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Author Topic: Expensive to restart from scratch  (Read 3780 times)

Offline Saccharomyces

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Expensive to restart from scratch
« on: October 01, 2020, 04:33:01 pm »
Wow! All I can say is that it is expensive to rebuild a brew house, home brewing lab, and kegging/dispensing setup from scratch.  When I first started to brew, I was a single man with a small single family home that I owned (well, the bank and I owned the home).  I was able to acquire gear as I advanced in the hobby.  I got married five years after I started to brew.  My gear went with me when we moved to a new larger home that we built on a sizable piece of land. We started our family after we moved into the new home. I stopped brewing a couple of years after my twins were born.  The way I was set up to brew was not safe with toddlers and twin toddlers are a lot of work, so my brewing slowed to a crawl and eventually stopped. That is when I sold off most of my brew house and lab gear.  When I started to brew again, I still had my brewing refrigerator and a lot of small, but significant stuff that I kept.  This time around, I am starting from scratch and it is a wake-up call.  It has been quite a project to get back to where I was when I stopped brewing.  It has given me perspective as to what it is like for new brewers today.  Sure, there is a lot of gear available that was not available when I started to brew, but the availability of that gear has raised the bar on what is acceptable in the hobby. I put my first kegging system together for $75.00 and that included two pin-lock kegs, a new regulator, picnic taps, and a used steel 20lb C02 cylinder.  The same setup today is well over $200.00.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 07:03:09 am by Saccharomyces »

Online pete b

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2020, 05:00:32 pm »
I can only suggest drinking enough beer to drive down the per unit cost😎
But yea, there is a lot of nice stuff out there to buy.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2020, 05:31:41 pm »
I think that it is because we have grown out of a mad monk squad cottage industry to a life-style industry.  Early adopters had to bootstrap themselves.  We were happy with much simpler setups because that was all that was possible.  Today, there is so much cool gear that a newbie can find himself/herself overwhelmed by options. I think about the options for a brew stove when I started.  We had the jet engine-style turkey fryers that were a pipe and an orifice and the Superb PC-100 30K BTU ring burner-based stove.  Most of us chose the Superb PC-100 because one could get 10 to 12 batches out a of 20lb propane tank with that stove if one used one's house range for mashing. The PC-100 is the stove that John Palmer references during his early brewing.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 07:05:45 am by Saccharomyces »

Offline majorvices

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2020, 06:42:53 am »
All hobbies are expensive.

Online pete b

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2020, 07:03:16 am »
All hobbies are expensive.
Yea but golf costs a lot and leaves you frustrated, home brewing costs a lot and leaves you with beer.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline BrewBama

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Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2020, 07:30:12 am »
I’ve kept a running total of equipment and can say if I had to go all in with my complete setup today I wouldn’t even dream of starting up.  I would have to go a less expensive route.  Having said that, I landed at my current setup bit by bit over a very long time.


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« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 07:48:52 am by BrewBama »

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2020, 07:38:38 am »
A friend as multiples of top end road and mountain bikes. $$$

Keep your eye on the used market, as many get into the hobby, many leave the hobby. You might find what you need that way.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2020, 07:55:23 am »
I think that it is because we have grown out of a mad monk squad cottage industry to a life-style industry.  Early adopters had to bootstrap themselves.  We were happy with much simpler setups because that was all that was possible.  Today, there is so much cool gear that a newbie can find himself/herself overwhelmed by options. I think about the options for a brew stove when I started.  We had the jet engine-style turkey fryers that were a pipe and an orifice and the Superb PC-100 30K BTU ringer burner-based stove.  Most of us chose the Superb PC-100 because one could get 10 to 12 batches out a of 20lb propane tank with that stove if one used one's house range for mashing. The PC-100 is the stove that John Palmer references during his early brewing.
Your life-style comment rings very true to me. I regularly see people selling thousands of dollars of shiny stainless only used a few times. It’s clear some people build out very nice high capacity systems only to find they don’t like brewing as much as they thought they would (I guess).

The old ways are still available. BIAB can be especially low cost.

Online Megary

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2020, 08:43:21 am »
I think that it is because we have grown out of a mad monk squad cottage industry to a life-style industry.  Early adopters had to bootstrap themselves.  We were happy with much simpler setups because that was all that was possible.  Today, there is so much cool gear that a newbie can find himself/herself overwhelmed by options. I think about the options for a brew stove when I started.  We had the jet engine-style turkey fryers that were a pipe and an orifice and the Superb PC-100 30K BTU ringer burner-based stove.  Most of us chose the Superb PC-100 because one could get 10 to 12 batches out a of 20lb propane tank with that stove if one used one's house range for mashing. The PC-100 is the stove that John Palmer references during his early brewing.
Your life-style comment rings very true to me. I regularly see people selling thousands of dollars of shiny stainless only used a few times. It’s clear some people build out very nice high capacity systems only to find they don’t like brewing as much as they thought they would (I guess).

The old ways are still available. BIAB can be especially low cost.

Other than kegs (which I only bought after I realized I was "all in"), I have spent peanuts on brewing.

Offline denny

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2020, 08:46:19 am »
I think that it is because we have grown out of a mad monk squad cottage industry to a life-style industry.  Early adopters had to bootstrap themselves.  We were happy with much simpler setups because that was all that was possible.  Today, there is so much cool gear that a newbie can find himself/herself overwhelmed by options. I think about the options for a brew stove when I started.  We had the jet engine-style turkey fryers that were a pipe and an orifice and the Superb PC-100 30K BTU ringer burner-based stove.  Most of us chose the Superb PC-100 because one could get 10 to 12 batches out a of 20lb propane tank with that stove if one used one's house range for mashing. The PC-100 is the stove that John Palmer references during his early brewing.
Your life-style comment rings very true to me. I regularly see people selling thousands of dollars of shiny stainless only used a few times. It’s clear some people build out very nice high capacity systems only to find they don’t like brewing as much as they thought they would (I guess).

The old ways are still available. BIAB can be especially low cost.

Other than kegs (which I only bought after I realized I was "all in"), I have spent peanuts on brewing.

THIS^^^^  Expensive equipment is something you want, not need.  If you truly want to brew it can be done on a shoestring.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2020, 09:04:54 am »
I think that it is because we have grown out of a mad monk squad cottage industry to a life-style industry.  Early adopters had to bootstrap themselves.  We were happy with much simpler setups because that was all that was possible.  Today, there is so much cool gear that a newbie can find himself/herself overwhelmed by options. I think about the options for a brew stove when I started.  We had the jet engine-style turkey fryers that were a pipe and an orifice and the Superb PC-100 30K BTU ringer burner-based stove.  Most of us chose the Superb PC-100 because one could get 10 to 12 batches out a of 20lb propane tank with that stove if one used one's house range for mashing. The PC-100 is the stove that John Palmer references during his early brewing.
Your life-style comment rings very true to me. I regularly see people selling thousands of dollars of shiny stainless only used a few times. It%u2019s clear some people build out very nice high capacity systems only to find they don%u2019t like brewing as much as they thought they would (I guess).

The old ways are still available. BIAB can be especially low cost.

Other than kegs (which I only bought after I realized I was "all in"), I have spent peanuts on brewing.

THIS^^^^  Expensive equipment is something you want, not need.  If you truly want to brew it can be done on a shoestring.

Indeed.  I am still brewing on my stovetop.  I do not own a turkey fryer or kegs or CO2 or a kettle bigger than 4 gallons or a chiller or a fermentation fridge or a robot or.........

It can be dirt cheap.  I'm even more "pragmatic" than Denny.  Yet somehow I still make good beer, which occasionally even wins awards & accolades.  My roggenbier turned out pretty dang fantastic.  If there was any left and any competitions, if I had enough, I'd gladly send it in, however I think I only have one bottle left, it disappeared quick.  That's the sign of (1) a good beer, (2) a very small batch (also true!), or (3) both.
Dave

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 11:37:38 am »
If money were a big factor and I were like Mark, starting back from scratch, I would go with one of the less expensive urn-style 5 gallon set ups and a 400 micron brew bag.  That covers mashing and boiling and, coupled with a bucket to ferment in, pretty much gets you back into it.  The more money I had to throw at it, I would consider a larger urn-style, BIAB and 240 V system with a manual hoist.

If really pressed to spend as little as anything, I'd go stove top and small batch, passing the mash and wort through a colander into the boil pot.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 12:42:35 pm »
One of the reasons it would be a bigger investment for you, is because you are experienced. You can certainly start with stovetop brewing and extract brews, but you've evolved past that at this point. I grew piecemeal from stovetop extract, bottles and a sink ice bath; to stovetop BIAB, then added kegs, a mash cooler, fermentation chamber, kegerator, Foundry, etc. over the years as I got more invested in the hobby. If I had to start all over, I'd want all my gear from the beginning. It would be a much bigger investment on a per annum basis, compared to adding it over the course of 8 years or so.
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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 05:54:56 pm »
There's also been inflation in the past 30 years  ;)

There is a lot of stuff out there to spend money on, that's for sure.  Some are more expensive, but there are also some serious bargains.  An all in one electric system for $400 and a few plastic bottles to ferment in is a damn good deal.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Expensive to restart from scratch
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 09:01:52 pm »
That's just the facts of life brother. Things today are more expensive than in the day. I retired from a 40 year career in radio recently and during that career my personal music consumption followed my professional path... vinyl segued to CDs and CDs to digital files. This past year I began to return to vinyl and albums that originally cost my $6 are now $32. Turntables that once set me back $40 are now $400. Welcome to the 21st century.
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