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Upgrading my Brew Kettle

I’m considering upgrading my brew kettle. I am not planning on brewing anything larger than a five gallon batch so the plan is to get around a 30 Quart kettle. I am currently brewing in an old aluminum turkey fryer kettle and the plan is to upgrade to Stainless Steel Kettle with the built in thermometer. I had a couple questions/recommendations.

Is there a big advantage to SS over AL?
Is there a big advantage to the ones with a ball valve drain? Are the valves high enough to drain without pulling off any of the Trub?

Thanks in advance for any input.

I feel that Stainless Steel is the best to get… A ball valve is an absolute must in my eyes… OR if you prefer, an outlet at the bottom… I put a Tee on mine so I could install a thermometer straight in, then the 90* outlet was pointed down, and thats where the valve went… I had a real time temp reading as I pulled wort out… The trub is a fact of brewing… Whirlpool helps tremendously… I would go with a 10 gallon kettle… You can boil hard if you choose, and not much to worry about with boil overs… There… you got my 3 cents worth… More should weigh in for you too! Sneezles61

Extract or all grain? There was another thread along the lines recently. I started with an 8.5 and you had to watch it like a hawk to avoid it boiling over. I’ve even come close with the 15. My personal “if I had it to do over again” is that I’d start with a 15 gallon stainless.

I’d take a drain valve over a thermometer. Thermometer stem just gets in the way. 10gallon minimum for 5 gallon all grain which I assume your doing if your thinking about a thermometer

Thanks. Good read.

Sounds like ten gallon is the consensus.

I’m doing extracts right now but planning to go to progress to partial mash/BIAB next. AG after that.

If you’re going to do BIAB forget the through the pot thermometer for sure. Get a a long stem thermometer

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Like the other relpy. Once you go all grain. 10 to 15 gal brew kettle. The way to go. For sure ss aluminum. Not bad. But. Ss. Its nice

BIAB is all grain. It’s just a different filter medium.

The only reason for doing partial mash instead of full mash is pot size. I’d prefer to call it partial extract. Mash as much as you can and add extract to make up the difference. This idea that you progress from extract to all grain is hogwash your just adding a step to brewing making your own wort. I think it’s backwards people should learn all grain first then if they want because of size restrictions or whatever do extract

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I use a 10 gallon for all grain biab. If I were to do it again, I would get a kettle without a ball valve and no thermometer. This way there are no areas the kettle can leak passed o-rings and the ball valve and such dont get gummed up with hops and wort needing fine tune cleaning later on. Lifting the 6 gallons of wort for the fermenter isnt the most fun in the world, but if you only brew once a week or so, then it’s not really a big in my opinion.

A ball valve is a must in my setup. I pump through and chiller straight to the fermenters. Three piece ball valves are the way to go. Easy to disassemble and clean if you need to but all you need to do is run hot water through them after each use while opening and closing the valve to make sure the ball gets cleaned well. Since starting that habit I can’t remember the last time I had mine apart to clean.

I think that more important than what the pot is made of generally is what the bottom is made of specifically. I highly recommend a multi-clad bottom. A layered/ clad bottom allows you to turn up your heat source to the max without getting hot spots and scorching areas. Besides that 8 gallons is now what I consider a minimum

Ah the beauty of electric… No red hot handle to curse at too! Its happened a few times… Even the sheet metal deflector didn’t help much… Sneezles61

I have a three piece waste of money. Not much to a ball valve just run boiling water through it.

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