Equipment Upgrade – Brew Kettle
After building my mash tun in my quest to upgrade to all-grain, my next move was a bigger brew kettle. I had been doing partial boil extract, and my little 4 gallon pot just couldn’t handle the 6+ gallons needed for all-grain.
Like most homebrewers, I started my research online. I knew I wanted to keep to to 5 gallon batches, so larger pots and keggles were out. I consulted with my homebrew guru Joe Postma, who heavily recommended checking out the Heavy Duty Brew Kettles with Ball Valves from MoreBeer.com.
I went with the 32 Quart Heavy Duty Brew Kettle with a Ball Valve. It was exactly what I wanted. It’s big enough to easily handle a 5 gallon batch. The seemless weld for the 2 ports ensure no leaks. And it’s super solid so it should last a long time.
From the picture above, you can see I did a few custom upgrades to it. First, after getting the ball valve assembly, I added a threaded thermometer to help keep a close eye on my temperatures. Since I use this to heat up my sparge water, the thermometer will definitely be helpful.
Second, I added a braid filter to help keep the hop leaves and trub in the kettle and out of my beer. I use the same braid filter I made my mash tun. I simply made 2 with the correct fittings when I built my tun.
So far the kettle’s been great. I’ve had no problems with it at all. It holds heat really well. The thermometer’s been a huge help too. I always know where the water and the wort are at. My only complain is by my own doing. I didn’t use hops bags making Travis’s Matrimonial Mild, and the hop pellets clogged my braid filter. I was hoping to be done with hops bags, so its my own fault. But, I learned my lesson, and I’ve got my all-grain brew days down pretty well!