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I'm planning an upgrade to my 5 gallon setup to do 10 gallon batches. In BeerSmith, I've created an equipment profile to estimate my pre-boil volume. Assuming 1 gallon evaporation per hour (I know this is high, but I'm being conservative), and 1 gallon lost to trub, BeerSmith tells me I will have a pre-boil volume of 13.46 gallons.

I live in Canada, so my buying options are limited. This kettle is a good deal, but has a capacity of only 16 gallons.

Can I boil 13.5 gallons in a 16 gallon kettle, or will I be fighting against boil-overs every brew day?

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I regularly do 10gl batches in a 15.5gl keggle. You will definitely need to attend to the kettle while bringing it up to a boil to prevent boil-overs, but it's certainly possible. Also, foam-control agents (Fermcap-S, simethicone/baby gas drops) will help, but are not fool-proof prevention.

One thing to note: you need a lot fewer BTUs to maintain a boil (and denature the proteins that will cause boil-overs), so you can get pretty far by "just" dropping the flame down once you start to see the boil form and the first signs of boil-over. After 15 minutes, you can start to ratchet the BTUs back up to get a solid, roiling boil, but without the boilover danger.

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