Author Topic: Bru-Gear  (Read 1235 times)

S. cerevisiae

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Bru-Gear
« on: September 26, 2015, 01:57:06 AM »
For those who have ordered things from Bru-Gear, what was your experience? 

Offline 69franx

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2015, 03:32:44 AM »
Mark, I was a supporter of their Kickstart er campaign. I waited forever to get my kettle after campaign ended. When I got it, it was not as I expected (Tri clover vs expected npt fittings change during campaign) and came with no pick up tube (extra $=slightly unhappy). But although it is my first brewing specific kettle  (vs the 7.5g aluminum kettle I started with) I now love it! It's heavy as s@$!, and I will likely need to add some pumps to my system (I have the 15g kettle) but I really have nothing to compare it to. I am happy, just took some getting used to. Hope some of this helps. As an aside, per their suggestion, I joined their email list so that I would be first in line to get all the new info about their new products and accessories (think the pick up tube I waited 8 months for) and have never received 1 email. I think the response to their campaign really overwhelmed them and he is focused on the pro-brewer/whole brewhouse side of his business rather than the home brewer his campaign targeted. Just my .02
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 03:48:49 AM by 69franx »
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline 69franx

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 03:44:19 AM »
I guess another way to put it is this: I love the kettle, it just took awhile to get it, and make it work the way I wanted. It is heavier than expected and from you "look for a kettle at least twice your batch volume" it is a struggle to handle 10 gallon batches which was a goal. What I have works well and I am not looking to change to something else, but I was really a newbie when I ordered it and had unrealistic and uneducated  expectations. I know you have stated that the triple clad bottom is overkill for hobby brewing, but that is what they supply. The tri clover fittings work well, just did not fit with my existing system very well initially. I would buy another at my campaign price if I ever upgrade my system to 2 burners and would likely go with the 20 at that point, using my 15 as my MLT (adding their false bottom? Not a perfect solution for a false bottom, and I understand this better from several of your posts on the subject.) Hope I'm not rambling too much to help, just some strong personal feelings on your OP.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 03:51:36 AM by 69franx »
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2015, 05:40:57 PM »
I too got the kickstarter kettle. It was as 69franx said. Took forever, but my understanding is they now stock almost everything so that shouldn't be an issue. They made good and everything that was promised was ultimately delivered if a year late. Things I like: The weight of the kettle, the dimensions, the triclamp fittings, the size (the 15 gal kettle is actually about 16 gals), the etched volume markings. Things I don't like: Volume etchings don't start until 5 gals.(minor annoyance), no volume sight glass option (no issue on an MLT, but I want one on my HLT), false bottom could use a silicone gasket or something to keep it fitting well but not so tight as to scratch when inserting, clamps for the TC fittings not as heavy and threads shorter than those purchased through US sources, but adequate...they work interchangably, no ability to add a kettle screen or the like inside the kettle without a custom mod.  If you want a triclamp equipped kettle, I think this is about the best price going for a good quality kettle. I'm happy with my purchase. If they had what I was looking for in stock, I would buy. If it was something out of stock or being designed, I'd pass.
Diane
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S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 06:05:47 PM »
Okay, I have been silent long enough.  I have given this company the benefit of the doubt.  Something is clearly wrong not right at Bru-Gear.  I spent the better part $50.00 shipping a Pro Boiler kettle back to Bru-Gear because I was not happy with the build quality and overall condition of the kettle.  Not only was UPS unable to deliver the package, the request to hold the package for pickup has gone unfulfilled.  UPS will hold the package for another couple of days before they return it back to me.  I did not return the kettle without first contacting Bru-Gear. A Bru-Gear representative authorized the return.  This person keeps sending e-mail messages claiming that they refunded my money, but no refund has been made.  I started the dispute process with PayPal, and I am about to contact my credit card company to dispute the charge (PayPal hates that).  I recommend against doing business with Bru-Gear until they have their operation sorted out.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 06:07:24 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline smokeymcb

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2015, 06:35:50 PM »
Wow, s***ty deal man.  Hopefully everything ends on the up & up...
Anyone got a lighter??

Rob C.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 07:55:04 PM »
I do not believe that Bru-Gear is a shady operation.  However, I do believe that they may be going through serious growing pains.

Offline smokeymcb

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 08:11:52 PM »
I do not believe that Bru-Gear is a shady operation.  However, I do believe that they may be going through serious growing pains.

At the end of the day, it almost doesn't matter.  You deserve service and communication.  As of right now, your getting neither...
Anyone got a lighter??

Rob C.

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 08:20:39 PM »
I am not certain but it does appear that UPS can access charges to the shipper when the recipient fails to claim a package.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 08:31:42 PM »

I am not certain but it does appear that UPS can access charges to the shipper when the recipient fails to claim a package.
That is most likely correct. I shipped a box to Italy years ago with my cousins reading glasses. We didn't know that they had some insane duty on the glasses, so he refused and it was sent back. Return was charged to me and was higher than the duty.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 08:37:51 PM »
Mark, what were your issues with the kettle? As I said, once fully complete with necessary equipmemt, I have been very happy with mine. It is the first brew specific kettle I have purchased though. I was definitely not impressed with their customer service (as you said, likely growing pains) but the kettle functions as I wanted/needed
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2015, 09:06:21 PM »
I am a bit spoiled because I have access to sanitary welding shop, so my standards are more than likely higher than those of other brewers who are just happy to have a kettle with welded fittings.  I ordered one of their electric kettles.  For whatever reason, the electric kettle model has a ferrule welded at the top.  The placement, weld, and finishing on this weld looked like a trainee did it.  The were several non-weld blemishes (dents and gouges) on the inside of the kettle. In a nutshell, the kettle did not look a first quality item.   

The thing that stands out to anyone who has ever seen a properly executed sanitary weld is that there should be no reason to take a grinder to the kettle.  That operation raises a red flag with me.  Did the welder not back purge the welds with argon, and later used a grinder to hide that fact (i.e., did the welder grind away the sugar)?   A non-back purged weld and the area around it will eventually rust because the composition of the steel has been altered, and it will usually happen even if one removes the sugar.  That's what happened to the first kettle that I built back in the 1993.  I made the mistake of believing that anyone who can TIG weld can produce a sanitary weld with that kettle, which is far from the truth.  Sanitary welders are expensive because it is unique skill set.



« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 09:08:16 PM by S. cerevisiae »

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2015, 05:53:30 PM »
That is most likely correct. I shipped a box to Italy years ago with my cousins reading glasses. We didn't know that they had some insane duty on the glasses, so he refused and it was sent back. Return was charged to me and was higher than the duty.

In hindsight, it would have been cheaper to pay the import duty.   The good news is that someone finally picked up the package. 

As I mentioned earlier, I do not believe that Bru-Gear is a shady operation.  However, they do appear to be going through growing pains that are affecting their customer service.  The kettle that I received may have been one that was returned and mistakenly sent back out.   If they are dealing with a Chinese contract fab shop, it is not uncommon to receive outstanding engineering samples only to be let down by the production units.

Offline dsmitch19

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Re: Bru-Gear
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2015, 10:37:14 PM »
I know the owner and he is a genuine, honest guy from my experience. He's based out of Tempe, AZ and frequently came to our homebrew club meetings and events before his business took off and his free time went down to nil. He also sponsored our Spring competition with a kettle as a prize.

I definitely agree on the growing pains, but I did buy a kettle from the kick starer and love it. I do know that the commercial side of his business has exploded much more than his homebrew side as far as demands on his time. I'm not trying to justify the negative experience you had, but just trying to confirm that this is not a "shady" operation. Overall, the quality of product is high, IMO, and the owner is continually working to fine tune everything. Any gripes I have are very small (like the original thermowell for the kettle thermometer being longer than needed IMO).
Cheers!
Dennis Mitchell
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