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Old 11-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #1
Sep 2009
Posts: 41

Hey guys!

So Hurricane Sandy hit me pretty hard last week. I lost all of my brewing equipment that was in my basement which completely flooded. The only thing that I saved was a plate chiller and a 5 gallon glass carboy that happened to be on my first floor.

I started out brewing extract and recently moved to brewing all grain using an 10g all grain cooler kit from Midwest supplies. I enjoyed the all grain experience and originally had no plans upgrade my equipment but in light of my recent equipment lose I am thinking about purchasing a new complete all grain brewing system with all stainless steel pots and maybe even going to a RIMS system. (if I can afford)

My budget is around $2500, give or take. I am living in an apartment in Hoboken, NJ, I don't have a garage so any system I get will need to be able to fit down my basement stairs and be able to be pulled out my basements back door where i have a 18ft x 12ft concrete patio with outdoor hose. I would also like to be able to brew 10g batches and big gravity beers.

I would like to purchase a system complete and ready to go, I don't mind assembly or doing some smaller DIY projects to get what I want, but building a complete RIMS system from scratch is out of question/skill set.

Anyone have a recommendation on what I can best do with $2,500 budget give or take.

One system I saw online is below, any other ideas? Is this a good value?

Any recommendations on how to spend $2500 would be great! I would be happy to send a sample of my first brew on the new system to whoever helps me out!

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
Jan 2010
Missoula, Montana
Posts: 328
Liked 54 Times on 37 Posts

Sorry to hear about your basement & brewing system. Glad to hear you're getting back on your feet so quickly!

One thing that jumped out at me...propane in your basement might not be the wisest of ideas. Carbon monoxide is a common byproduct of propane burning and if you don't have great ventilation, it can kill you. Definitely something to consider. (Nevermind, I missed the part about your patio, derp...still, consider it in your placement.)

As for the system, I think you would get more for your money by doing everything yourself, farming out things like welding and such if you have to. You'll get more for your money that way, since you're not paying a retailer's markup and their labor costs in building a system. It can also be customized to your specific needs/space/brewing style/etc. There are a lot of design options - look at the "show me your rig" thread for a lot of great ideas. Then again, that Sabco looks like a decent system for the price....but I think you could do a similar system a bit cheaper the DIY route. I considered it heavily, but there were some things I wanted to do differently, so a custom build was my best bet.

One suggestion, just having gone down this path recently is to make sure your budget accounts for 10-20% of unforeseen costs as well as shipping expenses. I can't even tell you how many "dang, I need this" moments I had when building my system, and I didn't even build a real stand! Even though I planned most everything out, there were still a number of things I didn't think of.

Good luck!

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Old 11-09-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
TrubDog's Avatar
Oct 2011
Cle Elum, WA
Posts: 392
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

Expensive and sophisticated brewing equipment doesn't necessarily equate to great beer. I'm more in the Denny Conn camp and use a DIY Rubbermaid cooler, a 10 gal SS brew kettle, a 5 gal HLT and a Bayou Classic propane burner. Add a BC and a nice IC and I am in it for about $400. Good recipes, good ingredients and good brewing practices make some pretty amazing beer.

But hey, in the end its only money, right?

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:06 AM   #4
FATC1TY's Avatar
May 2012
Atlanta Area, GA
Posts: 1,615
Liked 141 Times on 114 Posts

Grab a SS kettle from Amazon, and a SP-10 burner. Get 2 rubbermaid 10g cooler and convert them. 1 into a mash tun, and the other into a HLT.

Build a table/stand for them, and you are set. Could add a pump if you don't want to hand transfer anything, but it would all be portable, and easy to use, and inexpensive and reliable to start with.
Bubba's Backyard Brewery

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:32 AM   #5
45_70sharps's Avatar
Sep 2012
Raymond, Washington
Posts: 1,807
Liked 172 Times on 141 Posts

I couldn't agree with the others more.
Get a good brew pot, a propane burner if you have a place to fire it up outside, an electric setup if you can't use propane.
Buy a mash tun or make it, get a mill and some grain storage. Maybe build a stir plate and get an oxygenating system.
With some of the extra money build a kegorator and some ingredients.

Keep a grand of your leftover money for whatever cool things you think you will need like kegs, beer gun or whatever.
Let's see if I keep this updated!

On tap
Black Butte clone

In secondary
Pumpkin ale

In primary
Honey wit

Up next.. Firestone Union Jack clone

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:34 AM   #6
jammin's Avatar
Jun 2011
Meridian, ID
Posts: 2,195
Liked 428 Times on 318 Posts

Get a controller from high gravity brew and a nice kettle from
Brew hardware.

High grav has sweet controllers for electric and bobby sells kettle primed for ebrewing.

Make a simple BIAB kit that is automated. That would be efficient and user friendly. It would also leave room in the budget to splurge on brewing gadgets/accessories.

Good luck

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
Nov 2010
Madison, WI
Posts: 180
Liked 17 Times on 14 Posts

I bought a 70 qt cooler and KAB-4 burner (>200k btu for when I want to step to larger batches) for about $125 on amazon, delivered yesterday. Next is a large enough boiling kettle and I'll be brewing over the Thanksgiving holiday for between $200 and $250 in additions to my existing equip. Add ALL the basic equipment like fermenting buckets, vinator, instruments, etc and you can be back in business for $500-700 pretty easily. That leaves a lot for a stand, 2nd burner, pump, bottles, kegs, tricking out your bk, fridge for lagering, etc... Unless you are just dying to buy one or are challenged by the technical side of DIY, they're available, but there are much more economical options. Whatever you decide on, hope you enjoy ag brewing.

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
Gear101's Avatar
Nov 2010
Posts: 2,068
Liked 74 Times on 69 Posts

Uses very little space, runs on power and is all in one unit. 20L is about 1700 usd and gives you enough money left over to by all the other things needed. I'm planning on getting a 50L when the euro/usd change at the exchange.
Island Time Brewery
Black Caesar Imperial Stout by Island Time Brewery
Islamorada Pale Ale by Island Time Brewery

Stainless is Painless

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:33 PM   #9
Oct 2011
Posts: 257
Liked 31 Times on 24 Posts

If you're looking for a pre-made system, I'd recommend: - or make something similar at home, if you're handy.
This isn't a beer belly, It's a fuel tank for a love machine.

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Old 11-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
mikescooling's Avatar
Jan 2012
Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,007
Liked 270 Times on 204 Posts

I like Brinkman "tower of power" if I had the cash, thats what I'd buy.

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