Brew Kettle Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Equipment Discussion' started by BoistyBear, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Nov 21, 2017 #1

    BoistyBear

    BoistyBear

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm finally about to move to somewhere with enough room to brew again!

    I've been two years out of the loop but it's time for me to finally get back to it. From my previous stint as a home brewer I have a cooler mash tun with sparge arm, and all the post boil kit required to make beer. The only thing I'm missing is a kettle that will double as HLT and boiler. I made my own one previously from Tesco kettle elements and a big bucket - but it always felt a little dodgy as I could never get the covers on the connections quite right and open elements scared me a bit! Also - I quite like the idea of finding something electric and shiny (means if I ever have to move to the garage I don't have to then get a burner etc.)

    With Santa's visit just around the corner - budget isn't too much of a concern for me but sub £150/£200 would be ideal. I'm not keen on something like the ACE brew systems/grainfather etc. as I like to keep my method a bit closer to the traditional 3 vessel where possible. That being said the kettle will be doubling as HLT so i envision brew day looking like Kettle heating strike water on counter --> gravity feed into mash tun on chair --> Gravity feed and sparge into FV on the floor --> swap kettle and FV to gravity feed into kettle again --> Kettle back up onto the side for the boil. Obviously if I do some no sparge beers then I'll just feed straight from mash tun into kettle then put it back up on the side.

    I plan to brew up to 5 gal brews as I'm looking to pick up cornys in the not too distant future (the PTSD of bottling still lives with me) and I can't ever see myself needing more than a corny worth of beer for the forseeable future.

    Hopefully I've given you just enough (and not way too much) info to help me out!
     
  2. Nov 21, 2017 #2

    Bigcol49

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  3. Nov 21, 2017 #3

    GerritT

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  4. Nov 21, 2017 #4

    mozza

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    Could go down the DIY route again? I built my own and the quality / ease of fixing something if it breaks is worth the effort
     
  5. Nov 21, 2017 #5

    TartanSpecial

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    I've got one of these. Only downside is its only 27ltrs so I need to boil 2-3ltrs in a pot on the stove until evaporation makes enough room in the boiler. Otherwise it performes well as HLT/Boiler and is on offer at Homebrew shop.
    https://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/cgi-bin/ca000001.pl
    �£138 is a good price
    Next time I'd probably go for 30-33ltr to accommodate all the wort in one go but I've got used to my 'system'.
     
  6. Nov 21, 2017 #6

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Sorry, can't help you - I haven't timed it.
     
  7. Nov 21, 2017 #7

    Wilfy

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  8. Nov 21, 2017 #8
    I have one of the Burco 30 litre boilers. It is cheap and effective and shiny. But 30 litres would fill it to the top. The "Max" boil level is at 26 litres and the most I've dared boil so far is 24.5 litres. It would be fine for a US 5 gallon batch, but not for UK gallons.
     
  9. Nov 27, 2017 #9

    Chrislane

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  10. Nov 27, 2017 #10

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    The ACE from Elya Catering doesn't come with a false bottom and grain bag; I ordered mine from ACE on ebay and it came with the bag and false bottom.
    The false bottom would be very easy to make yourself - if you're not a DIY fan you could get perforated stainless steel cut to the correct size - there will be someone close to you who'll do that. I lay a pressure cooker gasket on top of the false bottom to prevent grain from slipping down the edge - it isn't a perfect fit. I don't use the filter on the outlet tap - other members said that it clogs up too easily.
    I don't use my grain bag - I don't BIAB.
    Although it is double walled and insulated, I fastened an exercise mat around mine - it isn't pretty, but it does the job.
    They are rated at 2500W, but mine has two elements, 1600W and 900W; the 900W has been disconnected at the factory, but I've modded mine so that both elements work independently.
    ACE don't seem to stock these any longer and I haven't seen them in the UK except on this Elya website.
    It's a good vessel for mashing and boiling, especially if you are going to BIAB. I don't BIAB, so I collect the wort in a FV, clean out the ACE and pour the wort back into the ACE to boil.
     
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  11. Nov 27, 2017 #11

    Chrislane

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    Thanks for that @bigcol49

    I already have a large grain bag. If I am using this would I still need a false bottom?
     
  12. Nov 27, 2017 #12

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    If you are heating the mash using the element you need some means of preventing the grain bag from touching the base of the boiler. Some members use an upturned colander.
     
  13. Dec 3, 2017 #13

    Chrislane

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    I've pretty much convinced myself to get an Ace boiler. But now have the following choice:
    Elya catering £90 http://www.elyacatering.co.uk/p/9063293/beer-mash-tun-30l.html
    Ebay £130 https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-BEER-M...3D271826278773&_trksid=p2056116.c100408.m2460

    Clearly the Elya catering one is a better price, and i am fairly local so dont need to worry about delivery charges. However, the following is making me think i will go for the more expensive one from ebay:
    - elya catering version doesn't look like you get the option of reduced power - 2500 W or nothing, where as the ebay one you can select 900W, 1600W or 2500W so more flexible
    - ebay one looks like it is a newer version, which based on some forum posts sounds like it had some of the electrical cut out issues addressed (or at least improved)
    - ebay one comes with false bottom and grain bag (not a deal breaker as i already have a grain bag, but should prove useful none the less)

    Anyone with experience of these got any thoughts? Is any of my reasoning flawed?
     
  14. Dec 3, 2017 #14

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    I know it's £40 more, but I'd go for the new ACE on eBay. The false bottom and the two power settings are worth the extra cost.
     
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  15. Dec 3, 2017 #15

    cerbera84

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    I think most replies so far have missed this point. I started with a 3V setup using stainless steel stock pots from Bergland, which can be ordered via
    abwicklung@bergland24.de for decent prices if you’re handy with DIY. or if you look at angel homebrew you can order the same pot but they’ll drill the holes for you.

    Ben
     
  16. Dec 3, 2017 #16

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi @cerbera84,
    You may be confusing the ACE Micro Brewer with the ACE mash tun/boiler - they are two different products.
    The OP wants a vessel that will double as a HLT and boiler, and the ACE boiler would fit both requirements.
     
  17. Dec 3, 2017 #17

    Chrislane

    Chrislane

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    Cheers. Confirms what I was thinking.
     
  18. Dec 3, 2017 #18

    cerbera84

    cerbera84

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    ahhhhh i wondered why you lot were banging on about ACE products! cheers
     
  19. Dec 4, 2017 #19

    BeerCat

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    @Bigcol49 The ace systems we don't seem to be on sale any the moment. I looked today because i need a new false bottom.
     
  20. Dec 4, 2017 #20

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Thanks @BeerCat - perhaps I missed that yesterday. Did you get your false bottom sorted?
     

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