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Newbie Buying a Brewing Kit...What brew pot?

I’ve decided after 4-6 weeks of reading and watching video’s about brewing my own beer, i’m soon going to take the plunge and buy the NB Deluxe Kit. Seems like the best and most complete kit out there. But the million dollar question is, what brew pot to buy?

I want to leave the option open to move to all-grain brewing, probably fairly soon :slight_smile: I don’t plan on brewing over 5 gallon batches. What i’m thinking is a 7.5-10 gallon pot, but there so expensive. Do i need fittings for a drain valve and thermometer, or just a drain? I need some opinions on what a guy just starting out, to do…

Thanks posting.php?mode=post&f=1#

My 2 cents…

I got the deluxe kit as a gift and I’m enjoying it and only bought the 5 gallon basic pot. After watching the BIAB(Brew in a Bag) video where you can do an all grain on the store top I wish I had the larger pot with the temp gauge built in. I know it’s $200 and that is exactly why I don’t have it. I’m still doing extract kits with partial boils so it’s no loss, but if you can afford it and think you are going to stick with it, I say get the big boil pot.

Cheers !

Yeah I strongly suggest a larger pot if you plan to get more into this. 7.5 gallons minimum. I have a 7.5 gallon pot that I do full boils in and it works great. I was able to do extract partial boils with it when I first started, and then didnt have to buy a new pot when I stepped it up to aall grain. So I strongly reccomend that.

You can get a 10 gallon aluminum stock pot here
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thunder-Group-ALSKSP007-40-qt-Aluminum-Stock-Pot-/250756324335?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a623ddbef
for $56 shipped, I have the 15 gallon version and really like it. If you want a valve and stuff, you can get weldless kits from NB

I got a turkey fryer setup, with propane burner and 7.5g aluminum pot from Walmart for like $55 with free site-to-store shipping. I’ve done 6 brews so far with no problems. This is the cheapest route.

Well you know you don’t really need a drain valve or a thermometer they are not something you need. Why dont you go find a place that can sell you a 10-15 gallon stock pot? I’m pretty sure you can get it for less than 60. Try craigslist for stock pots or the link Glug Master posted. If you have a spare thermometer get a wire and attach it to the thermometer and hook it to the lip of the pot then you have an easily removable thermometer without paying out the bum for something that is pretty much permanently built in.

7.5g is even a bit small for full boils on 5 gal. You really need to watch them and adjust temperatrues to avoid boil overs, especially on high gravity beers and when adding hops. I have a keggle (15.5g) and it still boils over when I’m not being watchful. I would say that the brewpot is one of your bigger initial expenses so if you’re already going to spend 60 bucks, you may as well spend 100 or 150 to get up into the 10-15 gallon range… ESPECIALLY if you want to do all grain batches in excess of 5 gallons. If you don’t you’re going to end up spending that much later and have 2 pots (not really a problem but still unnecessary).

In terms of the bells and whistles, the valve is a must. You can buy a pot, drill a whole and do a weldless fitting, buy one with a valve on it or whatever but you don’t want to try and lift a full boil pot. 8.3 gal/pound for water x 9lb for a full boil is 72+ pounds plus the weight of the pot and that does’t even account for the fact that wort weighs more than water.

Thermometer is helpful, especially if you’re using it as a HLT, but not necessary in a brew kettle. The sight glass is a total waste, and a pain in the ass to clean. Open the lid and you can see exactly where the water level is. If you’re maniacal about knowing how much water is in there, get a gallon jug, pour a gallon in and make a notch on your mash paddle for each gallon up to the top.

I use a 5 gallon Stainless stock pot for partial boils. I decided to spend a few extra dollars on a quality stainless pot over the cheaper(thinner) aluminum ones.

I really would not want to be using a larger pot for partial boils. There is already 5 or so inches of pot left so that is still plenty of room. I do plan to move up to All grain soon and will just buy a new larger pot. Personally, I’m fine fitting the pot to the boil volume.

You never have to lift the pot. OP is probably using an IC or a cold water bath, so he could siphon out the cold wort out. If you have a very tight budget like I do being a college student you never have to have any of the bells and whistle to make a good beer.

I started with the basic kit and a 4 gallon pot. If I could start over , I would buy a 10 gallon pot so I could do full boils. I partial mash now, but I want to move to full boils and all grain. In my opinion, I need a 10 gallon pot and a whirlpool chiller to make this happen, but money is tight.

Still have to get it from the stove to the ice bath. Also when he starts doing all grain, unless he has a scuplture, you’ll be lifting that pot in between 5 and 9 gallons fairly regularly. Everyone does it differently, I was just saying I would be miserable without my valve.

thanks guys…i really need to sit down and run the numbers and set up a plan…the two options i’m thinking right now is buying the deluxe starter kit and a 5 gallon stock pot and doing extract brews… the other is buying the deluxe starter kit and the 10 gal megapot w/ the ball valve.

i think i have my self talked into the megapot, and i know i will be super happy with it. Its just going to be close to $400 before i ever brew a bottle of beer. i already have a turkey fryer burner, so that helps.

On the other hand, i would mostly be brewing in the fall, winter and spring. So, being outside brewing in the MN winter isn’t optimal either, my garage isn’t heated. So having an extract set-up might also be the way to go.

I’m going to drink a beer and think about this!!

You’ll be glad you went with the bigger one. Its cheaper in the long run. You will probably have ended up with both if you started out small. At least that how it always works out for me. I try to plan ahead now. :slight_smile:

If you have a suspicion that you are going to enjoy brewing and continue at it - buy the big pot, with a spigot. Yes, they are expensive - but, I guarantee you it is cheaper than buying a $70 pot, and then buying the good pot a year later. Get the good pot and you are set up for full boil extract, as well as going to all-grain at some point down the road. I have brewed for 15+ year and I have NEVER regretted going with the “good” equipment option. I have routinely bought “cheap” and later regretted it and bought the high quality later on anyway. There are a few key pieces to invest in - a nice brew pot is #1 in my opinion. Wort Chiller is #2 in my opinion.

Buying a kettle is one of those situations where it’s almost always better to buy a little bigger than you think you’ll need. I’ve used a 32 qt. stainless turkey fryer for quite a while, but wished I had gone for something bigger within the first few brews.

As far as the valves, sight glasses, and all the “extras,” they can all be added later. It’s a lot harder to add volume.

how key is it to have the tri-clad bottom in a brew kettle? do i have to worry about scorching the wort if i get a single layer 20ga stainless kettle?

thanks!!

[quote=“hyperlight66”]how key is it to have the tri-clad bottom in a brew kettle? do i have to worry about scorching the wort if i get a single layer 20ga stainless kettle?[/quote]Scorching is only an issue when adding dense sugary substances (LME, honey, etc.) to the kettle without stirring or turning the flame off. Tri-clad bottoms are better at absorbing and distributing the heat, so they will save you a little propane over time since you can turn the flame down a little.

Cool, i found a 8 gallon SS kettle 20ga sidewall and bottom with a brass ball valve kit for $93 shipped to my house. That should be plenty big to do a full boil of a 5 gallon batch, figuring you need to start with around 6.5 gallons.

My thought process is, that i would buy another 8 gallon kettle for a mash tun, with all the balls and whistles, when the time comes to go to all-grain. The above pot will always be my boil kettle. Is this a decent approach?

I would use a cooler for a mash tun. Something like this Igloo 48 quart should do you well for up to 30# grain bills.

maybe i can buy the same 8gal kettle again when i go to all grain and use one as a boil kettle and the other as a HLT. Then all i would have to do is make the cooler contraption. How big of kettle do you need for a HLT for a 5 ballon batch of brew?

the sparging terms still confuse me so i don’t know what kinda set-up that would be a 3 tier gravity fed.

i just wana buy equipment now, that will be used in the future for 5 gallon all-grain batches.

thanks!!!

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