Bought a Large Steam Kettle - Now What?

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Jun 10, 2008
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Manchester NH
So, I bought a large steam kettle for the brewery I want to have "someday".

It has a capacity of 600 gallons, but I'll only brew 400 due to head space.

It may have been an impulse buy. I assumed hooking it up to a Craiglist boiler from a home furnace would be enough. Now, I'm thinking, not so much.

Using this handy info means I need half a million BTU to boil 400 gallons. What?!?!

"My tap water comes out at 55° and water boils at 212°.
1 gal. of water weighs 8.3 lbs
Weight X Differences of Water temp to boil temp = BTU per gal
8.3 x (212 - 55) = 1303.1 BTU's to boil 1 gal."

So, I found a free steam furnace rated for 158k BTU. So, it will take 3 hours to bring my wort to a boil?

Does the heat transfer from the steam jackets help?

I'm going to need to source a larger boiler, but where?



Well-Known Member
May 10, 2014
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I'd figure out how to use it as a mash tun or maybe fermenter, or just sell it and get something that is specifically made for brewing.
You're going to brew 400 gallons at a time? That's like a 12Bbl batch?
You're going to have a lot of money invested in fermenters, kegs, grain and many other things to handle that kind of volume, so having some half baked brewhouse just isn't going to cut it.
If you are starting a 1BBL Nano brewery, cobbling together a low budget brewhouse may make sense (or maybe not), but what you are talking about is an entirely different situation.