The Best Brew Kettles For Your Homebrewing Needs

The brew kettle is where all home brewing begins, no matter which brewing method you use. With all of the options to choose from, it can be hard to choose what’s best for you. All of our reviewed kettles are steel. No aluminum kettles here! It increases the brew kettle weight but increases the quality of your kettle. We’ve reviewed some of the most popular brew kettles to help you decide on the perfect kettle for your homebrewing needs.

Brew Kettles for All Budgets

Bayou Classic Stainless Steel 20 Quart Brew Kettle

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Bayou Classic, Stainless Steel Brew Kettle, 20 quart
  • 20 Quart/5 Gallon Max Capacity Brew Kettle
  • Use for Malt Extract Home Brewing or "Brew in a Bag"
  • Stainless construction enables easier sterilization prior to brewing

If you’re looking for a straightforward, cheap brewing kettle, the Bayou Classic is an excellent option. This five-gallon kettle is great for new brewers who aren’t yet sure what features they’ll need. 

What We Love:

  • This pot is constructed a little differently than your typical kitchen pot. The handles are welded directly to the pot, not secured with screws. Sterilization is critical in homebrewing, and this construction eliminates some of the nooks and crannies that could harbor bacteria.
  • The simple design means this pot can pull double duty in your kitchen. For example, use it for spaghetti when you’re not brewing beer. Plus, It’s easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry about any contamination issues.

What We Don’t Love:

  • The walls of the Bayou Classic are a little thin compared to more expensive brew kettles, so it dents easily. If you do much brewing, you may find yourself upgrading sooner than you anticipated.

GasOne 8 Gallon Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle

GasOne 8 Gallon Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle Pot Pre Drilled 4 PC Set 32 Quart Tri Ply Bottom for Beer Brewing Includes Stainless Steel Lid, Thermometer, Ball Valve Spigot - Home Brewing Supplies
  • HIGH QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL- Very easy to clean, Long lasting, Safe and durable, Good heat conduction, Sleek look
  • TRI-PLY - Extremely strong, Fast and even heat distribution, dependable and well-constructed Will last for a very long time
  • Scale Markings - Keep track of your measurements and brewing process with the scale markings that are read inside the Kettle Pot

This GasOne homebrew kettle is a bit more expensive than the Bayou Classic, but the additional features are worth it. Start here if you’re more experienced in homebrewing or just willing to spend a little more.

What We Love:

  • This brew kettle comes with an included ball valve and spigot. Therefore, you don’t have to lift the pot to transfer the contents, saving you work and mess.
  • The stainless steel kettle is constructed with an aluminum tri-clad bottom, making it perfect for induction cooktops, too.
  • Scale markings inside the pot make it easy for you to measure your ingredients and track the brewing process. No need for a sight glass!

What We Don’t Love:

  • The built-in thermometer is a couple of inches up the wall of the pot, so it won’t give you an accurate reading if you’re brewing batches smaller than 2.5 gallons.

Anvil 5.5 Gallon Brew Kettle

Anvil - ANVkl5p5gl Brew Kettle, 5.5 gal
  • Heavy 18 gauge stainless steel with reinforced lip for durability and easy cleaning
  • Induction capable tri-ply clad bottom
  • Internal etched level graduations in gal and liters for accurate measurements

We know never to judge a book by its cover, but this Anvil brew kettle even looks cool. It has all the features you would expect from a specialized brew kettle, just a little higher-end.

What We Love:

  • The Anvil brew kettle is heavy. It will likely last longer than lesser kettles in this price range. You’ll also get more consistent heating out of it.
  • It’s about as tall as it is wide, which actually improves boiling and flavor.
  • The welded handles make the inside easier to clean and sanitize versus a non-welded kettle.

What We Don’t Love:

  • It’s a little smaller than described. Five gallons of liquid gets pretty close to the top of the pot, so you may want to size up.
  • Some assembly required – you’ll have to install the thermometer and spigot yourself.

Northern Brewer – Megapot

Northern Brewer - Megapot 1.2 Stainless Steel Brew Kettle with Volume Markings (10 Gallon Plain)
  • 10 Gallon (40 quarts / 37.8 liters) capacity
  • 4mm Tri-Clad Bottom. All Stainless Steel Construction
  • Graduated Volume Markings inside the kettle

This 10-gallon kettle is produced by longstanding equipment vendor Northern Brewer Homebrewing Supply. They’ve been crafting beer brewing kettles for over 20 years, so they know what they’re doing. They make their steel kettle customizable in just about every way you can think of.

What We Love:

  • The handles are covered in silicone, so they won’t get too hot to handle, no matter what your heat source is.
  • The 4mm thick tri-clad bottom distributes heat evenly across the entire surface. It also prevents scorching, a problem found in a single-layer kettle.

What We Don’t Love:

  • It’s a really great pot, but adding a valve and thermometer nearly doubles the price. It’s worth it, no question, but if you’re budget-conscious, this may not be the buy for you.
  • The handles are riveted, not welded, which makes true sanitization difficult.

Concord Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle

CONCORD Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle Stock Pot (Weldless Fittings) (40 QT/ 10 Gal)
  • Brew Kettle is made from Commercial Quality Stainless Steel, Fully Polished.
  • All Accessories included in this set are made from high quality 304 Stainless Steel.
  • Lid is hangable on the side of kettle.

This Concord brew kettle is a nice, happy medium in terms of both features and price. It’s not the heaviest brew kettle or as fully featured as some more expensive models. But it’s got quality extras that make better brewing accessible to the budget-conscious beer brewer.

What We Love:

  • The price. This is a whole lot of kettle for the same price as some flimsier models. 
  • The thermometer and couplers come with the kettle. Unfortunately, you don’t typically find those included at this price point.
  • The lid hangs on the side of the pot, so you don’t have to worry about where to put it down.

What We Don’t Love:

  • There’s some assembly required, which is fine, but make sure you read the instructions carefully. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a leaky pot.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy

How Does Home Brewing Work?

All home brewing begins with breaking down grains into a liquid called “wort,” then adding hops for flavor and yeast for fermentation. The liquid is left to ferment for a period that varies, depending on the type of beer. 

Then, the brewer adds a little sugar for carbonation and leaves it a while longer. Finally, the beer is filtered and bottled or kegged and ready to be enjoyed.

What Does the Brew Kettle Do?

Technically, you can start the home brewing process with any large pot and a hand-held thermometer. Unfortunately, most new brewers don’t have a large enough vessel in their own kitchen. Some homebrewers will tell you to boil in a smaller pot, but this is a controversial subject. It’s best to start with something massive.

A brew kettle is basically a specialized pot designed specifically for the indoor brewer. It’s packed with features that make your job easier and more fun. For example, most brew kettles have a built-in coupler to help you transfer the liquid mess-free. Some include a temperature gauge or even a built-in burner, but these are more expensive.

Do I Really Need a Fancy, Expensive Pot?

Not necessarily. The most important feature is the size of the pot. You could get by with a 5-gallon soup pot, if you had one, or buy an inexpensive one at a restaurant supply store. As long as there’s enough room for all your ingredients to boil, it will get the job done.

Still, homebrewing technology has evolved for a reason. The right equipment makes it easier for you to brew better beer. A standard brew kettle is nice, but additional built-in features like couplers make less of a mess, and temperature gauges give you more control over the process and the final product.

Are There Different Home Brewing Methods?

There are three main types of home-brewed beer. First is the extract method, which begins with a ready-made malt extract, saving the brewer time and work. The second is the all-grain method, which is like a prequel to the extract method. When you decide to try all-grain brewing, you’ll essentially be making the malt extract yourself. This is, of course, more work and harder to do.

The third method, called partial-mash, lets you do a little bit of both. You make a smaller amount of mash yourself and use a little bit of ready-made extract. This allows you to experiment with the all-grain brewing method without investing as much money in a much larger kettle.

Which Method Is Best for Beginners?

The extract method is generally the best way for new brewers to get started. It’s an excellent way for you to learn the basics of home brewing and doesn’t require as much expensive equipment. 

Once you get comfortable with the extract method, you may want to begin experimenting. For example, you could try partial-mash or even all-grain brewing. By then, you’ll know more about what makes a great extract, so you can make your own.

What Other Equipment Will I Need to Get Started?

Homebrewing is, at its core, a kitchen experiment, so you don’t need a lot of specialized equipment. If you’re on a budget, you can find a lot of what you need in your hardware store at affordable prices. It just takes a little elbow grease and creativity to make it work for your first home brewing experiment.

If you’re not sure what equipment you’ll need, you can leave it to the experts. Most reputable home brewing specialty stores sell starter kits. These include all the essential items you’ll need to get started. They may also have upgraded kits available if you don’t mind the price difference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is a Brew Kettle Used For?

The brew kettle is the first stage of the home brewing process. Here, you boil the grains and/or extract to break them down and prepare them for the yeast to ferment.

How Big of a Brew Kettle Do I Need?

We recommend a tall kettle that can hold a minimum of 5 gallons. Beyond that, it depends on what type of brewing you’re doing and how much beer you’re trying to make.

The Verdict

Of all of these steel brew kettles, our favorite is the Concord Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle. It includes features typically reserved for more expensive models, making it a great choice for any home brewer. So whether you’re just getting started with homebrewing or you’re more experienced and looking to upgrade, we think you’ll be happy with this model.