After visiting Summit Brew Co. and brewing the pumpkin ale batch the weekend prior, I decided to make a more firm commitment to a life of brewing. I bought a nice 10 gallon boil kettle with a ball valve and thermometer so I would be able to do full-boil batches instead of partial boils (where you essentially brew 2.5 gallons of condensed beer and water it down with another 2.5 gallons of water when you put it into the fermentor) and a propane burner so I could take the bulk of operations out to the garage (my wife is not nearly enough of a beer fan to like the smell of boiling malted barley and hops).
I figured the kettle would provide me plenty of room to eventually grow into – gasp – all-grain brewing. With 10 gallons of potential volume, I have plenty of room to fill ‘er up with 7 gallons at the start of the boil and get down to just about 5.5 gal. in a typical 60 min. boil time.
The picture to the right shows the kettle and burner in action for the very first time, doing the Sammy’s Golden Porter batch on 10/23/10.