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Old 11-22-2012, 03:07 AM   #1
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Default How many of you have brewed steadily for years on a budget brewery?

Though I have brewed off and on since the early 90's, it wasn't until a few years ago that I got into brewing hard and heavy. Within a few months I was brewing all-grain, had a kegerator, and the whole nine yards. The problem was that once I felt that I had mastered brewing (was able to make beer that I thought tasted as good as store bought) I started to lose interest.

In addition to losing interest, I also packed on the pounds from consuming my product. This ultimately lead to me selling my entire brewery and moving on to another hobby. So here I am 3 years later with the urge to brew again. I've started to amass my brewery, but this time around I'm planning to keep it simple; no expensive equipment, no kegerator, just good beer on a budget.

Since I've been back lurking around this forum the last month I've noticed others selling their brewery set ups in the classified section and can't help but wonder if they are getting out of brewing for similar reasons as mine a few years ago. Did they get into the hobby hot and heavy only to burn out fast?

So I ask you, is it possible to think that I can start brewing again on a steady basis (1-2 batches on hand at any given time) and not get consumed with building the bigger better brewery or am I just fooling myself?

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:10 AM   #2
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That depends entirely on you.

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:17 AM   #3
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Depends on what you mean by bigger better...I have a 10 gallon round cooler, turkey burner and a keggle. I also have a two tap kegerator and two chest freezers. one for lagering and the other for conditioning my kegs. I think I make very good beer. If your not lagering, I guess you could live with one freezer, but that's it...What am I saying, you don't need any freezers.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:38 AM   #4
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You know how you are and how you obsess, so no one can say how it might be for you. But, it is absolutely possible to make good beer without all the bells and whistles. I started out in 1979 with a Zappap and a couple pots and am still at it. It's only the last several years I have got 2 conicals and 2 walk-ins and a single tier HERMS, 2 freezers and a fridge and a dedicated room to brew in All this has not made me burned out, but rather has made me thankful. Call me blessed and obsessed if you will, but it's not the goodies that makes the beer, it's the nut behind the paddle...
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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I have a cooler, 8 gal pot, burner and 4 carboys. I do ag at least once a month. so id say yes and i've been brewing since 93 and im still using the same gear i had back then
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #6
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I've only been at this for four years and aside from building a kegerator I'm using the same equipment I had three years ago. A 10gallon Igloo cooler, a 15 gallon aluminum pot, two buckets, two carboys and a cheap immersion chiller.

I did have to buy a new bucket last year when the bottom of one of the old ones cracked. I am looking at buying a grain mill though - still looking as it would be the most expensive piece of gear for my set up. Hoping to find one on craigslist one of these days.

The kegerator was by far the most expensive thing I put together and that was with a free refrigerator and lots of craigslist finds.

Doing this hobby inexpensively is possible, you just need to take your time when assembling your setup. Obviously going the cheapest way is not always the need to get maximum value on your budget.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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Stovepot BIAB, simple, fast and cheap AG setup. No real need to upgrade anything, just amass free bottles here and there.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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4 yrs - still brewing with just a mash tun, turkey burner, & 2 kettles. (a couple heatsticks in the winter) No plans to spend anymore money. although an all electric brewery would be sweet.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #9
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4 years in. BIAB. 1 9 gallon pot, bag, turkey burner, 2 fermenting buckets, used wine cooler for ferm chamber, 2 kegs with picnic taps, immersion chiller and used fridge from Habitat for Humanity to keep kegs cold.

The 9 gallon SS pot was the most expensive thing I bought at $70 shipped from Bayou classic.

This year I have only bought AG kits that are on sale. Usually from AHS or BMW when he would run the recipe of the month. This saved a lot of money and took the stress off of what to brew next. They were picking it for me. Kinda fun to try beers I normally wouldn't because of what was on sale at the time. May do it again this year but beer recipes I don't like I will try one out of Brewing Classic Styles.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #10
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I get by with and am happy with the following basic stuff. I have a good pipeline built up don't see the need for anything more
50 qt. mash tun.
10 gallon aluminum pot.
2 5 gallon SS pots
A fermenter
A bottling bucket
A propane burner
Caps and a capper.
Some odds and ends.


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