Equipment Advice

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1bottlerocket

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Hello All,

I've been brewing in buckets, using liquid extract, partial grain mash, and DME for the past couple of years. I am looking to upgrade my brewing equipment so I can take things out of the kitchen. The plan is to invest in some quality fermenters, as well. The Spike conicals look super nice.

Space is a consideration for me and I have been looking at the Brew Tools B80 and Grain Father setups. I also checked out the Spike website and priced a Spike trio system with fermenters, and glycol chiller. I am a homebrewer but I am looking to begin selling beer at festivals eventually. I already have a tax license to sell beer and wine.

What would you guys recommend?
 

Culinarytracker

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You're talking about quite a significant jump in equipment. I guess it all really comes down to budget. If I were doing an upgrade and money was no object I would be all in with Spike conicals, glycol, and either a 1 or 3 vessel system.
 

madscientist451

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Thats great that you can sell homebrew at festivals. No way we can do that here.
You mention that space is a consideration, what size batches do you want to brew/ferment?
How much are you going to spend? How much profit per year is this going to bring in?
What is your time frame to see a return on your investment?
How much space do you have?
Are you bottling or kegging?
That Spike system looks great, but its also pretty expensive.
Fermenters with Glycol cooling are also going to be expensive and take up some space.
Beyond making wort and fermenting, you have to look at the packaging process and decide how you are going to store your inventory.
If you are on a tight budget you can ferment in kegs and then do closed transfers to serving kegs.
If your brewing venture is successful, you can upgrade to expensive brewing gear later and you can still use the kegs.
 
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1bottlerocket

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Thats great that you can sell homebrew at festivals. No way we can do that here.
You mention that space is a consideration, what size batches do you want to brew/ferment?
How much are you going to spend? How much profit per year is this going to bring in?
What is your time frame to see a return on your investment?
How much space do you have?
Are you bottling or kegging?
That Spike system looks great, but its also pretty expensive.
Fermenters with Glycol cooling are also going to be expensive and take up some space.
Beyond making wort and fermenting, you have to look at the packaging process and decide how you are going to store your inventory.
If you are on a tight budget you can ferment in kegs and then do closed transfers to serving kegs.
If your brewing venture is successful, you can upgrade to expensive brewing gear later and you can still use the kegs.
We are brewing 5-10 gallon (20-40l) batches at the moment. We are looking for a dedicated space to rent so that we can brew but so far everything we make is out of our apartments and we boil on the balcony.

We don't mind spending more to get quality equipment that will last over the long haul and that we can grow into. I guess I am wondering if there are any advantages to a three-vessel system as opposed to a single vessel system like the Brew Tools. They are both pretty expensive, to be sure.

We manage to make about 5-8k for a full weekend of work (Friday-Sunday). There are four main festivals we attend each year. When you factor in the time we work it is not like we are making money to pay ourselves, it is a hobby we do out of enjoyment. We all have day jobs. Everything we make goes right back into our little club.

We were bottling but we are now kegging everything and pressure carbonating.

The idea is that we would store in kegs and the Spike tanks but we usually time our brew days around the festival schedules so we don't store a lot
 
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Sophist73

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I brew BIAB, and I recently purchased Anvil kettle and fermenter. Great quality stuff at great prices, so wanted to recommend.
 
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