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St. Pats 14 Gallon Wine Tank as a Brew Kettle




The model being reviewed is the kettle14

A while back, I made the jump to all grain brewing.  Most of the advice I received recommended that I purchase equipment that was capable of brewing ten gallon batches.  All grain brewing is time consuming and larger batches take the same time as smaller batches.  With this in mind, I set out to purchase a large brewpot.

Since I live in a small condo and don't have a garage or workshop, I was left with the option of purchasing pre-built vessels or contracting to have the work done. My requirements were that the pot had to have  a 1/2" NPT port for a ball valve at the bottom and as well as a 1/2" NPT port for a thermometer.  The St. Pats winetank was beautiful and met these requirements at a price of $130.00 .

When the pot arrived, I was very happy with the look of it.  The construction is very sturdy and as long as it's not being dropped or beat on, it should remain beautiful for a long time.  

The kettle is made from two pieces of stainless steel.  The side of the kettle is constructed from a piece of stainless steel that joins one side to the other with a vertical weld.  In the kettle photos, you will notice a sticker which covers the vertical weld.  The bottom is a separate piece of stanless that is welded onto the sides.  It does not have handles so it wouldn't be appropriate for anyone who needs to move it during the brewing process.  

The kettle comes standard with a spigot valve, however, I immediately unscrewed it and replaced it with a 1/2" ball valve.  The construction of the spigot would make it difficult to attach hoses to and I was wary of the how well it would hold up to boiling temperatures.

The two female 1/2" NPT ports welded to the pot are done very well.  It was easy to attach a full port ball valve to the lower port and a thermometer to the top one.

As far as the kettle goes, it is very functional and beautiful for the price.  My only gripe would be that it is fourteen gallons rather than 15.5 as one would receive from a converted keg.  I've had a couple of nasty boilovers with it and recently started scaling my recipes to 9 gallons to avoid boilovers.  It is possible to avoid a boilover when doing a ten gallon batch, although it takes constant attention and some skimming.

If I could do it over again, I would probably purchase a converted 15.5 gallon keg from Sabco or another supplier for the extra volume.  That being said, I am very happy with the kettle as it is very functional, a great price, and is impressive to look at.