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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: srnoel on March 03, 2011, 06:18:14 AM

Title: Kettle Question
Post by: srnoel on March 03, 2011, 06:18:14 AM
I also have a kettle question but I didn't want to highjack rayallen's thread.

How can you tell if a kettle is actually good quality online?  I was looking at buying this kettle from ebay:  http://cgi.ebay.com/BREWPOT-HLT-9-GALLON-STAINLESS-HOMEBREW-/290540039275?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a5892c6b#ht_720wt_1141 (http://cgi.ebay.com/BREWPOT-HLT-9-GALLON-STAINLESS-HOMEBREW-/290540039275?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a5892c6b#ht_720wt_1141)

But that seems like almost too good of a deal.  I have no intentions of ever doing 10 gal. batches so a 9 gal. pot would be plenty for me.  With the cost of a thermometer ~30 the kettle will cost like ~115$ total.  Which seems like the price of a normal 8-10 gal. kettle without a spigot or thermometer.

Is this a good deal I should bite on?  Not sure if anyone can actually help here or not.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: Hokerer on March 03, 2011, 02:27:30 PM
Whenever I look at stainless kettles, I always want to see mention of the "sandwich" bottom.  That is, the Stainless-Aluminum-Stainless layers that make the heat distribution much more even.  This listing has no such mention.

Also, you may think 9-gal is plenty for 5-gal batches but I just managed my first boilover in my 10-gal Megapot with a 5-gal batch of Dunkelweizen. :(
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: bluesman on March 03, 2011, 02:36:09 PM
It's really hard to tell by looking at it. I look for specs like wall thickness and weight. Unfortunately you pay for what you get and my gut feel is that this kettle is exactly that. I would look for reputable dealers and take a look at any positive reviews. Recommendations are helpful.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 03, 2011, 03:07:01 PM
Clad pots are nice, and reduce the hot spots.  Blichmann kettles and converted kegs are 18 gage stainless.  A lot of award winning beers have been made on converted keg systems.

As far as boil overs go, I have found a little Fermcap-S takes care of that.  Bigger is better, but as pointed out, you can still get a boilover.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: maxieboy on March 03, 2011, 03:27:24 PM
You can't go wrong with a converted 1/2 bbl, IMO.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: bluesman on March 03, 2011, 04:39:35 PM
You can't go wrong with a converted 1/2 bbl, IMO.

+1

I've been brewing with a converted keg for years with great success. Rugged and durable at an affordable cost. I now have the cadillac of kettles... Blichmanns.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: tumarkin on March 03, 2011, 05:01:09 PM
You can't go wrong with a converted 1/2 bbl, IMO.

+1 - though with reservations. I've been using converted kegs for many years. great, inexpensive kettles. however, as I'm getting older & lazier, they are pretty heavy. the purpose-bought kettles are certainly easier on the back.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: bluesman on March 03, 2011, 05:17:22 PM
You can't go wrong with a converted 1/2 bbl, IMO.

+1 - though with reservations. I've been using converted kegs for many years. great, inexpensive kettles. however, as I'm getting older & lazier, they are pretty heavy. the purpose-bought kettles are certainly easier on the back.

I definitely agree with the weight factor. My converted 1/2 keg is heavier than my 15gal Blichmann's. Cleaning and maneuvering the converted kegs can be hard on the back.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 03, 2011, 05:22:49 PM
This is one of the reasons this old guy goes to the gym, to stay in brewing shape.
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: dcbc on March 03, 2011, 05:37:56 PM
I have bought one of those kettles from that ebay seller before.  They are fine, but not what I would call high quality when compared to the likes of the B3 kettles or the Megapots.  It is not as heavy duty as those kettles, but is perfectly functional.  I used it for a while as a hot liquor tank and then sold it for $75 on ebay when I upsized my home brewery.  
Title: Re: Kettle Question
Post by: maxieboy on March 03, 2011, 09:28:51 PM
This is one of the reasons this old guy goes to the gym, to stay in brewing shape.

Bingo. You can build muscle till the day you die. Use it or LOSE it...