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Minimum size pot for your boil?

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thrstyunderwater

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So I'm wanting to get into all grain. Right now I have a 20 quart pot and do extract brewing with specialty grains. Anyway, what's the smallest pot recommended for a 5 gallon boil? 10? 15? 20?
 

likwidbliss

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If 10, 15,and 20 is in quarts then 20. There are 4 quarts to a gallon. But realistically I would get a a 7 gallon or 10 gallon kettle for a 5 gallon boil.

I use a turkey fryer that is about 7 gallons to the top. I put 5 gallons of water and have at it and sometimes get a boiler over.
 

Newbeerguy

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If you are doing full 5 gallon boils then I wouldn't go any smaller than 7-8 gallon pot. I have an 8 gallon pot and when I collect 6.5 gallons of wort I nearly have a boil over if I am not careful.
 

Zen_Brew

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It depends on how good your foam control is. Lots of people use fermcap which helps keep the foam from coming up too high and boiling over. You are always better off with more head space in your brew pot. I had a 30qt I used for a while with no foam control and that is pushing the limit, but it would have probably worked fine with some fermcap. I use a 36qt (9 gallon) now and have a comfortable amount of breathing room. So all things considerred for 5 gallon batches the best bet if you can swing it is 36-40qt (9-10 gallons)

If you ever think you might do 10 gallon batches you might want to consider a keggle or 15 gallon brew pot as well.
 
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thrstyunderwater

thrstyunderwater

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what about for 10, 15, and 20 gallon? same amount of head space or have even more? Why not just have a spray bottle handy to knock down the foam?
 

Benjibbad

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You can do that too. But if you ever plan on doing more than 5 gallon batches spend the money up front and get a 15 gal or a keggle
 

EvilGnome6

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A 5 gallon batch in a 30 qt pot is doable but even with fermcap it's a bit tedious, especially if you're collecting close to 7 gallons for a longer boil. I just stepped up to a 40 qt pot on my last batch and it made my brewday a lot more pleasant.
 

TexLaw

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That's what I was going to bring up. You probably aren't going to be doing a five-gallon boil, unless you like to wind up with only 3-ish gallons of beer as your final product (assuming 1 gallon lost during the boil and another along the way, somewhere).

I usually collect about 7-7.5 gallons of wort for my "five gallon batch" (which actually results in closer to six gallons in the fermenter), so I wouldn't think of going with anything under 36 quarts. I actually boil in a 40-quart (10 gallon) kettle. I also use Fermcap in the boil.


TL
 

EvilGnome6

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I usually collect about 7-7.5 gallons of wort for my "five gallon batch" (which actually results in closer to six gallons in the fermenter), so I wouldn't think of going with anything under 36 quarts. I actually boil in a 40-quart (10 gallon) kettle. I also use Fermcap in the boil.
Yeah, I would say for a 5 gallon batch, a 10 gallon kettle and a few drops of Fermcap is pretty darn perfect.
 

motobrewer

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i just boiled 5.75 gallons in a 7.5 gallon pot, along with 7 pounds of dme....

surprisingly, only a little foam was lost. but i felt like a dancing monkey for about 10 minutes while i stirred my @ss off and monitored the gas valve. once the boil broke and the foam subsided, all was good.

that being said, I've always had to top-of, so if you plan on doing full wort boils with plans on getting 5.5 - 6 in the fermentor without topping off, I'd go 10. I wish I had.
 

Bobby_M

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Figure on about 1.5 gallons of boil off per hour and needing at least 2 gallons of headspace for comfort. I mean, why screw around with fermcap and worrying about boilovers when the price difference is minimal?

5 gallon batch, 1/2 gallon trub loss, 1.5 gallon boil off, 2 gallon headspace = 9 gallons (go 10).

10 gallon batch, 15 gallon or 60 qt is comfortable.
 

motobrewer

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i don't think the price difference is "minimal", but it's worth the investment for sure.

I bought my 7.5 gal pot for $70. Cheapest 10 gal I can find is close to 200
 

Buford

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I used to use an 8 gallon, but had a few boilovers. I now use a 10 gallon, and that's about right. I do 90 min boils, and have to account for loss in the lines of my pump and cooling setup, so I start with about 7.5 gallons of wort before the boil.

Having a big pot is good for measuring out all the water you need at first as well if you're adjusting your water. i usually start with near 10 gallons due to having to account for the aforementioned losses in the pumping lines and dead space in my HLT (and any inadvertant spills along the way).
 

hamiltont

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I bought a 60 qt. pot for 10 gallon batches. Wish I would have bought an 80. All pots are not built the same either. If you're set on say a 60 qt pot buy the one that has the least diameter which = less evaporation.
 

david_42

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Easy partial mash brewing is also a partial boil method. It works fine, except for high IBU (>50) beers.
 

Cape Brewing

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... sorry to be just a hair off topic but because it has come up I'm going to ask...

Does anyone else just scoop their hot break off their boil to avoid boilovers?

Once my boil pot gets a really hard boil going and then the foam starts building... I take a scoop and just scoop that foam out. Once that foam is out (which takes about two seconds) I never get any foam build up at all and eliminate any chance for a boil over.

Why bother with spray bottles or fermcap?

Is this all in my head or something?
 

MacBruver

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motobrewer

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i took a few spoon-fulls off the top of my last brew, when i had 6 gallons + 7lb dme in a 7.5 gallon pot. worked good
 

Cape Brewing

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Interesting question...

I have a handful of guys in my HBC that make tremendous beer and they've been doing the whole "skim off the hot break" method for years and it hasn't seemed to effect their beers negativesly but it is a good question.
 

JesseRC

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What's important here is that while alot of folks get by on smaller pots , 10gal is a safe and best recommendation for 5 gal boys. Especially if you decide to do a higher gravity beer and need to collect more or boil longer like for a pilsner.
 
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