Author Topic: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question  (Read 872 times)

Offline b70201

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Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« on: March 30, 2014, 01:56:53 PM »
Good afternoon fellow beer enthusiasts.

I am still quite new to this whole beer producing hobby, and I quite enjoy it. I am at the extract with speciality grain level. All the beer I have made thus far has been on a stove and with an enamel pot. I have decided to start investing in some equipment with the hopes of getting into all grain brewing. I have purchased the Blichmann burner to start with, but now I am concerned with my brew kettle. I am currently making 5 gallon batches, so I was thinking about getting a 10 gallon kettle. But I am concerned that if I get into all grain brewing that the 10 gallons might be a little too small. So should I get a 15 gallon kettle, or should I stick with the 10 gallon? In addition, if I go up to the 15 gallon, would that effect the size wort chiller I need to buy? I currently do not have a wort chiller, but I am planning on buying one the same time I buy the brew kettle. Finally, which is the better way to go, copper or stainless steel immersion chiller?

Thank you all in advanced for your time, I just don't want to be kicking myself in 6 months to a year having to buy bigger equipment because I didn't look ahead.

Offline GolfBum

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 02:01:49 PM »
For 5 gallons a 10 gallon pot should be fine. I use a 7.5 gallon pot for 5 gallon batches and I usually near the top of kettle. Now if you ever want to make 10 gallon batches you will obviously need a bigger pot and which size you would need I can't speak too. But the burner and pot is the route I go for all grain and I like the system. Nice and cheap meaning more money for beer.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 02:03:50 PM »
If you've got the money get the 15 gallon. the 10 gallon is enough for most 5 gallon batches but the 15 gives you some extra room for long boils and maybe even 10 gallon batches.

I use a 50' 1/2 inch copper IC and i'm happy with it. I can't speak to SS.

on the mashtun, which I realize you didn't mention, check out http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/ it's what I use and I'm quite happy with it. and I got mine together for < 75 bucks
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2014, 02:47:48 PM »
If you've got the money get the 15 gallon. the 10 gallon is enough for most 5 gallon batches but the 15 gives you some extra room for long boils and maybe even 10 gallon batches.

I use a 50' 1/2 inch copper IC and i'm happy with it. I can't speak to SS.

on the mashtun, which I realize you didn't mention, check out http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/ it's what I use and I'm quite happy with it. and I got mine together for < 75 bucks

+1 to all of this.  I will say that I still stubbornly use a 10 gallon SS pot for 5.5 gallon AG batches. I collect ~ 7 gallons of wort normally and end up with 5.5 gallons post boil.
Jon H.

Offline fistfullofhops

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2014, 06:29:22 PM »
Nothing transfers heat like copper.
steve

Offline alestateyall

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Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 05:10:46 AM »
I have the Blichmann burner. It is very hot. Before I got it a bit of fermcap was all I needed to stop boil over using my 10.5G kettle. With my most recent batch (first on the Blichmann burner) there wasn't enough fermcap in the world. I was fighting boil over for like 30 minutes or more. When I turned it down to minimize boil over I would loose my boil completely. Very frustrating.

My point: you might consider a larger kettle than 10G with that burner.
Tommy M.
Huntsville, AL

Offline sdevries42

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 07:16:46 AM »
I have been using a 10 gal SS stockpot for 5-6 gal batches and that has been more than big enough so far. Obviously getting the 15 gal will give you more flexibility down the road if you want to brew bigger batches, but if you plan to stay in the 5-6 gal range, a 10 gal would be just fine. I do prefer copper IC as well.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 11:30:35 AM »
I'll toss in my $.02 worth.  I have a 12gal SS kettle that works very well.  Big bu not too big.  A 15gal pot might be nice once in awhile but would be a bit large for most of my brews.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 12:11:14 PM »
I brewed for quite a while in an 8 gallon SSBK. You can do it but its tight and you'll have a boil over if you space out. It's now my HLT and I boil in a 14. Much better, no boil overs.

Offline WDE97

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 02:50:27 PM »
I use a 10gal SS kettle with my Blichmann burner for 5-6 gallon batches and love the set-up. Very rarely I wish I had a 15 gallon pot for doing long boils for high gravity beers (collecting 9-10 gallons of wort), but not often enough to warrent another purchase. I either just scale down my batch to make it fit or borrow a larger pot from a friend. The Blichmann is an amazing burner and I have had no trouble fine tuning the flame to avoid boilover issues, even without the use of fermcap. I also use a copper IC, which works great. Go with a bigger one like morticai suggests.
Robert H.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 06:19:17 PM »
Nothing transfers heat like copper.

Gold does? Just sayin' ;)
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 07:42:27 PM »
Nothing transfers heat like copper.

Gold does? Just sayin' ;)

The ultimate Brewing bling. a 24 carat gold Immersion chiller.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 06:28:04 AM »
Nothing transfers heat like copper.

Gold does? Just sayin' ;)

The ultimate Brewing bling. a 24 carat gold Immersion chiller.

Gold is about 3/4 the conductivity of copper. Silver does have a slightly higher thermal conductivity. Check out diamond, now that would be bling.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

Even though SS has a much lower conductivity, the overall heat transfer is not much worse than copper, it is going to have about 85% the heat transfer of copper. You have to realize that the liquid convection heat transfer on each side of the metal is where much higher thermal resistance is.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline majorvices

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 06:29:47 AM »
Well, I figured someone would correct me if I was wrong....
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Intermediate Brewer Equipment Question
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2014, 07:05:46 AM »
Well, I figured someone would correct me if I was wrong....

Reminds me of Dennys cartoon. "I'm busy, someone is wrong on the internet"