I am just getting ready to do my first batch. I have all I need except a descent pot. I found a 12quart used stainless pot on Kijiji and was hoping it would be sufficient for half-boils of 5gal batches.

12 Quart is just a little over 3 gals, and I presume a half boil is 2.5gals. If I keep a close eye on the pot to prevent over-boils, would it do?

What are your thoughts?

  • @Denny is correct on the rule of thumb. But it is possible with extra vigilence. Try boiling about 2.25 gals, and mark a wooden spoon or stick where the wort level is. Keep a second small pot of water boiling. Then keep checking the wort level, and top it off to stay around 2.25 gals. Take kettle off the heat before each kettle addition, and keep a spray bottle of water handy to try to control any foaming and boilover. Also keep pot holders ready to move your pot quickly. I have boiled 1.5 gals of wort in a 1.75 gal pot with this method many times without boilovers, so I know it can be done. Aug 14, 2014 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


I think it will be too small. The ROT is that you want a pot at least 50% bigger than your batch size.

  • thanks for the responses guys. I got a 5gal stainless pot. Should be fine to get me started! Aug 15, 2014 at 13:37
  • That's what I started with. You have to be careful, but it works.
    – Denny Conn
    Aug 15, 2014 at 15:06

I agree, boil overs suck! the extra head space you get from a large pot help reduce the likelyhood of a boil over.

but a 3 gallon pot is measured to thr rim. 2.5 gallons will likely only have a couple or few inches of headspace. any stirring, boiling, relocating will cause waves to wash over the sides. I do partial boils and use an 8 gallon kettle and love it.

IMHO, you'd be better off using an inexpensive aluminum pot than a nice undersized steel pot

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