Blichmann kettles are pretty thin but I would clamp it up with an aluminum block behind it as a heat sink and oxygen shield and have at it with the TIG. I would take the job but I wouldn't guarantee success. You don't have your location listed so I don't know if NJ is close enough for you to make shipping practical.
Agreed - on both counts. Butt joining is TIG stuff, not soldering.
And forget cements or epoxies like "JB Weld" - who'd want that in their beer, never mind risking a mid-brew breach (yikes!)
That kettle needs welding - or scrapping. There's no other option that makes sense/is safe...
I have no idea how it happened. Was prepping for a brew day and pulled kettles off of their storage shelf ( 3 kettles all the same, all purchased together, stored together, handled the same way, etc). Trust me, these are pricey, and I treat them accordingly. Went to prep the mash tun and saw the crack. No ideas how or why, but I definitely applaud Blichmann for their speedy customer service!
Right then. Had to be stress-related, and it was only a matter of time before it failed - rather spectacularly.
Luckily, didn't split while it was in service. That would have been a hell of a thing to deal with. Woof.
Many years ago I had an extended email conversation with John Blichmann and - engineer to engineer - found him to be a pretty cool person. I'm totally not surprised they made things right here. I drive three 20 gallon G1s he personally made happen for me and I'll always regard him well for that...