It can sometimes be a bit expensive to buy some lovely stainless steel brewing equipment, so what do you do? Make your own! I wanted to make myself a small boil kettle that can sit on my stove for decoction mashing or small scale (5L) craft brews. Below are the steps that I followed to make my new boil kettle.

Parts List
Stainless steel saucepan
Step bit drill piece 6-36mm
Chassis punch 21mm
Drill Oil / washing up liquid
Fine file
Weldless ball valve kit
PTFE tape
Hex key

1. Get a saucepan
I bought this saucepan off ebay for about £20, it is apparently 20L but I will only be using it for about 5-10L at most. The process I'm describing below will work for any single walled stainless steel saucepan, so choose one which suits your requirements best. 
If you have a conduction hob, then check that the saucepan is suitable before buying one, otherwise you will be disappointed.

My stainless steel saucepan pre-hole being drilled

2. Drill a small hole in the saucepan using a step bit drill piece
A step bit drill is a specialist drill bit which is designed for drilling different size holes into a variety of materials.
Make sure your drill bit is suitable for cutting metal otherwise you will be in for a long day without much success.

Mark on the saucepan where you want to drill using a marker pen. Make sure your hole is at least a 1.5 inches from the bottom of the pan. Apply a little dill oil / washing up liquid and start to slowly drill your hole to a diameter for which you can then fit the screw from chassis punch. Measure this diameter before you start drilling to ensure you know what size you are trying to achieve. It is important to do this part slow and steady to avoid excessive heat build up and to get a reasonably smooth hole.

Hole from the step bit drill piece

3. Use the 21mm chassis punch to create your hole for the weldless ball valve kit
Now you have your hole made it is now time to fit the chassis punch. Unscrew the chassis punch and take the piece that looks like it has pincers and reattach this to the screw thread on the inside of the saucepan with the rest of the chassis punch on the outside of the saucepan.

21mm Chassis punch - pincer section is at the top

Once you have attached the chassis punch use a hex key to turn the outer section clockwise to tighten the punch. Keep turning till the tool punches through the metal wall and creates a clean circular hole. Remove the chassis punch and unscrew it to remove the metal disc which has been cut out.

21mm hole from the chassis punch

4. File the edges of the hole to remove any fine burrs.
Use a fine file to gently go round the edge of the hole to remove any metal burrs that might be present.

5. Fit the weldless ball valve kit
Now it is time to fir the weldless ball valve kit to the saucepan to make your boil kettle. As part of your kit you should have the ball valve, a metal nipple that passes through the saucepan wall, two lock nuts, two kevlar washers, 1/2 inch tube connector and a hop filter if you have one.

The metal nipple goes through the saucepan wall and then the washers are connected either side followed by the lock nuts which are then tightened using a wrench. The ball valve is next with PTFE tape if required and then the tube connector is screwed into the ball valve to complete your boil kettle.

The fitted ball valve

6. Check it is water tight and then clean and clean again
The next thing is to check it is water tight and then give it a thorough clean with steriliser and sanitiser before use. 

7. The fun bit - get brewing
Happy brewing!

Drop any comments / stories of success you have in the comments section below.

Alternatively you can buy a pre-made one using the button below.