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Does anyone have a Bichmann Boilermaker?

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Schnitzengiggle

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I'm thinking of purchasing a Blichmann Boilermaker pot, they look like the only pot you'd ever need/want. I can get one here in my hometown for under $300 (10 gallon). I will be upgrading to full boils and this would be one of my equip additions. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are they worth the price tag? They look like thay are but looks can be deceiving. I like the thermometer, lets ya know when you've reached pitching temps, of course ball valve makes things easy. At some point I will go all grain, and I WILL NOT be making more than 5 gallons at a time (I like too many different styles and don't have enough space for excess), any opnions?
 

fastricky

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I've got the 10 gallon with the false bottom for mashing... I love it and, yes, I spent the $$ as my philosophy on these types of things is 'Buy it right, buy it once'. Recommended.
 

Stinkonamonkey

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I'm thinking of purchasing a Blichmann Boilermaker pot, they look like the only pot you'd ever need/want. I can get one here in my hometown for under $300 (10 gallon). I will be upgrading to full boils and this would be one of my equip additions. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are they worth the price tag? They look like thay are but looks can be deceiving. I like the thermometer, lets ya know when you've reached pitching temps, of course ball valve makes things easy. At some point I will go all grain, and I WILL NOT be making more than 5 gallons at a time (I like too many different styles and don't have enough space for excess), any opnions?
You can get a 15 gallon keggle from Sabco for that price.

Universal Brewing Kettle - Sabco
 

jpc

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You can get a 15 gallon keggle from Sabco for that price.

Universal Brewing Kettle - Sabco
To be fair, you'd have to add a ball valve, sight glass, thermometer, and lid to the Sabco price to make an "apples to apples" comparison.

And the brew pot, IMO, looks a bit nicer, if that matters to you.

I have the 10 gallon and like the OP, I don't have the setup to do more than 5-6 gallon all-grain brews, because my situation is such that I'm confined to the kitchen (thankfully I have a Wolf range that can boil 7 gallons). I've used it three times so far, and haven't regretted the decision. It is spendy, but worth it.
 

slimer

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Get the 15 gallon pot instead of the 10. You'll want to do double batches eventually.
 
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I have the 30G boilermaker. If you have the money then go for it. I do feel it is a little overpriced for what it is. I have 2 B3 HD kettles as well and they are built much heavier duty. I use it as a mashtun and I do really like the false bottom.

Take a look at the B3 HD Kettles as well before you get the Blichmann.
 

Stinkonamonkey

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To be fair, you'd have to add a ball valve, sight glass, thermometer, and lid to the Sabco price to make an "apples to apples" comparison.

And the brew pot, IMO, looks a bit nicer, if that matters to you.

I have the 10 gallon and like the OP, I don't have the setup to do more than 5-6 gallon all-grain brews, because my situation is such that I'm confined to the kitchen (thankfully I have a Wolf range that can boil 7 gallons). I've used it three times so far, and haven't regretted the decision. It is spendy, but worth it.
I agree on all points. The additional items wouldn't add up to over $300 if you shopped wisely. But, let me tell you, having the extra capacity when doing 5 gallon batches is priceless. I don't even have to worry about the hot break boiling over. I'd be comfortable setting my flame to high and walking away for an hour if it weren't for hops additions. The hot break climbs all the way up the keggle but doesn't go over. All I'm saying is the capacity is worth it if your going to be paying that much money.

Edit: I wouldn't want a Keggle for stovetop brewing.
 

jpc

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I agree on all points. The additional items wouldn't add up to over $300 if you shopped wisely. But, let me tell you, having the extra capacity when doing 5 gallon batches is priceless. I don't even have to worry about the hot break boiling over. I'd be comfortable setting my flame to high and walking away for an hour if it weren't for hops additions. The hot break climbs all the way up the keggle but doesn't go over. All I'm saying is the capacity is worth it if your going to be paying that much money.

Edit: I wouldn't want a Keggle for stovetop brewing.
That was really the determining factor for me... I couldn't fit the keggle on the stovetop and comfortably reach the inside to add hops due to the height of my hood.

Given the crappy housing market, my situation won't change for a while, but when it does, you can be sure that I'll have a tiered system and will be going for the keggles. Of course, I'll still have to worry about boil-overs, since I'd likely increase my batch size at that point ;).
 

RayInUT

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Eventually you will do 10 gallon batches assuming you stick with homebrewing. Get a keggle and be done with it. I put one together for $130 including stainless ball valves, an extra nipple welded in for a thermometer eventually, and a plug for the nipple. My neighbor welds and did the welding for me but it still wouldn't cost more than $150 or so if you had to pay for the welding. Trade some beer for it or something. Don't assume that you will always do five gallon batches. It's a sure thing that you won't.
 

SumnerH

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I find keggles hideously ugly.

You might consider other brands of stainless kettles. I know that a 10-gallon Megapot can be had for $230 (with ball valve and thermometer), and Northern Brewer has a 9-gallon no-name stainless kettle with a spigot and the socket for thermometer installation for $155 (so you could upgrade over time). austinhomebrew also carries uncut megapots and offers hole-drilling service.
 
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Schnitzengiggle

Schnitzengiggle

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I dont think those pots have a sandwiched bottom though, and I think that is a huge determining factor in heat exchange efficiency, although, I am no expert. I have a 5 gallon SS brew pot now that I do my partial bois in and it has a sandwiched bottom, I get a prettty decent boil on my stovetop which isn't the greatest. I WILL NOT be making more than 5 gallons at a time, as I stated in my original post, I just don't have the storage space that much brew right now, and I can always use the 10 gallon pot as a HLT later when going to AG so I think I may just drop the $$$ on the Blichmann. I hate the look of keggles and the cut out leaves a fairly deep "lip" on the top, seem like it would be a PIA to clean, and they are quite a bit big bigger than a SS pot, and again, storage space is an issue. I'm not rich or anything, but I can spend a little bit on a nice pot w/all the bells and whistles without breaking the bank.
 

SumnerH

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I dont think those pots have a sandwiched bottom though, and I think that is a huge determining factor in heat exchange efficiency, although, I am no expert.
From NB's megapot page:
"The bottom of the kettle has three layers -- an aluminum layer is sandwiched between two stainless steel layers for superior heat dissipation."
 

JamieT

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I've got a 15g Blichmann and absolutely love it.. Handles 10 gallon batches easily.. The only thing I regret is not buying the 20 gallon..
 

caneman

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I bought the 10 gal. Boilermaker and it is every bit as nice as they say. only brewed one batch in it so far and was pleased about not having to worry about a boil over ( was using a turkey cooker before, 30 qt. ? ). The only thing I didn't like was the thermometer on mine is at about 5 1/4 gal. Worked fine for the steeping and the boil , but was out of the wort when I chilled. Not a big deal I used another thermometer.
 

fastricky

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I bought the 10 gal. Boilermaker and it is every bit as nice as they say. only brewed one batch in it so far and was pleased about not having to worry about a boil over ( was using a turkey cooker before, 30 qt. ? ). The only thing I didn't like was the thermometer on mine is at about 5 1/4 gal. Worked fine for the steeping and the boil , but was out of the wort when I chilled. Not a big deal I used another thermometer.
Agreed! Doesn't help me much during mashing...
 
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Schnitzengiggle

Schnitzengiggle

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From all my research, everyone seems a little displeased with the height of the thermomenter probe, which is disappointing to say the least. Blichmanns are beautiful pots and look as though they are very well made, other than the minor design flaw for the temp probe everyone who has one seems to be very content with them. I also am looking to buy american on this if possible. I am a firm believer in keeping our economy in the U.S. because of the current crisis. Lately, and I am as guilty as any other consumer of purchasing foreign made products, EVERYTHING has a mad in china stamp or sticker on it, and it is getting real old! I'm surprised our babies aren't made in china :)
 

MNBugeater

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I have a 15 G Mashtun and a 20 G Boil kettle. Absolutely Love the Mashtun and false bottom. I really do like the boil kettle. The criticism of the hop screen is unwarranted in my opinion. Blichmann makes it clear the hop screen is designed for whole leaf only and I will attest it works great on whole leaf hops. If you use pellets, the hop screen WILL clog. Having said that, the reason I "really like" the boil kettle and not "love" it like the mashtun is that, to me, the Mash tun is more critical so I put more value there. But I have absolutely no complaints about the boil kettle.

Here is a good thread on review of them also.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/blichmann-boilermaker-reviews-60002/
 

G-E-R-M-A-N

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From all my research, everyone seems a little displeased with the height of the thermomenter probe, which is disappointing to say the least. Blichmanns are beautiful pots and look as though they are very well made, other than the minor design flaw for the temp probe everyone who has one seems to be very content with them. I also am looking to buy american on this if possible. I am a firm believer in keeping our economy in the U.S. because of the current crisis. Lately, and I am as guilty as any other consumer of purchasing foreign made products, EVERYTHING has a mad in china stamp or sticker on it, and it is getting real old! I'm surprised our babies aren't made in china :)
If everybody emailed them, maybe they would change the design.
 

schristian619

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I just bought the 15 gal boilermaker with boil screen...thanks Forest for the 50 state sale! I have been using a 10 gal alluminum pot since I started brewing and have to be carefull of boil overs. I'm really looking forward to the larger size, ability to do 10 gal batches from time to time, the sight glass, and no more hop bags! I pretty much only use leaf hops but will bag any pellets I may use. My only concern now is a) what the boil off difference is between this and my current pot and b) what will be my first brew with my toy.
 

saq

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I've got a Blichmann boilermaker 10g with false bottom and boil shield. The false bottom is great for mashing, I've not been able to stick it yet!
As far as the boil shield, if you take the metal shroud off it actually filters and drains pretty damn good. I love this and will buy a larger one in the future.
The temperature probe is a little low in the 10g, but thats as low as it could have gotten without getting in the way of the 3piece ball valve.
 

JrZyBud

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Ive got the Blichmann 20 gallon boil kettle and its great. They are a bit pricey and while I love my kettle I think doing a 15 gallon batch would be tough. Thats really my only complaint. On a side note, those B3 kettles look pretty nice and they are substantially cheaper than the Blichmann. If you want to save some cash they look like a decent option. I personally have no experience with them though ... kinda wish I knew about them before I went and bought the boilmaker.
 
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