I'm saying that I get 83% batch sparging. Sure I could hook up a lift also, but at that point there is no labor saving over just building a cooler and using that.
I'd like to point out that cooler can just be hosed out once the majority of the gain has been removed. A BIAB bag is a bit more labor intensive to clean.
What's your current batch size (in fermenter) and current kettle size? And what do you want to upgrade to?
Also, do you want to go larger because of the RIMS needs?
I brew 5 gallon batches, hoping to do 10-gallon batches on low gravity (1.030-1.035) beers. Right now I've got an SS 11-gallon Bayou Classic pot for my kettle, looking to upgrade to at least the 15-gallon version.
I'm running a High Gravity electronic brewing controller, with the water heater element installed in the bottom of the kettle. The nice thing about the bayou Classic pots is you can get them with a steamer basket, which holds the bag well above the burner, and makes it a bit easier to remove the bag and grain.
I have a few specific goals for the upgrade:
Support larger grain bills - Ideally up to 1.100+ for a 5-gallon batch.
Better water heater element - Using a paint strainer bag and a homemade hop spider is definitely impacting my hop utilization. I brew extract still, and just tossing the hops into the kettle with no confinement just yields bitterness that's more in line with my goals vs. using the spider/strainer setup. However, with a standard water heater element unconfined hops end up getting stuck around the element and scorching. Looking at the Blichmann element, supposedly that's low density enough that this isn't a concern. Also, my high-density element will scorch the wort if I run it anywhere past 50% power. It'd be nice to have an element that I can better utilize.
Less wort loss/better trub removal - The way High Gravity lays out their kettles leaves much to be desired. Usually end up leaving as much as gallon of wort behind in some cases when trying to keep as much trub as possible out of the fermentor.