Author Topic: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon  (Read 717 times)

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Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« on: July 13, 2014, 03:47:27 PM »
Considering upgrading my 7.5 gallon Polar Ware kettle to a Blichmann Boilermaker 10 gallon. Can anyone share their experience with one?

Offline 69franx

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Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 04:14:57 PM »
All I can say is that's a big money upgrade. I know you have been doing a lot of 1 gallons experimental stuff and are now back into 5 gallon batches. I am in the same boat, but I sprang for a 15 gallon kettle from the BruGear Kickstarter. If you ever want to go to 10 gallon batches, to split them up and experiment some more, you will need more than a 10 gallon pot. I have no experience with the blichmann, but I have learned here to buy once instead of continuously up-grading. I am sure folks will give rave reviews for the boilermaker though


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Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 04:35:52 PM »
I'm not really looking to do larger than 5 gallon, it's just that my 7.5 gallon on 5 gallon batches is dicey sometimes. Plus, I'd love to upgrade to a pot w. a spigot and a temp. gauge. American made is a nice bonus as well.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 04:42:15 PM »
I agree with franx. Look into adding weld less fittings to your existing pot. Bargain fittings will have everything you need.

http://www.bargainfittings.com

Btw. While blichmanns are fitted in the us, the pot itself is from china.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 05:38:57 PM »
I love my boilermakers.  I may have spent more ont hem but the built in dip tube and sight glass are worth it.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 09:21:42 PM »
My 10-gallon kettle is a Polar Ware 361BP.  The 361BP is made in America and has all welded fittings (the 361BP is not from the same line as the economy kettles that are sold in most home brew supply stores).



I personally disagree with going with a 15-gallon kettle for 5-gallon batches.  The geometry is wrong for the batch size. My advice is to go with a kettle that has at least a 1:1 height to diameter ratio at roughly twice the size of your final boil volume.   Using a larger than necessary kettle results in less efficient hop utilization (like spices, hops benefit from a taller liquid column), a more rapid boil-off rate, and a shorter final liquid column, which is significant if you plan to use an immersion chiller because it will limit the effective height of the chiller.   

With that said, I personally believe that a 15-gallon kettle is a waste of money.  It is too large for efficient 5-gallon brewing and too small for 10-gallon brewing.  The proper kettle size for 10-gallon batches is 20 gallons.  A 10-gallon batch is really at least an 11-gallon batch of wort if one wants to yield 10 gallons of beer.  With an evaporation rate of approximately 15%, one has to start with 13 gallons of wort.  Wort expands by 5% at boiling temperature, pushing the volume to 13.65 gallons, which does not leave a lot freeboard to the top of the kettle. 

Conversely, the liquid column with 5.5-gallons in a 15-gallon kettle is slightly more than 1/3 the height of the kettle.  While Blichmann kettles sport better than 1:1 ratios, the 15-gallon kettle is 18.9" tall by 15.7" wide.  Five point five gallons of wort displaces 5.5 x 231 = 1270.5 cubic inches; therefore, the column height in a Blichmann 15-gallon kettle is 1270.5 / ( 7.85 x 7.85 x 3.14) = 6.56 inches.  That's the tallest immersion chiller than one can use with a Blichmann 15-gallon kettle with 5.5-gallon batch without wasting cooling capacity.

Now, lets run the same math against a 10-gallon Blichmann kettle.  The 10-gallon Blichmann kettle is 16.5" tall by 13.8" wide; therefore, the column height with 5.5-gallons of wort is 1270.5 / (6.9 x 6.9 x 3.14) = 8.88".  The delta between the two column heights is 8.88 - 6.56 = 2.32", which translates to 2.32 / 0.375 = 6 additional coils on a 3/8" diameter copper tubing chiller.  With a chiller diameter of 9", 6 additional coils means that we can add 6 x 3.14 x 9 / 12 = 14.13 additional feet of copper tubing to our chiller.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 09:42:03 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline smkranz

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Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 07:41:59 PM »
I'm not really looking to do larger than 5 gallon, it's just that my 7.5 gallon on 5 gallon batches is dicey sometimes. Plus, I'd love to upgrade to a pot w. a spigot and a temp. gauge. American made is a nice bonus as well.

Blichmann's Boilermaker are well designed and executed.  He stands behind his products as well.  I have 15 and 20-gallon Boilermakers and don't regret either purchase.  I do not believe, however, that they are made in the U.S. if that makes a difference to you.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 08:13:33 AM »
I was lucky enough to get a few 30 gal boilermakers and a couple 55 gal ones used.  Paid about half of retail.  I run two lines at a time for our small commercial brewery.  These pots get used quite a bit. 

I'll echo what another poster said about the dip tube and sight glass.  They are well engineered, tough, and just plain work well.  The hop blocker is a nice add on for your boil, and the false bottoms for mashing work great as well.  Of course to clean all this stainless, I have to buy Bar Keepers Friend by the case.  LOL