I’ve been a home brewer for the past 8 years. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to jump in with a friend who has some amazing equipment: 26 gallon kettles, all grain, tri clamp fittings, 2 march pumps, and a plate chiller. While this has been a fun and exciting hobby for me, there have been a few drawbacks: 1) not being able to brew when I want to brew, and 2) not always being able to brew what I want to brew. That’s about to change.
I just purchased a 15-gallon brew kettle from Bru-Gear. It will be the foundation of my own personal home brewery. For the next 12-18 months, I’ll be reverting to extract brewing, but it will give me the opportunity to learn more about brewing, particularly about hops and yeast. I plan to eventually build this up to be a 2-tier HERMS system (with a brew stand something like this), but that will take a bit more time to save up the cash to buy the rest of my equipment.
Why this Bru-Gear kettle, and not something from MegaPot, Spike Brewing, or Blichmann? Those are all very nice kettles. But after doing my research I’ve come to the conclusion that the Bru-Gear is the best value on the market for these kettles. Some nice features:
- Tri Clamp fittings for improved sanitation and easier cleaning
- Ball valve and thermometer were included in the price
- Measurement markings on the inside of the kettle (no need for a sight glass)
- Handles are offset front-to-back, meaning less space will be needed when I have 3 next to one another
- The lid rests comfortably on the back handle (just a nice convenience feature)
The kettle will arrive on Friday, and I’ll be posting a review of the unit as I give it a quick ‘dry-run’ to ensure no leaks from the exit valve and thermometer.
My friend Brent will be loaning me his counter-flow wort chiller, which I’ll be using in a gravity-feed setup for the chilling phase. But, I’ll need to get all of my hoses and connectors before I can dive into my first (truly) home brew. More to follow…