Whether you’re stepping up from kits to extract brewing or are all grain brewing, you’re going to need a brew kettle. We’ve reviewed a few of the options available to help you make the right choice.
Before getting into the review it should be noted that while the can be used on a normal cooktop, you’ll heat up your kettle much faster if you use a burner or electric element. All models reviewed are the ten gallon kettles. Some models offer bigger and smaller options too.
This is an entry level brew kettle. As with the others in this review it is stainless steel which is sturdy and great for cleaning. It holds ten gallons so has more than enough volume for any foaming in a 5 gallon grew. It could even accommodate brew in a bag of a five-gallon batch. Other than that, it is just a big pot and lid. It doesn’t come with any additions to aid in brewing, but the price is good for somebody starting out.
Pros: Stainless Steel. Volume. Price.
Cons: No outlet or ball valve.
A lot of brewers use the Bayou Classic burner. The manufacturers obviously cottoned on to this market and designed a brew kettle to go with their popular burner. The Bayou Classic is a 10-gallon stainless steel brew kettle and comes with a heat shield designed for use with the burner. On the inside of the pot are volume markers to help know where to fill to. It also makes transferring easier with the inclusion of a ball valve at the base of the kettle. They’ve also included a thermometer to keep an eye on when you’re ready to start adding hops. It also includes an indentation above the outlet for holding a false bottom for lautering.
Pros: Volume markers. Ball valve for transfer. Thermometer
Cons: None really. It’s a good mid-range brew kettle.
As with anything Blichmann, the boiler maker takes it a step further. The Boilermaker stainless steel brew kettle is designed thoughtfully with a few extras to make using it easier. It comes with a sight glass with etched volume markers, so you won’t have to scratch any marks in the side or count how many gallon jugs of water you pour in. The handles on the pot and lid are insulated so you won’t burn your hands if you need to lift it. The handle of the lid is even designed to hook on to the top of the pot so that you don’t put it down on any dirty surfaces. The outlet direction can be changed to ensure that you don’t end up with any hose kinks. A thermometer is included as well to monitor when boil is reached without constant lid opening. The boilermaker is also compatible with a whole lot of Blichmann accessories too. You could add a Hop Blocker for clearer wort or add a False Bottom to turn the kettle into a mash tun for all grain brewing.
Pros: Sight glass to measure volume. Insulated handles. Adjustable outlet. Built in thermometer. Range of attachments available.
Cons: It’s a bit more expensive than most other brew kettles.
All three are good options. Ultimately the more you pay the easier your brew day will be.