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30 Quart Brewpot Questions

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Captain Tex

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So far I've done two extract batches. For each, I boiled about 2.25 gallons worth of water in a 12 quart pot. I'd like to get a larger pot to make my life easier.

I live in a small apartment and I'm restricted to using an electric stove. I would eventually like to start doing full boils, is that feasible? If so, I was thinking I should probably get a 30 quart pot. Does that sound about right? Also, would a 30 quart pot containing 20 quarts of wort comfortably fit a wort chiller?

Let's say I get a 30 quart pot and discover that my stove cannot boil five gallons of water at once. Would it be to my detriment to use the 30 quart pot for partial boils? In other words, would it be a problem to boil the wort in a pot at 1/3 capacity?

Thanks!
CT
 

Moonshae

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You might have a problem with a large pot if too much of it hangs off the burner. Some people find that straddling two burners works fine.
 

Beerthoven

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Captain Tex said:
So far I've done two extract batches. For each, I boiled about 2.25 gallons worth of water in a 12 quart pot. I'd like to get a larger pot to make my life easier.

I live in a small apartment and I'm restricted to using an electric stove. I would eventually like to start doing full boils, is that feasible? If so, I was thinking I should probably get a 30 quart pot. Does that sound about right? Also, would a 30 quart pot containing 20 quarts of wort comfortably fit a wort chiller?

Let's say I get a 30 quart pot and discover that my stove cannot boil five gallons of water at once. Would it be to my detriment to use the 30 quart pot for partial boils? In other words, would it be a problem to boil the wort in a pot at 1/3 capacity?

Thanks!
CT
I do not think your electric stove will handle a full boil; at least, mine will not.

If you get the 30-qt pot, you might find that it does not work as well as you hope for partial boils. I cannot get even 3 gallons to boil on my stove in a 32-qt pot. The diameter of the pot is just too big for the element and it never really reaches a full boil (I have a flat "radiant element" electric range, so a large part of the pot sits on the relatively cool stovetop and not on the element). Your may have better luck, depending on your stove and the pot that you choose.

If you do decide to get the larger pot, there is no harm in using it for partial boils. When I do AG batches, I boil 6-7 gallons of wort in a 15 gallon pot, and it does just fine.
 

CBBaron

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A 30qt pot is just sufficient for full boils but you have to watch carefully as it comes to a boil to prevent boil overs.

However your electric stove is not likely to be able to bring it to a boil. There are very few stoves that have sufficient power. Most people use a turkey fryer or similar burner for full boils and all-grain brewing.

Craig
 

RICLARK

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Captain Tex said:
So far I've done two extract batches. For each, I boiled about 2.25 gallons worth of water in a 12 quart pot. I'd like to get a larger pot to make my life easier.

I live in a small apartment and I'm restricted to using an electric stove. I would eventually like to start doing full boils, is that feasible? If so, I was thinking I should probably get a 30 quart pot. Does that sound about right? Also, would a 30 quart pot containing 20 quarts of wort comfortably fit a wort chiller?

Let's say I get a 30 quart pot and discover that my stove cannot boil five gallons of water at once. Would it be to my detriment to use the 30 quart pot for partial boils? In other words, would it be a problem to boil the wort in a pot at 1/3 capacity?

Thanks!
CT
You can split up the batch between your two pots, try to make sure that you use the same amount of wort in both pots and you will have to reformat your hop additions. I will try to find Flyguys post on here for ya about brewing on an electric stove.
 

Skins_Brew

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I am in the exact same boat as you are. I use a 16 qt pot right now and i can bring 3 gallons to a rolling boil. I went out and got a 31 qt enamel pot and filled it up with about 6 gallons of water. I could bring 6 gallons to a very rough boil but the lid had to remain on. The 31 qt pot was very wide and i think when i removed the lid the large surface area of the water caused it to stop boiling. I am trying to find a five or 6 gallon aluminum pot and try that. I think enamaled steel kind of sucks. Also google heat sticks. They are water heater elements on the end of a pipe. They look fairly easy and inexpensive to make so i may try one of those. I would love to get a turkey fryer but its illegal to use it on an apartment deck :( :(
 
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Captain Tex

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That looks pretty cool! Maybe it's the optimist in me, but I think I can get this to work, especially using Flyguy's method. I'm able to bring a 2.5 gallon wort to a rapid boil on my stove in a stainless steel pot, so I'm thinking maybe it'll be able to do 5 gallons with the insulation.

It sounds like some people are saying that a 30 quart pot would be a tight fit for a five gallon wort. Should I get something larger?

Also, based on what I've seen in this forum, it seems like stainless steel is hard to heat. However, some think that aluminum introduces off flavors. I read a post though that said the "off flavors" are not proven to exist. So would I be best off with aluminum then?

Thanks again!
CT

RICLARK said:
Ok I found Flyguy's post, you should check his method out. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=53683
 

RICLARK

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Captain Tex said:
That looks pretty cool! Maybe it's the optimist in me, but I think I can get this to work, especially using Flyguy's method. I'm able to bring a 2.5 gallon wort to a rapid boil on my stove in a stainless steel pot, so I'm thinking maybe it'll be able to do 5 gallons with the insulation.

It sounds like some people are saying that a 30 quart pot would be a tight fit for a five gallon wort. Should I get something larger?

Also, based on what I've seen in this forum, it seems like stainless steel is hard to heat. However, some think that aluminum introduces off flavors. I read a post though that said the "off flavors" are not proven to exist. So would I be best off with aluminum then?

Thanks again!
CT
There are 1,000's of posts arguing the Benefits of Aluminum vs SS But imho I absolutley love Aluminum. It gets hotter Faster and I can Cool 5.5 Gal of wort in an Ice bath in 35 mins. Search E Bay for a 34-40 Qt Aluminum pot you can get one cheap and you will have it later when you are ready to move out of you Apt.
 

FlyGuy

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If you use my 'insulated pot' method on the SS pot, I don't think you will see much of an improvement, unfortunately. I think using a flat-bottomed aluminum pot will help you to achieve the greatest increase in your boil volume, because aluminum is so much better than SS at conducting heat. I can't guarantee that it will work for you, but I was amazed at how much of a difference the insulated aluminum pot made over the old SS pot.

BTW -- if you haven't seen it, check out the aluminum pot faq thread in my signature.
 

Skins_Brew

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Where the heck can you get aluminum pots besides the LHBS and the internet? I have been unable to find any at stores like walmart, bed bath and beyond, etc. I thought of buying a turkey fryer just for the pot, since they are cheap enough.

Also, has anyone ever tried using a heavy duty canning element? I was looking on the sears website i found out that the standard large burner is 208 volts. The heavy duty canning element is 280 volts. Theoretically, this should put out more power. Anyone every try it?
 

FlyGuy

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I got my aluminum pot from a turkey fryer kit. The whole kit was actually cheaper ($35) than buying just a pot.

Restaurant supply stores are a good place to find large pots of all kinds.
 

Skins_Brew

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Do you think that an aluminum pot would be able to boil water better then a enameled steel pot or a SS pot? As i said above, i can boil 6 gallon on my stoves WITH the lid of the pot on. I am really wanting to go AG but this is what is holding me up. I feel as if the cost of the ingredients would go down a lot since i would not be buying $25 worth of extract.
 

FlyGuy

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It depends on the type of SS pot you have, but I saw a big difference with the aluminum. However, if you can get 6 gals to boil already with the SS pot, perhaps the insulation is all you need to boil that volume without the lid. Worth a shot.
 
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