Is a 7 1/2 gallon pot big enough

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BillTheSlink

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Generally speaking,

is a 7 1/2 gallon pot big enough for all grain. I am getting ready to do my first batch. I will be fly sparing and know I'll have to get another kettle to drain the mash in, but was hoping this size will do for boiling. I just don't want to spend a lot more money. This would be for five gallon batches.

Bill
 

jasonh

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You can do it...I used the 30qt that came with my turkey fryer on my first couple batches, and it worked alright...just be REALLY careful about boilovers. The first time I did it, I had a bit of a boilover, but the other two times, I just sprayed it a lot with a spray bottle full of cold water around the hot break and was fine.

I did move up to a 10gal pot after those three batches though...and it's much less of a hassle.
 

Zen_Brew

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Like Jason said you can do it, but it is tight. I have a 7-1/2 gallon stainless pot and it is exactly 7-1/2 gallons to the rim with cold water. Water expands when hot so the first time I put 6 gallons of hot wort in it I was like "holy smokes" as it was less than an inch from the rim. You have to be careful of boilover and watch it extra close. I started only putting about 5 to 5-1/2 gallons in for the boil and topping off near the end after that, or at least waiting till after the hot break to take the water level up.

I have now switched to a 9 gallon brew pot and it is much easier to manage the boil in.
 
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It's all I've ever used. With 7.5 gallons of liquid I have about 1/4 inch of room to spare. i just monitor the flame and have very little trouble.

Bigger is certainly better, but I've prioritized that towards the bottom of my budgeting wish list.
 

Moose777

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Sometimes I boil off a few gallons so start with about 7.. a 7.5 g pot with be a PITA in my opinion. Can you do it? Yes but why not get a 10 gallon you'll be happy you did.
 

Spludge

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I have been using an eight gallon pot, without issue. Unless your doing a really big beer with a high volume of running's which needs to be boiled down, it shouldn't be an issue.

What are you using for heat? If you have a propane burner I would go bigger. If you are doing it on an electric stove your not going to want to try doing over 7 gallons anyways because it would take forever and you can't really get a rolling boil.
 

wilserbrewer

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Sure it can be done w/ a little extra effort. Foam control drops, or I have also heard of people using generic gas control drops from the pharmacy, they claim same it is the same thing, can't remember what it is actually ?mycelon?

You can also reserve a gallon of the second runnings, and add it during the boil, or you can just start off up near the rim if ya got the guts for it.

You can aslo just scale the batch back to say 3 or four gallons.
 

weirdboy

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You guys advising all this caution are CRAZY. I use a 30qt from a turkey fryer kit as my primary boil pot and it works like a charm. I do 6.5 gallon boils in it no sweat. Just watch it around the hot break.
 

Buffman

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I recommend 10+ gallons. I boil my hoppier styles for 90 minutes, so I start with about 7.5 gallons of wort. With my 9-gallon kettle, the boil comes pretty close to the top at the hot break and every hop addition. A few drops of Fermcap keeps it down some, but I still have to pay close attention. I usually keep one hand on the gas regulator to cut the heat if it gets too close for comfort. A bigger pot just gives you more flexibility.
 

petep1980

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The problem is you have to sit and watch the boil the entire time. Or at least I do. I tried once to keep a gallon of wort to the side to top in the boil as it evaporated, but that didn't well because you'd lose your boil every time you added more cool wort.
 

Zen_Brew

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You guys advising all this caution are CRAZY. I use a 30qt from a turkey fryer kit as my primary boil pot and it works like a charm. I do 6.5 gallon boils in it no sweat. Just watch it around the hot break.
Not all pots are created equal. Some pots that claim 30 qt are 30 qt plus a little breathing space. Some like mine are 30 qt right to the very rim with cool water. Hot water expands and uses more volume than cool water. My 30 qt pot would be right at the rim with 6.5 gallons of 212 degree water. YMMV.
 
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BillTheSlink

BillTheSlink

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OK,

I'll try it with my 7 1/2 pot, as I am short on cash. I have been using it with full boil extracts, starting with about six and a half then adding additions and boil off leaves me exactly five gallons. I'll probably be fine then. If anything I'll have to top off my primary since its a 90 min boil. I picked up a granite pot to use to collect first runnings while I heat the sparg water for the fly sparg today at Wally World (damn I hate that place) as well as two giant tubs to improve my swamp cooler setup. I ordered "Stepping up to All Grain" and "Low Tech Lagering" and plan to build that cooler in the near future, but they will do for now. I've been running high on my fermentation temps using really large dish pans as swamp coolers, but not too bad. This should really help in the short run.

If it doesn't work out I'll use that link to the Sam's Club pot. Thanks.

Bill:mug:
 
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BillTheSlink

BillTheSlink

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Not all pots are created equal. Some pots that claim 30 qt are 30 qt plus a little breathing space. Some like mine are 30 qt right to the very rim with cool water. Hot water expands and uses more volume than cool water. My 30 qt pot would be right at the rim with 6.5 gallons of 212 degree water. YMMV.
At 6 1/2 gallons boiling gently, plus all extract additions mine is about and inch and 1/2 from the rim. I use a blowtorch type burner outside, so the worst that could happen is a little extra scrubbing.
 

Rubberband

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You guys advising all this caution are CRAZY. I use a 30qt from a turkey fryer kit as my primary boil pot and it works like a charm. I do 6.5 gallon boils in it no sweat. Just watch it around the hot break.
I certainly may be crazy but I am also lazy and cautious as well. I have been boiling 4.5 gallon batches for 3.75 gallon batched in a 5 gallon pot. It is a total PITA but I like AG brewing so that is what I was doing. I recently purchased a 10 gallon Polarware kettle and it well worth the extra cash. Williams sells a pretty well priced 10 gallon kettle at a very reasonable price. Sure it can be done but regretting will cost more in the end because most will end up with a 10 and a 7 gallon kettle.
 

Sean

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I certainly may be crazy but I am also lazy and cautious as well. I have been boiling 4.5 gallon batches for 3.75 gallon batched in a 5 gallon pot. It is a total PITA but I like AG brewing so that is what I was doing. I recently purchased a 10 gallon Polarware kettle and it well worth the extra cash. Williams sells a pretty well priced 10 gallon kettle at a very reasonable price. Sure it can be done but regretting will cost more in the end because most will end up with a 10 and a 7 gallon kettle.
Yes, not always easy to see at first, but true.
 

rico567

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I have a 7.5 gallon SS brewpot, like yours, exactly to the rim. I used it for extract brewing, and decided that it would serve for AG until something better came along. I wasn't even going to try to fight boilover with 6.5 gal of wort, though, so I just did some research (on this forum, among other places), and came up with the answer: Fermcap-S. Ten drops in the boil, no boilover, it doesn't even try to foam. Believe it. And since I don't go for the extreme "volcanic" boils, just a nice barely rolling boil, I have no problems.
 

Irie5447

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You guys advising all this caution are CRAZY. I use a 30qt from a turkey fryer kit as my primary boil pot and it works like a charm. I do 6.5 gallon boils in it no sweat. Just watch it around the hot break.
Well I always boil off 2.5 to 2.25 gallons of wort everytime I brew and this leaves me with 5 gallons. So technically your pot would not work for me so I guess were all not crazy. I would never fill a pot to the top and try to boil it.
 
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Well crap. It turns out it gets even better. I just checked my pot because I've always suspected something was wrong. The 30 quart mark is actually only a little over 28 quarts of liquid in.

So, I guess I officially have a 7 gallon pot, not 7.5. A true 7.5 gallon pot would be way too much pot for me:D

I boil down to 5.75 gallons (cooled) and collect 5.25 gallons with the marks corrected.

Time to rework my system assumptions:eek:
 
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BillTheSlink

BillTheSlink

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Found a 40 quart pot for 49.99 with lid at:
Aluminum Stock Pot 40 Quart (POT-40CR)

Shipped Fedex 1-5 days. I checked out the link in the thread but you have to belong to the Sam's club which is an extra $30.00 and this one has four rivets in each handle and is industrial rated. Better safe than sorry. I've got an Abby extract I'll do while I wait for it to get here.

BillTheSlink
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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I use a 7.5gal pot all the time, after having to replace my stove due to boil overs I now use a second pot to boil up the additional 2 gal.
Where there is a will there is a way, you just need to find it.
 

Heineken

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You can do it...I used the 30qt that came with my turkey fryer on my first couple batches, and it worked alright...just be REALLY careful about boilovers. The first time I did it, I had a bit of a boilover, but the other two times, I just sprayed it a lot with a spray bottle full of cold water around the hot break and was fine.

I did move up to a 10gal pot after those three batches though...and it's much less of a hassle.
+1 once the initial boilover is done, it is easy to control and works great. It is what I have and don't have plans to change until I have to.
 

Bobby_M

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You guys advising all this caution are CRAZY. I use a 30qt from a turkey fryer kit as my primary boil pot and it works like a charm. I do 6.5 gallon boils in it no sweat. Just watch it around the hot break.
Here's crazy.. if you can boil with only a gallon of headspace, your boil really isn't vigorous enough.

If I had to make due with 30qt, I'd collect 5 gallons in there and put the excess 1.5 gallons into another pot. Combine them after about 30 minutes of boil time.
 

Irie5447

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14 hours ago:



7.5 gallons collected
7.5 gallons boiled
0.0 drops spilled
Boiled down to 6 gallons in 60 minutes
Siphoned 5.25 gallons into fermenter
That looks like a simmer to me! I wouldn't consider that a rolling boil.
 
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That looks like a simmer to me! I wouldn't consider that a rolling boil.
It gets rolling once the hot break sinks in. It's touchy until then. It's a light rolling boil at this point too - not a simmer at all.

Remember, the question was whether somebody with an existing 7.5 gallon pot who does not want to spend money on a larger pot needs to. The answer is "no" so long as you don't need to collect more than the pot can boil. I seem to boil enough wort just fine with my small pot. I've never said 10 wouldn't be nicer to have.

edit to add: AND, I won't claim I don't work a bit to keep the boil under control. I stand over the pot for the entire hour fanning down potential boilovers the whole time. I use the pot lid:) It's no problem for me. I don't mind. I like the smell.
 
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