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What's the product that upon purchase you've been most disappointed with...

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mugwort:
Just about everybody experiences it--buying something promising and exciting, only to realize it's mostly crap.

Many of us then try to pretend that we like the item or are at least somewhat ok with the purchase.  Slowly the facts of the matter begin to intrude but we try to reason them away.  This wrestling can go on for a while but usually ends in some kind of acceptance.  At least this is what happens to me.

I'm not looking to start a trash talk topic but we should be able to pull off some constructive criticism and/or therapy.  If need be, you can choose to be less than brand-specific but hopefully still share a past disappointment and cautionary tale.

What are your brew purchase regrets and how did you move past them?  Or are you still saddled with the item and looking for a solution via advice from your fellow brewers?

mugwort:
I'll start off with a story of the brewpot that couldn't.

Nearly two years ago I found myself wanting to do 5 gal batch full boils without all the excitement that comes with using my 7.5 gal pot.  Plus the thought of getting a new pot with a spigot was very appealing.

After seeing some of the prices out there I thought I would just go cheap.  Should have known better since this philosophy generally has not served me well elsewhere in life.

Anyway, I online-ordered the 10 gal brewpot from the budget line of a respectable Northern California homebrew retailer (who had recently revamped the line, claiming  improvements).

Should have sent that back right when I got it, but just like a bad relationship I thought I could make it work.  The stainless was rolled and rippled and far flimsier than any pot I'd ever seen.  The bottom popped in and out with a thin loud echo if pushed on, a bit like a lid on an applesauce jar.  But it did hold ten gallons and there was a brass ball valve for draining.

Boiling 7 or so gallons of wort, it did the job.  Sure the painted metal valve handle burned like a mother when I touched it but I kept telling myself I could wrap it to solve that problem.  And so a few brews were made in this cheap but functioning vessel.

But once nearly 9 gallons of hot wort had been fed into it, my confidence in its integrity weakened.  I imagined the seam running the length of the bulging pot giving way to bathe me in boiling disfigurement.

My imagination was interrupted by searing and hissing as wort bubbled and smoked its way down the sides of the pot.  No, not a boil over thankfully, but the wort level had risen to the pot handles and was slowing seeping out of the little bolts fastening the handle to the pot.

That was the last time I bothered with that pot.  Now it has surrendered its role to a new MB heavy duty 15 gal megapot.  Couldn't be more different.

Rather than kick that 99 dollar POS down the hill I drafted it as an HLT.  So, I guess in the end it was not really a waste.  After all, you can't really put a price on lessons learned.  It's a lesson I remember each time I burn my fingers on the spigot handle.

Merry Christmas everyone!  Oh, if someone gives you junk, just try to remember they mean well and then promptly return it.  Don't try to learn to like it.  That's for other aspects of our lives.

Life is too short to settle for crap equipment or crap beer.

cornershot:
A cheap tool is an expensive tool!
Last year I purchased a used freezerless fridge for $200 for my beer fridge. It fit 5 kegs in the bottom and another 2 carboys on the top shelf. All was well for about 6 months. Then one day, just before leaving for work, I happened to walk past my fridge and could hear a crackling sound. When I opened the fridge door flames and smoke poured out! I grabbed a fire extinguisher and emptied it's contents into the fridge. The fire was out and I was left with quite a cleanup.
I've since replaced it with a big old used upright freezer with a new temperature controller. Now 2 years later it's still going strong.
Lesson learned? $#!+ happens!

Sent from my MB865 using Tapatalk

ynotbrusum:
10 gallon round Igloo style water cooler with false bottom - no longer used.  A friend borrowed it and I have never asked for it back.  I use a sanke with false bottom for my larger batch brews and a rectangular cooler with braid for smaller brews.  That round one couldn't fit a hefty grain bill for a 10 gallon batch and I don't miss it a bit....

duboman:
The Brew Belt. Before I got a temperature controlled fermentation chamber I was doing the whole swam cooler thing and using a brew belt with a Johnson controller for my warmer temperature requirements like my Belgians.

Well, using it for the third time I smelled something in my brew room that just wasn't right and sure enough the damn thing must have shorted out as it was beginning to melt a hole in the side of my bucket! Fortunately I caught it in time before it burned through or worse, started a fire!

It wasn't all that expensive but I was not pleased having only used it 3 times and epically failing............

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