The boil kettle for my homebrew beer brewing setup is designed by Polarware. It sits on a 70,000 BTU Camp Chef burner that is used only in emergencies. I am currently using three submersible Brewing Heatsticks to perform all of my liquid heating duties and can bring 10 gallons of liquid from 57 degrees to a rolling boil in 34 minutes. At the start of the brewing process, filtered water enters the kettle through a copper hook hanging on the side of the kettle. Later, the wort from the Mash Tun is gravity fed into this kettle where hops are added and the wort is boiled. A full port ball valve has been added to the coupler that is welded to the front. I have also added an electronic temperature probe to the normal thermometer coupler. I can brew about a 9.5 gallon batch with this kettle but would really like something a little larger for full 10 gallon batches. It is just not quite big enough for that size.
The Beer Brewing Kettle Interior
Within the Boil Kettle is a loop of 25 feet of copper tubing. After the boiling process is complete, cold water is run through this coil and the temperature of the boiling wort is dropped from over 200 degrees to 70 degrees in about 20 minutes. It is important to drop the temperature of the boiling wort as quickly as possible in order to get a good settling of proteins in the bottom of the kettle. There is also a loop of stainless steel braided hose in the kettle that acts as a straining device. It keeps whole hops and debris from entering the fermenter. Since the Polarware kettle does not have an internally threaded bulkhead fitting, I turned down a brass barb fitting so it barely fits in the spigot hole when it is covered with a couple of wraps of Teflon tape. A close-up of the Strainer Tee before it was cleaned and polished can be seen here.
The Boil Kettle Thermometer
The electronic kitchen timer I am using for my beer brewing system has a temperature probe that I use to monitor the temperature of the Boil Kettle. I can also set it to alert me when the temperature in the Boil Kettle has cooled enough to allow me to pitch the yeast. This is a great convenience. I can also have it notify me just before things start to boil so I can make sure I don’t end up with a boil-over. I used an 1/2″ npt male to 1/4″ compression fitting to put the temperature probe through. I then added a couple o-rings inside to seal it.