Kettle Purchasing Guide

Our range of high quality Tri-Clamp brewing kettles is designed for flexibility, modularity and a long life of varied usage. The use of Tri-Clamp connectors and their carefully designed location makes these kettles as universal as possible. You can change the accessories you need for various tasks in a plug and play manner. We were very purposeful in determining the best location of the Tri-Clamp ports such that you can use the same kettle as a mash tun, boil kettle, hot liquor tank, or a combination of the three!

All Craft Hardware brewing systems are designed and sold with our standard kettle range, so that you can start with any single kettle and build a multiple kettle system over time.

We offer 3 sizes of kettles, 38L, 57L, and 83L. Why those sizes? Because the dominant US market for homebrew equipment basically decided that for us, and they use gallons instead of liters. So you have the 10g, 15g, and 20g sizes which are 38L, 57L, and 83L respectively. Note that I did not translate the volumes 1:1 rather I used the actual fill capacity of each size.

Within each kettle size, you will find various port designs such as the 3/1, the 4/1 and 4/2 versions. The numbers refer to number of lower/upper Tri-Clamp ports in the kettle.

Why don’t I sell a kettle with fewer ports? I want to make sure your purchase will last you a long time, and grow with your changing needs as a brewer. And, you can simply cover any unused ports with an end cap. It’s hard to predict how you might be brewing in a few years from now, so even if having 4 ports in your kettle feels like overkill right now, I’m confident you will be glad to have them later. By streamlining the portfolio with fewer versions I can also purchase kettles in higher volumes, which helps keep prices lower.

All of our kettles use only DN40 size Tri-Clamp ferrules, which offers the same 50.5mm flange size as the 1.5″ ferrule but has a larger 38mm ID. In fact this is the largest available size ferrule that still uses the 50.5mm clamp.

38L kettles

There are 3 kettle versions in the 38L size range, with 3/1, 4/1 and 4/2 ferrule arrangements. The 38L Kettles have an inner diameter of 35cm and a height of 42cm.

The 3/1 kettle is intended for mashing or boiling, with a top Tri-Clamp port for our height adjustable sparge arm or whirlpool arm, or for the sidewall mount steam condenser. The bottom ports can be used for an outlet, temperature sensor, and optional heating element.

The 4/1 kettle is intended primarily for boiling, and allows the addition of a whirlpool port. The heating element can be installed on the back side of the kettle, keeping the power cable neatly out of the way.

The 4/2 kettle is intended to be used as an HLT or combined HLT/Boil kettle, with two mid-height ports to install a HERMS coil on the left or the right front side. There is no top port in this kettle so if you want to add a steam condenser for boiling, you can use the lid mount option.

Of course you can also use the 3/1 or 4/1 kettle as an HLT, if you don’t mind installing your HERMS coil directly in the kettle wall via threaded fittings instead of the Tri-Clamp adapters. I can even drill the two required holes for you – see our hole drilling service.

57L kettles

There are 3 kettle versions in the 57L size range, with 3/1, 4/1 and 4/2 ferrule arrangements. The 57L Kettles have an inner diameter of 40cm and a height of 48cm.

The 3/1 kettle is intended for mashing or boiling, with a top Tri-Clamp port for our height adjustable sparge arm or whirlpool arm, or for the sidewall mount steam condenser. The bottom ports can be used for an outlet, temperature sensor, and optional heating element.

The 4/1 kettle is intended primarily for boiling, and allows the addition of a whirlpool port. The heating element can be installed on the back side of the kettle, keeping the power cable neatly out of the way.

The 4/2 kettle is intended to be used as an HLT or combined HLT/Boil kettle, with two mid-height ports to install a HERMS coil on the left or the right front side. There is no top port in this kettle so if you want to add a steam condenser for boiling, you can use the lid mount option.

Of course you can also use the 3/1 or 4/1 kettle as an HLT, if you don’t mind installing your HERMS coil directly in the kettle wall via threaded fittings instead of the Tri-Clamp adapters. I can even drill the two required holes for you – see our hole drilling service.

83L kettles

There are 3 kettle versions in the 83L size range, with 3/1, 5/1 and 5/1-HERMS ferrule arrangements. The 83L Kettles have an inner diameter of 45cm and a height of 54cm.

The heating element and HERMS coil in this size class is designed to ensure sufficient heating power and HERMS heat transfer performance for the larger volumes. More powerful 400V or ring shaped heating elements can be installed into an (optional) pre-drilled hole in the kettle. The high flow HERMS coil is also installed into two pre-drilled holes.

Using a single 3.2 KW heating element, or the standard HERMS coil, in the 83L kettles is not an optimal choice and will leave you with an underpowered system.

The electrical requirements can be much different for the larger 83L kettles, and your purchase decision may depend on what type of electrical service and outlets you have available in your brewing space.

The 3/1 kettle is intended for mashing but can also be used for boiling. For boiling in a 3/1 kettle, you can install the 5.5 KW 230V heating element (requires 24A) or supplement a single 3.2 KW element with an external heat plate. You can also permanently install a more powerful heating element (check out the round 400V element lineup over at BrewPi) by drilling a hole in the back of the kettle.

The 5/1 kettle is intended primarily for boiling, but can also be used as a direct fired mash tun. There are two Tri-Clamp ports for heating elements in the back, one at 5cm and one at 8cm height from the bottom. This allows you to install two 3.2 kW heating elements using separate 230V/16A electrical circuits. If you prefer to boil with a 3 phase element, choose the 3/1 kettle and permanently install one, as mentioned above.

The 5/1/HLT kettle uses the standard 5/1 kettle as a base kettle, but adds two 32.5mm holes in the kettle wall for installing the high flow HERMS coil. The 1″ connectors on the high flow coil cannot be mounted through a Tri-Clamp port. You will need to decide when ordering the HERMS kettle whether to install the coil on the left or right side.

You can also purchase a 3/1 kettle and use it for an HLT, if you want to install your heating element as well as the HERMS coil using into pre-drilled holes with threaded fittings. I can even drill the required holes for you – see our hole drilling service.


Still confused? Please contact us!