Which brew pot

Hello, I’m looking to purchase my first 5-8 gallon brew pot and was wondering if I should get one with a valve at the bottom. I have an auto-siphon to transfer to the carboy so not sure I need one with a valve. Is the valve useful with all-grain brewing? Note: I will probably be extract brewing for a while. Cheers!

I started with an 8 gallon no valve. If you can afford it don’t get less than 8 so you can do full volume boils. I personally wasted money on the 8 gallon because I soon wanted to do 10 gallon batches and purchased a 15 gallon pot. Just think of the future. Going all out now may pay off later.


If you are thinking 5 gal batches then I would go with at least a 10 gal kettle. Definatly have a valve at the bottom and if you can swing it a thermometer. Mega pot has all the above choices and the quality pretty decent. Of course all available at NB.

I too started with a 8 gallon, no valve pot. Soon went to a 15 gallon pot with a valve - for 10 gallon batches. Definitely go as large as you can with a valve.

So I guess I am going to speak from the other point of view. I have always done 5 gallon batches. I suppose that if I wanted to do bigger batches I would need to get a larger pot but I am content at 5 gallon and don’t see moving up.

I got the 8 gallon megapot with no valve and no thermometer. I am very satisfied with the choice. It is perfect for the 5 gallon batches and I use the autosiphon to transfer.

Now on the other hand, if you are on the mailing list for the Northern Brewer catalog you will likely notice that it is a rather small catalog and the options for equipment are not extensive. That’s because in brewing you can get a collection of gear and it will be fine for your brewing career and the options are pretty limited. If you go for a 10 or 15 gallon pot with the valve and thermometer and maybe even the sight glass, you will basically be set for the rest of your brewing life and will never need to get another pot. I don’t think I will ever get another pot.

But at what point do I use that valve in the brewing process? Is it used instead of auto-siphon? If the valve is that desirable/useful I could see spending the extra $$$.

You would use it instead of the autosiphon. If it’s worth it is up to you. But I will say that if you search around and read other threads regarding the valve you will find people who have troubles with leaking around the seal. I have read posts asking how to clean the valve. I guess you need to clean it after a certain period of time. Personally I am about simplicity. Less to maintain is better for me. You may think that the extra work associated with the valve is worth it.

The valve is definitely a nice option. Yes you use it instead of the siphon. Transfer of wort to fermenter is much faster. I went with the SS brewtech 15 gallon kettle and I am very happy with it.


My $0.02, if you plan on sticking with five gallon batches, go with a ten gallon kettle with a valve. No need for a thermometer if you’re only going to be boiling in the kettle. If you think you might move up to ten gallon batches, go with a fifteen gallon kettle. I currently use an eight gallon kettle for 5.25 gallon batches, and with a 6.5-6.8 gallon starting volume, it’s cutting it pretty close. I have to watch very carefully for boilovers for the first half hour or so. With a ten gallon kettle it wouldn’t be an issue.

In the end I,d say the valve is a good idea… As your doing extract now it is easier to open a valve than use the auto-siphon…and sometimes they don’t work …had one go bad on me…If you ever decide to try all grain brewing you will find the valve very usefull come sparge time. I don’t know how satisfied you are with extract, I thought I,d stick with it but here I am getting ready to plan my first all-grain batch… In the end it,s up to your idea of ease of use…Tank :cheers:

I have a cheap kettle I had been using for extract. I’m switching to BIAB so purchased a CONCORD DIY Home Brew Stainless Steel Kettle
. If your still doing extract getting a small kettle like I did originally isn’t a bad thing as you can use it to drain or sparge in the future if you go all grain or biab.

Before getting a pot with a valve think about how high the pot will reside as well. You need it up there to use gravity to drain it unless you have a pump as well. The same can be said for using the auto-siphon. Get as large of a pot as you can afford too. I got a 10 and wish I had a 15 now.

Is this a boil kettle or a mashtun? I like theMegapot 1.2 kettles here, but here’s a much cheaper solution from Amazon.


Amazon search results for Bayou Classic Kettles

The 16 gallon kettle would be a great choice for a mashtun. Plenty of room for grains if you’re going to do big beer all grain brewing and it’s just $14 more than the 10 gallon.

If this is just going to be a boil kettle, I’d get the plain jane 10 gallon pot listed for $75. You could buy a step bit, drill the hole, and install your own ball valve for a little over a $100. The plan janes don’t have the stamped volume markers, but there’s ways around that too. Hope this helps.

I brewed a few extract batches and then went to all grain 5 gal batches. I used a bayou classic 9 gal stainless kettle for almost 2 years. It was my MT(BIAB) and BK. I BIAB’d as big as 1.090ish beers in it. Just had to be creative with thick mash and sparging.

I recently built a 2 vessel system with the intent of doing 10 gal batches and I got 2 bayou classic 1064 16gal kettles with weldless bulkhead valves and I just added sight glasses to them. I use a march pump and plate chiller so the valves were required.

I agree that simplicity is good. After I’m done brewing I dump a scoop of PBW in the kettle, fill with water, light the burner, flip the pump switch and let it recycle through the system for a few minutes followed by a rinse. Cleaning doesn’t get much simpler or easier than that.

My point being, try to think what kind and volume of beers you want to brew now and in the future. Then try to scale your system accordingly.

I wouldn’t go any less than 10 gallons. I’ve had near boilovers in my 15 gallon pot on 5.5 gallon batches with 7.25 pre boil volume, I have a huge natural gas impinging jet burner though, it heats things up really fast. I just bought an 80 qt pot for 10 gallon batches, they’re too tight for my liking in the 15 gallon pot and it’s a pain in the ass to haul out my 30 gallon pot.

You can get a 10 gallon pot on Ebay for $45 shipped


In the first three years I brewed, I upgraded my kettle twice; the second time from a 7.5 gallon basic pot to a 10 gallon unit with valve and thermometer. And I’ve not needed to upgrade since.
If you want to do full volume boils for 5 gallon batches, 10 gallons is a good size. The valve gives you a lot of flexibility for how you want to configure your system in the future. The thermometer is less essential, but it doesn’t add a lot to the cost & I have definitely gotten my money’s worth from it.