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New Brew Pot - Welded vs Step Bit Drilling

I’m in the market for a new 15 gallon brew pot. Based on my price point, i’m looking at either an economy brew pot that comes welded with couplers (http://www.homebrewing.org/2-Weld-15-ga … _2756.html) or a higher quality pot where i’ll have to drill using a step bit (http://www.waresdirect.com/products/Res … 0-Qt168824). I’ve read up enough on drilling to feel fairly confident to install a ball valve and thermometer. I guess my question is whether anyone has any thoughts or suggestions about which way to go based on experience with either larger economy kettles or drilling your own pots. Thanks!

I vote for a nice triple layer bottom kettle and drilling your own holes. Ive done three kettles now and it no problem. I get the bits from Harbor Freight. I actually like the no-weld valves, if you use a pickup you can aim it a little high or low depending on what you need.

That said I do have an economy 20gal Bayou kettle and it works fine. I drilled it too.

If you are concerned about a weldless valve leaking, you can always solder it in with a product like StayBrite.

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