Turkey Fryer as Boil Kettle

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jaheussner, Jan 29, 2013.

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  1. jaheussner

    jaheussner Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2008 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    So it seems like this would be the best option for me right now, but I'm curious to see how many other homebrewers employ this method. What are the pros and cons for using a Turkey Fryer? Are there any specific models that people can recommend? Does it even matter? I'm an HB noob right now, and probably wont start brewing for a couple of months, but I wanted to get a bit of advice on this before I started.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. JimSmetana

    JimSmetana Initiate (0) May 11, 2012 Illinois

    Just bought a 30 qt turkey fryer pot for $45 on Amazon. That is gonna be my go-to pot for a while.
    Its aluminum and light weight which is important if you are doing larger boils (5g) or mini mashes etc.
  3. JJSmash

    JJSmash Aspirant (254) Nov 23, 2011 Connecticut

    I also use the turkey fryer approach, seems to work out O.K. for me. Make sure you season it first though, by filling it with water and boiling for an hour. I've done 3 batches so far and all came out pretty good.
  4. kjyost

    kjyost Initiate (0) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Just a note: I filled my kettle and boiled it to season it, then I learned you just need a little bit of water and cover it, letting the steam season the pot...
  5. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    I don't know the percentage, but it is the most common suggestion ive seen for those looking to go full wort boil.

    Pros - FULL WORT BOILS, customizable, with care it will last as long as you want to keep it
    Cons - storage, it inevitably increases the likelihood you will spend more money on other stuff, weather dependent (more of a reality then a con but you have to boil outside)
  6. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Within your budget, at least 8 gallons, make sure that it includes burner, pot, and lid. You will get other stuff that will not be useful. If it comes with a probe thermometer, keep that for mash temp determination. If it comes with an empty 15# tank for a still decent, even better.

    If you will be getting into homebrewing, I assume that extract brewing will also be in your future. Doing full wort boils is a "level up" for homebrewers who have the means. See this post for great info on full wort boils: http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/how-do-i-start-homebrewing.62630/#post-855434
  7. ewright

    ewright Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2007 North Carolina

    I started with a 30 qt pot, but found it was a bit small for full boils. I found a great deal on a 36 qt fryer and it works much better. As others have said, season the pot by boiling some water for a while first.
  8. jaheussner

    jaheussner Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2008 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

  9. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (679) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    It always puzzles me why people don't include their heat source when asking this question. Most turkey fryers are 7.5 gallons which would be enough if you are using a gas stove indoors, but marginal/lacking (boil-overs) for an outdoor propane burner. Even indoors though, the turkey fryers are usually tall and have a smaller diameter which can lead to clearance problems and not being able to stradle 2 burners.

    Edit: too many beers...most turkey fryer kettles come with a propane burner...doh!
    hopdog09 and LostTraveler like this.
  10. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    I use one I got at home depot for fidy bucks. Works great and the pot is plenty big enough for about 5.5 gallons post boil. I haven't had a boil over yet (mind you I've watched it closely tho).
  11. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I bought a 10 gallon SS turkey frier kit at Academy Sports years ago. I added a ball valve and bazooka screen to it. It was my primary kettle for a long time, and I still use it fairly often. It works great.
  12. clearbrew

    clearbrew Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2009 Louisiana

    If you have the space to store one, then I would definitely recommend buying a turkey fryer. The only real con that I noticed was the risk of running out of propane mid boil. But it is easily overcome if you pay attention to the tank weight.
    The pros: faster boils, full volume boils, brewing outside (I look at this as a pro because I clean all of my equipment with the garden hose, I don't have to worry about ventilation, etc, etc..., I just prefer to brew outside).
    One word of caution: Do not use your new aluminum pot to cook other things, like turkeys. The oil is rather difficult to remove completely enough to keep it out of you beer. I have found that for an additional $30ish you can just get another pot for cooking.
    I bring this up because another pro of owning a turkey fryer is you can use it to cook other things, like fried turkeys. (The taste of a good fried turkey will haunt your dreams, so its a matter time before you fry one yourself)
    Size wise: I have not seen a turkey frying kit that is not big enough to boil 6 gal of water. They are designed to bring 3-4 gal of oil + a turkey to 350 deg. So, unless you plan to get a much larger pot and do 10, 15, or 20 gal batches, you will be fine with any burner you can find.
  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,013) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I also rock the turkey fryer. I have a 7.5 gallon aluminum pot that works really well... for 4.5 gallon boils. I prefer to use whole cone hops, so once I get my wort in and first hop addition I usually have a small boil over. I figured this out the first time I put 5.5 gallons in. That being said I have adjusted my techniques and utilize late additions of extracts to keep hop utilization up. Once I go all grain I will be stepping up to a 10 gallon pot for sure though.
    JimSmetana likes this.
  14. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Disciple (347) Feb 28, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I use a 10.5 gallon kettle and have to keep an eye on it for the first few minutes of the boil. After that I don't have to worry about boilovers. I usually spend the first 30 minutes of the boil cleaning and sanitizing all of my equipment. Makes for an easier and shorter brewday.

    My one piece of advice to new home brewers is do what ever you can within your budget to make your brewing process easier. Things like having to constantly watch for boil overs can turn a fun hobby into a PITA.
  15. JJSmash

    JJSmash Aspirant (254) Nov 23, 2011 Connecticut

    I learned something new. Thanks
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