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Made in USA Brew Kettle?

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likeybikey

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Can anyone offer suggestions on a made-in-America brew kettle? Looking for a 10-gallon (or thereabouts) pot, hopefully with spigot. Other doo-dads (thermometer, etc) are less important to me.

I know there is a Polar Ware pot made in the USA (42-quart), and homebrewstuff.com sells a 10-gallon pot that is made in the USA by an Asian company called Thunder Group. Anything else out there?

Lastly, any thoughts on the quality of these US-made pots vs the Asian-made pots? The newish line of Bayou Classic pots looks pretty nice, but I'm willing to pay a little more if the American-made equipment is good.
 

Gear101

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I'm in the market for a pot myself, I though I read something here that Blichmann where made in the states? not sure about that?
 
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likeybikey

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I emailed a reseller about Blichmann and was told that, nice as their pots may be, they are made overseas. (Though I have not used either, I am a little more attracted to the Bayou Classic I mentioned in my first post because I think I would prefer the volume markings as indentations in the kettle over the Blichmann kettle's glass gauge.)

That said, still hoping to find an American-made product that will fit the (grain) bill!
 
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We're 100% with buying American unfortunately when it comes to kettles it may be tricky.

There is A LOT of work that goes into making a kettle and stainless steel ain't cheap. The excessive amount of labor to make just one kettle makes it not very cost effective here in the States.

Polarware used to make a US made kettle. But to cut costs the handles are only spot welded on and are much thinner material (if I remember they are like 22 gauge).

SS Brew Tech, Stout, Bayou and us import our kettles from China. The kettles are just much higher quality. Unlike other companies we do all our modifying here in the USA. All our couplers are welded on by us in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

-Ben
 
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Are you saying they are falsely advertising that it's made in the USA?
I'm not going to accuse anyone misrepresenting intentionally, especially not Penrose. I know their old kettles were made in the USA so maybe the image got carried over? Either way I'm 99% sure those are the Update International kettles.

Almost all of the available kettles are from China. Ben is not the only vendor that modifies the Chinese "concord" kettles in the US. It would appear that Brewer's Hardware is selling the same kettle in a weldless version. Their premium kettles look pretty nice too. Or you could just buy the concord kettles at considerable savings on ebay and build your own.
We do not use Concord kettles. We use kettles that are thicker and held to a much higher standard. All welds are done at our facility in the US.
 
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likeybikey

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I emailed the Brewhemoth people and was told that "The final assembly is made in the USA right here in St Louis, not all the parts are made in the USA."

I asked for clarification in a follow-up email but have not yet received a response. SpikeBrewing may be correct in asserting that the pot is of Chinese origin.
 

lowtones84

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Polarware is the only company that I know about that has a US made kettle. But to cut costs the handles are only spot welded on and are much thinner material (if I remember they are like 22 gauge).
My polar ware kettle is very nice and the handles are held in place by rivets through the kettle. Not sure if that's the case with all, but mine is. It doesn't have -any- fancy "doo dads" though :p

Still, very happy with it and worth every penny.
 
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I emailed the Brewhemoth people and was told that "The final assembly is made in the USA right here in St Louis, not all the parts are made in the USA."

I asked for clarification in a follow-up email but have not yet received a response. SpikeBrewing may be correct in asserting that the pot is of Chinese origin.
They do all the welding in the USA like us which is great but saying 'Made in the USA' is a little misleading. I'm sure they will take care of it.

My polar ware kettle is very nice and the handles are held in place by rivets through the kettle. Not sure if that's the case with all, but mine is. It doesn't have -any- fancy "doo dads" though :p

Still, very happy with it and worth every penny.
That's probably one of their kettles that is made overseas. Polarware makes some good kettles. We spoke to them when we were deciding which kettle supplier to go with.
 

45_70sharps

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It's a sad state of affairs when it's so hard to buy a product you want, but made in the United States by American workers.
Interesting information in this thread though.
 
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It's due to labor rates. Think how much goes into making a kettle; stamping, welding and then polishing to mirror shine. Most US shops charge any where from $50-$100/hr. It quickly comes apparent why making them in the US priced competitively is not economically possible.
 

Gear101

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"The final assembly is made in the USA right here in St Louis, not all the parts are made in the USA."
They do all the welding in the USA like us which is great but saying 'Made in the USA' is a little misleading. I'm sure they will take care of it.
I though in order to have the country of origin say "Made in the America" it has to have at least 51% made in the states. What part of the pot, outside of what has been posted in this thread, has to be final assembled to make up more than half of the build. Are they counting labor cost vs net price of the pot? If they are doing that, then I might see a debate on the subject, but still pretty weak.
 
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likeybikey

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Actually, the standard for a "Made in the USA" claim is much more stringent than 51%. The standard is "all or virtually all."
http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus03-complying-made-usa-standard

Even to say "Assembled in the USA" the product must undergo "substantial transformation." The FTC mentions that "'screwdriver' assembly" of foreign components does not usually qualify.

Sorry if this is a little off the original topic, but it is definitely germane to the discussion.
 

Rich_S

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Wow.

$65 for 10 gal, $75 for 15 gal, and $85 for 20 gal.

Really puts things into perspective. Lot of profit in brewkettles seeing as how a ball valve, thermometer, and assorted hardware is only about $50 retail.

I have a 10 gal Blichmann and was thinking about getting a 15 or 20 gal for bigger batches and to use as a HLT, but I think I may just get one of these and drill a couple of holes. Are the handles up to holding one full?
 

kincade

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I'm not going to accuse anyone misrepresenting intentionally, especially not Penrose. I know their old kettles were made in the USA so maybe the image got carried over? Either way I'm 99% sure those are the Update International kettles.



We are, however, the only company that offers them with ports that have been welded here in the USA though :mug:
Not to take any steam out of your sail, but morebeer has them welded in their shop. I believe brewsteel offers a soldered fitting as well, also done in their shop.
 
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likeybikey

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Back to my original post about homebrewstuff.com selling a pot they told me was made in the USA by an Asian company called Thunder Group.

This is the pot:
http://www.homebrewstuff.com/10-gallon-kettle-w-valve-thermometer.html

After all this discussion and mentions of one pot being sold here under several names, this pot also looks to me like the Megapot and the Brewrite pot which are both made overseas. It may be that this manufacturer sometimes makes the pots in the USA and sometimes makes them abroad? I don't know. But does anyone have any thoughts on what this pot is and where it is made?

It is starting to look very much like the lone American-made brew pot is the Polar Ware.
 
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likeybikey

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This may be old news at this point, but I have just learned that the new Blichmann BoilerMaker G2 not only has some improvements over the old pot but also is now MADE IN THE USA. Kudos, Blichmann!
 

dk21

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Yes, the Boilermaker G2 pots under 30 gallons are made in the USA.
 

Bensiff

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It is far cheaper to get stainless products from China. It is easy to find high quality manufacturers over there that have things like ISO9001 certs that produce for a fraction the cost of that which is made in the west. Sad that we are losing our manufacturing sector, but cost of employees, benefits, business overhead, and regulatory standards has driven costs through the roof. A long time ago I tried to source made in America 3-piece ball valves. The companies I talked to quoted me around $40 a piece. I sourced some from China at $5 a piece.
 
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likeybikey

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@Bensiff Sure, it's cheaper to get something made in China, but cost isn't the top factor for me. It is for a lot of people, maybe even most people, I know. I take pride in "Made in the USA." I like knowing I supported jobs in my home country where working conditions are likely more humane than in many Asian factories, and where there is a lower environmental impact by not having to ship a product halfway around the world to reach my house. And wages in China are only going up, making Chinese products more expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if part of Blichmann's decision to manufacture here was based on an evolving economic climate. Obviously there is a lot less manufacturing in the USA now than 50 years ago, but I try to buy American when I can. Which I why I started this thread.

@dk21 Thanks for the clarification.
 

Bensiff

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@Bensiff Sure, it's cheaper to get something made in China, but cost isn't the top factor for me. It is for a lot of people, maybe even most people, I know. I take pride in "Made in the USA." I like knowing I supported jobs in my home country where working conditions are likely more humane than in many Asian factories, and where there is a lower environmental impact by not having to ship a product halfway around the world to reach my house. And wages in China are only going up, making Chinese products more expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if part of Blichmann's decision to manufacture here was based on an evolving economic climate. Obviously there is a lot less manufacturing in the USA now than 50 years ago, but I try to buy American when I can. Which I why I started this thread.



@dk21 Thanks for the clarification.

I certainly understand your sentiment. I find it sad that manufacturing in America has become so expensive it is a dying entity, makes me worried for the future of our country. But the fact remains, if I had built my 1/2 barrel setup with American made components the cost would be probably in the ballpark of what it would cost to buy a Chinese 3 barrel system. I wish you luck in finding fittings and vessels that are made in America that are in the realm of affordability. Keep us posted.
 

Hops-and-pots

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New here and I know this is an old thread but, I wanted to comment in case there were folks looking for USA made pots :) There are many Made in USA 60quart+ stock pots and these things are bomb proof. Find one with a tap if that's what you want which is easy to do. Folks may argue, but a "brew kettle" is essentially the same thing as a stock-pot.
 

bja

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New here and I know this is an old thread but, I wanted to comment in case there were folks looking for USA made pots :) There are many Made in USA 60quart+ stock pots and these things are bomb proof. Find one with a tap if that's what you want which is easy to do.
Where would one go to buy one of these USA made pots?

Folks may argue, but a "brew kettle" is essentially the same thing as a stock-pot.
I think we already knew that.
 

Hops-and-pots

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I think we already knew that.
Then I don't need to tell where to get one do I? ;) ;) :D

Google Vollrath. If you don't care for their stuff there are several other companies USA that provide quality Stock Pots with taps for reasonable prices in comparison to "top of the line" brew kettles.
 

solbes

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Love my Polarware pot (15G), bought it at Midwest Supplies for $160 or so? That thing is heavy and heavy duty. True that the handles are spot welded, but I doubt too many folks would attempt to move it when full. I either chill in place larger batch sizes, or haul 5G batches up a half flight of stairs to the sink in the winter time when garage floor is frozen solid.
 

ndinh

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Yes, there are plenty of options for USA stock pots but very few (if any) fully USA-made kettles. You can buy a Vollrath and drill a hole but then you'll end up with weldless fittings which some may not like. The only completely USA-made kettle (welded ports) that I can think of off hand, is Polarware Brewrite which I don't even think they make anymore.
 

Hops-and-pots

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Exactly. Which is why if you want to go USA made you find alternatives. I buy USA products, right down to my toothbrushes, bathroom fans and even my purse. In this instance I bought USA stock pots and have been very happy. If OP wants to brew with USA made products, I can't recommend going stock pots with a tap enough. It will last him until he dies at a ripe old age.
 
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likeybikey

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@Hops-and-pots Thanks for the information. The Vollrath stock pot is one more to add to this list. That is the same as the PolarWare that was made in the USA. It is also comparably priced ($288). Actually it's more expensive since the PolarWare was formerly available with welded fittings for about that amount. The reason this is the same pot is that Vollrath acquired PolarWare.

@ndinh: note that the BrewRite line of pots are not the made in USA PolarWares.

@solbes: If you paid $160 for a PolarWare recently, unless it was a massive sale I don't think what you have is the made in USA pot. Since you mention that your pot is heavy, I feel pretty sure, sorry to say, that what you have is not the pot I linked to above and thus is not made in America. You probably have the BrewRite pot (it looks like the Asian-made pots are now being sold by LD Carlson). It is arguably a better pot than the USA-made pot, so I'm not trying to say that what you have is bad but rather just trying to keep the information on this thread accurate for interested readers. Correct me if I am wrong!

Thanks, all!
 

solbes

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@solbes: If you paid $160 for a PolarWare recently, unless it was a massive sale I don't think what you have is the made in USA pot. Since you mention that your pot is heavy, I feel pretty sure, sorry to say, that what you have is not the pot I linked to above and thus is not made in America. You probably have the BrewRite pot (it looks like the Asian-made pots are now being sold by LD Carlson). It is arguably a better pot than the USA-made pot, so I'm not trying to say that what you have is bad but rather just trying to keep the information on this thread accurate for interested readers. Correct me if I am wrong!
Hmm, doesn't quite look like that one. I see Midwest no longer stocks a 15G "Heavy Duty" stainless kettle. I did go back and check my account and the kettle info was below:

15 Gallon Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Brew Kettle
Kettle Configuration
15 Gallon w/ Ball Valve 42151 $219.99

The ball valve added $50, so it was $169.99 as a base kettle. The bottom is tri clad SS-Al-SS at 5 mm thick and the sidewalls are 1.2 mm stainless. I seem to remember it being USA made, but can't really confirm that. Its possible its sourced from Asia. :mug:
 

augiedoggy

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Are you saying they are falsely advertising that it's made in the USA?
This is subject to an everchanging interpretation.

all they have to do is cut a hole for a valve or polish it further or ad different handles and they can say made in the usa I have many customers that do things just like this... the pump company down the street buys there pumps from china... than wires them to run on 120v with a 120v powercord and removes the made in china sticker and replaces it with a made in usa sticker... same with many electronics... some "final assembly" is done here in the states and it says made in usa... sometimes they will say "made in the usa with domestic and foreign components"

I would have to say that at least 80% of all products sold today are NOT manufacuered or made by the company who markets them and brands them... its a shell game they may make one specific model of something thats made here and base their marketing stratigy off that or they buy failing old well known US manufactuers and close them down but market overseas stuff with that brandname.

Its just the way the economy works. and the minority who go out of their way to do the research will never have a big enough impact on anything to change that as sad as it is. nothing wrong with someone believing in principals... As long as you realize this and you make enough money to spend the often 2x3 times higher pricetag for everything.... and then theres the things that just arent 100% made in the states anymore like automobiles (even Harley davison is just Assembled and painted here now)..
 

Hops-and-pots

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@Hops-and-pots Thanks for the information. The Vollrath stock pot is one more to add to this list. That it is the same as the PolarWare that was made in the USA. It is also comparably priced ($288). Actually it's more expensive since the PolarWare was formerly available with welded fittings for about that amount.
Its a pretty solid pot, I'm definitely happy with it :) There's also a company in Pittsburgh that makes all sorts of cooking products and you can actually visit the factory. If I can get the name from my husband I'll post it here. All-clad makes incredible stuff and have stock pots as well but I haven't seen one with a tap. I have a few of their items and the things would probably withstand a nuclear explosion. Worth every penny.
 

ndinh

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Hmm, doesn't quite look like that one. I see Midwest no longer stocks a 15G "Heavy Duty" stainless kettle. I did go back and check my account and the kettle info was below:

15 Gallon Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Brew Kettle
Kettle Configuration
15 Gallon w/ Ball Valve 42151 $219.99

The ball valve added $50, so it was $169.99 as a base kettle. The bottom is tri clad SS-Al-SS at 5 mm thick and the sidewalls are 1.2 mm stainless. I seem to remember it being USA made, but can't really confirm that. Its possible its sourced from Asia. :mug:
Yep, those are the same ones that I had.

http://www.beermakerssupply.com/Polar-Ware/

They're claimed 100% made in the USA. I believe they were on clearance awhile back for dirt cheap. Unfortunately, I don't think these are being made anymore although I think polarware is making kettles under a different name. Not sure if those are USA made though.
 

augiedoggy

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Yep, those are the same ones that I had.

http://www.beermakerssupply.com/Polar-Ware/

They're claimed 100% made in the USA. I believe they were on clearance awhile back for dirt cheap. Unfortunately, I don't think these are being made anymore although I think polarware is making kettles under a different name. Not sure if those are USA made though.
Polarware has appeared to partner with two other companies for the homebrewing line... however its unclear who makes what and where as these companies appear to be their new distributors..

http://polarware.com/polarware/Other-Polar-Ware-Businesses/Home-Brewing.htm
 

Bobcatbrewing42

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I use keggles for brewing. They have a "Franke" stamp. Does that mean that American beer kettles are made in Switzerland?
BTW: Keggles work fine but someday I want to upgrade to a designated setup with brew kettle, conical fermenter, hot liquor tank and the whole nine yards.
 

Nez02

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Its a pretty solid pot, I'm definitely happy with it :) There's also a company in Pittsburgh that makes all sorts of cooking products and you can actually visit the factory. If I can get the name from my husband I'll post it here. All-clad makes incredible stuff and have stock pots as well but I haven't seen one with a tap. I have a few of their items and the things would probably withstand a nuclear explosion. Worth every penny.

Did you ever ask your husband the name of the brand of pots made in Pittsburgh?
 
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