1) Kettle ($35-$155)
At my local restaurant supply store (like Cash and Carry), I found large inexpensive ($35) ten gallon aluminum kettles and for another $8 at that store, you can get a much needed round streamer rack to keep the grain bag off the heating element. These aluminum kettles do not have a pre-installed spigot, so I decided to go with
a new 10 gallon stainless steel kettle with a basket and pre-installed stainless steel spigot.
While this option is significantly more expensive than the aluminum choice, I think it will be very durable and a better quality brewery. If you plan on brewing 10 gallons at a time, purchase a 15 or 20 gallon pot. After years of brewing 10 gallon batches, I'm fine with 5 gallon batches. I suppose a very careful brewer could brew up to about 8 gallons in a 10 gallon pot, but the risk of boil over is significant and one to be avoided.
Unfortunately, you still need to drill one more hole in the kettle for the heating element and it is a large hole. For that you really should use a knockout hole punch.
2) Knockout hole punch. ($25-$85)
The hole for the heating element needs to be exactly 1.25 inches in diameter and there isn't much room for a sloppy hole made with a step drill or hole saw. Unfortunately, the only tool that does this kind of a hole well is a knockout hole punch. This tool has three parts: the punch, the die and the draw stud. The punch and die are positioned on either side of the kettle and by screwing the draw stud down, the punch and die are pulled together which knocks out an absolutely perfect hole. Unfortunately, this tool costs about $85. There are cheaper versions at stores like Harbor Freight, but the reviews of those tools are so bad that I went ahead and bought the real "Greenlee" version and resold it on eBay for the majority of my investment after using the tool twice. (you need one more hole of this size later in the construction)
3) Heating element ($23)
This seems to be the heating element that everyone over at BIABrewer recommends. I got it. It works great.
4) Heating element controller ($250 or less)
Some folks have a lot more skill with creating their own electronics than I do. If "pulse width modulation" and "Replace C1 with a 2.2uF capacitor to lower the frequency" makes any sense to you, then you can probably save a bunch of money by making your own controller. I won't pretend I know how to do that.
Instead, I purchased this controller which is designed to be plug and play into a standard NEMA10-30 240V electric dryer outlet. It is the most expensive item in the brewery and could probably be replaced with a simple on/off switch but the dial on this unit allows me to keep the kettle at exactly the right temperature.
5) Washer, locknut and o ring kit (under $20 for the basics):
You will need this large washer/shim (item number 96853A253) I couldn't find it at my helpful hardware place so I think you'll need to buy it online. I had trouble linking to this part directly, so just type the number into the search box.
Also needed is this locknut and o ring kit. If you want a side pickup or need to add a weldless bulkhead kit or spigot to an aluminum kettle, this is a good place to buy them.
6) Electrical box, covers, and cable (all found at local hardware store.. under $30 total)
Single gang weatherproof electrical box
Weather proof cover
Stainless steel electrical cover
NEMA 10-30 Plug and cable for 240V dryer.
7) 2-1/4 inch hole saw
2-1/4 bimetal hole saw, if you don't already have one. Drill press is nice when using this saw.
8) Whirlpool/ side pickup
This fitting kit is a nice way to drain almost all the wort from the kettle. Include it with your order for the locknut and O ring.
9) Nice thermometer
I love this thermometer. The probe is waterproof, there is a timer and you can set an alarm when you reach a particular temperature. Top it off with a magnetic back and you have the best brewing thermometer ever. Optional, of course.
Let's build. Click "Next".
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