Go Big Or Go Home

Since I was able to use Marks equipment, my brew days worked out well, but now I needed to start obtaining my own stuff. And what better way to go about it than to go big, right. I bought a 25 gallon, yes a Twenty-Five gallon aluminum stock pot. And yes, I am only doing 5 gallon batches. And no, that is not too big – 5 gallon batches work great in it. And the best part is you don’t have to worry too much about boil over.

I had struggled between using stainless steel $$$ or aluminum $. There are several posts on either side of the discussion, however I figured restaurants use them to cook food in, even acidic ones, so what’s the difference. I bought mine from Instawares.com.

Here’s a discussion about the two options that I found helpful…Aluminum Brew Pots v. Stainless Steel Brew Pots

Wow, this thing is huge. I did think how cool it would be to make a huge batch of mac n cheese. Then I just had to figure out the boil off rate, before I brewed – how many gallons of water does the increased surface area boil off.

Here’s how my test went. At the same time I decided to mark my mash paddle with measurements so I knew where I was at during my boil.

On the left is my 1 gallon and the right is 3 gallon. Barely looks like there is any water in there. It started getting dark…Light It Up!!!

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My boil off test breakdown:

  • Outside Temp: 77 deg w/ 10mph wind
  • Boil Size: started with 7.5 gallons of 68 deg water
  • 170 deg at 23 min.
  • Boiling point (for my local) 206 at 43 min.
  • Started 60 min. boil countdown
  • 1/2 gal gone a 54 min.
  • Another 1/2 gal gone at 37 min.
  • Just a hair of 6 gal remaining at 30 min.
  • 5.5 gal left at 10 min.
  • 5 gal even at 0 min. (flame out)
It was too late to go through the cool down process, so I did just base my boil off rate at 2.5 gph. That proved to be a little high based on a brew day that followed. This was because during cool off, there still is loss of water.
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