Quantcast

Blichmann Boilermaker for MLT/Boil Kettle/both/neither?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Location
NJ
I'm (finally) putting together an all grain shopping list, so I can start homebrewing. The Blichmann stuff seems to be fantastic, and as far as I can tell, the only bad thing anyone has to say about it is the price.

I know lots of people would buy kegs, or simple steel or aluminum pots, and put the spigot and thermometer in, but I am barely handy enough to build stuff from Ikea, so I would rather not try to install a water-level window on my own.

I am planning on an aluminum pot for strike+sparge water, but it seems like the window and thermometer would be very useful for a MLT and a boiler, and the false bottoms (which are supposed to be good, right?) should help filter the grain and the boiled wort?
 

Brewmasters Warehouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
1,504
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta, GA
The Boilermakers feature really are great for either an MLT or a Boil Kettle. The false bottoms are very good at getting clean wort, but are not suitable for boiling. They do have a boil screen to use if your Boilermaker is being used for a boil kettle.

Ed
 

lcjustin

Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
San Jose, California
I just bought Boilmakers for all 3 of my kettles online. Then my local store told me that they could have gotten me a better price them what is posted on the Internet sites. You should ask around, they gotta have one hell of a markup that might be a bit negotiable
 

Chello

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Messages
850
Reaction score
10
Location
Atlanta, GA
I just bought Boilmakers for all 3 of my kettles online. Then my local store told me that they could have gotten me a better price them what is posted on the Internet sites. You should ask around, they gotta have one hell of a markup that might be a bit negotiable
Their mark-up is not high at all. In fact it is quite low, as Blichmann has a minimum price a retailer can advertise for their products. That is why almost every retailer sells them for the exact same price.
 

datamike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
105
Reaction score
3
You can use them for all three brewing vessels, if you wish. I did. Here's a pic:


Aside from the price, there's a few other things to be aware of:

The boil screen is useless if you use pellet hops. It will clog solid immediately.

They can be tricky to size. The thermometer probe is located way to high in my opinion, at least on the smaller sizes. It would be more useful to be right above the outlet. Not a problem for me though as I grab temps off thermowells mounted on the outlets anyway.

The bottoms are stepped, so make sure you have the kettles BEFORE you build your frame to make sure they'll be supported correctly.

Good luck!
Michael

I'm (finally) putting together an all grain shopping list, so I can start homebrewing. The Blichmann stuff seems to be fantastic, and as far as I can tell, the only bad thing anyone has to say about it is the price.

I know lots of people would buy kegs, or simple steel or aluminum pots, and put the spigot and thermometer in, but I am barely handy enough to build stuff from Ikea, so I would rather not try to install a water-level window on my own.

I am planning on an aluminum pot for strike+sparge water, but it seems like the window and thermometer would be very useful for a MLT and a boiler, and the false bottoms (which are supposed to be good, right?) should help filter the grain and the boiled wort?
 

Buford

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
1,383
Reaction score
14
Location
Richmond, VA
I have a 10 gallon I use as a boil kettle and for heating strike water before I transfer it to a cooler. The pot is nice, but beware that the boil screen does not play well with pellet hops. Leaf is fine, but I put all my pellets in large (4") tea balls/baskets to keep the sludge from clogging the screen.
 
OP
LandoCalrissian
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Location
NJ
Thanks, everybody.

Speaking of size: the price difference for two 15gal is only a shade more than two 10gal, and will obviously give me more options, later. But just starting out, will 15gal pots be *too* big? If I want to do a simple (low gravity) 3gal batch, will it just be lost in the bottom of that huge pot, or will it be Ok?

I'm having a really hard time sorting out which size makes more sense. I read this, and it seems like 10gal is a decent bet, but if I want to upgrade later, it will cost an arm and a leg…

Thanks again.
 

saq

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
783
Reaction score
49
Location
Tucson
I've got a 10 gallon I've been using as my sole AG piece for both MLT and BK and its great. The aforementioned problem with pellets clogging the boil screen is sadly true. I put my pellets that go into the boil into large straining bags that get tied up well, and leaf goes into the kettle naked. Works great. I plan on acquiring additional boilermakers for all of my AG brewing needs.
 

silverbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
1
Location
Birmingham UK
Would someone here PLEASE tell me the outside diameter of the punched mash tun false bottom on their Blickman, and then the size of pot it came from. Then I can sort out which size to buy to go in the pot I have....

Thank you,

Rog
 

datamike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
105
Reaction score
3
It won't work with anything other than the Blichmann kettles due to their stepped bottom design. It's only supported in the center by a thin rod, and then all around the circumference by the stepped bottom.

Check the Blichmann site for pics, and dimensions.

Michael


Would someone here PLEASE tell me the outside diameter of the punched mash tun false bottom on their Blickman, and then the size of pot it came from. Then I can sort out which size to buy to go in the pot I have....

Thank you,

Rog
 

saq

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
783
Reaction score
49
Location
Tucson
It won't work with anything other than the Blichmann kettles due to their stepped bottom design. It's only supported in the center by a thin rod, and then all around the circumference by the stepped bottom.

Check the Blichmann site for pics, and dimensions.

Michael
??? There is no thin rod supporting the false bottom its a single piece design.
 
OP
LandoCalrissian
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Location
NJ
Sorry for the bump, but I am really curious about what people think about starting out with a 15gal size, and also about whether or not a 3gal batch would be feasible in such a large vessel?

Speaking of size: the price difference for two 15gal is only a shade more than two 10gal, and will obviously give me more options, later. But just starting out, will 15gal pots be *too* big? If I want to do a simple (low gravity) 3gal batch, will it just be lost in the bottom of that huge pot, or will it be Ok?

I'm having a really hard time sorting out which size makes more sense. I read this, and it seems like 10gal is a decent bet, but if I want to upgrade later, it will cost an arm and a leg…
 

saq

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
783
Reaction score
49
Location
Tucson
Even the 10g would be overkill for 3gal batches. The thermometer comes up to the 5g mark on a 10g kettle. Why are you only doing 3g batches?
 

Lil' Sparky

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
92
Location
Honolulu, HI
Even the 10g would be overkill for 3gal batches. The thermometer comes up to the 5g mark on a 10g kettle. Why are you only doing 3g batches?
Agreed. The 15 gal pots would be great for 10 gal batches, and would work for 5 gal batches. They're really too big for 3 gals IMO. Why 3 gals though? 5/10 is the same amount of time/work if you've got the capacity.
 
OP
LandoCalrissian
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
24
Reaction score
1
Location
NJ
Oh, so 3gal batches are a PITA size, I see. I was thinking that since I am new to this I might want to make a few smaller batches to get started, but I guess that isn't a great idea.

It does sound like the 15gal would be a smart buy, though, so I think I'll try for that. Thanks, everybody.
 

silverbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
1
Location
Birmingham UK
Datamike..... Everyone who owns one....Fantastic pictures...What's the outside diameter of that lovely punched disc please, and what size pot is it out off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Blichman site does not say what sizes they are, only which size boiler they fit.
 

datamike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
105
Reaction score
3
Dimensions for all sizes are on the site:

Performance Data

Scroll to the right for kettle diameters.

Michael

Datamike..... Everyone who owns one....Fantastic pictures...What's the outside diameter of that lovely punched disc please, and what size pot is it out off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Blichman site does not say what sizes they are, only which size boiler they fit.
 

silverbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
1
Location
Birmingham UK
Hi Datamike and Saq, Thanks for the link.

It looks like I need a false bottom from a 10G pot. The plan is to make my keggle suit the Bickman bottom if needs be, that's why I need the dimensions so I can plan ahead before I actualy get to see a real one in the flesh.

As you both own one of these, would you please measure the size of the false bottom for me,as the link info gives boiler internal diameter, and rim diameter of the flat in the base, so I am still none the wiser as to how big the false bottom is, apart from the fact that it is in between those two sizes!! All I can tell from the chart is that it must be less than 13,8" for the 10 gallon pot and 15.7" for the 15gp.

I would like the overall diameter of the FB, and if you are in a good mood, the diameter of those punched holes would be good to know and also how big the gap is sideways through the punched holes. (you can stick multiple bits of paper, or a "feeler gauge" through the slot until they fit snugly, then measure how thick the paper sheets are with a vernier caliper or a micrometer.....or read the thickness straight of the feeler gauges. An ordinary rule would do if that is all there is to hand..

Thanks guys ......
 

saq

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2008
Messages
783
Reaction score
49
Location
Tucson
The false bottom sits pretty much 100% flush with the sides of the pot. So the figures on the Blichmann page for internal diameter would be pretty much the diameter of the false bottom.
Honestly I would just buy a Boilermaker over converting a keg, they may be more expensive but they are SO MUCH easier to work with they are easily worth the cost after you figure the costs of putting in a good dip tube, 3 piece stainless ball valve, site gauge, etc.
 

silverbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
1
Location
Birmingham UK
That's exactly what I was thinking, but I didn't like to say!!! The next thing is will the tape have a metric scale on it :)
 

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,038
Reaction score
326
Location
Holland, MI
So, ummm, does anyone that owns a blichman false bottom want to measure the outside diameter of their false bottom and post it for the forum? And then identify which kettle it is recommended for from Blichmann?

Thanks.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,278
Reaction score
775
Location
Southwest
I own the 30 gallon BoilerMaker false bottom. It measures 19-3/16" in diameter and has three little support "feet" in the center. With a little creative modification, it will fit in the 20 gallon MegaPot sold by Northern Brewer (it's just a tiny bit undersized, so you'll need a "collar" of sorts to cover the gap around the circumference).

Caveat: I haven't brewed with it, yet. It's sitting on my kitchen counter awaiting modification.



This thread will have the build info:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/idea-ultimate-mash-tun-39746
 

BrewBeemer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
3,497
Reaction score
27
Location
native islander my paradise
Datamike..... Everyone who owns one....Fantastic pictures...What's the outside diameter of that lovely punched disc please, and what size pot is it out off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Blichman site does not say what sizes they are, only which size boiler they fit.
Wow these 10 and 15 gallon Blichman owners must of signed a contract not to let the public know their FB diameters. Only the 30 gallon was posted again not what you asked for many times. They must all be lawyers or politicians keeping beating around the bush without a simple direct answer I had the same B/S from another complete brewing equipment manufacrture this causing a red flag to not touch their product after 5 B/S return replies.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
78
One thing I do not like about the Blichmann kettles is that all of the fittings are the weldless type. I don't understand why they build them this way, but it might be because the SS used is thin and would be difficult to weld. I do like the punched out false bottom design, but not much else.
 

Boar Beer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
530
Reaction score
21
Location
Central NH
Well the other reason is when we all go through the long drawn out thought process of picking a kettle we end up with 30 gallons.

But the basic rule is that what ever size you get within 1 year you will be looking at a bigger kettle. My eye is currently on a 55 gallon Blichmann.
 

Boar Beer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
530
Reaction score
21
Location
Central NH
OK Bobby you are probably right but we have stepped up from 5 gallons to 10 gallon to 15 gallon batches in under 3 three years.
And when you add in some big beers it gets out of hand.

Is this a sport or hobby?
 

BrewBeemer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
3,497
Reaction score
27
Location
native islander my paradise
One thing I do not like about the Blichmann kettles is that all of the fittings are the weldless type. I don't understand why they build them this way, but it might be because the SS used is thin and would be difficult to weld. I do like the punched out false bottom design, but not much else.
You left out their posted price, too rich for my liking, I would be mad at myself not alone the WAR DEPARTMENT if I spent that kind of money when she knows I have a shop.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
78
You left out their posted price, too rich for my liking, I would be mad at myself not alone the WAR DEPARTMENT if I spent that kind of money when she knows I have a shop.
Yeah, they are kind of pricey. There is one other thing I don't like about the Blichmann design. The sight glass tubes are connected to the kettle above the false bottom. Would be better to mount it below the FB so that it could be used as an indicator when doing a pump recirc. It's not a big deal for me though, as I don't use a sight glass. Instead, I use a vacuum gage to monitor the suction when recirculating.
 

dudes

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Houston
How do these works as MLTs? Do you have to keep flame on them, or will they hold temp pretty well in ambient conditions?

Anyone wrap theirs in some sort of thermal material?
 

bnhocking

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
Location
Walton
The false bottom sits pretty much 100% flush with the sides of the pot. So the figures on the Blichmann page for internal diameter would be pretty much the diameter of the false bottom.
Honestly I would just buy a Boilermaker over converting a keg, they may be more expensive but they are SO MUCH easier to work with they are easily worth the cost after you figure the costs of putting in a good dip tube, 3 piece stainless ball valve, site gauge, etc.
Exactly Why I bought Blickmann Kettles
 

wyoder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Location
Charlottesville
Hi Datamike and Saq, Thanks for the link.

It looks like I need a false bottom from a 10G pot. The plan is to make my keggle suit the Bickman bottom if needs be, that's why I need the dimensions so I can plan ahead before I actualy get to see a real one in the flesh.

As you both own one of these, would you please measure the size of the false bottom for me,as the link info gives boiler internal diameter, and rim diameter of the flat in the base, so I am still none the wiser as to how big the false bottom is, apart from the fact that it is in between those two sizes!! All I can tell from the chart is that it must be less than 13,8" for the 10 gallon pot and 15.7" for the 15gp.

I would like the overall diameter of the FB, and if you are in a good mood, the diameter of those punched holes would be good to know and also how big the gap is sideways through the punched holes. (you can stick multiple bits of paper, or a "feeler gauge" through the slot until they fit snugly, then measure how thick the paper sheets are with a vernier caliper or a micrometer.....or read the thickness straight of the feeler gauges. An ordinary rule would do if that is all there is to hand..

Thanks guys ......
Silverbrewer,

Did you ever find the actual measurements on the Blichmann false bottoms for sizes other than the 30 gallon? I'm really interested in the size of the 20 gallon version...
 
Top