Opinions on a 20 Qt Stock Pot

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Jimjohson, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. Jimjohson

    Jimjohson Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2012 Georgia

    I am shopping around for my first, purpose bought, cook pot. I'm on fixed income but will spend what's necessary. I'm looking at a porcelain on steel, Granite Ware 21-Quart Stock Pot with Lid at wal-mart. Any thoughts? (I only brew 10 qt batches)
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,351) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    As long as the porcelain remains intact (doesn't chip), it should work fine. I've never used a porcelain pot for brewing, but lots of people have. But a part of me wants to say that unless you are sure you will only brew 10 qt batches in the future, consider getting something bigger. Too many of us have collections of nice but too small kettles collecting dust.
    Beerontwowheels and Jimjohson like this.
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,620) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    I use stainless and aluminum with no noticeable difference between the two. My stainless is thin-walled stuff that I used to see for very reasonable prices at years ago. I was able to get three stackable pots (2,3, and 4 quarts) for $15. I started brewing batches with these three pots, splitting my wort among them on my stove top. A few batches later, I found a 5 gallon version for $5-10 at Cub Foods. I still continue to split my wort, using the 5 gallon version and a 7-gallon aluminum turkey fryer, although I will sometimes do smaller batches in one or the other. I no longer see this thin-walled, low-priced kettle at my local Walmart and grocery stores; the prices of metal have gone up and I suspect they are no longer available at the low prices I was able to find them. If you happen to see something like this, it can work. Not that one of my stacking kettles (the 4-gallon one) has started to split at the lip of the kettle. It's still usable (I use the smaller ones for other various other purposes now), but it definitely will wear out.

    A granite ware pot is also supposed to be good for brewing, provided you do not scratch it, as they can rust if the enamel is lost.

    Edit: I guess my tale illustrates Vikeman's point about having a lot of kettles...
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  4. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (304) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    I, too, have a set of bargain, thin walled stainless kettles. I don't know where they came from; I just found them, apparently never used, in the basement. The biggest is 20 qt. I still use these for the occasional indoor split pot batch when the weather is just not conducive to patio brewing.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  5. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (524) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Don't forget to check Goodwill and other thrift shops. You'd be amazed what turns up there for next to nothing if you're not in a hurry for it. If you want to buy something quickly from a department store, I vote for aluminum: cheap and will last a lifetime (and then some). The porcelain will eventually fail.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  6. Andygirl

    Andygirl Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    I would skip it and do the thrift shop. I have bought the walmart pot for chili. I banged it on the edge of the sink washing it, chip. Tap the shelf putting it in the fridge, chip. Now it has a plant in it, no more cooking in it. I did find a fairly cheap lobster pot eventually that's steel.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  7. honkey

    honkey Aspirant (291) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    I got the walmart pot almost 5 years ago when I was just starting and topping off with water, brewing with extract. I used it to heat my mash water when I moved to all grain 2 months later, and I used it for every all grain batch since. Never had a problem other than sometimes needing more sparge water than 5 gallons. On those days, I used a second one that never had an issue either. I got them on a 2 for $20 deal.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  8. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,175) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Opinions? Like many above it's too small. 7.5 gallons is the smallest you want for full wort boils, and then you have to be vigilante watching for boilovers.
  9. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (524) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    As a non-beer-related aside, please donate your 'junk' to these nonprofit thrift shops. They do good stuff.
    Andygirl likes this.
  10. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (270) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    21-QT is plenty large enough even for a 2.5Gs of 1.1 barley wine.

    Only drawback is porcine on steel can and do dent easily and will eventually develop pitting and rust spots.
    More better to buy better up front.

    This pot from Walmart has served me well...
    Tramontina 18/10 Stainless Steel 22-Quart Covered Stockpot
    Gots on sale for $42.

    The glass lid developed micro-cracks after two years of brewing every other week.
    Contacted Tramontina about the lifetime warranty via e-mail.

    Not only did they respond to the e-mail the same day but they shipped a new lid and a new pot the same fookin'day...as well. None of this 'return the item to us at your expense and we'll let you know whether we're liable' BS. Still have the original pot...too.

    Tramontina: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Jimjohson likes this.
  11. Ejayz

    Ejayz Initiate (0) May 15, 2011 Iowa

    I started with a Granite ware pot and brewed 45 gallons with it last year. It worked out great for 5 gallon batches and never once did I have a boil over with it. This is a great low cost starter pot but as stated above don't chip it.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  12. dbc5

    dbc5 Devotee (472) Jun 18, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Cant agree with the advice regarding size enough. My 7 gallon kettle which hasn't been used in years also agrees.
    Jimjohson likes this.
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