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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Brewing Forum --> Gear/Equipment --> Brew Kettle

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San Diego, CA
23 Posts

So I got paid recently and desperately want to upgrade my brew kettle. Right now I have a 4 gallon kettle and for my 2.5 gallon brew days it gets tense when things come to a boil. I realize I could get FermCap but I just want a 5 gallon kettle either way. 

Some of you may have seen the post I made on reddit earlier about the 5 gallon kettle with ball valve on BrewInternational. For all it's sketchiness, it seems like a good deal, but I'm paralyzed with indecision. Through Amazon Prime, I can pay slightly less (after shipping) and get a decent looking stock pot with great reviews. 

Or should I just get a cheap $20 one with no ball valve? I can easily pour 2.5-3 gallons of wort into a fermenter so that's not an issue for me. I'm also eyeing a 5 gallon kettle because that's the most I'll be brewing for the foreseeable future. I don't want to and cannot go bigger in our current place, and when the lease is up here I'll be moving to college somewhere, but that's not for another year. 

Another consideration is that I have an electric range, but not an induction one. It's the kind with the electric coils. I get 3.5 gallons of wort to a very vigorous boil pretty fast with the current pot and it has a bit of an indent in the center. 

tl;dr - should I get a cheap kettle from a questionable source with a ball valve? Or should I get a higher rated kettle from a more trusted source without one? Is a ball valve in any way necessary for my small batch sizes? 

Posted 34 days ago.

314 Posts

There are no valves on my small setup I use a DIY siphon/manifold for lautering as well for the hopfiltering. It's a ring with slots sawn in and covered with stainless braid.

Regarding kettle size, do some calculations, assume a 2 hour boil on a big RIS, then add a decent amount of headspace. I've been using the same steel enamelled copper for some 30 years now, it's 27 liters and I brew 10 (boil ~13) incidentally 20, boil 23 liter.

The important parts in a kettle are the thickness and quality to the bottom and the way it is connected to the side wall. At this joint heat will accumulate and wort will get sticky there

Posted 34 days ago.

Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts

I have a 44 quart pot with no valve of any sort (I typically do 5.5-7 gallon batches); if you don't mind picking up and dumping (which is easier to do with a smaller pot), then there is no real reason to get a valve.

If you don't plan to ever go over 2.5 gallon batches, then a 5 gallon pot is plenty.  That said, I'm a believer in good gear - I'd personally pay more for a better pot.  As the proverb goes - "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."

Also - if you ARE going to buy from Amazon?  Please consider using an affiliate link for this site.  Prices will be identical, but we'll get referral credit.  :)

Posted 34 days ago.
Edited 34 days ago by homebrewdad

Charter Member
The Internet
314 Posts

I kind of agree with ingoogni and HBD here.  In general, 2x the size of your normal batch is fine.  If you're planning on BIAB, you might want to size it 3x to accommodate larger grain bills.  The longer I brew, the more I despise threaded ports and weldless ports are just a mistake from the get go.  If you're going for a ported vessel, spend the money to make it a threadless port aka a triclamp port.  If that's out of budget, re-evaluate your brew day and see how you can make due with no ports.  The smoother your surfaces are, the easier they are to clean and maintain as sanitary.  

Posted 34 days ago.

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