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Pastor

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Hi all!
Quick background- got a Mr. Beer for Xmas, loved it! Discovered Wee Heavy refills, I just thought I was in love before! Upgraded to Coopers 5 gallon fermenter.
...realized I don't have anything big enough to heat that much of anything in lol
Can I
1)do 3 two gallon runs on my stovetop?
2)break down and buy an x gallon stainless pot? 5? 6? 10?

My available heating options are;
A) firepit
B) gas grill
C) camp stove (1 or 2 burner)
D) stovetop

Or run two 3 gallon pots at the same time and combine?

Thanks for any info 😀

I'm going to go and peruse the mead making forum while...ooh! a cheese forum too!
 

Jag75

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Hello and welcome to HBT!

If your starting out brewing extract kits you can boil 2 to 3 gallons then top off with cold bottled water.

I did many of batches in a 5 gallon pot on my stove top when I first started.
 

Transamguy77

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If it’s a prehopped kit you don’t have to boil them, I used to just dump a Coopers can right into 5 gallons of cold water and use enough hot water to clean out the can and then pitch my yeast.

Although a large pot will always come in handy.
 

GoodTruble

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Agreed that you can get away with just mixing extract kits into 2-3 gallons of water to warm and then add 2-3 gallons of sanitized water to the fermenter. (I would add cool water first, then warm, in a plastic fermenter).

If you want to boil 5 gallons together, you will need a 7-8 gallon kettle. If you think you will keep brewing for at least a year, may want to just buy a slightly better kettle now, instead of spending $30-$50 on a cheap kettle now and then $100+ later.

But if you just want something cheap, walmart's website has cheap 5 & 8 gallons kettles for $28-$70. Atlantic Brew Supply has a decent line of economy kettles too.

If you want something a little better, check the major homebrew websites (morebeer; adventures in homebrewing; northern brewer; atlantic brew supply (you may have 15% off code advert at the top if this page - I do anyway)).

It really comes down to how much you plan to keep brewing (-but you sound like someone who may be sticking with it awhile =c) ).
 

GoodTruble

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Oh, I would stick with stovetop. Easier to control the temps and easier to brew indoors.
 
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Are the refills from Mr Beer? It looks like they're pre-hopped extract kits, so it would be very easy to mix a few kits across multiple pots (or one pot a few times) on your stovetop. I'm making an assumption that you want to combine multiple kits (looks like 2 gallons each?) into a 5 gallon fermenter. Is that correct?
 
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Pastor

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Thank you for the info all!

I (eventually) want to get into all grain brewing so that would be a 7-8 gallon pot then. That's a big pot on the stove top lol

Extract brewing is damn convenient and I'll stick with that while I learn and experiment with my 2 gallon kegs.

Again, thank you all for the help! 😀
 

Mike B1190

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If you get to the point of doing all grain - full boils for 5 gallon batches with 60 minute boil times, you're going to need to start off with 6 - 7 gallons of wort to account for evaporation. Because of this, I would recommend a 10 gallon kettle if you can find one in your price range. While a 7 or 8 gallon pot is workable, I find it very helpful to have extra room in the kettle to allow for the foam to rise during the hot break when the boil starts. You also can get a lot of foaming when adding hops. You don't want to have to clean your stove after a boil over. It's not fun and will probably anger SWMBO.

Also, as you mentioned, that's a lot of liquid to bring up to a boil on the stove top. Depending on the output of your stove burners, you might have difficulty bringing that volume up to a boil on your stove without extra help. You could get a heating element, like a bucket heater to help give your stove a boost to get it to boiling. Some people insulate their kettles in reflectix and such, but that's another topic. Plenty of us are using outdoor propane burners/turkey fryers. These can usually be purchased in combination with a 7 or 8 gallon stainless kettle at fairly affordable prices. That might be a good place to start and you can upgrade later if you find it necessary.

Welcome to the hobby.
 

hamachi

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Or run two 3 gallon pots at the same time and combine?
This. I have been doing 3-pot boils on my crappy electric stove for my last 30 batches or so. The biggest pot is 5 gallons, the smallest 1.75. The first running from mash-in-a-bag goes into the big pot, with two batch sparges going into the others. By the end of the boil, I'm down to 2 pots which I combine into the big one and then use an immersion chiller to cool it down.

It's all very easy, and I never have to lift a very heavy pot. For a 5-gallon batch, I end up with about 3.8 gallons of chilled wort which I dilute in the fermenter to the target gravity or volume.
 

Jim R

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If you really intend to expand to bigger batches, all grain, etc., do yourself a favor and get a decent burner. It is frustrating trying to do this with inadequate equipment. For me, the biggest downside to homebrewing is the amount of time that it takes on brew days. I reduced my time dramatically when I finally bought a fast burner.
 
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