Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: geobrewer on November 17, 2010, 08:04:33 PM

Title: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: geobrewer on November 17, 2010, 08:04:33 PM
Hi All-

I'm a new homebrewer with 3 extract/mini-mash batches done so far. I'm already tired of trying to squeeze a full fermenter's worth of finished wort out of the 4 pots I have that barely add up to 5 gallons. So, I'm looking into purchasing this brew kettle:

http://morebeer.com/view_product/8419/103458/Heavy_Duty_Brew_Kettle_-_With_Ball_Valve_32_Quart_8_Gallon

I've seen a nearly identical kettle going for about $30 less on another site, but that one uses weldless bulkheads, while this one has them both welded to the pot. I know the benefits of going with welded connections, but there will still be a number of threaded connections involved (the 1/2" ball valve, thermometer, probably a hose barb...).

My question is, are the two welds worth the extra cash given that they won't eliminate all of the nooks and cranies that will still exist? What would you do?
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: theDarkSide on November 17, 2010, 08:54:56 PM
I hate to say this but even an 8 gallon pot is a little small, but not undoable.

I had a 7.5 gallon pot to start, filled it to within 1/2 inch from the top and still never ended up with 5 gallons in the fermenter.  I now have the 10 Gallon pot from Northern Brewer and I love it...my brew day is a little less streeful  I got mine with a ball valve and thermometer ( probably didn't need this as much ).  I set all my recipes to have 6 gallons left at the end of boil, 5.5 gallons to the fermenter and 5 gallons to the keg.

NB has a 10 gallon w/ ball valve for $185.

Good luck with your new kettle purchase.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: Hokerer on November 17, 2010, 08:56:07 PM
What would you do?

I'd get a 10 gallon instead - perfect for worry free 5 gallon batches
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: JKL on November 17, 2010, 09:05:42 PM
I hate to say this but even an 8 gallon pot is a little small, but not undoable.

I had a 7.5 gallon pot to start, filled it to within 1/2 inch from the top and still never ended up with 5 gallons in the fermenter.  I now have the 10 Gallon pot from Northern Brewer and I love it...my brew day is a little less streeful  I got mine with a ball valve and thermometer ( probably didn't need this as much ).  I set all my recipes to have 6 gallons left at the end of boil, 5.5 gallons to the fermenter and 5 gallons to the keg.

NB has a 10 gallon w/ ball valve for $185.

Good luck with your new kettle purchase.


+1

I have an 8 gal pot and soooo wish it was bigger (insert joke here).  It'll get the job done but you really got to watch it at the start of the boil.
-J.K.L.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: geobrewer on November 17, 2010, 09:19:27 PM
Yeah, I know, I've gone over the whole 10 gallon vs. 8 gallon thing in my head, and I know that size does matter The thing is, the particular 8 gallon kettle I'm looking at has welded on fittings. All of the affordable 10 gallon kettles I've seen have weldless fittings.

So I guess my question can be modified. Which is the best buy out of these three options?:

I'm thinking your going to say the last one.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: EHall on November 17, 2010, 09:20:47 PM
get the 10gal pot... and don't spend the extra cash on welded... weldless is just as good and if you ever have to, you can break it down if needed.... doubt that will ever happen though....
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: theDarkSide on November 17, 2010, 09:25:27 PM
10 gallon SS kettle with weldless fittings for $25 more

I'm thinking your going to say the last one.

10 Gallon, weldless.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: Mark G on November 17, 2010, 09:34:36 PM
Definitely 10 gallons. Even with my 10 gallon pot, I come close to boilovers all the time.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: richardt on November 17, 2010, 09:55:38 PM
Anti-foam agents like Fermcap-S during the boil may help reduce your chance of a boil over, but you're better off spending a little more for the 10 gallon kettle (weldless).  It will more than pay for itself in terms of less worrying, less wasted wort, and less clean-up.  Spend the little extra, if you can.

You need the extra room to handle boiling all the hot liquor beforehand (if doing AG), as well as all the initial (pre-boil) wort volume (which can be significant)--especially since it expands and boils.

"Double the volume" of your final "batch size" to get your kettle volume is a good "rule-of-thumb."

I do 10 gallon batches in 20 gallon kettle (with Fermcap-S in the boil)--no boilovers. 
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: bluesman on November 17, 2010, 10:30:38 PM
+1

10 gallon is the way to go.

Bigger is always better when it comes to kettles and tuns.  8)

Welcome to the AHA.

Good Luck!

Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: Hokerer on November 18, 2010, 01:38:48 AM
So I guess my question can be modified. Which is the best buy out of these three options?:
  • 8 gallon SS kettle with welded fittings
    8 gallon SS kettle with weldless fittings for $30 less
    10 gallon SS kettle with weldless fittings for $25 more

I'm thinking your going to say the last one.

Yep, I'm not changing my recommendation - go for the 10
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: geobrewer on November 18, 2010, 03:48:49 AM
Not to complicate this any more... (well... yes just to complicate this a little more), here's the NB 10 gallon kettle, which goes for $230 (with 1/2" ball valve and thermometer):
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles/megapots/10-gallon-megapot.html

And here's a 15 gallon kettle from Home Brew Stuff that actually costs $10 less:
http://www.homebrewstuff.com/servlet/the-217/15-gallon-60-qt/Detail
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: skyler on November 18, 2010, 09:34:27 AM
weldless works great for me. I used an 8 gallon morebeer kettle for years (until my last batch, even!). 8 gallons is just not big enough for a 5 gallon batch when you're brewing all-grain (and you're using lots of wort-absorbing hops). Getting 7.5 gallons of wort to a boil was messy, to say the least.... I wish I could go back in time and just start off with a 10 gallon kettle.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: stlaleman on November 18, 2010, 11:32:12 AM
The Penrose Kettle is 16+ gallons for 139.99 shipping included! Stainless with a half inch ball valve welded on.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: theDarkSide on November 18, 2010, 01:32:39 PM
Not to complicate this any more... (well... yes just to complicate this a little more), here's the NB 10 gallon kettle, which goes for $230 (with 1/2" ball valve and thermometer):
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles/megapots/10-gallon-megapot.html

Yup...this is the exact one I have.  If you want to save a couple bucks, you could drop the thermometer.  It's nice to have but not a necessity.  Good construction on the kettle, solid, and it has an aluminum layer sandwiched on the bottom between SS for better heat dispersion.  I picked mine up with a 10% off coupon for the 10th anniversary of Brewing TV ( now expired ).  With Black Friday and Christmas coming up, they may have some discounts available.  If you're not in a big rush, wait it out a few weeks ( sorry Jake ) and see what they offer.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: geobrewer on November 20, 2010, 03:20:21 AM
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. After mulling it around, I've now got my eye on this one, from Austin Homebrew Supply:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_33_463&products_id=10460

A couple of reasons:

It's 10 gallons (I think everyone agrees that's a good idea)
It's 1.2 mm thick (heaviest duty SS I've seen)
It's the cheapest pot with these specs (w/aluminum core bottom) when you consider shipping
I'm going to go with just the bare pot for now. I figure I can add the spigot and thermometer later if I want them. (cost IS a consideration for now)

One note about the NB pot mentioned: It's listed as 10 gallons, but the measurements appear to add up to ~12.75 gallons.
(Pi * radius squared) * height / 231 = gallons
(3.14 * 8.52) * 13 / 231 = 12.7672
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: Mark G on November 20, 2010, 02:20:26 PM
That's a nice pot, but you might want to double check your math (radius = 8, height =12), it's pretty close to 10 gal.  ;)
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: geobrewer on November 20, 2010, 02:46:21 PM
Sorry if it wasn't clear. The measurements are of the Northern Brewer pot here:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles/megapots/10-gallon-megapot.html
which are 13" high, 17" diameter

You are right, the Austin Homebrew Supply pot I'm looking at adds up to 10 gallons
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: Hokerer on November 20, 2010, 03:04:44 PM
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. After mulling it around, I've now got my eye on this one, from Austin Homebrew Supply:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_33_463&products_id=10460


Might want to check this one...

http://www.instawares.com/stainless-steel-stock-pot-sps-40.upi-sps40.0.7.htm (http://www.instawares.com/stainless-steel-stock-pot-sps-40.upi-sps40.0.7.htm)

...basically the same pot for ~$100 with free shipping.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: dj99 on November 20, 2010, 03:40:19 PM

Might want to check this one...

http://www.instawares.com/stainless-steel-stock-pot-sps-40.upi-sps40.0.7.htm (http://www.instawares.com/stainless-steel-stock-pot-sps-40.upi-sps40.0.7.htm)

...basically the same pot for ~$100 with free shipping.

That's the one I have.  It looks just like the AHB one.  If AHB called it an "Update International SPS-40", then you could easily google it and find it cheaper.  Instawares sells the 20 gallon for $159 shipped.  My LHBS sells an Update brand SS pot also.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: stlaleman on November 24, 2010, 11:56:51 AM
Check out http://www.brewhemoth.com for kettles.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: realbeerguy on November 25, 2010, 04:05:26 PM
First word of advice, buy the best you can so you only buy once.  You can do a 5 gal batch in a larger pot that will give you the capability to a 10 gal batch.  I'm surprised that no one mentioned a keggle.  Max is 13.5 gal preboil for a 10 gal. The Penrose looks good.  Morebeer is running deals of the day (I have no financial interest) tomorrow the whole day.  There may be some pots on there.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: mixmasterbrewmeister on December 05, 2010, 01:16:56 AM
+1

10 gallon is the way to go.

Bigger is always better when it comes to kettles and tuns.  8)

Welcome to the AHA.

Good Luck!



Do you guys use your 10 gallon Kettles on the stove? Or on a burner outside? I am also debating on equipment to purchase...
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: geobrewer on December 05, 2010, 02:03:49 AM
Do you guys use your 10 gallon Kettles on the stove? Or on a burner outside? I am also debating on equipment to purchase...

I plan on using the 10 gallon on the Kitchen stove, for a few batches anyway. I've never had a problem getting 4 gallons to a rolloing boil. I assume 6 or 7 will be much more difficult, but there's only so much equipment I can buy at a time. I decided to start with purchasing a heavy duty 10 gallon kettle, and a 50' immersion wort chiller. Wife was giving me hell for scratching up the kitchen sink doing ice baths, so I thought the chiller would be the best next step.

After that, I plan on going for the outside burner. Then I'll start accumulating some all-grain equipment. After that will be kegging stuff. One step at a time.  8)
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 06, 2010, 02:49:58 AM
+1

10 gallon is the way to go.

Bigger is always better when it comes to kettles and tuns.  8)

Welcome to the AHA.

Good Luck!



Do you guys use your 10 gallon Kettles on the stove? Or on a burner outside? I am also debating on equipment to purchase...

I use 10 gal Megapots on my stove.
But I have a larger burners and 3 burners going.
Title: Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
Post by: dcbc on December 07, 2010, 08:40:13 PM
Not to complicate this any more... (well... yes just to complicate this a little more), here's the NB 10 gallon kettle, which goes for $230 (with 1/2" ball valve and thermometer):
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles/megapots/10-gallon-megapot.html

And here's a 15 gallon kettle from Home Brew Stuff that actually costs $10 less:
http://www.homebrewstuff.com/servlet/the-217/15-gallon-60-qt/Detail

I have the 20 gallon kettle from homebrewstuff, a 15 gallon kettle from morebeer, and used to have the 10 gallon megapot from NB.  They are the same quality/build of kettle with different names.  The B3 kettle does have the welds, but weldless works just as well in my experience.