To keggle or not to keggle

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kurds_2408

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So after a year break, not intentional just a bad year, I've starting brewing again. After brewing last night I've decided it's time to stop using my 7.5 gallon pot. I've used 10.5 gallon pots before and feel like that's a good size for me. I do BIAB with a poor over sparge and use the steamer basket and pulley to make that super easy. My instinct says buy a 10.5 gallon pot with matching basket and get to brewing. I don't need a valve on bottom and still being young I don't mind just tipping the wort into my bucket. I prolly prefer it actually. But may add a ball valve later. All that being said, with all the people using keggles I can't help but consider them. It seems like a bad idea for me but I gotta at least ask. Especially cause I have a source for a cheap, and legal, keg. And i can cut and drill it myself. My concerns are, I can't use a descent size steamer basket for my bag with the smaller opening, I can't poor it into my ferm bucket do to the lip and the cumbersome size, I feel like it'll take way longer to heat, especially with the bottom being raised a little, it's bigger than I need cause I only do 5 gallons, and lastly I'll have to get some sort of false bottom for it so my basket doesn't sit on my dip tube. Only benefits I can see is price, and I could one day do 10 gallons. But I could just make a keggle when that day comes. But I figured I'd ask the community before I pull the trigger on a pot. Mostly I'm just glad to be brewing again.
Thanks
 

MaxStout

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Had a keggle once. Been there, done that.

Unless you can cut the top out all the way to the rim, that hole is a narrow point. It's not conducive to pouring out at all. If you go the keggle route, you will need a drain valve. It's not always easy to hoist out the grain bag after mashing. Many times I had to work the bag, pushing in the sides to get it to fit out of the top, with wort dripping over the sides. After several brews, I bought a 15 gal kettle.

A 10.5 gal. kettle will work great for 5 gallon BIAB batches. If you plan to do high-gravity beers, you might have to do a pourover, but you're doing that now, so shouldn't be a problem. I vote kettle, not keggle.
 

ancientmariner52

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I've never understood why a keg makes a better pot than a...well...a pot. I suspect that, before great big kettles were readily available, keggles were a reasonable makeshift, if you ignore the fact that many were stolen, under the false impression that paying a deposit confers ownership. These days, it just doesn't make sense to me.
 

JONNYROTTEN

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You don't need a basket AND a bag. I used to do that and got huge temp differences between the inside and outside of the basket. I ditched the basket and just use a bag now.
I've never used a keggle but it seems like a bad size for brewing from the get go. 15 gallons isn't necessary for 5 gallon batches and to small for 10 gallon batches. I would just get a pot. Concord and Bayou classic are both highly rated
 

PADave

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I vote no for the keggle also. Keeping your headspace to a minimum helps maintain mash temps. That lip just seems like a failure point for your bag when it snags as you are trying to lift it out.
 

mongoose33

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I agree with the above, don't keggle; however, if that keg is truly very cheap and legal, I might, if I were you, snag it anyway and put it away against another day when your goals change. Perhaps at some point you use it as a hot liquor tun and heat water in it, after adding a ball valve to drain. Or perhaps you find someone who will buy it from you at a profit. Or perhaps you send it to me because you don't want to store it and I have a use for it. :)
 

whovous

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I think it is unanimous. You have a process that works for you (I use almost the same process, but hey...), so why change it? Going the keggle route sounds like an awful lot of work for very little reward.
 
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kurds_2408

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Well thanks for all the help guys. I'm pretty settled on getting a kettle after everything said here. It seems like the better choice. Prolly pick up the keg later on in case I go traditional all grain. Now I just have to decide which kettle to get. Some good suggestions here. Thanks guys.
 

kevin58

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I use a keggle for BIAB and have no issues at all. I don't use a basket, just a bag... and I don't pour anything, I have a ball valve and pump. I also don't sparge, I do a full volume mash.
 

JONNYROTTEN

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If I had only one pot it would be like this:
https://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/c...c-62-quart-stainless-steel-stock-pot-kit-1160

Big enough to do higher gravity beer, small enough to move around, if you decide to drill it later you can. I like using a basket and bag combo.
That price is way high. I would get this. Same size as the one you quoted WITH triply bottom for way less with free shipping

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CONCORD-Tr...hash=item1ea9e9b4a7:m:m-PVwLwFveLO-SH-UUFnSuA
 

mredge73

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Hard to find a pot better than a keggle for a 10 gallon batch. Dollar for dollar and pound for pound they are much better.
But it won't work with a basket (you don't need a basket). And you will need to add a valve because as you noted it isn't easy to pour from.
A cheap 10 gallon pot is just simpler if you have no plans on expanding and want to stay with your current routine.

If I was to start from scratch with BIAB I would take a hard look at this setup:
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/ou...with-jet-burner?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051
 

JONNYROTTEN

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Hard to find a pot better than a keggle for a 10 gallon batch. Dollar for dollar and pound for pound they are much better.
But it won't work with a basket (you don't need a basket). And you will need to add a valve because as you noted it isn't easy to pour from.
A cheap 10 gallon pot is just simpler if you have no plans on expanding and want to stay with your current routine.

If I was to start from scratch with BIAB I would take a hard look at this setup:
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/outdoor-gourmet™-propane-80-qt-crawfish-keg-with-jet-burner?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051
That thing is pretty cool. It says the larger size come with a high output banjo burner. I wonder what the one in the link comes with and how long it takes to get to a boil. It doesn't mention the burner on the little one so I would say its a lesser burner
 

sillbeer

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I would buy a Concord kettle and be done with it. I used one for a couple years and it was awesome for the price.
 

mj1angier

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They have one with a basket for less money with free shipping. The OP would be better served not using the basket and only using a bag anyway...he just doesn't know it yet ;)
I too like to use my bag in a basket. When it comes time to lift it is simple to hook my carabiner from my pulley to the bail handle and lift, easy to tote, and don't worry about a 20 lb dry grain bill busting a seam. To each his own.
 

wilserbrewer

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I too like to use my bag in a basket. When it comes time to lift it is simple to hook my carabiner from my pulley to the bail handle and lift, easy to tote, and don't worry about a 20 lb dry grain bill busting a seam. To each his own.
We all have our preferences. For informational purposes I’ll list a few potential downsides of using a basket for “basic” non automated recirculating BIAB. JMO

1. Uneven mash temps inside vs outside the basket making hitting precise temps difficult.

2. Potentially lower efficiency due to a large volume of water being outside the basket and not mixing and rinsing the mash inside the basket.

2. Difficulty adding heat to the mash as the volume below and around the basket will heat up considerably more than the mash inside the basket.

Just my preference to keep it simple.

A decent bag is plenty strong and doesn’t need a basket for even extremely large grain bills.
 

Nagorg

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I dont BIAB but I'd have to vote kettle over keggle too. If I did BIAB, I'd probably like the basket idea.

Sorry but I don't see how the temperature and efficiency challenges would be affected by a basket; those seem to be inherent to BIAB in the first place!
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I almost went the keggle route because the gear I got to start up came with a keg (bought from head brewer at a brewery). In the end, there's no way I'd do a keggle.

One step further though...I've done the no drain valve and the only way I'd go that route is if I had to. I hated pouring or siphoning to the fermenter, but even a bigger deal: I like to brew NEIPAs and the best process I've found for that involves whirlpooling . In addition, being able to whirlpool facilitates much faster chilling. What's more, weldless fittings seem like potential hassle. Get things going and the damn valve is leaking.

I picked up a BrewBuilt 10G kettle with two welded ports and it's awesome. The Spikes ones are nice too, but the BrewBuilt was much cheaper. I got the 10G kettle with two ports, a valve and a plug for the second port for $175. It has served me well.

That's just me, but I want to brew the best beer I can. I think a drain port and whirlpooling (for chilling and late hop flavor extraction) help that.
 

bluebarnaclebrewing

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I use one because it was cheap, and it works. They are heavy and awkward and there's no way you're tipping it into a fermentor.

If I wasn't so cheap I'd buy a new pot.
 

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