPT fittings. You can also loosen the clamps enough to rotate fittings so that internal dip tubes (or pickup tubes) change orientation WITHOUT having any leaks. I've done this on both kettles and fermenters. The gaskets used on the TC fittings make this possible.

Not saying everyone should only use TC fittings. If your budget is too small to cover the cost, then go with NPT. I just know, from experience, how much better (IMO/IME) the setups with TC fittings are. I'm also in more of a "buy once, cry once" mind set. Granted not with everything, but with things that matter the most I am.
 

ChiknNutz

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If considering BIAB, this will be my next setup...

 

oakbarn

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You didn't specifically mention what accessories you felt were needed or what the end use of it will be. If it's just a boil kettle (and you're not trying to do all grain Brew In A Bag), I highly recommend this amazing bang for the buck.


View attachment 736993

The build quality is on par or better than most of the kettles in your list and $159 for two welded ports is great value. Triclad bottom, silicone grips, embossed (not etched) gallon markings. high polish finish. Add a valve and optional thermometer and you're good to go.
THIS IS A STEAL!
 

Bobby_M

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For the Brewer's Beast kettle, that's all well and good, IF you're looking to use NPT fittings. There are drawbacks to using NPT fittings that are not present with TC fittings.
For one, fully cleaning the items is more involved than with TC fittings. If you want to take them off (which you should do at least periodically) you will need to remove the old pipe tape and apply new each time.
Another is you need to be religious about checking for leaks. Since they CAN leak if you don't do things fully correct. Sometimes it's a small drip, sometimes much more than that.
With the threads, there are more places for things to get stuck and can cause issues down the road. Not to say you'll have issues right away, but there's more risk involved. I'm sure there are tons of people that have never had an issue. I never had an issue when I was using NPT fittings, but the thought was always there (for the risk). I DID have issues with leaks at the threads though. Even when I had the couplers welded into the kettles.
Only real disadvantage of the TC fittings is cost. 1-1/2" butterfly valves typically run about $50 each. Ball valves are often less, and there are ones that are very easy to fully disassemble to clean. Far easier than what you find with the NPT ball valves (either two or three piece). Requiring zero tools to do this. I have two of those currently (one for the wort in on the MT and one at the wort out on the plate chiller).
Advantage of TC fittings is how quickly you can break down the kettle and put it all back together again. FAR faster than with the NPT fittings. You can also loosen the clamps enough to rotate fittings so that internal dip tubes (or pickup tubes) change orientation WITHOUT having any leaks. I've done this on both kettles and fermenters. The gaskets used on the TC fittings make this possible.

Not saying everyone should only use TC fittings. If your budget is too small to cover the cost, then go with NPT. I just know, from experience, how much better (IMO/IME) the setups with TC fittings are. I'm also in more of a "buy once, cry once" mind set. Granted not with everything, but with things that matter the most I am.
I have a long standing love hate relationship with TC fittings on homebrew level kettles. Rather than rehash all that again, I'll just say this. I have access to any Spike kettles that I want at wholesale prices. I have access to any TC accessories at wholesale pricing (and I can custom weld any that don't exist). I can write off all those costs as business expenses and I STILL brew on an NPT ported kettle.
 

oakbarn

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I would agree that TC vs NPT are no different on the hot side. Manual TC Valves are much easier to clean. In fact, we add a TC to NPT onto our Electric Valves (Impossible to take apart and clean). We do have a Manifold that we CIP and leave in place. We do check it from time to time, but we clean it for hours (during and after brews) Cleaning is easy as we set up our valves to make it easy and generally we can let it clean while doing other things. We use the TC because the manifold is easier to take apart for inspections. We have also used NPT on the cold side but we do clean them individually with steam (taken apart) after the CIP.

The reason we have NPT on the Cold Side is that we have Copper Pipes that go through a wall from the Brewery to our Cold Room. I cannot weld Stainless and copper sweat joins are not to sanitary standards. We just sanitize the heck out of it (for at least 45 minutes), Years of Brewing and no infections.
 
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