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Buying a new boiling pot...

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I've done lots of looking around on the web at boiling pots but just wanted a little input from experienced brewers before I make a purchase. The findings so far have me anywhere from $110 up to $180 and more for pots from 40 to 60 qt. This price does not bother me so much but I don't want to pay for more of a pot than I need for the hobby.
I don't really see myself doing more than 5 gal. batches since I like variety therefore smaller, more frequent brews. I am currently doing up to 3.5 gal. boils in a 22 qt. pot but would like to boil the whole batch (so up to 6 gal.) without fear of a boilover.
The pot I have is a tripple bottom, very solid pot and I really like that. I would think it would keep from scorching any ingredients which may make it to the bottom. I boil on a gas burner from a turkey fryer (as it seems most use) so there is plenty of heat potential.
So far I have siphoned the cooled wort out of my boil pot and have had no problem with this method so I don't think I will use a drain valve. I also don't really see a need for a side penetration for a thermometer. A side thermometer may also make it more difficult to put my submersible cooler in the pot since they stick in quite far.
Any recommendations on the size of pot that would be ideal for this or the brands that would be good and heavy duty? Also, I intend on going full grain soon (the reason for this purchase) so if I am missing something (like a reason that I may eventually need a drain valve etc...) please give me your input ;)

Thanks so much :D
 

rightwingnut

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I found a good deal on ebay. Four stainless kettles, I think they were 10, 8, 7, and 6 gallon...I can't remember. Total with shipping was $126. I bought them to set up an all-grain system. I'll probably ditch the lowest volume and use my current 7.5 gallon with the remaining three.. The seller was Falcon supply, and I think these pots are always available. Just search "stainless steel kettles" (or "stock pots".) The quality is not great, kinda thin, but I don't think they'll be a problem. Haven't used them yet, though. For 5 gallon batches, a 7.5 gallon (30 quart) kettle is ideal. Not too big, just enough.
 

uglygoat

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sam's club baby! i got a stainless steel turkey frier setup made by sunbeam, .304 grade stainless steel, professional food grade. gots a 8.5 gallon kettle, vented lid, stand, burner, thermometer, stainless steel racking cane that has a slick ass bend to get to the corner of my kettle and 6.5 carboy, all for 67.99. i'm gonna pick up another this weekend :)
 

crum

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t1master said:
sam's club baby! i got a stainless steel turkey frier setup made by sunbeam, .304 grade stainless steel, professional food grade. gots a 8.5 gallon kettle, vented lid, stand, burner, thermometer, stainless steel racking cane that has a slick ass bend to get to the corner of my kettle and 6.5 carboy, all for 67.99. i'm gonna pick up another this weekend :)
This is such a good deal I am tempted to pick one up. Is this electric or propane?
 

Dude

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If it were me, I'd look around for an old 15.5 gal brew keg and convert it to a kettle. Those things can be outfitted with thermometers, sight glasses and a spigot for much lower cost than buying a huge SS pot and then converting it.

My HBS sells converted kegs like that for 97 bucks. I think that's hard to beat. I'm about to give in and buy one, but I'm trying to hold out longer to find a keg of my own and do it myself.
 

Janx

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I found my kegs for about $40 I think. I found some before these that were free. They are out there. I think kegs.com has them (great burners too), but I have no idea price or shipping. Might be worth a look. Or ebay...it seems like shipping cost is always the deal breaker on big stuff like that.
 

Janx

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Sorry...and to answer you original questions, Dyer, your thinking seems sound to me. Sounds like you have a system that works. In terms of the kettle, all-grain has no different needs from extract, so if you like your setup, then don't change it. I use counterflow, so I need the spigot, so a side thermometer is no problem. It's nice to have some sort of thermometer so you can watch it approach boiling, but I'm sure you have something set up that works for you.

As far as size, we manage to boil starting quantity of I'd guess 14+ gallons sometimes in a converted keg (15.5 gallons). We have nice propane regulators, so you can really play the heat in the first explosive stage of the boil. It climbs above the rim of the kettle usually. I guess I'd want at least an 8 or 9 gallon pot for 6 gallons of wort, but I'd also see if you can find a keg for future flexibility.

Your mash tun will need a spigot with a false bottom of drainage manifold, but you probably knew that. Cheers! :D
 

crum

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t1master said:
sam's club baby! i got a stainless steel turkey frier setup made by sunbeam, .304 grade stainless steel, professional food grade. gots a 8.5 gallon kettle, vented lid, stand, burner, thermometer, stainless steel racking cane that has a slick ass bend to get to the corner of my kettle and 6.5 carboy, all for 67.99. i'm gonna pick up another this weekend :)
Well I picked one of these up at lunch today. This will be a nice upgrade from my 7.5 gal aluminum kettle. Now I should be able to do a entire 5 gallon batch with less worry of a boil over.
It is propane.
 

Ed_Savage

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t1master said:
sam's club baby! i got a stainless steel turkey frier setup made by sunbeam, .304 grade stainless steel, professional food grade. gots a 8.5 gallon kettle, vented lid, stand, burner, thermometer, stainless steel racking cane that has a slick ass bend to get to the corner of my kettle and 6.5 carboy, all for 67.99. i'm gonna pick up another this weekend :)

Damn! I tried going to Sam's club to find this deal, and apparentely they dont have this setup anymore. :mad: They only have a crappy aluminium one. I need to get a friggin stainless brew kettle ASAP! Im dying to brew my first batch (Vanilla Weizen). I have the ingredients and all of the other necessary equiptment. If anyone has a lead on a good turkey fryer setup, simmilar to the one described in the above quote. Please drop me a line!!
 

George

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If anyone is interested in 1/2 barrels, a great place to check is your local recycler. My local one has two immaculate 1/2 barrels, and a couple of 1/4's. They're selling for 50 cents per pound. I weighed the 1/2's and they're 32 lbs. a piece. 16 bucks, you can't beat that.
 
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Got my Sabco kettle in today :D I'm very satisfied. Very professional welds and the top cut out with no sharp edges. Keg is in great shape. Got their false bottom also and it's very nice. Sits a bit above 2 inches from the bottom of the keg so all of the wort can drain out from the hops and I can still get it out from the siphoning drain. I made my own siphon for under 20 bucks as opposed to their version at 100 bucks. I am glad this is over and done... no more worrying about botch weld jobs or searching the recycler (whom I never can get to during buisness hours). One thing about this (and probly any welded fitting keg from anywhere as the heat does tend to warp threads to a small degree no matter how cautious they are)... lube up the fitting before you thread in anything. I thought I galled the darn threads and I was really sweating it. Used just a bit of vegetable oil to lube it up and ... perfect!
 

tnlandsailor

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I think you made the right call on this one. Having someone else do the hard stuff like cutting and welding stainless is definitely worth the cost. By the way, you should use teflon tape on all your pipe threads. It will act as a sealant as well as a thread lube. Good to over 450 F as well.

Prost,
 
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I plan on the teflon tape for the other fittings... this fitting was on the inside of the keg for the siphon so leaking isn't really a problem... unless this makes me lose the siphon when the level is low :cool:
 
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