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Did you buy a cheap turkey fryer and returned it?

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beergears

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Getting equipped for AG, bought a cheap turkey fryer, Dick's Sporting Goods.

This is a low quality construction and material, which, I am sure, is common for the rice range... It would work but I don't know if I want to keep it.

My own partial answers:
1 maybe my brewing deserves better?
2 keep the pot for HLT use later

SWMABO says "get the good stuff..!"
(note that we are both old enough to be the parents of some forum members.. so it is not like I' m gonna keep upgrading...!!)
 

Chriso

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From experience, 7.5 gal turkey fryers are BARELY suitable for 5 gal batches. It's what I have right now, and it's constantly a stress point when trying to get to a boil, because there is just NO headspace in this thing!

I guess if you kept your boils short - less than 45 min or so - you could collect less than 7 gal wort since you get less evap, and then it would not be such a tight squeeze.

Keggles are godsends. I'm still trying to find a donor vessel locally. Soon. Oh, soon.
 

Joker

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I use a 7.5 gallon stainless pot and regularly have boil overs since I start with 6 gallons preboil typically. If you are going to buy once and buy right start with a converted keg. I wish I would have.
 

Beerthoven

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The key to avoiding boil overs is to lower the heat almost to the point of turning it off just as the wort starts to foam up. You have to watch very closely.

Boil on a very low flame for the first several minutes, then gradually raise the heat as the hot break falls away.

I learned this trick making beef and chicken stock as a restaurant cook. Mopping up 10 gallons of stock in front of an angry french chef is not fun.

Also, don't add your first hop addition until after the hot break subsides.
 

Chriso

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What if your first hop addition is FWH?

That was my problem on the RIS. I had a FWH and then a 60 as soon as i hit boil. Added the 60 and BOOM!
 

Beerthoven

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chriso said:
What if your first hop addition is FWH?

That was my problem on the RIS. I had a FWH and then a 60 as soon as i hit boil. Added the 60 and BOOM!
Even if you do a FWH, aggressively lowering the heat as the wort comes to a boil should still help.

Once the wort is boiling, it doesn't need as much heat to keep it boiling. I usually run my burner at max to get it up to boiling, turn it down nearly to off when the hot break rises, then gradually raise it to about 1/4 or 1/2 once the hot break subsides and the first hops are in. I have not had a boil over yet (knock on wood).
 

abracadabra

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Sounds to me like SWMBO has already spoken.:)

And I'd have to agree with her, if you can afford the good stuff, don't bother with Cheap A$$ equipment or you will forever be upgrading or wishing you could.
 

Chriso

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I probably just need a high-quality propane regulator then. Mine (crappy 10psi bayou classic) doesn't adjust like you're talking about. It's pretty much a choice between "on", "really on", and "OMG I'M MELTIIIIIING".
 

Bobby_M

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If you're trying to get 5 finished gallons of beer and you're going all grain, 7.5 gallon pots are not going to do it. Let's face it, no one wants to stand there and micromanage a boil. Get at LEAST a 40qt pot if you want 5 gallon batches. If you want to move up to 10 gallons, you'll need a 15 gallon pot. If money is tight, that means a converted 1/2bbl keg. If money is no object, go with a wider/shorter kettle, aluminum is fine. I believe everyone uses kegs because they're cheaper, not better. They take a while to heat up.
 

Beerthoven

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Bobby_M said:
If you're trying to get 5 finished gallons of beer and you're going all grain, 7.5 gallon pots are not going to do it. Let's face it, no one wants to stand there and micromanage a boil. Get at LEAST a 40qt pot if you want 5 gallon batches. If you want to move up to 10 gallons, you'll need a 15 gallon pot. If money is tight, that means a converted 1/2bbl keg. If money is no object, go with a wider/shorter kettle, aluminum is fine. I believe everyone uses kegs because they're cheaper, not better. They take a while to heat up.
It is a tight fit sometimes, but 7.5 to 8 gallons pots work just fine for normal gravity 5 gallon batches.

I have an 8 gallon pot and I routinely collect just over 6 gallons of wort. The only part of the boil I have to micromanage is the hot break. After that I can walk away without any problems. The key is not running your burner any hotter than you need to achieve a steady rolling boil.
 

Germey

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I was going to start a new thread, but my question is fairly closely related.
I just did my first all grain batch in a newly converted Keggle. My turkey fryer has always been able to get 4 gallons boiling violently in about 10 min, and keep it there with the flame nearly turned off. For this boil (about 8 gal.) i was never able to get a really good boil going. It was gently rolling, but I never had to knock down a foam or reduce the flame.
The one thing I did notice was that the air inlet right behind the burner assembly, got moved to only allow in the minimum amount of air. Could that be enough to cause such a cool flame, or is my turkey fryer just not up to 8-10 gal batches?

Also, two other options to knock down boil overs that I've seen as being very effective are using a clip on fan to blow constantly on the surface or keeping a spray mister bottle of clean water handy.
 

Dr Vorlauf

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I do 15 gallon batches with the turkey fryer. Takes the wort from 150 to the boil in about 15 min. I takes along time to heat up the mash and sparge water though.

A new burner and a plate chiller w/ pump are my next investments.
 

Bobby_M

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I've done all grain batches in a 7.5 in the past and only because I had the pot. I wouldn't suggest anyone go out and buy one knowing they want to do all grain. I like to get 5.75 gallons in the primary so I can have a solid full keg when it's all done. That means at least 7 gallons in the kettle... that's too close for comfort. You can easily scale back to 4.75 in the fermenter to make it work, etc, but if you're buying now... go bigger.
 

abracadabra

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Germey said:
I was going to start a new thread, but my question is fairly closely related.
I just did my first all grain batch in a newly converted Keggle. My turkey fryer has always been able to get 4 gallons boiling violently in about 10 min, and keep it there with the flame nearly turned off. For this boil (about 8 gal.) i was never able to get a really good boil going. It was gently rolling, but I never had to knock down a foam or reduce the flame.
The one thing I did notice was that the air inlet right behind the burner assembly, got moved to only allow in the minimum amount of air. Could that be enough to cause such a cool flame, or is my turkey fryer just not up to 8-10 gal batches?

.
It could be the air intake. Did the flame look different?

It could also be the turkey fyer its self just barely has the BTU's needed.

Check the regulator it's probably only a 10 PSI that's what most turkey fryers come with now days as the MGF. is afraid of a grease fire so they lowered the reg. pressure. A higher pressure reg. say a 20 or 30 PSI reg might help. Or a new banjo burner will definately do the job.

To the OP get the biggest best pot and burner your budget can afford. You can always go small with a big pot and burner. The hassle of trying to go big with a small pot and burner are not worth the effort.

I agree with Bobby standing guard every miunte of the boil because your pot is to small is not something most people find enjoyable.
 

Germey

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abracadabra said:
It could be the air intake. Did the flame look different?
Now that I think about it, I kept getting little shooting stars off the bottom of the keggle that I thought were crap burning off (first time use), but they may have been uncombusted propane.
It could also be the turkey fyer its self just barely has the BTU's needed.

Check the regulator it's probably only a 10 PSI that's what most turkey fryers come with now days as the MGF. is afraid of a grease fire so they lowered the reg. pressure. A higher pressure reg. say a 20 or 30 PSI reg might help. Or a new banjo burner will definately do the job.
Thanks, I never thought to look at the pressure rating
 

abracadabra

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Germey said:
Thanks, I never thought to look at the pressure rating
What I meant by different was say is the flame now orange where it use to be blue. Or smaller than it use to be at the same setting. The little shoot stars probably are just dust and crap burning off.

But yeah a higher PSI pressure reg will give you more bang for the buck. I like the adjustable 30 PSI as they cost about the same as an adjustable 20 PSI althought 30 PSI is overkill for a small turkey fyrer.
 
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