Almost went to the dark side

Post #1 made 10 years ago
So I've been dissatisfied with the limitations of my 5 gal kettle, mainly not being able to do large batches of strong beers.

I must I admit I was tempted by a 15 gallon cooler at Costco that was pretty cheap. I thought I could use that to mash in and go that route. But then I thought about the hassle of cleaning it and storing it.

That is when I realized that buying a larger kettle is the right choice, even if it is more expensive.

Playing around in biabacus has brought me to the conclusion that 15 gal is the way to go. It will be big enough for whatever I decide to brew, including Belgian dark strong ales which take a LOT of grain in relation to the volume of post-boil wort. (i brewed a batch with my 5 gal kettle and had less than 2 gal into the fermenter :( )

Another benefit is that I could do 10 gal batches if I ever wanted to.

I would love to hear any opinions on whether 15 gal pot is big enough for 5 gal batches.

Also stories of anyone else almost going to the 'dark side'

Post #2 made 10 years ago
a 15 gallon pot is large enough for a 5 gallon batch. When I considered the purchase of a brew kettle, I decided to look for a keg to use instead. It wasn't easy to find. I searched on Craigslist & EBay, but didn't want to pay too much. eventually someone at a local brewery sold me an old one.


Post #3 made 10 years ago
I'll catch the metric guys up :lol:...

5 US gallon = about 19 litres
15 US gallon = about 57 litres

70 litres = about 18.5 US gallons.

Also, read this BIABrewer post.

I have two 70 litre (18.5 US gallons) kettles but let's forget about the second one. A 70 L kettle allows me to double batch* a normal gravity brew with a little bit of top up water before the boil. I chill and pitch half the wort immediately and the other half is no-chilled and pitched sometimes over a year later. You need to go 70 litres though. T3B, I think 60 litres is too small to do this. Go the extra ten litres (2.6 US gal).

The 70 L also allows you to very comfortably do single batches of very high gravity brews which might require three hours of boiling.


* In this instance, I am talking about a VIP (Volume into Packaging) of 19 L (5 gallons) on an average brew with average meaning around 1.050 OG and moderately hopped. This equates to around 20.5 litres (say 5.5 US gallons) VIF - Volume into Fermentor or 22.75 L (6 US gal) VAW - Volume of Ambient Wort.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 02 Apr 2014, 19:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Almost went to the dark side

Post #4 made 10 years ago
One thing I'll mention, as I'm shopping now, is that not every 15G pot is 15G. Some are a little bigger, some smaller. Some made in China 15G pots are actually 60L pots relabeled for us Americans. So take a tape measure and a calculator when you are shopping.

Also, hit used restaurant supply stores if you are trying to lower your expenditures.

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Post #5 made 10 years ago
Thanks for including the metric figures, PP! I wanted to include them but wasn't able to look up the conversions easily at the time.

GMH, thanks for the heads up on the inconsistent sizing, I will be sure to check the dimensions and calculate volume before buying. I'll also have to find out I'd there are any used restaurant supply stores nearby.

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