Becoming a home brewer doesn’t have to be a challenge, and you’ll find that there are many misconceptions which surround this profession and hobby.
If you want to get into brewing your own beer, you’re going to have to take a look at the products on the market and choose the right one for your needs. Unfortunately, it can be a bit of a challenge to distinguish between different pieces of brewing equipment if you don’t have much experience in the field.
On the other hand, you may simply not have enough time to browse through countless pages of brew kettles and other products so that you can find the right brewing gear. Regardless of the reason, we're here to help you choose the proper brew kettle with another one of our detailed reviews.
Over the course of this article, we're going to be reviewing the 16-Gallon Stainless Steel Brew Kettle (model 800-416) offered by Bayou Classic. However, before we get to the product itself, we're going to cover two aspects that are crucial to any brew kettle, and they should be able to help you find the best products out there.
The first thing you'll want to consider when buying a new brew kettle is the material that the product is made out of. For example, many of the more affordable options for brew kettles are made out of aluminum, which is a lot less durable than stainless steel, but it can also be more affordable.
While aluminum has the benefit of lower weight, you’ll find that its lack of resilience means that your pot will be far less likely to last you a long time.
When you consider the stresses that a brew kettle has to be put through, especially for grain brewing, you’ll want to be sure that you’re buying a product that will last you for a long time to come.
Keep in mind that you're going to need more than just a kettle to ensure that you can adequately boil your wort, and many of these pots will come included with accessories to help you out. The most common addition you'll find on a brew kettle is a thermometer, which will provide you with a precise temperature readout.
More affordable brew kettles will often feature a separate thermometer, which allows for greater simplicity in the production of the pot, but it will be inconvenient to manually take the temperature.
On the other hand, pricier brew kettles will come with a thermometer built into the side, where you can keep an eye on the temperature at a glance.
Bayou Classic is well-known as a maker of deep fryers, smokers, grills, and now you can add home brewing to that list. Notable features:
This six-piece pot is an ideal choice for customers who demand quality above all else and are willing to pay for it. Thanks to a range of helpful features, this is one of the better brew kettles we’ve come across.
First off, the stainless steel construction of this kettle makes it a more durable option than much of the competition, though you can also tell the difference in material when it comes to the price. Of course, stainless steel is an excellent choice for a brew kettle because of its resistance to acidic wort.
This pot is also designed to be narrower than other products in the same category, so that boil overs become less likely to occur. If you're hoping to use this pot for grain brewing, then you'll be happy to hear that it features a tri-ply bottom which will reduce the chance of scorching due to more even heat distribution.
The stainless steel false bottom on this pot also works to keep any solids out of the spigot, and it is also accompanied by a tube filter screen that helps protect the spigot itself. With a smooth turning action that inspires confidence in its durability, you’ll also find that this pot comes with a high-quality spigot.
The thermometer you'll find on this brew pot has a two-inch stem, and it gives out an accurate temperature reading which we compared to a calibrated digital thermometer. Build quality seemed to be the focus when this brew kettle was designed, with most of its benefits being a direct result of it.
We also decided to go through customer reviews so we could get a feel for how this pot performed over an extended period, and we'll be mixing in the good with the bad.
Starting off with the good parts, most customers mentioned that the pot itself is highly durable, which ensures that it will last for a long time to come. There are also markings on the kettle for every quart, making it much easier to know the exact volume that you're putting into it.
Moving on to the criticisms, many customers were not impressed by the thermometer being positioned at the five-gallon point, rendering it unusable for smaller batches. Customers were also unhappy with the position of the spigot, as it leaves a full gallon of wort which can’t be recovered.
With an initial price of around 330 dollars, this was one of the more expensive pots on the market, but you’ll find that the cost has dropped quite a bit for this model. You can now find this kettle available for around 160 dollars, which is a steal when you consider the quality and the accessories that come with it.
This Bayou Classic brew kettle has all of the hallmarks of an excellent product, and it is available for a much lower price than you would expect. Feel free to leave us a comment down below and let us know what you think.