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Ruddager

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As I'm graduating from kit 'n' kilo style brews I can see that I'm going to need a pretty big pot to steep and boil stuff in. So ...

What to look for?
What to ignore?
Where to look?
How big?
Any other considerations? (thermometers?)
 

black_labb

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what are you graduating to?

If you are doing kits and bits or partials you probably have plenty of equipment in your kitchen already. If you have a rice cooker these can be excellent for doing partial mashes as their "keep warm" temperature keeps them at 67* almost perfectly once they get there, and once finished mashing you can remove the grains, flick a switch and it will boil for you. Otherwise most 5L+ pots will be usable for most partial recipes

If you are trying to get into all grain a 19L big W stock pot (20$) is a great way to get into it without spending much. have a look at the "stovetop biab" thread for more details.
 

iralosavic

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For boils that require a fair bit of heat, a multiply sandwich of stainless and aluminuum on the bottom will help with even/uniform heating. For smaller boils, I wouldn't be too picky, but I personally prefer stainless in either case.

If you can use an angle grinder, you can cut the top off a keg (takes me 5 minutes) and they can be had for around $50 from some suppliers.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Big W pot - have a look at the stovetop method (all grain brewing under 30 bucks and 20L stovetop aussie lager).

I have (in my signature) how I've used two pots as a sort of graduation from BIAB on the stovetop. It probably requires the first page of each of Nick's threads to really understand, but it is a useful method for me.

It sort of works as a ghetto 3V system with Mash Tun (my small esky, though I've used the 50L one with some alfoil on top to prevent heat loss), a Lauter tun (for running juice from grains and sparging (rinsing) grains to dislodge sugars) - consisting of 2 x 20L bunnings pails with a tap I've put on it, and the 2 pots to do a full sized batch.

The largest amount I've put on this is about 35-37L (I didn't measure precisely) of 1.039 (a Mild), and I've pushed 22-25L of beer up to 1.068 (an AIPA, and Golden Strong Lager) out of it as well.

The thing with Big W pots - is that even if you upgrade/change/increase capacity on your system - the pot is always useful for something (decoction mash, collecting sparge runnings, etc). And it's cheap.

Goomba
 

Edak

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If you have plenty of space for brewing then I would say go with a 3V set up, if you don't have the space and want to do full size batches then you could go with a 1-2V set up, otherwise the stovetop methods work well.

If you are going 3V then kegs are a great place to start, otherwise craftbrewer have a 70L stock pot which is very high quality for the price.

If you are planning on using gas then as mentioned above use a pot with a sandwiched base, if using electric (element inside kettlle/pot) then you don't need the highest quality thick-walled pot.

Handy Imports offer low prices but there are highly variable reports of their quality (ie rusting).

My biggest recommendation is to get yourself some "bar keepers friend", it is perfect for cleaning and repassivating stainless, which will make old kegs look like new on the inside.
 

woodwormm

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Don't know what your opinion of Aluminium Pots is..

but Mitchell's Adventure (?) Outdoor Store in Tea Tree Plaza has 60 and 80 Quart (I think a quart is bit over a litre) for around 50 and 60 bucks on special at half price.
 

Edak

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Don't know what your opinion of Aluminium Pots is..

but Mitchell's Adventure (?) Outdoor Store in Tea Tree Plaza has 60 and 80 Quart (I think a quart is bit over a litre) for around 50 and 60 bucks on special at half price.
To me that sounds like a good price.

Aluminium pots are fine for basic set ups, but if you are going to start installing stainless fittings then I would be more worried about galvanic corrosion.
 

Nick JD

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The answers to these questions will help a lot:

How much time (days off, free) do you have to brew?

Do you keg?

Do you brew to create, or brew to consume?

How much do you (and your mates) drink of your brews each week?


If you love to formulate recipes, have lots of free time, love variety in your beer and don't drink a lot then I'd get a little 19L pot and experiment with all grain brewing in small batches.

If you brew to save money and have loads of beer, don't care too much if you have 50L of the same flavour, and go through liters a day and only have one day a fortnight to brew grab a 70L SS pot with an electric element in it and do it in bulk.
 

Ruddager

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How much time (days off, free) do you have to brew?
I'm a Mon-Fri, 9-5 guy so I find time wherever I can

Do you keg?
Nope

Do you brew to create, or brew to consume?
To create and enjoy :) I'm not doing it to try and save money or anything.

How much do you (and your mates) drink of your brews each week?
Probably going through 12-15 bottles (740mL long-necks) per week at the moment, which is not a huge amount but enough to keep it ticking over.

And black_labb, in answer to your original question I'm hoping to upgrade to partials or perhaps mini-mashes. I've been watching a lot of Craigtube and one thing I'd really like to have a crack at is the porter he brewed a while back. I also saw a recipe for a golden ale that called for boiling malt with 8L (ideally, otherwise 4) of water so I guess that's about the size I'm looking at.
 

black_labb

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I'm a Mon-Fri, 9-5 guy so I find time wherever I can


Nope


To create and enjoy :) I'm not doing it to try and save money or anything.


Probably going through 12-15 bottles (740mL long-necks) per week at the moment, which is not a huge amount but enough to keep it ticking over.

And black_labb, in answer to your original question I'm hoping to upgrade to partials or perhaps mini-mashes. I've been watching a lot of Craigtube and one thing I'd really like to have a crack at is the porter he brewed a while back. I also saw a recipe for a golden ale that called for boiling malt with 8L (ideally, otherwise 4) of water so I guess that's about the size I'm looking at.

That was an important detail. Most advice here is for all grain brewing. I'd still consider a bigW 19L pot if you need to buy something (though don't expect it to be useful for anything cooking wise other than liquids as it is very thin). Works perfectly fine for brewing though.
 

Edak

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That was an important detail. Most advice here is for all grain brewing. I'd still consider a bigW 19L pot if you need to buy something (though don't expect it to be useful for anything cooking wise other than liquids as it is very thin). Works perfectly fine for brewing though.
+1

You just can't beat the value of those $20 19L pots. Every time I go to BigW I try and think of more uses for them because they are just such good value!
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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<snip>

...in answer to your original question I'm hoping to upgrade to partials or perhaps mini-mashes. I've been watching a lot of Craigtube and one thing I'd really like to have a crack at is the porter he brewed a while back. I also saw a recipe for a golden ale that called for boiling malt with 8L (ideally, otherwise 4) of water so I guess that's about the size I'm looking at.
Without being one of the AG nazis, my comment regarding mini-mashes is - why?

A mini-mash requires almost the same knowledge as a full mash AG beer. So you aren't really saving on the knowledge jump (or time).

A mini-mash costs a helluva lot more (because on top of the mash grains, you're still paying for extract malt).

A mini-mash can be done with the same equipment as an AG beer (so you aren't saving on equipment costs).

There are guides on here to help get to full-mash, and as some novel people have demonstrated (and I picked it up and ran with the idea for my own brewing) you don't need to outlay for enormous amounts of equipment to get up and running.

I would, in a very friendly manner, say - take the leap and go full AG. If you were just looking at extract, hops plus a little steeping or K&K I'd say - stay where you're comfortable. But mini-mash is one of those things that saves nothing, and requires everything.

To be honest, I would probably have done the same thing when I started on the AG path. It was just that I came to the above conclusion and thought "I'll either stuff this up, or make beer - but the variables I'm likely to stuff up are the same either way, so why not go the whole distance"
 

Ruddager

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If you were just looking at extract, hops plus a little steeping or K&K I'd say - stay where you're comfortable. But mini-mash is one of those things that saves nothing, and requires everything.
This sounds like the thing I really want to do actually, so I probably said the wrong thing. Thanks though, I hear what you are saying.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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This sounds like the thing I really want to do actually, so I probably said the wrong thing. Thanks though, I hear what you are saying.
No worries :D

I spent 10 years doing extract plus steeping, so know where you're coming from. And made some reasonably good beers in the process.

Having said that, if AHB and specifically the AG stovetop thread from Nick_JD had been around when I was doing extract brewing - I wouldn't have spent 10 years doing it. That, and the availability of grain for the price we pay now wasn't as easy as it was when I started.

A bloke I work with (and another who came around my place to acquire some swingtop bottles) both got into AG after I recommended that thread. They'd been both kit brewers and surprised how easy it actually was, though more time consuming.

It's funny, what started as cheap booze for the uni years turned into a full blown hobby now.

Beers,

Goomba
 

sponge

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OT, but I'm sure a lot of us will be able to say we started out looking for cheap booze through uni and quickly realised there's a whole words of flavour and passion to be had whilst still saving a pretty penny.

Gone are the days of 8% ciders just to get pissed quickly... Thankfully.

But I'll agree with LRG and say it takes just as much time and effort to mini-mash as it does to do a full scale AG brew.

Make the jump, and you'll never look back.
 

Nick JD

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But I'll agree with LRG and say it takes just as much time and effort to mini-mash as it does to do a full scale AG brew.

It's also very cheap. Bulk grain costs $2.20 a kg (or $1.60 if you are clever) and bulk hops are an almost insignificant cost if you are used to making kit Aussie beers. The all grain equivalent of a Coopers Lager kit will cost under ten dollars, but will taste like most, if not all beers in the Bottlo made by Carlton or Tooheys - mainly because they're all essentially the same beer.

If you want to splash out and spend another ten bucks, you can make a supurb Euro Lager, like the stuff in the green bottles - where every ingredient in your beer actually comes from Germany or the Czech Rep.

Another ten (still cheaper than extract brewing) and you're in Belgian Abbey Ales territory. The kind of beer that's a hundred bucks plus a case, and you've made three. You can walk down the isle at Dan Murphys knowing there isn't a beer in there you can't make. That's a great feeling.

The joy on your face when you are drinking beer you made that tastes exactly like the stuff made in huge commercial breweries with massive budgets and hero brewers is not humbling. You will find yourself boring the shit out of someone at a BBQ when they make the mistake of asking you how you make it, and their eyes glaze over when you start into enzymes and mash chemistry.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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It's also very cheap. Bulk grain costs $2.20 a kg (or $1.60 if you are clever) and bulk hops are an almost insignificant cost if you are used to making kit Aussie beers. The all grain equivalent of a Coopers Lager kit will cost under ten dollars, but will taste like most, if not all beers in the Bottlo made by Carlton or Tooheys - mainly because they're all essentially the same beer.

If you want to splash out and spend another ten bucks, you can make a supurb Euro Lager, like the stuff in the green bottles - where every ingredient in your beer actually comes from Germany or the Czech Rep.

Another ten (still cheaper than extract brewing) and you're in Belgian Abbey Ales territory. The kind of beer that's a hundred bucks plus a case, and you've made three. You can walk down the isle at Dan Murphys knowing there isn't a beer in there you can't make. That's a great feeling.

The joy on your face when you are drinking beer you made that tastes exactly like the stuff made in huge commercial breweries with massive budgets and hero brewers is not humbling. You will find yourself boring the poocakes out of someone at a BBQ when they make the mistake of asking you how you make it, and their eyes glaze over when you start into enzymes and mash chemistry.
What he said.

I knocked out a mild - 35L of it, without bulk buying grain, for about $25.

I can produce as good as, or better beer than commercial breweries - it's fresher and if I want to spend the extra $1 or $2 (over 25L) I can really ramp up the flavour in a way that commercial breweries can't (for financial/economic reasons).

And it cost me hardly anything for equipment, and I don't want to upgrade.

Then there are the people who love building stuff - and so they get the kick out of building their brewery, as will as brewing on it.

Goomba
 

GuyQLD

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The other day in BCF I saw a 40 litre auminuim crab cooker for $100.00 with insert/basket that could be handy if you plan to BIAB.

http://www.bcf.com.au/online-store/product...769#Description

I started biab with one of these and a basic 3 ring burner. I plan on using the insert with some voile to make it easy to remove with the abilty to to braumiseresque sparging. Still a work in progress but pretty handy bit of kit to start with.
 

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