Looking for advice on whether I need a Brew Kettle

Postby steadders » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:37

Hi peeps,

A friend of a friend was emigrating and needing to sell his All Grain setup asap. Intrigued by the thought of going from brew-in-a-plastic-bucket to a nice shiny stainless steel All Grain setup, proved very alluring, and so I reached a deal with him and took the whole lot off his hands.

This was about year ago and I've finally just recently finished getting all the kit setup in my garage.

Main problem Number One, I'm a complete All Grain Newbie.

Main problem Number Two after reading stuff on the Internet, watching various YouTube videos and reading a 'book'...I think I'm missing a very significant piece(s) of kit.

My first brew is going to be Dark Rock Brewery's All Grain Kit (SIMCOE SINGLE HOP ALE). But as per the instructions it says for first stage (mashing) I need to add the mash water to to my mashing vessel (check - pretty sure I got one of these!) and then bring it up to temperature 66 Celsius. My mashing vessel does not have a heater so I'm already lost on how I could do this with the equipment I have or do I need to purchase a 'Brew Kettle'?

The boiling stage also has me scratching my head, this also feels like I'm going to need a brewing kettle of some kind. Based on the kit I have below, I just don't know if I can use my 29 Litre Bielmeier BHG 660 020 kettle to do the mash stage and do the boil stage, or am I definitely needing to go out and by myself a brewing kettle with heater?

Here are the main bits of my kit:
Bielmeier BHG 660 020 Kettle
Bielmeier BHG 660 020 Front1.jpg
Bielmeier BHG 660 020 Front1
Bielmeier BHG 660 020 Front1.jpg (93.71 KiB) Viewed 396 times


SS Brewing Technologies Mash Tun, with fake bottom
SS Brewing Technologies Mash Tun.jpg
SS Brewing Technologies Mash Tun
SS Brewing Technologies Mash Tun.jpg (100.75 KiB) Viewed 396 times


Adapted Coolbox with copper piping with slits
Adapted Coolbox with Copper Pipes with slits1.jpg
Adapted Coolbox with Copper Pipes with slits
Adapted Coolbox with Copper Pipes with slits1.jpg (89.73 KiB) Viewed 396 times


SS Brewing Technologies Fermenting Chamber, with built-in cooling coil
SS Brewing Technologies Fermenter.jpg
SS Brewing Technologies Fermenter
SS Brewing Technologies Fermenter.jpg (96.47 KiB) Viewed 396 times


Look forward to hearing anyone's two cents / recommendations.
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Re: Looking for advice on whether I need a Brew Kettle

Postby Cheebs » Tue Jun 12, 2018 20:20

Welcome to the forum, you've got done nice kit there.

Don't panic, you have everything you need for now. First heat up strike water in the kettle using it as a hot liquor tank, you need additional heat over the 66 to heat up the tun and the grain so that you end up at 66. Then mash in. Heat the sparge water in the kettle then drain the mash tun into a bucket, sparge, and when your kettle is empty this will then become the boil kettle. Empty the bucket into the kettle and start the boil.

Hope this helps put your mind at rest
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Re: Looking for advice on whether I need a Brew Kettle

Postby Steviebobs1983 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 22:45

What cheebs said. Oh and that is some seriously nice kit.

Just remember to stir the grain when you're mashing in to the cooler to avoid clumping. That cooler should maintain mash temp for as long as your recipe requires.

Clean the bejesus out of it all as soon as you're done.

One more thing I'd hate to miss if you haven't read it or been told already. Once you're starting to boil, keep an eye on it when it's reaching a boil and stir like crazy or spray it with a mister. Boil-overs are a nightmare to clean up and pretty much anyone you ask will have done it before.

Hope you have loads of fun with all that shiny new gear.

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Re: Looking for advice on whether I need a Brew Kettle

Postby Steviebobs1983 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 22:51

Actually, I just researched that mash tun and on second thoughts, I'd use that over the cooler any day. It's insulated and has temp readouts. Keep the cooler as a backup.

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Re: Looking for advice on whether I need a Brew Kettle

Postby Rolfster » Wed Jun 13, 2018 18:41

So you've got 2 mash tuns. You only really need one.... but you've got 2 good ones!

A traditional three vessel set up has a hot liqueur tun, a mash tun and a boiler.
You heat water in the hlt then put it into the mash tun with your grain. Mash. Then drain your mash tun into you boiler and repeat.

If you've only got a boiler you heat the water. Mash. Drain the wort into a fermenter. Heat some more water, add it to the mash tun. Pour the wort into the boiler. Get the heat on and the drain the mash tun into the boiler when it's settled.

The trad 3 vessel way is a bit quicker and less hassle than using a fermenter but I did that for quite a while before i got a htl.

(I've basically repeated what Cheebs said!)
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Re: Looking for advice on whether I need a Brew Kettle

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 22:22

Very nice gear - should make some cracking beer with that setup.

You lack a boil kettle really. That Beilmier HLT will struggle as a boil kettle as the element just isn’t powerful enough.

You will want a 3kW element to get a decent boil going on a typical 20L batch (28L boil).

You can do this but having an element in a kettle, or use an induction stove. Best piece of kit I’ve bought was a 3kW Buffalo induction stove. Gets water up to temperature fast and maintains a strong boil.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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