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Brew kettle choices

Aussie Home Brewer

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wil.j

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I'm looking to start BIAB and have decided to go with a brew kettle and gas burner, rather than electric (although not wedded to this).

I've been looking at kettles and have decided to go for around 40-50 litres. My question relates to the quality of kettles. These are the two I've been considering:

https://cheekypeakbrewery.com.au/50ltr-nano-brewery-304ss-brew-kettle-single-base-pot

http://www.newerabrewing.com.au/ss-brewtech-ss-brew-kettle-10/

Other than price, are there factors that puts one above the other?

Would also appreciate other suggestions, if there are any. My preference for gas is about the speed of getting to boil.

Thanks in advance!
 

MHB

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The only major difference I can see is the second (dearer) one has a triple layer base (ss pot, aluminium slab and another layer of ss) which will spread the heat out better and help prevent hot spots which can cause scorching.

Whether or not that is worth an extra $90 or so to you, is an open question. If you can track down a bit of SS mesh (around 4-6mm pitch) and put it between the fire and the pot it will pretty much do the same job.

Mark
 

Dave70

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I'd be leaning toward the slightly over square pot, almost for that reason alone. 18 gauge is, from memory about 1.2 mm thick, or about the same as a commercial beer keg, so even without the fancy triclad bottom, you'd have to be trying pretty hard to scorch anything.
On the other hand, 40L total volume is easily reached, and boiled over, so points against there.
If you don't mind a bit of DIY, I reckon you cant go past a converted ex - totally legally sourced keg. Correct dimensions and tough as nails. Easily obtainable no weld ball valves make the exercise even less painful.
If you like pretty things, you could buy a lot of buffing discs and cutting compound with the money you save.

 

wil.j

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Thanks guys.

I hadn't considered pot shape - less wort will evaporate with a more rectangular pot?

I'm probably leaning toward a pot that comes with a tap as my DIY skills are, well :blush:
 

MHB

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There are pros and cons to any choice, especially if you are trying to do three jobs in one vessel (Mash/Lauter, Boil, Whirlpool).
If you want to be "safe" your pot should be big enough to hold the batch you are making and give enough freeboard to allow for stirring, hot water additions and foaming during the boil. In industrial vessels the Mash/Lauter tun would be 30-40% bigger than necessary.
On average the grain is assumed to take up 0.7L/kg (0.65-0.8 depending on the grind) and the water 1L/kg so if you were mashing 5kg of grist and were adding all the water to the mash you would want (5*0.7 + 5*6) = 33.5 times 1.3-1.4 so 43.5-46.9L. Looks like 40 to 50L pot isn't too far out of bounds.
The kettle volume would ideally be 15-30% larger than the boil volume, if you are doing BIAB I with its higher trub loads I would be looking at the higher end.
For the above batch after you pull the bag you should have close to 25-27L of sweet water at 1.4 times you would be looking at a maximum of 38L, so you would have plenty of room in either a 40 or 50L pot.

Flat bottom pots are way better for whirlpooling, in a well designed whirlpool vessel the depth of the wort would be around 1-1.5 times the diameter; this gives the best separation and shortest time to come to a stop. The shape and what you have sticking into the pot (plumbing, sensors...) can setup eddy currents that will disturb the cone formation, as will a domed tank bottom...

There is no single "Right" answer, either of the pots in the OP should give you safe, reliable and a life time of good effective brewing and be big enough to allow plenty of flexibility with batch size and even room to make some high gravity beer. Mind you all my early brewing was done in converted kegs and they worked well, good to have a TIG and know how to use it - allows for all sorts of experiments.

Mark
 

mtb

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Dave70 said:
I'd be leaning toward the slightly over square pot, almost for that reason alone. 18 gauge is, from memory about 1.2 mm thick, or about the same as a commercial beer keg, so even without the fancy triclad bottom, you'd have to be trying pretty hard to scorch anything.
On the other hand, 40L total volume is easily reached, and boiled over, so points against there.
If you don't mind a bit of DIY, I reckon you cant go past a converted ex - totally legally sourced keg. Correct dimensions and tough as nails. Easily obtainable no weld ball valves make the exercise even less painful.
If you like pretty things, you could buy a lot of buffing discs and cutting compound with the money you save.

Sweet mother of jebus that looks pretty.
 

damoninja

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I'm selling an aluminium one with thermometer, wort pickup and wort return

If you're in Adelaide.
 

Dave70

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wil.j said:
Thanks guys.

I hadn't considered pot shape - less wort will evaporate with a more rectangular pot?

I'm probably leaning toward a pot that comes with a tap as my DIY skills are, well :blush:
All I know is I picked up a giant 80L pot, or there abouts, for the right price that was almost 50cm diameter x 40 cm high. Even with a three ring burner it was almost impossible to get a decent rolling boil.
Obviously the culprit was ring diameter of the burner being far less than pot. I figured it was just easier to flog the pot off than to obtain the burner from an industrial furnace..
 

wil.j

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damoninja said:
I'm selling an aluminium one with thermometer, wort pickup and wort return

If you're in Adelaide.
Thanks but I'm in Sydney :)
 

wil.j

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Dave70 said:
All I know is I picked up a giant 80L pot, or there abouts, for the right price that was almost 50cm diameter x 40 cm high. Even with a three ring burner it was almost impossible to get a decent rolling boil.
Obviously the culprit was ring diameter of the burner being far less than pot. I figured it was just easier to flog the pot off than to obtain the burner from an industrial furnace..
I think I'm going to stick with around 50L so hopefully a ring burner should be okay.

Your keg looks amazing btw :D
 

malt junkie

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Dave70 said:
I'd be leaning toward the slightly over square pot, almost for that reason alone. 18 gauge is, from memory about 1.2 mm thick, or about the same as a commercial beer keg, so even without the fancy triclad bottom, you'd have to be trying pretty hard to scorch anything.
On the other hand, 40L total volume is easily reached, and boiled over, so points against there.
If you don't mind a bit of DIY, I reckon you cant go past a converted ex - totally legally sourced keg. Correct dimensions and tough as nails. Easily obtainable no weld ball valves make the exercise even less painful.
If you like pretty things, you could buy a lot of buffing discs and cutting compound with the money you save.

you can polish my keg anytime :blush:
 

Dave70

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malt junkie said:
you can polish my keg anytime :blush:
Just to be clear, that isn't actually my keg.
But I'm still flattered.
 

malt junkie

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:D :D I polished up an old 18gal keggle, bloody hell it looked nice! Mirror finish, lots of work, but if you do just one small area at a time you'll slowly get there and the look on peoples faces when they see it is priceless. Sadly sold it a few years ago, and has since been sold on here again.

So was it worth doing? Yeah in the end, made cleaning easy and keeping that shine was 30 mins every 12 months or so.
 

Mr B

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I just recieved a 70L Soga pot from the ebay seller, $150 plus postage.

Great price, happy with quality, but they are 'square' (in this case 45cm by 45cm, pretty much but not quite square in acuality).

Gonna use it for a mash tun, quite happy.

Decision price point really
 

yum beer

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wil.j said:
The other option is to get one of these https://cheekypeakbrewery.com.au/50l-nano-brewery-304ss-electric-boiler-kettle-single-base-pot-1

But I'd be concerned that I'd need to add a second element and then costs are rising...
I have been looking at the Cheeky Peak pots. When I take the shot I will be paying the bit extra agoing 70 litre, just for the layered base.
The 50's don't have the option that the other sizes do. On a basic boil pot off the top of my head its about $40 extra.
 

damoninja

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They'll customise them however you want.

I got the trifold base hundo litre with wort collection, wort return, thermometer, sight glass and chiller
 

Weizguy

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Value of multi layer kettle base = bugger all See here
Also, one of the big beer supply companies in the SU, Blichmann iirc see no advantage to multi-layer kettles
88 litre pot $139 here. I have a 150 litre pot from this shop.1.5mm thick
 

damoninja

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When I got it, cost me no extra, with the right arrangements... regardless of whether it's worth it or not it has the perception it is, when I eventually sell.

Fucking good build quality though and I worked out for the cost of all the parts including the chiller and so on, it would have only cost me a little less to buy separately, but with the shipping of parts from around the place would have rounded to about the same where was free from these guys.

I agree though unless you're using it for something like thick sauces or soups that aren't as fluid and you need even distribution of heat.

Either way, takes me as long to bring 65L to the boil in the new pot as it does to boil 35L in the old pot.
 
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