brew pots

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chip82

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I am looking to get into brewing some beer after trying my hand at wine. I have 2 questions regarding brew pots.

First, if I am making a 5 gallon batch, how big of brew pot will I need?
Secondly, where can I get a good quality one at a lower price?

All help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Chip
 

DrawTap88

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First, if I am making a 5 gallon batch, how big of brew pot will I need?
Secondly, where can I get a good quality one at a lower price?


Chip
First, it depends on which process you're going to use (all grain, extract, or partial mash). Since you said your looking to get into beer, I assume you'll be doing an extract batch to start off with and boiling only 2-3 gallons of water. For that a 5 gallon pot would be sufficient. If you would like to do a "full boil" you will need at least a 7.5 to 10 gallon pot to avoid boil over (the 10 gallon pot will also be sufficient if you ever decide to go all grain too). If you're going to do a partial mash, you will need at least two 5 gallon pots.

Secondly, there is a good thread on these here forums. I picked up a nice aluminum pot on Amazon.com. You may want to check them out as well.

Brew on!
 

Homercidal

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I recommend a 7.5 gallon kettle to start with, or larger. Unless you already own a largish stock pot of suitable type, there is no reason not to invest in something this big to start with.

The reason I recommend this over anything smaller is that you will want to do full boils, whether you are doing Extract or AG. If you have a largish pot already, you can do partial boils and then top off with cold water after the boil, but that is not preferred.

I bought a turkey fryer when I went to AG and I recommend trying to find one if money is an issue. You'll get an adequate kettle capable of full boiling most beers, and a burner large enough to heat it up quickly.

If you are just wanting to start with extracts, then perhaps the larger stock pot thing will be better. Keep in mind that if you want to boil on your stove, make sure the stove can handle the weight. And sometimes the burner can't get a good boil going over 3 gallons.
 

Synovia

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First, it depends on which process you're going to use (all grain, extract, or partial mash). Since you said your looking to get into beer, I assume you'll be doing an extract batch to start off with and boiling only 2-3 gallons of water. For that a 5 gallon pot would be sufficient. If you would like to do a "full boil" you will need at least a 7.5 to 10 gallon pot to avoid boil over (the 10 gallon pot will also be sufficient if you ever decide to go all grain too). If you're going to do a partial mash, you will need at least two 5 gallon pots.
Whether you're AG or Extract, full boils always make better beer. There's no reason to buy a pot that you're going to need to replace.


I have a 5g pot. I replaced it with an 8.5g pot in the first month of brewing. It was nothing but a waste of money.
 

pksmitty

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When I started out with extract, I simply used a 5 gallon pot on the stove. Did a couple extract batches with that, then moved to partial mash with the 5 gallon and 3 gallon pots. (My wife already owned these, so no money out of pocket yet). When I went all-grain, I bought a 10 gallon pot plus a lid from Sams Club online, delivered, for under $50. Here

I am very happy with this pot on a propane burner (I bought the Bayou Classic SQ-14). Works great for 5 gallon batches, and if I ever want to go to 10 gallon, all I need is a keggle.
 
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chip82

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I do like the sam's club idea, I will go check it out after work today.
 

dukerutledge

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This is a perfectly timed thread. I was just thinking of buying a new pot to start doing partial mash. However, I don't want to buy another 5 gallon if I'm just going to need to upgrade in a year or so.

My one question though, doesn't aluminum impart off flavors?
 

jonbomb

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If you are just wanting to start with extracts, then perhaps the larger stock pot thing will be better. Keep in mind that if you want to boil on your stove, make sure the stove can handle the weight. And sometimes the burner can't get a good boil going over 3 gallons.
I have an electric stove and had trouble getting a boil of 2.5 gallons in a 5 gallon pot...took an hour or so to boil.
 

pksmitty

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Chip

I don't think Sams Club carries the pots instore. You have to order online. I can, however vouch for the quality.

Duke

The aluminum off flavors / health issues / alzheimers thing has been rehashed many, many times. No, there is no problem using an aluminum pot. You simply have to boil water in it prior to use, in order to build an oxide layer. (The darkness you see in aluminum pots)

(Edit: boil water in it prior to the first use. This is a one-time thing)
 

JJL

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If you just want to get your feet wet in brewing buy a granite ware ceramic canning pot. Buy it in a 4 gallon or larger size (this is assuming you are going to start out extract brewing). They are usually under $30. The only caveat is that the manufacturer says not to use them on a glass top stove. I am always in favor of starting out with the bare minimum of equipment when you are just starting out because no matter what you buy for your first few batches, you are always going to have the urge to upgrade, assuming you want to continue brewing. It's like owning a boat, once you have one, you can't wait to get a bigger one.
 

Homercidal

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bovineblitz

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I have an electric stove and had trouble getting a boil of 2.5 gallons in a 5 gallon pot...took an hour or so to boil.
I can boil 7 gallons in about 35min on my electric stove. I replaced one of the burners with a canning element ($25) and I insulate the pot with foil. Take out the coils, line the stove with foil, put the elements back on top of the foil, put your pot on the stove, turn the foil up around the bottom of the pot, wrap a couple of layers of foil around the pot all the way up, and you'll be in business.

My pot sits fully on the canning element and half on one of the smaller coils and I crank them both. I wrap foil around the back half of the smaller coil (trying not to put the foil in direct contact with it) to retain some of the heat.


^ upped my heat output significantly




^ this was the first time I did it, now I use a larger sheet and wrap the foil up around the pot on the sides. Putting foil underneath helps a lot, you lose a lot less heat to the stove itself. The stove acts like a gigantic heatsink and gets incredibly hot, though with the foil now I can actually rest my hand on it comfortably.
 

bovineblitz

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I leave the lid on while bringing it up to temp then I only leave it about 1/3 on for the boil, it makes it slightly more vigorous.
 

gtpro

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I lined the burner basin with tin foil once, stuff was like tissue paper by the end of the brew.

That being said, I wouldnt recommend anything smaller than a 10g pot, thats what was told to me when I was contemplating, and I havent regretted the decision, I found an aluminum one for like $50 shipped online.
 
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