With a short break from the dunkelweizen series as I wait for the latest batch to finish fermentation, my investigations turn to equipment. Moving into a place with more space by the end of the year I wanted to price out a set of equipment. I was hitting limits as far as making higher gravity beers or doing new processes for my experimental brews. So I started digging into the research that is one reason I enjoy this hobby, there is always so much to learn (and subsequently rant about). First I needed to get a pot, that can't be hard to pick right?
The right size is (not) all you need
It should just be simple as moving from my old 5 gallon pot when I was doing extract or partial mash brews to the one I have now at 8 gallons for full mash brews. Yet what I saw as the size I needed changed with the processes I used. Now I have this expensive pot and I am looking to replace it in less than a year! My method of no-sparge brewing suddenly became impossible when trying to brew a Strong Scotch Ale as apparently 7 gallons wasn't enough in one go. And that isn't even the only one as I started looking into parti-gyle brewing.
Planning ahead really is the key to a smooth brew day and equipment which is the most expensive piece is the most important. I only plan on doing 5 gallon batches as I love to brew more often. I find that the 8 gallon is perfect for normal gravity or normal processes but who wants to be normal? So stepping up the game to a 15 gallon pot leaves me with plenty of room to do the max batch of a parti-gyle or dual brew day. Not to mention I can then use my 8 gallon as a second boil pot, Perfect.
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Steven, otherwise known as zVulture on reddit or in games, is a homebrewer with two years and counting under the belt. Ambitious enough to think he can work his way up to opening his own brewery but knows he has a lot to learn. Beyond having fun doing experimental homebrewing to such an end, he enjoys learning and using old techniques, useful or not, to make beer.
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Best bang for buck IMO:
20 gal Concord for $130 - http://www.amazon.com/Concord-Cookware-S5050S-Stainless-100-Quart/dp/B0085ZPZ20&tag=homedad-20
Sightglass/Thermo kit for $44 - https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/tp.htm
Bulkhead/Ball Valve/Hose barb for $37 - https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/truebulkheadelbarb.htm
Get fancy with camlock fittings (> triclover) if you want for a few bucks more, grab a hole saw for $10ish and you've got a huge fantastic full-featured pot for ~$215!
posted by bovineblitz on 9/04/2015 at 10:01:27 AM
I would like to add that Brewers International has a VERY nice selection of Tri-clad kettles. I personally have the 8 gallon and love it.
posted by diegodangers on 9/04/2015 at 12:55:25 PM
Tags for this post: pot, kettle, equipment, tri-clover clamp