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Burner? Brew pot material?

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NoNothing

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Well, Ive been doing research for a few weeks now. And the only thing I cant come to decide on is what kind of brew pot to get. And yes, I have used the search but not gotten the answers I was looking for.

I guess you need some information to help me out.
First off, Im starting out so Im only looking to use extract and eventualy (months down the line) switch off to AG. To be honest, I dont have a clue what the difference between full or partial boil is yet.

I am looking at getting a 5 Gal stainless steel brew pot from Northern Brewer for $36. I could save some money and go to meijer, wal-mart or anything like that and pick up a "graniteware" 21qt pot for $20 but what are the advantages of getting the stainless steel over the graniteware?

Should I be looking to invest in a burner? I was just going to use a stove top since burners are quite a bit and didnt think I would need to move to that untill/if I start doing larger batches.

Thank you, this forum has taught me so much already.
 

BrianP

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Welcome to HBT!

5 gallon is a little small if you intend to get to AG eventually. I bought and currently use a 30-quart turkey fryer (currently on sale at Home Depot).

It's an aluminum 7.5 gal kettle and burner which will work for you now and 'down the road' should you want to try full boil extract/PM or AG. For AG it is just big enough for 5-gal batches. I'm currently considering larger kettles so I can do 10-gal batches, but my 30-qt will still be useful for heating strike and sparge water.

Consider the fryer kit - it's a good way to get started without having something you'll regret later.

Seeing you mentioned Meijers, you must be from the midwest. Where about are you from?
 

DutchK9

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For about the same money you could probably find a keg and make a keggle. They hold 15 gallons and are excellent to use and not worry about boil overs.
 

eriktlupus

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+1 to brianp! the fryer setup will set ya back 40-50 bones but that will include a burner. just make sure ya boil a batch of water in it first to get rid of manufacturing chemicals and to oxidize the aluminium( you'd boil a SS pot to). and as for the keggle they do work but if you decide it's not the hobby for you at some point tdown the road it's just an empty hulk. it's not that hard to get a rolling boil without boiling over either in 7.5g pot, i usually start with 7+g doing ag and end with 5.5 or so into ferm:ban:
 
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NoNothing

NoNothing

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BrianP, Im from Michigan, Living in Ann Arbor right now and finishing up college at Michigan Tech in Houghon shortly here...should put that in my profile eh?

I checked out home depot, was this the pot you were talking about http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...Id=10053&productId=100387819&N=10000003+90072 ? I may have to go pick that up today.

And I take it that thing should only be used on the burner? not on a stove. I would need a step stool to get at it on the stove anyway.

The risk of boil over decreasing with the larger pot is pretty nice, but all the places I was looking at online pots were just EXPENSIVE, glad I was told about this one. And as far as a keggle goes, I dont really think thats for me at this point.
 

Kai

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Full boils are good for extract, too, you'll get less kettle caramelisation and thus a better colour, as well as better hops utilisation. 7.5G is enough for AG if you watch it like a hawk for boilovers and syphon aggressively. I boil from ~7G and leave less than 2qt behind to get a solid 5G.
 

BrianP

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You can probably use the 7.5 gallon kettle on a stovetop, but your stove won't be able to boil your wort anywhere near as fast the burner will.

With the turkey-fryer setup, do need to watch for boil-overs carefully. I've recently started using an anti-foaming agent called Fermcap, which is sold by Northern Brewing. Click here A few drops prevents the big build-up in foam that occurs at the beginning of the boil and during your first hop additions. I've read you can also add a couple drops to prevent blow-offs during fermentation.
 

Yooper

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BrianP, Im from Michigan, Living in Ann Arbor right now and finishing up college at Michigan Tech in Houghon shortly here...should put that in my profile eh?

I checked out home depot, was this the pot you were talking about http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...Id=10053&productId=100387819&N=10000003+90072 ? I may have to go pick that up today.

And I take it that thing should only be used on the burner? not on a stove. I would need a step stool to get at it on the stove anyway.

The risk of boil over decreasing with the larger pot is pretty nice, but all the places I was looking at online pots were just EXPENSIVE, glad I was told about this one. And as far as a keggle goes, I dont really think thats for me at this point.
I use a turkey fryer pot on my stove, even though I have a burner. I just like brewing inside. I didn't realize you were so "close" to where I live. (In the UP, close is anything within about 150 miles, or so- we count distance in hours, not miles, so you're less than "2 hours" from me).

You CAN certainly get a granitewear pot to try extract brewing before investing any more money. You can still use it later, to heat sparge water, etc, if you do go AG. I wouldn't spend much money on a 5 gallon brew pot, because you really won't use it if you go AG, so get a cheap one. If you never go AG, you can always buy a nicer pot down the road, and even then, it's nice to boil 6 gallons, so you would probably still want a 30 quart pot at a minimum then. So, my advice is to beg, borrow, or, um, borrow, a 5 gallon pot to start with, and make a few extract batches to see if you want to go bigger and then spend the money on the bigger pot. I still use my enamel pot to heat water, and it was really cheap in the canning department of Shopko.
 
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NoNothing

NoNothing

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thanks for the advice everyone!

And I didn't realize I lives close to anyone in the UP @yooperBrew

I ended up going to home depot today to help my mom pick up a new mailbox (someone stole hers right out of the ground). I ended up seeing the kit BrianP mentioned. $38 out the door for a 30qt stainless steel pot and a burner! So I picked it up. Hope it works out.
 
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NoNothing

NoNothing

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Great pic!

There is another school about a mile from Michigan Tech (MTU) called Finlandia University (FU). My freshman year there was a sign that was quickly pulled that said "Welcome students of MTU and FU".
 
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