4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Brew Kettle
By Leo Eigenberg
A key component of the home brewing kit is the brew kettle. It is essential to buy the type of equipment that matches the brewing needs and method. Some of the most common types of brew kettle include electric, three-tier system and brew-in-a-bag.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most important things to consider in the shopping process:
Set an appropriate budget
The right type and size of brew kettle is essential to achieve success with your home brewing efforts. It is possible to save money with a small aluminum kettle, but this may not give the desired long-term service. The preferred option is to wait until you have enough saved up to afford the stainless steel unit at a size that is practical for your specific needs.
Going with the right size
The volume of the brew kettle is the most important criteria to get right. The total volume should be enough to easily accept the amount of brew and a little spare space to accept any overflow. Going with a larger volume kettle is a lot more practical than going with a small model. Even if you buy a 15 gallon kettle you don’t need to brew the full amount. Brewing seven or 10 gallons is fully acceptable when a full batch isn’t needed. The smallest size is typically in the region of five gallons.
Use the best material
The standard material option for the brew kettle is stainless steel and aluminum. Stainless steel is the highest quality and most expensive option. It is a lot easier to use and maintain.
Aluminum is a lot lighter and relatively inexpensive, but it is much easier to damage. Dropping this type of kettle can easily result in cracks. Also, they require an oxide layer built on the inside to stop flavors passing from the kettle to the brew. It is an essential process. But, this layer is easily damaged as a result of harsh chemicals, cracks or other issues that can compromise the integrity of the kettle. However, if you are willing to put in the extra time and effort to maintain the oxide layer, there is the potential to save money on the chosen brew kettle.
What amenities and features
A further point to consider is the many different amenities and features that can appear on a brew kettle. A ball valve, sight glass and thermowell are a few of the most popular. Generally, it will benefit to invest in a kettle that has all three.
Discover more about the different beer brewery equipment options.
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