Thought I'd try to run a quick poll of opinions / experiences on brew pot setup. Currently I have a 5 gal stockpot that I do partial (~3gal) boils in, then I can cool in a bucket of ice and then pour into the fermentor. Its worked fine for 4 yrs, but its time to grow up. So I'm ready to move to full boils, immersion chiller and hopefully all grain. Which tells me I need a bigger kettle, and this is where you guys come in.
- Is 10 gal sufficient or should I go straight to 15 gal? (I don't see 10 gal batches in the immediate future)
- Is a thin 20 gauge stainless pot such as a Bayou Classic good enough, or should I get the thicker, heavier gauge?
- The Blichman Brew Masters and Polarwares are nice, but expensive, do I really need the ball valves and thermometers, do they just make things easier, or are they simply nice luxuries?
I'm torn between the low road of $100 for a 60 qt Bayou, and just syphon when I'm done, or the high road of $250 for the 40 at Polarware with the ball valve and thermometer. And before Anyone suggests it, for whatever reason the keggle just isn't doing it for me... This stuff has to look kinda nice so the SWMBO doesnt think I'm taking over the garage (which I slowly am anyways).
As always, thanks in advance...
Oh, and once I figure out pictures, I'll post some of the kegerator