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Old 02-13-2007, 12:59 PM   #1
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
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Feb 2006
Honolulu, HI
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I want to hear it all. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the really obsurd.

I started this thread here, because AG-ers usually require and have accumulated the most equipment. I know there's some of us who are going bare-bones and some who have spent a small fortune.

Add it all up - basic equip, mills, stands, burners, pots, coolers, kegerators, etc.

Here's where I'm at:
Basic kit + small odds and ends - $150
CFC - $60
Turkey fryer - $30
3 converted kegs - $150
homemade brew sculpture - $50
kegging equip - $250

Total = $690

My next project is building a kegerator. Then I'll be done. I promise!

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:09 PM   #2
Ó Flannagáin
Registered User
Jan 2007
Wichita Falls, Tx
Posts: 2,998
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About $400 so far, just getting all my equipment and my first 5 brew's worth of ingredients.

But, its cool, I now have practically everything I need... 3 fermenters, 1 bottling bucket, Giant mixing spoon, 4 gallon stainless steel pot, 7 gallon stainless steel pot, turkey fryer, bottler, bottles, hoses and plenty of caps, homemade 10 gal mash tun. +shipping to Germany.

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:31 PM   #3
Big Al
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Feb 2007
Posts: 176
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About $400 so far in equipment and ingredients. Would have been much less if I knew what I was doing out of the box. Now I have 1 5 Gal Glass carboy, 1 6 Gal Better Beer carboy, 2 3 Gal Glass Carboys, 1 1 Gal Glass carboy (for mead) and lots of other miscellaneous items.

Actually this works out well as now I can have 2 5 Gal brews going and 2 3 Gal brews where I can play mad scientist!

Who knows how much money I'll end up spending when I get into AG brewing!

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:31 PM   #4
Apr 2005
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three tier heavy duty stand outfitted with 20 gallon kettle / 20 gallon hlt / and 15 gallon mlt: $400
5 kegs: free
3 taps: $60
fridge: free x2
cboys: $220
Refrac: $35
Co2 5 lb: free
grain mill: $100
misc pieces parts: $200

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:40 PM   #5
Aug 2006
Traverse City, MI
Posts: 308
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I would say that my girlfriend and I have spent probably close to $550-600 on everything.

-Starter kit was ~$80.
-Misc. tools not in starter kit that have helped me, ~$50.
-Keg Starter kit with 10lb C02, $200.
-Sanyo 4912, $170.
-2 Cornies, $50.

Guess its a good thing that I don't have many hobbies, haha.

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
rdwj's Avatar
Jun 2006
Plainfield, IL
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I don't want to do this excercise because I don't want to have the ability to answer the question accurately next time SWMBO asks
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:46 PM   #7
Vendor and Brewer
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Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
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Hey. You're not allowed to ask for total costs. I don't recall who said it recently but if we publish this info, SWMBO will google something totally random and find those figures here. Oh well, I thought denial would work.

Some of my biggest purchases occured pretty recently but you have to also account for some of the little incremental things like another carboy here, new funnel there.

$112 Crankandstein grain mill
$100 6 Corny kegs
$52 20lb CO2 tank
$70 Primary + 3-secondary regulators
$110 Keggle (includes keg and costs to convert)
$40 50lb sack of two-row

and probably about $200 in random parts from for DIY gadgetry that may or may not have been built.

In general, I don't buy anything new. If I can find it used, I buy it. If I can make it for a little less than buying new, I DIY for the learning experience.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:00 PM   #8
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Aug 2006
South Jersey
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Rough equipment estimates:

Original kit: $75
Original brew kettle: $35
Miscellaneous equipment (extra airlocks, carboy accessories, etc.): $50
Mash tun (including hardware): $50
New brew kettle: $42
Burner: $40
Propane tank: $40

Total: $332

I'm sure there's a bit more that I'm forgetting, but it's not too shabby!
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:09 PM   #9
Jan 2007
Bozeman, MT
Posts: 165

There is a certain pride in finding better for cheaper and, ultimately, fabricating or fashioning your own components, and I think I did alright when I moved up to AG brewing.

5 gal HLT and 10 gal MLT = $55 total
SS hardware for each = free (from a friend, for the cost of a six-pack)
2 ball valves (the only parts I couldn't score from contractor friend) = $15
vinyl tubing for HLT & MLT = $4
wort chiller = $45

Prior to that...
8 gal brewpot = $40
burner = $40 (a turker fryer set-up would have been cheaper)
two carboys, primary/bottling bucket = $65
misc supplies (spoon, racking cane, bottle filler, airlocks/stoppers, thermometers, hydrometer, etc., etc., etc.) = ~$50-60
yeast-related things = $25

Total equipment = $350

Ongoing costs (besides ingredients)...
water filtration (but it's not just for brewing, obviously)
bottle caps
my guess is that this adds about $7-9 per batch to cost of ingredients

And if we are really adding it all up, then we have to add in our time.

But who really cares? I know what I've spent and feel like I paid good, fair prices for what I got when I needed it. I could probably have done better, but I'm happy with what I got and got it when I wanted it. But beyond all that, this is just too much fun. If I didn't homebrew, I'd *buy* more beer and still find ways to blow money.

But for the ledger-keepers, it's nice to be able to say that *all* equipment pays for itself after five batches (relative to the cost of retail microbrew) and that AG brewing comes down to less than 50¢ per bottle (for most recipes).

On the wish list...
a grain mill,
a fridge set up for better lagering
another carboy or two
not sure about kegging yet...maybe if I ever go bigger than five-gallon batches, but for now I like bottling

If/when I acquire all that, well, so much for that cost per bottle nonsense

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Old 02-13-2007, 04:13 PM   #10
10th-Level Beer Nerd
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May 2006
Adams, MA
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It's a hard question to answer in some ways.

Clearly, I have to include the $40 I spent on grain rollers from Yuri - but what about shipping on the beer I still owe him?

Clearly, I have to include the cost of the metal for the housing I'm building - but what about the 5/8" drill bit I had to buy to complete it?

What about the $50 I spent on a cheap new corded drill that I needed because said drill bit had a 1/2" shank, and my old drill was only 3/8", and I could neither find another 5/8" bit with that size shank nor return the one I bought, since I destroyed the packaging upon opening?

Difficult questions, all of these...
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