Author Topic: Brew kettle surface area  (Read 2297 times)

Offline kgs

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Brew kettle surface area
« on: August 07, 2010, 09:22:54 AM »
I'm finally planning to order a 10-gallon SS stock pot, such as:

http://www.instawares.com/nsf-stainless-steel-stock.rii-royssrspt40.0.7.htm

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AS90CK/

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWER_S_EDGE_40_QUART_BREWKET_P2366.cfm (Probably going with the first two choices, which appear sturdier, but have a question to the company about the weight, which could make this more of a contender)

The primary distinction in this price range, aside from weight/thickness, seems to be height/width, for example, 14.6 x 14.6 x 14.4 versus 21 x 16.8 x 14.2 inches vs. 14 x 16. Assuming that side-to-side space isn't an issue (since these will go on a propane burner outdoors), which is better? I'd think the pot with the wider area would come to a boil faster but require more water due to higher evaporation... is that an issue? What else to consider?
K.G. Schneider
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Offline tygo

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 10:10:56 AM »
I have the Brewer's Edge kettle.  Other than I wish I had a bit larger size I've got no complaints.  It is a bit on the thin side but works fine even so.  However, the wider pot does increase your evaporation rate.  When I upgrade to a larger size I'm going with a taller, narrower pot to try to get the evaporation rate down a bit.
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Offline euge

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 11:54:01 AM »
I don't think width or height matters on how long it takes to bring a certain volume to a boil. Affecting evaporation rates- yes. May I suggest going with the taller pots if one is using an immersion chiller?

And the choices we have!  :o Decisions Decisions.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline richardt

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 02:44:35 PM »
I've wondered whether it made a difference, too.  I have a pretty wide-looking 20 gallon SS kettle--certainly much wider than a 15.5 gallon keggle.  I'd think the wider base and larger surface area for both heating and evaporation would cause both to occur at a faster rate. 

With regards to the Immersion Chiller (IC)--I made a 50 foot long Copper IC by wrapping it around the outside of my corny keg.  I note that the top of the coils sits at or just a little above the surface of the water.  If you made your own IC, I suppose you could wrap it around something wider (e.g., a 5 gallon plastic bucket).  That would result in a lower and wider IC profile.

My only concern with that was making the IC adaptable to all the potential batch sizes (and kettle sizes), so I went with a tighter design (taller and narrower via the corny keg).  It also makes it easy to store the IC--I just stick it onto one of my empty corny kegs--it saves storage space, holds the shape well, and prevents kinks (thereby protecting my investment).  Pretty important consideration with a over-filled garage and a house with two young and active boys in it.

Offline kgs

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 06:36:14 PM »
I don't think width or height matters on how long it takes to bring a certain volume to a boil. Affecting evaporation rates- yes. May I suggest going with the taller pots if one is using an immersion chiller?

And the choices we have!  :o Decisions Decisions.

That's the fun part...  :-)

After mulling it over, I think the taller pot will be important for two reasons, the most important being that I am still making small batches, basically because 3 gallons in a carboy is about what I can handle comfortably without help, and I generally brew and bottle on my own. The IC is definitely a direction I'm moving in, though with smaller batches, a bag of ice plus whatever's in the icemaker is more than enough to drop the temperature really fast.

The ten-gallon pot is really  insurance for a time when I move up to other equipment equipment (pumps, etc.) or can trade beer or food or whatever for burly-man help, and can go to larger batches. Right now my 5-gallon pot isn't  large enough for all-grain 3-gallon batches. I thought about an 8-gallon pot, but "in for a penny, in for a pound"--might as well get the pot that will enable what I'd like to be doing. I am also getting a step bit and a 1/2" SS ball valve setup.

The only reason I am guessing a wider pot would heat up more efficiently (and therefore faster) is that you could kick up the burner to its max without the flame going out to the side of the pot, which (I would assume) would result in a loss of energy. But I have absolutely no scientific evidence (or knowledge) to back that up.
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Offline euge

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 07:34:54 PM »
Quote
The only reason I am guessing a wider pot would heat up more efficiently (and therefore faster) is that you could kick up the burner to its max without the flame going out to the side of the pot, which (I would assume) would result in a loss of energy. But I have absolutely no scientific evidence (or knowledge) to back that up.

It is a problem. I have the 32 and 20 jet NG ring burner setup. Full blast at the wrong distance and enormous flames will lick up the sides as well as shoot out horizontally making it really really uncomfortable to get near my 80qt never mind the 40...  Usually the bottom of the kettle is at least 8" above the jets when using the 20. The roaring blue flames are huge and wasteful and it get's really hot in the brewery. I'm guessing that one could heat up a 100 gallons with the 32 if set up correctly. So I believe you're correct. :D

To do it all again I would spend the money (still might) on the Blichman floor burner since the flames are smaller and more focused.

Or I might just graduate to a gigantic setup, get a 50 gallon cooler and do all my brewing for the year during winter. lol

http://www.instawares.com/aluminum-stock-pot-o-apt-160hd.upi-apt160hd.0.7.htm#gallery



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Offline kgs

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 08:49:59 AM »
Small update: Williams wrote to say that their 40QT kettle weighs 12 pounds. More to factor in to all of this.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 07:30:24 AM »
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Offline hammy2424

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 08:00:22 AM »
I bought 2 of these & I'm VERY happy with the results.

http://www.waresdirect.com/products/Restaurant-Supply/Update-International/60-Qt168824


I bought the same one.  It is the exact same pot as the NB Mega Pot.  I checked it out recently at the new NB in Milwaukee.  The sandwich bottom helps prevent hot spots, and the side walls are nice and sturdy.

Only issue I have is that it is more on the wide side, and when I really get a rolling boil I can boil off 1.5 to 2 gallons in an hour.  Same flame with a keggle and I get more like .6 - 1 gallon an hour boil off.
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 08:03:52 AM »
Hmmm...Good to know.
I'll have to remember than, when I start using my keggle.
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Offline kgs

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 05:55:41 AM »
I just caught that I wrote "versus 21 x 16.8 x 14.2 inches"...

I was clearly not a math major. That would be one interesting "round" pot.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Brew kettle surface area
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 06:32:26 AM »
Those numbers are likely the measurements of the shipping box used to deliver the cylindrical pot.