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Old 04-22-2013, 02:25 AM   #1
Adaman05
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Default Set-up and start-up cost ideas

Hello HBTers,

I'm posting on behalf of my friend. He is an owner of a property and would like to turn it into a social club with a heavy emphasis on homebrewing to attract members. We have some questions for you. He'd like to get into elecrirc brewing and have an above-average setup, but still keep costs manageable. Any advice would be appreciated. Looking at how to move this project forward and at projected costs.

**Disclaimer: My friend is not looking to turn a profit on this property, but would be content to break even on such an endeavor.

My friend would like the club to:

1) Be set up for a higher quality homebrew experience than most people get initially
2) Have the capacity for 10 gallon batches. 15 gallons is preferable.
3) Have the capacity to keg batches.
4) And the reason I'm posting here...he would like it to be electric, of which, I have no experience. My friend is thinking something like this, but not as expensive (if possible): http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/

Again, I'm looking for tips, advice, and pricing information.

Thanks in advance, fellow HBTers ,
Adam

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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Putting the control panel aside for a moment, what type of brew system does he want? Does he want to do a 3-vessel HERMS like Kal's? RIMS? 2-vessel BRUTUS? Single vessel BIAB?

Is he looking to build or buy?

Yes, one can spend less than what it would take to build or buy one of Kal's panels, but it depends upon the system you want and the features/functions you want or can omit.

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Old 04-22-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Your looking at around 2 grand just for the brew rig to start. And that's using kegs 15.5 gal sanke kegs. Blichmans would run that up another grand or so. Kegging would run you another grand if your starting with nothing and want a four to six tap kegerator with some extra kegs for reserve. Conical fermenters would run about a grand each or 10 carboys for about 400 for you want multiple batch capacity. Four 6.5gal primaries and six primaries should be enough to get startwd

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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you gave us some details, but there is quite a bit more to consider. will you be doing one batch at a time? back-to-back?

combine this with what jeff was asking as there are many other things to also consider.

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Old 04-24-2013, 05:20 AM   #5
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Hey guys,

First post, I am the friend Adam posted for. Thanks for the replies. When it comes to brewing there are so many options, and I really don't know what I want to do. All I know is I want brewing to be a part of my club, and I want Adam to be my brew master. I can tell you a bit more about where I am at with the property.

This is an old building I bought last summer as an investment foreclosure to fix up. Downstairs is 2500 square feet. Upstairs is an 1100 sq ft apartment. Downstairs is currently split into 2 units. I am making a "man cave" with my friends in mind on one side (1200 sq ft.) We always talked about renting a space for a social club. Now we are in our 30s with nice jobs and some extra money. Also, we have wives that don't want us to have our friends over and trash the house. So there will be Lots of TVs, pool table, darts, a bar and a home brew set up. My friends seem all about it now, and have agreed to help pay monthly. But I am worried about it working out and how long it will last, as I am ultimately the owner and will incur most of the expenses. Will we really use it enough? Will people get tired of it? Will I get an offer I can't refuse and have to sell the place? Will I get sick of it, and decide that Id rather make money instead of (probably) losing money? Or will people really like it and pay their share? Maybe I'll make a few new friends who will become members, and I'll end up doing alright financially on something I enjoy.

As far as brewing I don't want to go cheap but I don't know where to stop. I don't know if I want to spend $5k-$10k to get a nice set up. What is the resale market like on these systems? If I were to buy a nice used set up, have things not work out, and sell it in a year how much would I lose? I would feel much better about a big purchase if I were assured it would not depreciate significantly. Here are a couple systems I am looking at you could comment on as an example:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/fo...ic.php?t=26320
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Beer-Brewi...item4172917053

Sorry for going on and on. I hope I didn't break this forum's etiquette in any way. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks,

-Matt

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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As far as selling the equipment goes, look at the classified section here and craigslist. Also, check for a homebrew club in your area. If theres usually some homebrewing stuff for sale and you have one or more decent sized clubs nearby, you can assume theres a good amount of interest in homebrewing so it'll probably be easier to sell it. In my area, theres not much interest, so it took forever to sell my first system.

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Old 04-26-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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If you intend to let others brew on this setup then I would highly recommend you make it as safe and robust as possible for liability reasons.

As others have stated some idea on the process you want to use too needs to be figured out first. Let the system follow the brewing process you want to use, not the other way around. To do this you need to know how to brew first. Do you have any brewing experience yourself? If not, I'd suggest starting with reading certain sections of various books like "How to Brew" by Palmer and go from there.

You're going to have to know how to use the setup you build or buy inside and out before you let others use it too as there will be questions.

Kal

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. We decided to dial it back from a nano to a homebrew set up for 10-15 gal batches. Going to have s turkey friar setup and a keezer kegging system. Need to get our hands on some carboys, mash tuns, and kettles.

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Old 04-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #9
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HEADS UP:

From your previous posts it sounds like you want to brew indoors. Keep in mind that doing proper ventilation for brewing with gas indoors will likely cost you more than the entire brewing setup.

I've spoken to many customers who considered doing this but when they gave their gas BTU specs and other information to inspectors, they were shocked at the venting and make-up air requirements for brewing indoors with gas.

I'll quote some information from my website:

Quote:
One of the fundamental reasons why we chose electric over gas is that it is considerably easier to vent an indoor brewery safely when electricity is used to heat. Unlike conventional gas burners where heat is applied from below, an immersed electric heating element is 100% efficient as all of the heat is transferred to the surrounding liquid. With a gas burner 50-80% of the heat bounces off the bottom of the kettle and is lost. More heat must therefore be produced.

Due to the extra heat and poisonous gases that must be removed, the ventilation requirements are considerably higher with a gas brewery as compared to electric. John Blichmann wrote an article for the November 2012 issue of BYO magazine that summarized ventilation requirements as follows:

- Electric based brewery: Divide the element size (in watts) by 17.6 to obtain the required CFM (cubic feet per minute). In our case we use a 5500W element in our boil kettle. 5500 / 17.6 = 312 CFM. We therefore require a fan that can move a minimum of 312 CFM in order to ventilate our electric brewery properly. Fans this size are readily available and reasonably inexpensive.

- Gas based brewery: Divide the burner’s BTU/hour rating by 30. Because of the inefficiencies, a 80,000 BTU burner produces approximately the same amount of heat in the kettle as a 5500W element. 80,000 / 30 = 2666 CFM. We would therefore require a fan that can move 2666 CFM in order to ventilate a gas setup properly. A fan this size is not readily available. A commercial restaurant exhaust fan is likely required.

Because of the enormous ventilation requirements of a gas based brewery (12.5 times higher than an equivalent electric setup), an indoor gas brewery is not easily achievable. It requires a massive amount of air evacuation as well as an equally substantial make-up air system. Large fans with ducting larger than 16" in diameter may be required, making safe indoor gas brewing very expensive. It is not uncommon for the ventilation and make-up air system of a gas based indoor brewery to cost more than the brewing setup itself.
Link: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ventilation

So just a heads up. Speak to the governing bodies that you need to talk to regarding setting up this indoor gas brewery before you start buying equipment. This'll help you know what's needed and the costs up front. Plan ahead.

I know a lot of propane/natural gas homebrewers use their burners in enclosed areas but it's one thing to be putting yourself at risk in the privacy of your own home, and something else completely when you do it in a shared/public/commercial building.

Kal
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #10
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Good points. We will have to run the turkey frier in the parking lot. I have been getting many warnings about the legality of what I want to do, which is one of the reasons I decided to dial it back. I don't want to have to explain brewing (or beer) at all to the city. They will start asking questions about revenue models, and I could be in trouble if beer is found to be related.

I think brewing can't be the focus of this space. It won't be advertised, just an activity we do.

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