Cost Comparisons - What won’t screw me in the long run

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TrevHTX

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Hey everyone!

It’s about that time of year to upgrade my homebrew setup. I’ve been running a cooler mash/lauter and fly sparge system for close to a year now, and I feel like it’s time to upgrade the works.

I’m sticking to my 3-vessel design I currently have, so I’m starting to look into building the kettle, mash tun and HLT from old kegs bought off craigslist (as I’ve seen many home brewers do). I also plan on buying extra equipment such as a couple wort pumps, better sparge arms, etc.

While doing my research into how much it would cost to build the equipment (drill bits and a saw to cut out the top of the keg, along with weldless fittings) I thought that the cost to build all the equipment might not save me as much money as I’d hoped.

I looked up the SS Brewtech 10-gallon all-inclusive brewing system (I’ll attach a link below) and the savings on all the equipment seemed worthwhile than actually building all the vessels myself, so I’ve started to consider whether or not I should go with a package deal setup.

I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts and experiences with this! After I’ve purchased these upgrades I plan on fitting a RIMS system to the Mashtun, so that will be a factor.

SS Brewtech 10-gallon system:

https://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/10-gal-ss-brew-kit-all-grain

Here’s a picture of a setup from a local brewery that I’ve considered copying:
IMG_0248.JPG
 
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System upgrades are always exciting to plan for! Not sure if you've seen our offerings yet but we have a couple options for truly turn key electric options. Our systems come with everything needed to brew as well as step by step assembly and use guides. We have a ton of hobby brewers as well as commercial brewers using our systems. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out!

https://spikebrewing.com/pages/spike-systems
 

cmac62

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I would look on Craig's list, offer up and other such sites as there is always someone who is selling brewing systems. I recently purchased a More Beer tippy dump system for half the price of a new one. Also a friend bought a single tear three vessel system with pumps, kettles and everything for under $1000. You might get lucky and find someone really motivated. Good luck. :ban:
 

RPh_Guy

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It’s about that time of year to upgrade my homebrew setup. I’ve been running a cooler mash/lauter and fly sparge system for close to a year now, and I feel like it’s time to upgrade the works.
What are the issues with your current system?
 
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TrevHTX

TrevHTX

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What are the issues with your current system?
No issues with the current system, just hoping to upgrade all the works and make everything a little more streamlined. Hopefully increase efficiency while I’m at it.
 

doug293cz

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No issues with the current system, just hoping to upgrade all the works and make everything a little more streamlined. Hopefully increase efficiency while I’m at it.
Don't expect newer, shinier equipment to necessarily improve your efficiency. It the new system has lower dead/undrainable volume in the MLT and BK you should see a small increase in efficiency. A "better" sparge arm likely won't make any difference (unless your current sparge water addition method is really awful.) If your current system has a braid in the bottom of the MLT, getting a good false bottom on the new system should also give a bit of efficiency improvement.

Brew on :mug:
 

augiedoggy

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^ what he said... I use a el cheapo bayou classic kettle MT with false bottom which has 3 gallons of space under it... since I recirculate at a very slow speed thru my rims (1.5-1.8gpm) the "deadspace" doesnt matter..The slow flow also helps prevent mixing and channeling which I believe is the weakpoint in most systems using the oversized 7gpm pumps for this. I also avoid compacting the grainbed and average 91% brewhouse efficiency over the last 4 years or so. I havent used my home system at all this year due to opening a brewpub and now brewing on a scaled up 3bbl version of my homebrewing setup where we get 85% average. (although I just had a new FB made which should help here)

I started with a homemade keggle and a igloo cooler.. worked very well but then I caught the bling bug and the engineer in me was never satisfied so my system kept evolving as I learned.
 

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