What size kettle should i get?

i am currently doing extract brewing in a 5 gallon kettle. i want to step up to all grain brewing (5 gallon batches), i plan on either buying or building a 10 gallon cooler mash/lauter tun(could go with a 5 gallon MLT but i eventually want to brew some DIPAs and Barleywines so i think ill need the 10 gallon. as far as the kettle, i could probably get an 8 gallon, but will i ever get in a situation where that will not be enough for doing a 5 gallon batch? also, with my current kettle, there is no spigot so i pour into a strainer. when i eventually get my bigger kettle with a spigot for draining into the fermentor, what is the best way to strain out the spent pellet hops? i heard the false bottoms and some screens dont work so well and it winds up getting clogged right away.

I do 5 gall batches in a 9 gallon kettle and it isn’t excessively large. I aim for 5.5 gall into the fermenter so I can bottle pretty close to 5 gall, and when you figure in what you lose to the hops, and the space you want at the top, I wouldn’t get one any smaller than that. If there is a 10 gall available I’d get that.

7.5 is a bare minimum. 8 gallon is better. 10 would be best.

For the hops, place them in $.99 panty hose. Give them enough room to expand.

Or there is the hop spider.

http://brewing.steveandemily.net/2011/0 ... der-build/

Also keep in mind that some kettles are volume over-rated. For example, I have a 32qt kettle that barely holds 30qt to the rim, and a 100qt that holds 96qt to the rim. I don’t know why this is, but being a former computer nerd I’m pretty used to it (ie; 1.44mb floppy that really only holds 1.38mb, etc).

For 5 gallon batches in my 32qt, I would always have a boil-over since I was to the rim with my 7 gallon pre-boil. I would go with at least a 10 gallon (40qt). Or better yet, a 15 gallon so that you don’t have to buy ANOTHER kettle when you decide to do 10 gallon batches within the next few months :smiley:

[quote=“CliffordBrewing”]1.44mb floppy that really only holds 1.38mb/quote]

Ha, floppy disks. I seem to recall those actually not to long ago. Wow.

Anyways, like others have said, bare minimum 7.5. Even 8 is way better though. And 10 is best.

I started brewing AG with a 7 gallon kettle. It wouldn’t hold enough to do a proper boil for more than 60 minutes, and I had to watch it like a hawk to avoid boil-overs. So much easier since I upgraded to a 10 gallon pot.

A 10 gallon would be the minimum size I’d recommend. You’ll likely be starting your boil with ~7 gallons and 3 gallons head space isn’t much with a vigorous boil. Get a 15 gallon if it’s within your budget.

I bought a 15 gallon aluminum pot from the Ebay seller above for around $65 shipped and I love it, it’s about half the weight of my old converted keg and heats up very fast. I had an aluminum pipe nipple welded in for a valve. I let the hops and trub settle after cooling and use a strainer like this on my bucket:

It catches the first bits of hops when I open the valve then runs pretty clear, it also aerates the wort. The nipple in the pot sits about 3/4" off the bottom so most of the trub stays below it, I can also carefully tip the pot and get a little more wort off the top of the trub.

The biggest that your wife won’t question as being “new” when she sees it in the garage :mrgreen:

so i guess i,ll go with the 10 gallon. actually that seems perfect for me, because i dont have a propane burner, only place i can brew is in my kitchen and it seems that a 10 gallon kettle will fit over 2 burners nicely. maxdog, you hit the head on the nail, i just gotta convince my wife to let me buy this now. hehe. thanks for all the replies.

also about the strainer, i never thought to use one like that (which i actually have) , i just use the one that came with my big funnel, but its too fine and everything gets stuck, so i guess next batch ill try the metal strainer. thanks for that tip

Um, what kind of stove are you working with. I have a gas one and even with two burners I’m pretty sure it couldn’t handle a 7 gallon boil. Even if it could I’m sure it would take ages to get there.

hmm, its just a regular stovetop, has 2 big burners 1 medium and 1 small . ive heard about people doing this without problems, that is why i assumed i would be able to do it. i didnt really want to invest in a propane burner, and i also didnt really want to brew outside.


You can build a heat stick to aid in the boiling.

I’ve done it, but not without problems. The weight and heat for that length of time is hard on electric burners.

My first burner was a turkey frier for $30, now it’s under my HLT.

I started with a 9gal SS pot for 5gal batches, worked well with no issues. If you ever feel that you will do bigger batches down the road I would buy the biggest pot that you can afford. Over the years I have had to upgrade three times to my existing 30gal pots.

I have a 7.5 gallon pot. Years ago, I gave some thought to a bigger pot. But then I discovered Fermcap foam reducer…and suddenly I had more than enough room. Still using the same pot.