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Which Brew pot to buy?

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bassriverbrewer:
Hello I'm looking for a little advice.  I brewed beer from 91 to 98 and stopped so I am considering myself a newbie again. I have been making cider and mead since then though.  I want to get back into brewing.  I used an eight gallon canning pot before and want to upgrade to a ten gallon stainless steel pot. My question is this. Is it worth the extra expense to get the pot with the ball valve thermometer and false bottom?  Or just a ten gallon pot and a digital thermometer?   I will be using the pot as a mash tun for step infusion and deconcoction mashes.  I am deciding between the Polarware 42 qt and Blichman boilermaker 10 gal.  I would appreciate hearing anyones advice or suggestions. Thanks.

dean:
If the kettle is stainless steel clad over aluminum at the bottom, make the seller prove to you that its quality and not junk.  Test it with baking soda and boiling water... if the water has a bitter taste afterward then its leaching aluminum and its not worth the money they're asking.  You can take that to the bank, or save yourself some bank.   ;)

tygo:
Bigger is better.  I went with a 10 gallon pot and I'm already wishing I got something a little bigger.  Give yourself room to expand down the line.

If you're going to be using it as your mash tun then the thermometer and ball valve would seem to be good ideas.  If just using for the boil kettle you don't really need either however I do enjoy having the ball valve on mine so I don't have to siphon.

Thirsty_Monk:
I got 10 gal MegaPot kettle with ball valve.

If you are going to use it as a kettle ball valve is a must and thermometer is nice to have.
If you are going to use it as a mash tun then you also need thermometer and false bottom.
If you decided that you are only going to brew 5 gal batches both pots will work.
if you are going to brew 10 gal batched you need 15 gal pot.

hokerer:
My ten gallon Megapot has been great for me.  No valve, no thermo

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