Author Topic: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie  (Read 806 times)

Offline brew-witch

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Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« on: May 04, 2010, 07:47:25 AM »
OK, a little background... I'm just getting started brewing (like haven't even brewed my first batch yet!) but I am not new to the craft of fine beer tasting  ;)  My joy in drinking beer is variety, not necessarily quantity for less $.  And I am an herbalist so I already enjoy the art of brewing, blending, trying new recipes.  That said, I will probably stay with partial mash rather than all grain brewing (I have an extract kit here but that will probably be my first and maybe last).  And I would like to do more smaller (1-3 gal) batches for variety rather than larger 5+ gal batches for quantity.

So my first question from you more experienced than I... does this sound reasonable so far?

And my second question, assuming smaller batches with more variety is reasonable, I'm on a budget, so does it make more sense to invest in a better quality 12 - 16qt pot or go with a lesser quality, more standard 20qt pot?  (and any recommendations regarding which pots are better are all welcome too!)

l've done a lot of reading so far and a little knowledge can become very confusing, so now it's time for me to ask the professionals  ;D
If you can't handle an hour of leisure time, then eternity is going to be a problem.

Offline glitterbug

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Re: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 08:08:13 AM »
Go for the 20qt, it will give you more flexibility than a smaller pot.
A witty saying proves nothing - Voltaire

Offline tygo

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Re: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 08:13:36 AM »
Go for the 20qt, it will give you more flexibility than a smaller pot.

+1  You could get away with say a 4 gallon pot but the 5 gallon will be roomier and you could more easily do full boils at the batch sizes you're looking at.  Go to amazon and search for stock pots.  There are some pretty economical options out there.
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Offline euge

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Re: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 08:23:06 AM »
Go larger. You won't regret it.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline brew-witch

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Re: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 09:58:50 AM »
Thanks for the input!  So the economy stainless pots are ok?  They never seem to get good reviews online, but all the brew stores seem to sell them.
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Offline euge

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Re: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 10:08:38 AM »
Stainless is top-tier, but a cheap 24 qt enamel pot from walmart works just as well for extract batches.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline gail

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Re: Really Basic Kettle ? from a newbie
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 04:10:20 PM »
Thanks for the input!  So the economy stainless pots are ok?  They never seem to get good reviews online, but all the brew stores seem to sell them.
Only problem I had with my 1st (economy) pot was scorching of the malt extract; since the bottom metal was so thin on mine, the heat was quite concentrated and burned the extract before I could even stir it (and it was off the heat).  I upgraded to an aluminum-sandwich bottomed pot and never had that problem again.  I still use that thick-bottom pot now, 9 + years later, when doing certain aspects of all grain brewing.
Good luck on your pending first batch!