Best Beer Brew Kettles & Pots for Home Brewing
Homebrewing is an endeavor that millions of people cherish. It is always satisfying for one to have the capabilities to make their own beer, and if you are one who is already in the craft, or you want to start your baby steps in home beer brewing, you will be interested in investing in the right equipment that will not just the process simple, but also will yield into very good quality brews.
For starters, there is quite a number of beginner kits you can always consider, but as you progress and you begin to appreciate the need for quality, investing in a decent homebrew kettle is always the way to go. With the right kettle, you will have the convenience, as well as the pleasure of brewing your beer to the standards that you will cherish and be proud that you know how to make your own beer.
There are various types of brew kettles in the market today, and as a home brewer, it is imperative to know the various types available and also know what to look for when making your choice. In this piece, we not only tell you about the factors to look for in a homebrew kettle but also give you recommendations for some of the best kettles in the market today.
Essential Features of Brew Kettles
Whether you are an all-grain brewer, or you prefer extract brewing, it is in your brewing kettle where the magic will be happening – where the transformation from wort to beer begins. The brew kettle you choose will primarily depend on your brew style as well as your budget. But for a good home brewing experience, you will desire for your kettle to be versatile, reliable and durable.
For these to happen, however, the kettle must have certain essential features, without which, you will not be in a position to have the good experience you had hoped for. With that said, here are some of the essential features that every homebrew kettle should have-:
The material of the kettle
One of the features that most of the top brew kettles have in their material – metal. This is not to say that you won’t find, or you shouldn’t use plastic brew kettles, but there are very good reasons why you should go for aluminum or stainless steel brewing kettles. Stainless steel seems to be the favorite material choice for most homebrewers, and this is because it is not only durable, but also corrosion resistant, and relatively lightweight. Since it is inert, it will keep its good looks for very many years to come. Aluminum, on the other hand, is not as durable as stainless steel, but it is loved by many because it weighs less, and has very good heat conducting capabilities.
The kettle’s height
Brew kettles give better results when they are tall, and this is why you should be picky when it comes to the shorter kettles. Tall kettles have high sides, and this reduces the rate of evaporation loss, as well as helping prevent boil overs. You could use shorter kettles, but you won’t have the experience you do have when using their taller counterparts.
Another essential that a good brewing kettle must have is built-in volume marking. Though you may still measure the volume of the kettle’s content using the traditional methods, a calibrated kettle takes all the stress in trying to figure out every now and then how much volume you have inside the kettle. It will make you operate more efficiently, and without messing around a lot of things. You don’t want to be brewing blind by not knowing the volumes you are working with.
Ball valves are an essential feature for convenience in brew kettles. It won’t be available in all types of kettles, but if you want the process of wort transportation to be fast, easy and safe, then you will appreciate investing in a kettle with ball valves.
Other than knowing the amount of wort you have in your kettle, you will also want to know its temperatures during the beer brewing process. A good kettle should have a dial thermometer installed in the bottom third of the kettle so that you can easily monitor the temperature without necessarily opening the values and dipping a thermometer in the hot liquid. A thermometer is essential for your safety and convenience.
8 Best Brew Kettles for 2019 Reviews (Both Electric and Non - Electric)
Now that you know what features to look for in a beer brewing kettle and how to choose the right one, here is a look at some of the best ones -
1. Northern Brewer – Megapot 1.2 Stainless Steel Brew Kettle
The northern brewer Megapot 1.2 brew kettle is not just another stainless steel pot, but a real masterpiece when it comes to home brewing. The port comes with the right capacity as well as with every feature you will need to help you take your home experience to newer levels.
Some of the notable features of this kettle include are its impressive capacity of 10 gallons, a 4mm tri-clad bottom also made of stainless steel, silicone handles for the safety of the operator and graduated volume markings inside the kettle.
The design of the kettle is that it will promote rigorous boiling of the contents therein and to reduce off flavors.
• The large capacity of up to 10 gallons
• Fitted with thermometer
• Calibrated volume markings inside the kettle
• Ball valves
• Requires assembly
• Not ideal for small space brewing
2. Stainless Steel BrewBuilt Brewing Kettle
This kettle is not just designed to help you have the best homebrews ever, but also to serve you for a lifetime if you will care to take good care of it. It is made from 304 stainless steel, and with it comes a parallel mix of price and features. To being with, it has two welded-in place couplers to ensure that you will never experience any leakages for as long as you will use the brew kettle.
The internal volume markers from top to bottom will make it a breeze for you to measure and know the exact volume of the kettle’s content, and the sleeved silicon handles will also come handy in ensuring that your hands are well protected when handling the kettle.
• Durable, made of stainless steel
• Internal volume markers
• Ball valves for easy cleaning
• Fitted with thermometer
• Not easy to assemble
3. Concord Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle 1090
This Concord brew kettle is another enviable stainless steel brew kettle you will find in the market today. It is also a perfect blend of features and prices, and if you have a desire to improve on your brewing game, then you will have reason to upgrade to this kettle. It is made from commercial quality stainless steel, including every accessory that it comes with.
Its lid is hangable on the side of the kettle, and since the construction is weldless, cleaning it comes with relative ease. It also has a thermometer fitted on the sides to aid with temperature monitoring, and also comes with a calibrated interior to help you know the volume of the contents therein. With the ability to hold up to 10-gallon batches, you can expect nothing but as smooth brewing experience with this brew kettle.
• 10-gallon capacity
• Fitted with thermometer
• Made of stainless steel, and fully polished
• Easy to assemble
• Requires assembly
• Not leak-proof
4. Bayou Classic 800-410 Stainless Steel Brew Kettle 2260
Bayou Classic 800-410 10 gallons stainless steel brew kettle is one of the few brew pot that you will find with both a false bottom and a hops screen. Together with other features, it makes the process of grain-brewing breeze, and with the 10-gallon capacity, it is ideal for any serious brewer who wants to take their home brewing game to a new level.
The other notable feature in this kettle is the tri-clad bottom which allows for even heating during the brewing process. And with the weldless construction which features essential elements such as a ball valve, bulkheads, and a thermometer, this kettle has a real upscale feel and is available at a reasonable price.
• Stainless steel construction
• Tri-ply bottom
• Spigot screen
• False bottom
• Complete brew kit
• Fitted with thermometer
• Repulsive odor from the spigot
• Not leak-proof
• Requires assembly
5. Mophorn Kettle Stockpot Stainless Steel 12.5 Gallons Brew Kettle
The Mophorn 12.5-gallon stainless steel brew kettle is a versatile high-end kettle that will give you all the convenience and versatility to make the best brews at home. At a capacity of 12.5 gallons, you can be sure that it meets the brewing needs of the majority brewers today. It is made of 304 stainless steel to ensure durability, as well as classic and sleek looks.
The easy to read thermometer mounted on the side makes monitoring temperature a breeze, and also the calibrated interior also makes monitoring the volume of the contents inside quite a simple task. Its design also features a stainless steel stock lid to ensure that no moisture escapes from the pot to facilitate faster cooking and boiling speeds.
• Maximum capacity of 12.5 gallons
• Excellent thermometer
• Polished design
• Multi-function lid
• Versatile use
• Easy to clean
• Long-lasting and durable
6. Kegco 6 Gallon Brew Kettle
If you are just starting out in your brewing journey and you need a versatile kettle that will get you going in the most efficient manner, then this Kegco brew kettle would be a good choice. It is a 6-gallon kettle with every feature of convenience and performance you would ever need. The construction features a heavy duty 304-grade stainless steel with a thick wall and a tri-clad bottom to facilitate for even heat distribution when in operation.
The bottom is easily compatible with most of the induction cook-tops, and this is an added convenience if at all this is the kind of cooker you will be using. Also featured in the construction is a lid that will conveniently and safely hang on the side handles. The internal volume markers are both in liters and gallons so that you can know precisely the amount of volume inside the pot. If you are interested in home brewing in small batches, or you want a decent small hot liquor tank, then you have every reason to go for this Kegco brew kettle.
• Fitted with thermometer
• Thick walls and bottom
• Riveted silicone handles
• Versatile in use
7. GasOne 10 Gallon Stainless Steel Brew Kettle
The GasOne 10 Gallon Stainless Steel brew kettle is made of high-quality stainless steel that is easy to clean, durable, has clean looks, safe and conducts heat evenly. Its tri-ply bottom will ensure faster and even heat conduction for quality brewing. The scale markings on the inside will let you know precisely the amount of volume being processed, and the welded ergonomic handles will give you the safety and the convenience you need for lifting or carrying the pot, especially when hot. The other admirable features you will find in this pot include its large capacity of 10 gallons, stainless steel bolt, spigot, and lid.
This is decent brew kettle for those who are just starting out and are interested in volumes. With 10 gallon capacity, you will not have to be brewing every now and then. And though it has all the necessary features you may need in a basic brew kettle, it lacks some features like the thermometer that some serious users wouldn’t do without.
• The large capacity of 10 gallons
• Welded ergonomic handles
• Scale markings on the inside
• Tri-ply bottom for even heat distribution
• High-quality stainless steel
• No thermometer
Essential Parameters for Choosing a Beer Brewing Kettle
Now that you know the essential features you should look out for in a brewing kettle, you are going to a plethora of kettles for all sorts of manufactures in the market, with nearly every essential feature you had wanted. However, this is not an indication that you should just go for any kettle you will come across. There are a number of parameters you should use to make your choice, and below is a look at some of the most important ones-:
1. The batch size
One of the parameters to consider in your kettle buying decision is the batch sizes you intend on brewing. For new brewers, it is highly recommended that you start with small batch sizes of three or five gallons. However, for the pros, or those who have been brewing for a while, the larger brew kettles are recommended so that you get the convenience of not having to brew every now and then. The larger kettles will also make it easy for you to split batches in case you wanted to try out different brewing techniques.
2. The Fermenter Volume
If you have made a choice to for the larger kettles and not the standard five-gallon kettles, then you will also have to decide on the volume of the fermenter. The labor required to brew a 45 gallon is not so different from the labor required to brew a 10 gallon. However, a 10-gallon batch may require a small space in a closet to ferment, while a 45-gallon batch will need a slightly bigger space, and its smell will also be more noticeable around the house. Therefore, if you are going big, be sure to consider the fermenter volume while you make your choice of the brew kettle.
3. The Kettle material
The material of your pot also matters a lot, and now the top contenders for homebrew kettle materials are aluminum and stainless steel. A lot of brewers tend to go for food-grade stainless steel because of their attractiveness and durability, though they also tend to be slightly expensive. Aluminum, on the other hand, costs less and is also a very good conductor of heat. However, the fact that it reacts poorly with most of the common cleaning agents makes it less attractive to some homebrewers. If you are considering stainless steel brewing kettle, then it will be a good idea to go for models that have a tri-clad bottom. This simply means that the base of the kettle has a layer of aluminum at the center.
4. Burner Size
Irrespective of the kettle size you choose, you must always have the burner size in mind. This is because your burner should be able to produce enough BTUs for your batch size if you want to have good brewing results. If you choose a relatively bigger kettle than what your burner can accommodate, your brewing process will be painfully slow, and you may have to wait slightly longer to have your brew ready. Again, if your burner is too large, you will find the process of fine-tuning the temperature at critical points to be difficult, and this may also affect the quality of the brew.
5. Your brewing area
Before committing to a beer brewing kettle of any size, it is vital to consider the available space where you will be doing the brewing as well as the storage of your equipment, especially if you are thinking of going for a larger brew kettle. If you are going for anything larger than 5-gallon batch, then you should know that using your kitchen for brewing and storage may be very challenging. If all you have is the kitchen for your equipment, then you should not go past the 5-gallon batches. However, if you can brew outdoors in the patio or inside your garage, then you will have the flexibility to go for larger batches. Again, ensure that the brewing area is well ventilated, waterproof, and easy to clean.
6. Your level of brewing experience
It is important to point out that the bulk of the brewing resources for newbie homebrewers are primarily focused on the 5-gallon batch, and this is why it is highly recommended that if you are just starting out, then you should consider the 5-gallon batches. For the pros or those how have been brewing for a while, who are comfortable tweaking variables and tweaking recipes, there are very good options of advanced kettles that will let you exercise your brewing prowess. You can always start out small with the basic kettles, and upgrade to the advanced kettles as you got more skillful and experienced in home brewing.
Finally, you must also check on the specific features that the beer brewing kettle have before you commit to making a purchase. Some of the features you want to look out for include-: thermometer, ball valves, in-container calibrations, and dip tube/pick up tube. The available features will determine the level of convenience you should expect from the kettle, as well as the quality of your brew.