can I use a turkey fryer??

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dsoto75

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I have read a few posts in the forums about people asking opinions about turkey fryers for I guess boiling the wart. Can you use a turkey fryer? I'm mean I guess I don't see why not, and I'm thinking that would actually be a cool idea. If so, any suggestions as to brands?

I got about 200 bucks burning a hole in my pocket, and would not mind spending it on my beer brewing habit, before my wife finds it for more shoes or handbags :eek:

thanks for the advice

-daddy dave
 

Coastarine

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Sir Humpsalot

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Sure.. turkey fryers are fine. However, depending on where you are with your brewing endeavors, you may save some money in the long run by starting bigger...

Most of those frying pots are about 5 or maybe 6 gallons... which makes a full 5 gallon All Grain (AG) batch impossible. On eBay you can always find 10-15 gallon pots for under a hundred bucks or so.... with a 10 gallon pot you can do 6 gallon batches easily. You can also do an easy 5 gallon AG batch.

Burners are tricky... some are damned expensive for no apparent reason. Look for a bunch of BTU's in whatever you buy. Many of the turkey fryer burners are pretty small. You should be able to get a much nicer burner than that included in most of the kits.. and you can probably get it for $75 or less... possibly quite a bit less...
 

kevinvalet

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I bought a turkey fryer because I have a electric stove and it takes forever to get water boiling. I priced out stainless steel pots and found I could get the pot and fryer for the same price. For me it was a no brainer and I did my first batch in it 2 weeks ago and bottled it tonight.

Oh, and it came with a nice thermometer.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Northern Brewer has a banjo burner with stand (210K BTU's) for $80. Most turkey fryers are around 50-60K BTU's... and I know you can get a banjo burner for at least twenty bucks less if you scour the web looking for it...

And I can say from experience that the 60K BTU models will not bring 10 gallons to a real rolling boil... at least not in a reasonable amount of time under normal conditions... but you can always turn down the bigger burner to save gas.

So I say get the big burner for $50-80 and a *big* kettle and you'll be set. And you can bring it in well under your $200 limit. It will ease your transition to all grain and it will allow you to do 10 gallon batches in case you want to, oh say, supply your friend's summer barbecue without appreciably eating into your basement beer reserves... I definitely regret not starting off with a bigger burner when I started. That and a good chiller are the only two things that will really save you time on a brew day. Sure, we all love to be out there all day... but sometimes you have time constraints and besides these two piece of equipment, there's just not much more time to be saved on a brew day... so it's definitely nice to have...
 
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dsoto75

dsoto75

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I love you guys.......
 

ACo

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why use a turkey fryer though...are you gonna use it for that purpose? If not, i suggest going to walmart and getting a stainless steel pot for $50
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Not a problem at all... and again.. thinking ahead... If you think you might get a hankering to do a 10 gallon batch or two, then get the 15 gallon kettle so that 10 gallon batches are easy. My advice is just to look at it economically. Get the biggest darned pot you can get (and a burner to bring it to a boil). You'll never regret it...

Heck, even doing 5 gallon batches in a 15 gallon pot is awesome because you never really have to worry about boil overs. And really, it's a one time purchase. Sure, someday you might decide to upgrade to a 15.5 gallon system (to fill an actual keg). Even if you do, that 15 gallon pot will be just fine for heating strike water. And there are pros who use 15 gallon systems when they start... so that one pot should last you your entire lifetime...

A 5 gallon pot? You'll outgrow it when you go AG. A 6 gallon pot will work, but you'll find it to be a little small. Still, a 6 gallon turkey fryer might be a great budget purchase.

A 7.5 gallon pot? Will work for a 5 gallon AG batch, but you'll outgrow it when you want to make a double batch. And at this point you've already outgrown turkey fryers, so you're either looking at either a keggle (7.5 gallon pony keg or else a 15.5 full size keggle converted for brewing) or else restaurant-type stock pots. It's a very convenient size.... but on the other hand, you've now reached the point that unless you've gotten a really good deal, it won't cost much more to go a bit bigger...

A 10 gallon pot? What's the point? It's a kind of a silly size to get... You won't be able to do an All Grain double batch and you'll HATE doing a double batch without extra space for evaporation, let alone boil overs... It's really not much better than the 7.5 gallon size except that you can theoretically do a 10 gallon batch.

A 12.5 gallon pot? Is good enough for a 10 gallon extract batch, but not nearly enough for an All Grain double batch. And if you're brewing for friends at that point, the cost difference between extract and all grain is not insignificant! Blowing a hundred bucks on extract? Forget about it! (IMHO).

A 15 gallon pot? That'll do a 10 gallon batch, even All Grain, with minimal worries about boil overs and it can even heat enough water for a 15 or 20 gallon batch, which makes it useful for something even if/when your batches take on extreme proportions... and by that time, I guarantee that a 5, 7.5, or even 10 gallon pot will have been sent to the trash heap, or passed along to another brewer... The 15 gallon pot can be used in a limited capacity as you start a company and brew your own beer for a little while and it's also the ideal size for an all grain double batch... So in my mind, the 15 gallon kettle is the smallest size that will never need to be upgraded by 99.999% of the homebrewers out there. It's the size I would recommend to anyone who is serious about learning to brew and sharing their beer.

A 20 gallon pot? If you're routinely making double batches (10 gallons) of All Grain beer, this is definitely the size to get (if not a little larger). It will have the space to reduce the risk of boil overs while holding 15-17 gallons of boiling wort. Just try that with a 15 gallon kettle!

And yes... you can ALWAYS go bigger... ;)

But with all that said... there's nothing wrong with starting with a 5 gallon pot and a turkey fryer. Maybe you'll be happy to never go all-grain. Maybe you won't ever want or need the extra capacity. But I've laid out the limitations of each size so you can make the right choice for you. I think it's perfectly reasonable to start out with a pot between 6 and 7.5 gallons and it will take you through All Grain brewing 5 gallon batches just fine. Anything beyond that is a luxury. Unfortunately though, by the time you've reached 6 gallons, you're already beyond the size of most turkey fryer kits, so you're then looking at restaurant supply stores (or "illegally made" keggles)... and at that point, the cost of going a little larger... to ten or fifteen gallons... is not so significant.

So my advice? get a 5 gallon turkey fryer if money is tight and you'll make some damn fine beer. If you've got a little flexibility in your bank account, the 7.5 gallon kettle is a LOT nicer for just a little more money... and if you're getting the 7.5 and space is not an issue, then there's a lot to be said for just getting the 15 gallon one to start with because you will never outgrow it.
 
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dsoto75

dsoto75

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why use a turkey fryer though...are you gonna use it for that purpose? If not, i suggest going to walmart and getting a stainless steel pot for $50
If I picked one up, i would not be using it for turkeys :), my eletric stove stinks, and reading the other posts about it, I thought this may be the solution. So from what I gather...use the burner ditch the included pot though...cause honestly I was gonna use it too LOL, though taking sir humpsalot advice, I'll be looking for a bigger pot...just so i have the options to do bigger and better later on.
 
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dsoto75

dsoto75

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then get the 15 gallon kettle so that 10 gallon batches are easy. My advice is just to look at it economically. Get the biggest darned pot you can get (and a burner to bring it to a boil). You'll never regret it...
You had me at 15 gallon..:D, you sir have become my yoda

So where do I find these 15 gallon vessels of goodness you speak of o brewmaster.
 

winzerz

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I use mine for both beer and frying

did my first 6 gallon boil 3 weeks ago for a scotish ale 80+/-

worked great the nylon paint strainer bags help keep it from boiling over

I started using a bag within a bag first one for specialty grains second one for

hops works great

and no I am not boiling my specialty grainsit pulls out and then I throw

the hops in

brew on

:mug:
 
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dsoto75

dsoto75

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LOL my posts must be delayed or something cause I didnt see Coastarine's post before i wrote this...
 

TeufelBrew

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I started with a bayou classic 30qt aluminum pot and burner. I think it was around $50 at Lowe's. I used it for AG batches for the last 8 months. Now it's my HLT (hot liqour tank) for strike and sparge. Looked on craigslist for a while and found a sweet deal on 15gallon SS kettle and Bayou SQ14 burner.

If your willing to wait a while and look on craigslist you can find some awesome deals there as well.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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I edited my post back on page one... if the OP or others care to reread it.

There's nothing wrong with a turkey fryer and the included 5-6 gallon pot. It'll brew beer. It just won't go All Grain for 5 gallon batches (well, you can manage well enough with a 6 gallon pot for AG).

I don't mean to disparage any turkey fryer brewers. In fact, that is how I started. The only thing is that now I see that had it not been for after-thanksgiving fire sales on turkey fryers, that I could have gone MUCH larger for about $50 more. As it was, I got my combo fryer/burner for about $40 and at that price, it was a steal. But I immediately saw that a bigger pot would be nicer and a bigger burner would be much MUCH better... afterall, this isn't something I'd just be using once a year... Sure, I still use the 20qt pot as my HLT sometimes and it works fine. And I also use the 50,000 BTU burner as my second burner for heating strike water and such... but I do find myself wishing I had a bigger burner, even though it is my secondary one. So if you're looking at normal prices for this stuff, then I think starting larger makes a lot of sense... you will never miss not starting with a little turkey fryer... believe me! But, I say again, the turkey fryer is a great budget set up if you don't have the extra $50-$100 to spend (or would rather spend that money on something else like a high quality wort chiller or AG equipment).

Start looking at eBay for kettles, at least to get a feel for prices. Stainless Steel is better, but often expensive, as you would imagine. The problem with most places that aren't Chicago/NY/LA/etc is that there's not much of a competitive market for obscure over-sized restaurant supplies, so that makes online sources your best bet to get a good market-price. Even when I lived in Chicago, if a local store could beat the internet price, it was only because I had to drive out there and pick it up myself to save on shipping. For folks in smaller towns looking for obscure items (like 15 gallon pots), the internet is really the best place to start looking...
 

Sir Humpsalot

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I started with a bayou classic 30qt aluminum pot and burner. I think it was around $50 at Lowe's. I used it for AG batches for the last 8 months. Now it's my HLT (hot liqour tank) for strike and sparge.
That's a good point. Your old brew kettle will eventually become your HLT... so you can expand a little from whatever size you've started out with. But I still say that nobody was ever disappointed that they bought a larger kettle. ;)

And you're right craigslist can pop up some real great stuff if you've got the time to be patient... Of course, it's easier to be patient when you already have a perfectly huge kettle and are just looking for something to serve as an HLT.. at least that way, you're looking at a wider range of sizes when seeking the HLT. On the other hand, if you plan on making your brewkettle your HLT, then you only have a limited number of sizes to look for as a new kettle. Who knows... you might have a 15 gallon brewkettle, you might be looking for an HLT, and the absolute deal of a lifetime is on a 20 gallon SS pot... or a 7.5 gallon keggle. If you're just looking for a HLT, either will be great. If you need to replace your kettle though, then you're limiting the amount of things for which craigslist can help you. It then requires even more patience to find something that will work for you.
 

Jewrican

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yeah you may want to think about using a keggle and a good burner / stand.
 

TeufelBrew

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Your old brew kettle will eventually become your HLT... so you can expand a little from whatever size you've started out with. But I still say that nobody was ever disappointed that they bought a larger kettle. ;)
Good point for sure! If you have the room in your budget, go big. It will not be a waste if you continue to brew.

Flip side, the big pot I got from CL was from a couple who went big from batch #1 and didn't really like the process. Taking a little time to determine if you'll be doing this long term can save quite a few bucks.

Look around, listen to suggestions, process the HUGE freakin overload of info coming your way and buy the biggest pot and burner you can get your hand on. Just like with the beer though, RDWHAHB helps. Some patience and time to learn/process all the info helps you make the best choice for you and your situation.
 

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Have you (or anyone else) ever bought from this vendor? I get nervous with buying things online from vendors I've never heard of.. The price is right, and I'm looking to buy, but not if I'm going to get ripped off.
 

Coastarine

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Have you (or anyone else) ever bought from this vendor? I get nervous with buying things online from vendors I've never heard of.. The price is right, and I'm looking to buy, but not if I'm going to get ripped off.
Yes, that's the sweet deal I got on a 15 gallon stock pot. I shopped around for an aluminum pot in the 50-70qt range and that was the best price+shipping that I could find.

Everything was as advertised, shipping was reasonable IIRC, and prompt.
 

STAD

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Sweet, I think you should get a commission for being such a salesman. Their crappy website sure didn't do it for me.
 
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