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All-Grain Kettles

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rightwingnut

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I'm starting to make my move to all-grain. I ordered these stainless kettles on ebay on a whim, because it was a great deal. I got 4 kettles, with lids; 10, 8, 7, and 6 gallon. Only $99. Pretty good, huh? Now, I didn't get them yet, so I don't know the quality, but we'll see. Now, how can I make these work? Do I absolutely need spigots on them? If so, how do I go about that? If not, how does the transfer of liquids work? Siphon? What about sparging?
 

arachnyd

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you want spigots - 5 gallons of hot wort is not something you want to be moving around in an open top kettle - and 10 gallons may be nigh impossible for mere mortals
 

Dark_Ale

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arachnyd said:
you want spigots - 5 gallons of hot wort is not something you want to be moving around in an open top kettle - and 10 gallons may be nigh impossible for mere mortals
I made my first all grain Sunday. This is probably not by the book, but this is what I did and it worked. I have a 7.5 gal turkey fryer that is stainless. I just so happened to find a stainless steel collendar at walmart that fit just right at the bottom. The 7.5 gal pot has a valve on the bottom just under where the collinder sits. It was only a 3 gallon batch cause it was my first for an experiment. Anyway I got my water up to 170 and mashed in the grain. I let it sit for 1 hour at 150. I then opened the valve and drained into a second stainless pot. Then I poured it back over the top of the grain again and drained it. I was told my the HBS that I would get about a 1050 starting gravity for the american brown I was making. After only the second drain, I drained it all and made up to 3 gallons and my gravity was 1054. So I stopped. Even when I added the sparge water(1 gallon) for a good hot rince it was very light in color. Anyway its fermenting now. We'll see how it turns out. Again this was my first all grain, I will get better, but it would have made it easier with drains to get that good cycle and recirculation going. I also bought 4 gallons of bottled water and it was not enough for a 3 gallon batch. I guess the grain soaked some of it up.
 

Janx

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You need a spigot. Go to a machine shop/welder and they can drill the hole and weld one in. Good stainless hardware can be got at morebeer.com. Order your valves and take them into the machine shop. Won't cost much.
 
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rightwingnut

rightwingnut

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I also found weldless kits in the morebeer catalog. Are those any good? They have brass or stainless. Brass is much cheaper, but what are the downsides?
 

Janx

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Brass uses, I believe, lead. It's considered safe once it develops an oxidized layer on the outside, but stainless is considered safer and just better.

I have those weldless kits on some of my kettles and they work....OK...not great, and they do leak a bit. I brew outside so no biggie, and the one on the mash tun stopped leaking (probably clogged with sugars? ;)). If I had it to do over, I'd get em welded and may still do that.

Their stainless vavles are AWESOME though. I have not seen their equal. They are pricey, but smooth-operating and top quality.

Oh, yeah, get a thermometer added to all three vessels: mash tun, liquor tank and kettle. Obviously, it's good for the mash tun and liquor tank. It's also key on the kettle so you know as you near a boil. 10 gallons can take a while to reach boil, so it's nice to know where you stand. you can get the thermometers and threaded nipples from morebeer, and have them welded at the same time. Just make sure you mount them low enough on the kettle/mash tun/liquor tank that the volume will be over the thermometer ;)
 
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rightwingnut

rightwingnut

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What's better, the long thermometer's, or the shorter? I imagine you'd smack 'em around alot stirring.
 

Janx

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Yeah you tend to whack em a little bit, but I don't stir anything too much, and when I do, I'm pretty gentle.

Mine have a 4 inch or so probe on them.
 
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