Brew kettle

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bren2426

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I am starting AG instead of extract and was wondering. Does my brew pot have to be stainless or can it be aluminum. For a 15 g. There is a big price difference between the two. I use a 5 g stainless now but need a bigger one going to AG. All answers and ideas welcome. Thanks.
 

Leithoa

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Assuming you're doing full volume extract boils and unless you'll be doing BIAB or building a mash tun you don't need a bigger kettle. The one you're using now for a boil kettle will work just fine. If you just want a bigger kettle so you can step up your batch size or want shiny new toys, there's nothing wrong with that either.

As far as the SS vs Al debate goes, it largely comes down to budget and user preference. An Al kettle will hold water just the same as a SS one, and at about 60% the cost. You just need to be mindful not to use abrasives or certain chemicals when you clean out an Al kettle.
If you keep an eye out and aren't on a strict time table it is possible to find 10G SS kettles for $80-120. I know you mentioned 15 but I don't remember any of the sale prices I've seen for those, sorry.
 

dmashl

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I use a 5 gallon SS pot and a 5 gallon Mash Tun. Use beersmith to make my recipes. I do 4 gallon partial boil and top off to 5.25 gallon before the pitch. Never had a problem hitting my numbers and makes great beer. Cant make a real high gravity beer, but I am ok with that.
 
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bren2426

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I do 5 g batches now where I boil 3.5 and top off before the pitch. But I do now have a 10 g mash tun and just from looking around and reading diff things I need to have at least a 10 g pot to do my AG. I found a 15.5 keggle with valve and electric heat for 150 is that a good deal and is it better to use electric versus a gas burner.
 

jigtwins

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I use a 8 gal ss pot for 5 gal ag batches. Got it on eBay for around $55 shipped. Got to be careful with boilovers for the first few batches. I like it better than the aluminum pots that I have used in the past. Imo the ss cleans up easier and faster.
 

mjohnson

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I use aluminum now. I would rather have stainless. Its just a bit easier to clean. There aren't really any impacts to quality of the product. I'd just go for SS unless the price difference means you can't start brewing.

Funny story, when I first started brewing, my aluminum pot was completely black inside! I scrubbed and scrubbed to get that black out. Then I filled it with water and within 30 minutes, it had turned the water grey and the sides black again.

A bit of googling and it turned out that black is exactly what you want - its an oxide protective layer. Kind of like a seasoned cast iron pan. Silly me. I felt like an idiot.
 

dgr

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Buy the aluminum. Take the savings and brew up some "free" beer.

Hot water, a little soap and a dishrag will get your aluminum pot clean. Add in a blue kitchen scrubby (since the blue ones don't have abrasive imbedded) for any difficult spots. Sometimes I think people forget that soap and water have been successfully used to clean for a looooong time.
 
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bren2426

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Well I found me an electric 15.5 keggle with valve on CL here in my town. The guy will sell it to me for 130. So I think I'm gonna pick it up in the morning. Now it is 220 as of the moment no hookup. So do you think it will be fine running a flame under it. I don't really see the issue but if anyone has any comments feel free.
 

dgr

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The only concern I would have would be burning the cord. Check this but I believe you can plug the hole for the hole with a 1" NPT stainless plug.
You can also build a heat shield underneath where the cord comes out of the element.
 
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bren2426

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I got a cord and plug from work that will hook I to my air compressor outlet so I will be using it with electric instead of flame. All equipment is being sanitized now. Brew day will be in a day or two. I'm using beersmith so hopefully everything turns out ok. Ill let you all know. Thanks.
 

mikescooling

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I have thicker commercial aluminum pots for cooking that are not cheap. But keggels are a nice size and cheap.
 
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bren2426

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Excellent info thanks. Thanks to all for the help. Im going with the 15.5 SS electric keggle. Brew day is tomorrow. Doing an AG red ale. And it will be kegged.
 
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