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About to buy a kettle

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I'm tired of looking on E-bay. Kegs get up to $35 with $25 and up for shipping = $60 for a non-modified keg. Never have time to get to the 'junk yard' to see if they have any in. No good contacts in the distributor around the corner and the guy behind the counter said he has to return all his damaged kegs for possible refurb. I've just had it with searching for a keg. Drove an hour and a half to my 'local' home brew store cause he said he had one in stock at the moment. What a DOG that one was... botch weld jobs is an understatement. A large hole had been patched and had no interior welds leaving lots of impossible to clean crevices (spelling?). Well, that trip alone cost me about $25 in gas :mad: ! The 'welder' I spoke to scares me :eek: etc... etc...

The base keg on Sabco is $60 + $20 shipping and the top is already cut out. Throw another $40 on that and you now have a keg with the top cut out and two stainless nipples with professional weld jobs (up to $120 now). Now add in a false bottom, stainless steel valve and thermometer and you are up there... The HB-Pro is almost what I want but I will leave off the siphon tube which mounts on the inside. This thing is 100 bucks! I will make that myself (already got the materials for about 20 bucks and access to a bender). I will use a stainless steel compression fitting and 1/2" stainless tubing. It will turn out more like what they refer to as the drain tube. All this will run me about $225 and when compared to large s.s. boil pots, this is actually a 'not so bad' deal!

O.K. done with the ranting and raving... now the question :confused: ... should I go with a s.s. valve or the brass valve? Any words of wisdom out there for this option? And if so, what is the justification for / against one type or the other?

Any other opinions on these Sabco products? They are a bit high but I'm starting to believe that unless you just have some good contacts, this is worth the money if you can deal with the hit to the wallet. My impatience is gonna cost me... I have plenty (patience that is) for the beer and aging it, but not for this!
 

PaulHare

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It looks like the rest of your kit is stainless steel. It would seem to me that a stainless steel valve would be best. If nothing else it cuts right down on any electrolytic activity (which'll probably be minimal anyway)

Just my 0.02
 

tnlandsailor

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I've got to put a plug in for the Sabco kegs. Yes, you can find an old keg somewhere, yes can cut the top out yourself, yes you can clean it, yes you can get someone to weld fittings into it, all for less than Sabco charges (maybe). However, I don't think it's worth the trouble. The kegs from Sabco are shiny, beautiful, and clean. Sabco does great work. The fact that the $99 kettle comes with two ports is a real bonus. Valve and dip tube on one, sight glass on the other. Add $20 for shipping, and you have a reasonably priced, no-hassle, pristine kettle.

I don't see the point in a thermometer in a kettle. You can get get a very inexpensive floating or bi-metal type that isn't integral to your kettle that can be used for other purposes as well. If you decide to use a counter-flow chiller, you won't even need a thermometer for the kettle at all. I would highly recommend a sight glass, however.

Regarding brass vs. stainless: I think this is way overblown. There are only two arguments I've heard for using SS over brass. First - copper ions in the beer. I've read articles that state that any copper that makes it's way into the beer, pre-fermentation, will be consumed or "scrubbed-out" during the fermentation process. Post-fermentation exposure to copper is another matter, but that has nothing to do with your kettle. The second argument is the presence of lead. You can de-lead the surface of your brass parts in a mixture of 2 parts vinegar and 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Just a quick 2 minute or so soak will do it. But even if you don't do that, there is such a small amount of lead present that you would likely die of cirrhosis of the liver from all the homebrew you would have to drink before you even got close to getting lead poisoning.

Prost,
 
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Thanks for the reply. I went ahead and ordered the keg from Sabco. Ordered the one with the top cut out and the two nipples welded on and their false bottom. I got a thermometer and a s.s valve elsewhere for cheaper and I'm making my own siphon tube. This will equate to the $300 model from sabco and I will have $230 in it ;) I am quite new at the game so I won't argue the benefiet of a sight glass for level indication but for now, I don't see it being a big help. Fortunately, this equipment can be easily added to the setup I did get by putting a 'T' on the nipple with the thermometer. I got the thermometer cause I am currently using a submerged wort cooler and plan on putting the lid on the kettle while the cooldown occurs. This thermometer should help in that mannor. MoreBeer.com had the s.s valve for $19 (thats the 'full port') model since they were out of the $17 s.s valve. I went with that since even at $19 it was like $5 more than the brass.

Wow, spent just over $500 bucks last night on new toys :eek:
Boiling kettle, aerator kit, Barley Crusher grain mill, kitchen scale (for hops and some grain measuring) and many other stocking stuffers. It's gonna be like Christmas around here :D
 

roverz

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Oh Its going to be one tuff weekend for you waiting for that shippment to come in.

Happy Brewing ..... wish my wife would give me our credit cards back :(
 
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DyerNeedOfBeer
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Only THREE DAYS!!! I was super excited when I saw this sitting on my front porch! Im in western Tennessee and they ship from Ohio. I have been nothing but happy with mine :D Be sure to lube up the fittings with vegetable oil (or in some other mannor) so you dont gall any threads.
 

Dude

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
Only THREE DAYS!!! I was super excited when I saw this sitting on my front porch! Im in western Tennessee and they ship from Ohio. I have been nothing but happy with mine :D Be sure to lube up the fittings with vegetable oil (or in some other mannor) so you dont gall any threads.

Okay cool....I ordered a thermometer with it, and a brass valve. Once I see it I'll probably wish I would have gotten the drain spout and the siphon tube and the false bottom, but I can always order those later. Might be able to make all that stuff cheaper. Isn't that what you did?
Point me in the right direction if you know what thread it located in! :D
 
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DyerNeedOfBeer
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https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=776


I got the false bottom from Sabco since it looked like it would be quite tedious to make one and even find the right type of materials.

The siphon on Sabco is crazy priced IMO. I made one for less than 20 bucks but I had access to s.s. tubing and a bender and bought the compression fittings. Mine looks like their siphon but without the three piece coupler. It is a bit of a trick to get it in and out in combination with the false bottom but once you get it, its simple... just have to fold the bottom up as you move the siphon tube out of the compression fitting.

The drain spout... well, I ordered a stainless valve and nipple from more beer since they were cheaper there and once again, using s.s. tubing and a compression fitting I made my own.

If I can borrow my friends digital camera I will take some shots of it for ya.
 

tnlandsailor

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If you guys are planning to use that false bottom for a boil kettle, there are better and cheaper options available. Check out the link in my signature.

Prosit,
 

Dude

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tnlandsailor said:
I don't see the point in a thermometer in a kettle. You can get get a very inexpensive floating or bi-metal type that isn't integral to your kettle that can be used for other purposes as well. If you decide to use a counter-flow chiller, you won't even need a thermometer for the kettle at all. I would highly recommend a sight glass, however.

The reason I bought a thermometer for this particular kettle was because I'm not sure if the two thread outlets on these converted kegs have plugs, so I needed to make sure I had something that would fill up both outlets.
Plus I don't mind having another thermometer IN my kettle. I like to see how accurate my other ones are. And I keep frying the probes on my digital ones!!! :D



tnlandsailor said:
If you guys are planning to use that false bottom for a boil kettle, there are better and cheaper options available. Check out the link in my signature.

Prosit,
Thanks...that's an interesting product. Do you know if the threads on that are compatible with the sabco kegs that have the thread outlets already in the keg?
I'll probably purchase one of those for my kettle if it will work without messing around with the fittings.....

BTW...the pics are gross! Hop sludge!
 

tnlandsailor

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ORRELSE said:
Thanks...that's an interesting product. Do you know if the threads on that are compatible with the sabco kegs that have the thread outlets already in the keg?
I'll probably purchase one of those for my kettle if it will work without messing around with the fittings.....

BTW...the pics are gross! Hop sludge!
I just sent you a PM because I'm not sure about promoting your own products on this board. I apologize to the Administrators if I committed a faux pas, but I can't get them to respond to me regarding the vendor forum.

The pics are absolutely genuine, took them myself and even I was amazed that perfectly clear wort came out of the kettle with all that sludge left behind.

If there is any interest from others on this board, send me a PM and we'll talk off-line.

Prosit,
 

ssmif135

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I am going to have to stop in at Sabco, I just checked it on mapquest and it is only 4 miles from my house at school. It is going to be like a kid in a candy store. :)
 

Dude

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tnlandsailor (or anyone else)....

You see the part on the picture below that connects to the kettle and provides outlets for a thermometer and an ball valve? Do you know if Sabco sells that piece? They haven't answered my e-mail.



I'm wondering if I can find that piece elsewhere? I need one of those because I think I'm going to use that other outlet for a sightglass, eventually.....

Thanks....
 
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