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Brewing all 5 gallons, vs 2-3

So I heard recently that one of the biggest differences in taste between a good quality homebrew and an alright homebrew is brewing all 5 gallons at once, rather than brewing 2-3 gallons and pouring that into water before pitching the yeast.

I am about to make a pretty big investment in a brand new brew kettle because of this, along with the making of an essential immersion wort chiller that is required to cool down 5 gallons of boiling water to 80 degrees within 20 minutes.

Now I need some opinions. What do you all think? Is a 10 gallon pot worth the quality of beer it produces?

Yes it is. And you want to cool the wort down into the low- to mid-60s for pitching - 80s are a bit on the high side.

Buy a 15 gallon pot for 5 gallon all-grain. Trust me. You’ll eventually need the space. 8)

You can pick up a 10 gallon pot here
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thunder-Group-ALSKSP007-40-qt-Aluminum-Stock-Pot-/250756324335?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a623ddbef
for $41 shipped. I would say it is worth it, no worries of boil overs with 5 gallons in it.

If you think you may want to brew all grain someday it might be worth looking into a 15 gallon pot, the seller above has them for $20 more
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thunder-Group-ALSKSP009-60-qt-Aluminum-Stock-Pot-/370474736777?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564203dc89
, I have one and really like it. With all grain you may have a pre-boil volume of up to 7 gallons or more and that doesn’t leave a lot of room in a 10 gallon pot, it’s doable though.

It nice to have that extra (15 gal.) room, if you can boil that much. Are you going with a propane/NG burner, also?

Woah, thank you all for the fantastic info! Yes, eventually I will be getting into all grain, but as of right now I do not yet have the amount of money to purchase an all grain system.

@ Glug Master, definitely will look into those kettles! I was about to drop around 200 for a mega kettle from NB, so you may have saved me some major bucks.

@ mrv, Yeah, I will end up using a propane burner, not of the NB kind however.

Have a newbie question, if you are planning on going all grain or full boil partial mash, and the goal is 5 gallons in the fermenter, why do I always read ( as in this thread) that a 10 gallon pot is a poor choice. Can I assume that a common goal is to eventually get to 10 gallons of wort,therfore a 15 gallon pot is thinking long term?

Still learning

Sailfast

Generally, for a 5 gal. batch, you want to start wit somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 gal. of wort. You can do that in a 10 gal. pot, but it’s tight. The first time I did a 5 gal. batch in a 15 gal. kettle, I thought my boilover worries were over. Wrong! As soon as I turned my back, it boiled over.

I purchased 3 converted kegs over the years from my local homebrew store when I lived in the Dallas area. I think they cost me about $85 each with a threaded collar stuck thru the side and welded in place that I could easily screw on a ball valve and a pick up tube onto. They are each 15.5 gallons. I use one for the hot liquor tank and one as a boil kettle. Eventually I may convert the 3rd one into a mash tun but my current procedure doesn’t really call for that. Of course all of my kegs were obtained the legal way as they were decommissioned by the brewery in question. I have read over the years from different folks that they dont like using the converted kegs but I have never had any problems with mine.

I’ve had a boil over in a 10 gallon pot. If you don’t want to worry about that, go larger. If you don’t mind keeping an eye on the boil every now and then, 10 gallon should be fine.

10gal pot and a bottle of Fermcap S. Great stuff.

+1 I use half the recommended dosage and boil 15 gallons in a 15.5-gal keggle, no boilovers unless I have the flame at max.

+1 for 15G pot. Frees you up from babysitting the boil to do other things (bottling another batch, making sandwiches for the kids, etc.)

I think Denny just debunked that myth didn’t he?

I boil in an 8g pot. It’s tight when starting with close to 7g in it.

I’ve also had a boil over in a converted keg (Sabco) during the sparge with only 5g in the pot.

I would look into a standard pot as they are much lighter to move around than a keg.

I don’t have an issue with aluminum, except on how to “weld” a coupler in if you want to put a ball valve on it. So I would go with Stainless Steel. For just a little more you can have this pot.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CONCORD-60-QT-S ... 20b9256e09

Maybe with some finagling the steamer can be made into a false bottom?

I used an 8 gal. pot for years with extract, full boils. Can’t just walk away from it, though. With aluminum, you could go with a weldless kit. I have kegs and I’ve had one boilover, but that was from cranking up the burner and working on something else.

No problem with having a coupling or nipple welded in to an aluminum pot, I bought aluminum fittings from McMaster-Carr

and had a local welder weld them in for $20. I would recommend using SS fittings and valves when connecting to aluminum rather than brass to minimize galvanic corrosion.

I think a 10 gallon kettle is enough for 5 gallon batches. You just have to keep an eye on the flame; really no matter what kettle you have. Before I switched to 3 gallon batches, I used an 11 gallon Bayou Classic kettle that I got for $90. It was a solid kettle, felt like it had plenty of head space. Before that I had an 8 gallon kettle, and it felt way too small.
I think a lot of people recommend getting a 15 gallon kettle is if you ever plan to size up to 10 gallon batches in the future. Then, you’ve already got the right sized kettle.

Heh… You want tight? Go with 7.5 gallons of wort in an 8 gallon pot! Talk about having to watch your wort like a hawk!!! :shock:

Only had one full boil-over with Fermcap-S being my best friend. 8)

(edited to correct grammar idiocy). :wink:

I also just purchased a 36 QT strainless kettle from overstock for 68 bucks free shipping.

I was going to make my first full boil batch this weekend. How much water do you add when doing a full boil? 6 gallons + the malt extract or do you subtract the malt extract volume from 6 gallons and add that?

Also how does doing a full boil improve the beer? Will I be able to notice a difference if I were to remake a kit I have previously made and in what way?

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