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mongrell

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I'm a poor little homebrewing college student and I'm trying to up my batch size and go all grain. So I have a few questions about creating/buying a larger brewpot.

I've heard of people somehow cutting of the top of a keg (<--how would I do that?) and proping it above a stand alone propane heater (<--where can I buy one cheep?) and using it as a brew kettle.

Is that a good method? Is it cheaper to just go with a huge stainless steel stove top brew pot? Are there kegs that might not work, too old or something?

Anyone done this successfully have any advice? Some pains or hastles I might not be thinking of?
 

McKBrew

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The best bet is to buy a heavy duty aluminum stock pot drill a hole in it and attach a weldless spigot.

Full size kegs require an angle grinder at a minimum to cut the top, and some type of jig if you want a nice round hole. Plus legally acquiring a full size keg for under 100 bucks is difficult.

Propane burners can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Sportmans Warehouse just to name a few. You can pick one up for under 50 dollars.

An aluminum brewpot and weldless fitting can be put together for under 100 dollars if you shop around for the best deal.
 

joejaz

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mongrell said:
I'm a poor little homebrewing college student and I'm trying to up my batch size and go all grain. So I have a few questions about creating/buying a larger brewpot.

I've heard of people somehow cutting of the top of a keg (<--how would I do that?) and proping it above a stand alone propane heater (<--where can I buy one cheep?) and using it as a brew kettle.

Is that a good method? Is it cheaper to just go with a huge stainless steel stove top brew pot? Are there kegs that might not work, too old or something?

Anyone done this successfully have any advice? Some pains or hastles I might not be thinking of?
Checkout Bobby M's Youtube videos, it will should you how to convert a keg. The fittings are expensive though.
 

ohiobrewtus

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McKBrew nailed it. Go find a kettle that's at least 7 gallons. This will allow you to do full boils for 5 gallon batches.

I guess you wouldn't *have* to have a spigot attached, you could always use a siphon after you've cooled your wort, but installing a spigot is well worth the investment.
 
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mongrell

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Well I already have the keg is why I want to try this, so what about the cutting the entire top off, rather than just a hole. Is that easier/ possible? Also (dumb question) but what special do you need to cut through metal?
 

jds

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mongrell said:
Well I already have the keg is why I want to try this, so what about the cutting the entire top off, rather than just a hole. Is that easier/ possible? Also (dumb question) but what special do you need to cut through metal?
Given the questions, I'd suggest you find a welding shop or a body shop with a plasma cutter, and pay them to do it. I'm not trying to put you down, but it sounds like you lack experience, and getting a good cut on a keg can be difficult.

IBPhotos of Biermuncher's junk.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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mongrell said:
I'm a poor little homebrewing college student and I'm trying to up my batch size and go all grain. So I have a few questions about creating/buying a larger brewpot.

I've heard of people somehow cutting of the top of a keg (<--how would I do that?) and proping it above a stand alone propane heater (<--where can I buy one cheep?) and using it as a brew kettle.

Is that a good method? Is it cheaper to just go with a huge stainless steel stove top brew pot? Are there kegs that might not work, too old or something?

Anyone done this successfully have any advice? Some pains or hastles I might not be thinking of?

I'm not sure the volume you're looking for, but I just picked up a Bayou Classic turkey fryer that comes with a 30qt aluminum kettle, and a big a$$ propane burner with a sturdy metal stand. This was just $37.89 on sale at Home Depot, and I've heard people say good things about them. You may need to break down and get a larger 10gal Stainless pot, and in that case they also have a 150k propane burner only for about $45. Again, I've not done whole grain yet but this would be a VERY cheap way to go.
 
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mongrell

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I hear bad things about aluminum for a kettle, that the taste can sometimes be affected
 

jrpark22000

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Where are you located? You may check into local brew clubs and see if a member can help you out for some beer or ingredients.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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mongrell said:
I hear bad things about aluminum for a kettle, that the taste can sometimes be affected
Yeah, I've seen some posts about that. However, I think the consensus(dare I say?) is that if you go aluminum in the brew kettle than you should do one of two things:

1. Brew a pot of boiling water for 30mins first before your first batch.
2. Put the pot in the oven at 350 deg F for 10min.

What they say is that it builds up a layer of oxidation on the aluminum and insulates your wort from any off flavors. I just picked up the turkey fryer kit with the 30qt aluminum pot and have yet to brew a batch in it. I'll let you know what I find...but even if I have to scrap the pot and go SS, the nice burner is worth the $40.
 
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If your in collage just take your keg to you collage welding instructor or school mate and have them cut off the top with the school plasma cutter and your golden. or 20 bucks @ LWS. as far as a burner go to LOWES they have 110000 BTU burners W/ stand for 60 bones comes with a pot the you can use for decoctions and such if you need to get off cheeper, WELL... you cant!:cross:
Cheers
JJ
 

Orfy

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Mongrell you seem to be ignoring the Wiki link.
It's got all the information you need including information an aluminium pots.

Bobby has posted it twice now.

I'm moving this to the noob section.
 
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