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Suggestions for a stainless steel pot

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Q2XL

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I am thinking of buying a new brew pot and would like some ideas as to what works for you.

I have been doing all extract brewing, but would like to progress to partial-mash for my next brew and POSSIBLY go on to all-grain in the future(although that would be in the far future).

Currently I have a 19qt. economy stainless pot which is a bit on the cheap side. I want to know what size would be an all around good size to buy.

I have seen some pots with ball valves and thermometers built in. Are they worth the extra money? If the ball valves are worth it, what is better a 2 piece or 3 piece and what size 1/4,3/8 or 1/2"?

Thanks guys for the input. Any help is appreciated.

Edit: I will be brewing inside on an electric stove.
 

zanemoseley

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I love my 5.5 gallon pot from WallyWorld, its about $45 and its really good quality, kinda rare for anything bought from there lol. I can do what I would consider a full boil with the help of fermcaps as shown here https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/fermcaps-rock-pic-108854/ This would be a good setup if you have a fairly powerful electric or gas stove. If you want to brew outside on propane I'd probably get a 10 gallon or larger pot, possibly look at making a keggle. For me I like brewing in the kitchen, it allows me to interact with the family while still brewing and keeping inside with conditioned air.
 

Champurrado

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I agree with getting a 10 gallon brewpot. When I started I was doing extract batches and didn't need the room. Now that I'm brewing All Grain, I would welcome a 10 gallon pot.
 

RedIrocZ-28

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Once you start doing PM's you'll soon want to start doing AG, at least this was the case for me. I actually only did 1 PM brew (my favorite and best beer so far) and decided to go AG because I finally was made aware of what AG ingredients cost. Yesterday, for instants, I made BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde and it cost me a whopping $17 or so. PM would have been in the mid to upper $20's. The difference in equipment that you need to get in on the ground floor of AG and PM is the simple addition of 1 large pot. You could then use your 19qt pot as your mash tun and then use a 30qt pot for your boil kettel using the BIAB method. BIAB is using a Muslin bag to contain the grains in your Mash Tun (your 19qt pot), doing your 60 min mash, draining the grains using the bag as a strainer, dunking the bag in the other pot aka your sparge water and rinsing the remaining sugars from the grains. Now you just mix the first wort and second wort together and proceed with your boil.

However, I would recommend at least 1 PM brew to familiarize yourself with the mash process and the rinse/sparge process. Then move on to your AG batches once you get the general idea.
 

samc

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I bought a 5 gallon SS pot. I then bought an 8 gallon SS pot. I just bought a 15 gallon SS pot. When will it stop? I keep buying stuff that is too small - it is an addiction and you will be needing a bigger pot sooner than you think. Any time UPS shows up at the door my wife thinks it is another SS pot, she ain't half wrong! The 5 gallon pot is now the chicken under brick cooker.
 

McKBrew

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While not absolutely necessary, a ball valve will make your life a lot easier.

Listen to the suggestions here and go with a 10G minimum for your pot size, esp. if planning on going AG in the future.

Aluminum brew pots can be had in the $40-60 range in that size, and a ball valve (weldless) is around $30. I'd suggest checking out restaurant supply stores in your area or large sporting goods (hunting/fishing) stores. Or you can order online.
 

obezyana1

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Best deal I have found so far. I went with the 40 quart size and it was a whopping $22.40 - the 60 quarts are $30.60 - with a lid:

Stockpot - Royal Palm Restaurant & Event Supply

Dan
That's the same one I bought. I couldn't believe the price and I didn't want to spend over $100 on a SS Pot that size. Don't fear the aluminum! It's not as pretty, but it works great, and I can use the other money for more ingredients.

(disclaimer: SS Pots are also awesome and my 5 gallon pot is SS. That is all. No flaming please.)
 

Sigafoos

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omfgstainless!!!1

I just got a 50 qt SS on ebay for $100 including shipping. That reminds me, I need to leave feedback...

My 5 gal (actually 4, I didn't sparge enough) of wort looked almost pitiful in there. I should do a 10 in a batch or two just to use all of it.
 

wilserbrewer

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Since you mentioned you will be brewing stovetop, I would guess an aluminum kettle would boil a greater volume due to better heat transfer.
 

Talloak

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Why do you suggest at least 10 gallons for AG brewing? You can boil 6.5 gallons of wort in an 8 gallon pot can't you?
 

Sigafoos

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Yeah, but what if you want to do 10 gallons for something? It's nice to be able to.
 

Talloak

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Yeah, but what if you want to do 10 gallons for something? It's nice to be able to.
Yeah, you are right. I guess the way McBrew was saying it, it sounded like you might want a 10 gallon pot specifically if you are doing standard 5 gal batches of AG. I got it now.

That SS kettle on ebay for $100 you posted up there^ Sigafoos looks sweet. Just buy that right off the bat, and it should take care of whatever you want to do for decades. It's 12.5 gallons, so you can do 10 gallon batches. I might buy that. Is that a quality product? Have you received it yet?

Do the dimensions make a difference? Would you lean towards something short and fat instead of something tall and more narrow (turkey fryer)?
 

Sigafoos

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I used it on my batch this past Sunday and it worked fine. The handles just look welded on instead of being bolted in, so maybe it's not as secure as it could be? Eh.

This next paragraph comes from 'a dude thinking about the topic' and not 'someone who knows what they're talking about': it seems like it'd be easier to heat a short/fat pot, since the flame can heat more of the surface at once, but then it also seems like you'd get more boiloff because there's more surface area at the top.

Either way, it didn't fit inside the lip of my turkey fryer, so it was resting on top. Not the safest thing, but not dangerous either I'd say.
 

dragon99

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Thanks for the replies.

Any thoughts on the ball valves?
How do you plan to chill you wort? If you want to use a counter-flow chiller a ball-valve is almost essential. If your using an immersion chiller then you can certainly do without it.

Personally I use an IC, then use a racking cane to siphon off the wort once its been chilled. Makes cleaning the pot easier because there is no valve that needs cleaning.

If you go with an aluminum pot, drilling a hole for the ball valve later on is easy. Stainless is little harder to drill, but still possible.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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Obv stainless will be heavier. TBH, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a 10 gal SS pot on a stovetop even if it only had 6 gal in it. Not that the frame can't take it but the weight is all on the heating element (on my stove) and it just doesn't look safe enough to me.

FWIW, I don't have any fermenters bigger than 6 gal so I never brew bigger than 6 gal batches and my 8 gal. SS pot is the perfect size. Besides, my lauter tun wouldn't hold all that grain/water anyway. So going to larger batches for me would take some doing. Also, I like to brew so I'd prefer to brew smaller batches so I can brew more often. So I don't foresee going to larger batches...but those are probably 'famous last words' before going to larger batches.
 

JonK331

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Don't skimp on the kettle. It is the most important part of your kit. I have an 8 gallon with a two piece ball valve from morebeer and I love it. It is really satisfying to run the chilled wort directly into the fermenter. I might buy the 15 gallon if I were doing it over again though. Once you get into the 6 hour brew day with all grain it would be nice to be making twice the amount of beer in the same amount of time.
 
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