SS brewtech QC is awful now.

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MaxStout

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Except this isn't like buying something from eBay or Alibaba....this is a near-premium priced product purchased from a US vendor regardless of where it is made. They should unpack and inspect every one of them. Just because the factory is '10,000 miles away' doesn't mean the product isn't ever in their custody to check quality and accuracy. These are not drop-shipped from China direct to your door. Where it is made is not an excuse in this case.
Just because the product is "in their custody," doesn't mean that their QC will necessarily adhere to the specifications of the company contracting the fabrication. Unless the company that hired them demands 100% inspection (all units), and has that written into their contract language, the contractor will only spot check a small percentage before sending them out the door. Lots of goods go through somebody's "custody," yet many times they arrive as non-conforming goods. That is true, whether the distance is 10,000 or 10 miles. I agree, every unit should be inspected. And modern QC methods employ checks along the entire mfg process, not just a final inspection. Crappy welds, bad parts, damage, etc., should be caught in-process before it's shipped to the company. Then, the company should perform its own inspection of each unit that arrives into their inventory, before shipping it to the customer.

My point is not about "where it's made." This isn't a U.S. vs. China dichotomy. It's about the level of control a company has over the processes employed by the contract manufacturer. There are methods of monitoring contract mfrs, like ISO-9000 standards, audits, etc., but those may be out of the reach of most smaller companies. Total Quality Management requires trained eyes to watch throughout the entire process.
 
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Jako

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Do hope SS Brewtech paid for return shipping.
Yeah they have. But I haven't received any shipping information.

My other box has arrived everything in good order well boxed.

So bummed looking at all my parts not able to do anything. I talked to a old friend who said he could fix some of the damage. I'd be willing to make a deal with SS and buy discounted. I need more patience in my life and less projects
 
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Jako

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I've heard some shady practices about Brewtech from Alpha Brewing here in Lincoln, NE. Things happen, that's ok, just as long as they fix it and are genuinely interested in the problem. However I feel Brewtech customer support makes it difficult to get in contact with people.
Are you able to elaborate? Just certain. You can PM me if you don't want to post it on the thread.
 
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Jako

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Just because the product is "in their custody," doesn't mean that their QC will necessarily adhere to the specifications of the company contracting the fabrication. Unless the company that hired them demands 100% inspection (all units), and has that written into their contract language, the contractor will only spot check a small percentage before sending them out the door. Lots of goods go through somebody's "custody," yet many times they arrive as non-conforming goods. That is true, whether the distance is 10,000 or 10 miles. I agree, every unit should be inspected. And modern QC methods employ checks along the entire mfg process, not just a final inspection. Crappy welds, bad parts, damage, etc., should be caught in-process before it's shipped to the company. Then, the company should perform its own inspection of each unit that arrives into their inventory, before shipping it to the customer.

My point is not about "where it's made." This isn't a U.S. vs. China dichotomy. It's about the level of control a company has over the processes employed by the contract manufacturer. There are methods of monitoring contract mfrs, like ISO-9000 standards, audits, etc., but those may be out of the reach of most smaller companies. Total Quality Management requires trained eyes to watch throughout the entire process.
Great post. At lot to agree with.
 

TechFanMD

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Just because the product is "in their custody," doesn't mean that their QC will necessarily adhere to the specifications of the company contracting the fabrication. Unless the company that hired them demands 100% inspection (all units), and has that written into their contract language, the contractor will only spot check a small percentage before sending them out the door. Lots of goods go through somebody's "custody," yet many times they arrive as non-conforming goods. That is true, whether the distance is 10,000 or 10 miles. I agree, every unit should be inspected. And modern QC methods employ checks along the entire mfg process, not just a final inspection. Crappy welds, bad parts, damage, etc., should be caught in-process before it's shipped to the company. Then, the company should perform its own inspection of each unit that arrives into their inventory, before shipping it to the customer.

My point is not about "where it's made." This isn't a U.S. vs. China dichotomy. It's about the level of control a company has over the processes employed by the contract manufacturer. There are methods of monitoring contract mfrs, like ISO-9000 standards, audits, etc., but those may be out of the reach of most smaller companies. Total Quality Management requires trained eyes to watch throughout the entire process.
I do fully expect a company like this to have someone visually inspect every order before it gets shipped to a customer. For the price paid, this is a minimal expectation. Otherwise you might as well just buy it from somewhere cheap.
 
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Struggling to get a decent reply. I have sent a few emails but each reply hardly responds to what I said.

As it looks now I am waiting for my replacement (that I never asked for) while I try to get the customer service to reply to me and either refund me or acknowledge what I have said.
 

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Update on this.

Ss brewtech replied to my customer support request. This was sent a promotions box and missed by me.

I wasn't asked for more details or asked how I would like to proceed. A replacement was sent and I was asked to send the damaged one back.

Now I will have 2 fermenters to send back. Thought about just sticking with what I ordered but I don't trust the quality.
IMO, this is a difference between SS Brew Tech and Spike. The rep from Spike either asked me how I wanted to proceed, or informed me before something was sent out (as replacement). The largest item that needed addressing (on my CF10 order) was the chill coils. They wanted them back, and sent me a return ship label for use. Anything else was communicated clearly and addressed quickly and easily. It's why I'm on the cusp of ordering another (this would be #3) CF10 for use here.
 

MaxStout

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Struggling to get a decent reply. I have sent a few emails but each reply hardly responds to what I said.

As it looks now I am waiting for my replacement (that I never asked for) while I try to get the customer service to reply to me and either refund me or acknowledge what I have said.
You're going to have to ask them leading questions. Something that requires "yes" or "no" answers. It sucks having to do that but sometimes people need to be prodded to give the necessary answers. You shouldn't have to do ping pong with customer support.
 

The_CuRe

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Just helped a dear friend cook her 1st 1 BBL batch, she has an ss fermentor and it does not have any of this problems, its just pure beauty.
 

Brooothru

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Just helped a dear friend cook her 1st 1 BBL batch, she has an ss fermentor and it does not have any of this problems, its just pure beauty.
Don't mistake my position. I'm very satisfied with the features and performance of my SS Brewtech gear. The individual items do what they're supposed to do.

I've got a Brew Bucket, a Chronical, a Unitank and a glycol chiller, all obtained over a couple of years that mostly occurred before Covid interruptions. I use all of them and don't feel compelled to replace any of them with other brands, but some items were not up to the fit and finish out-of-the-box that I would have expected. Some concerns I corrected on my own, and some I've just decided to live with. But the equipment does everything it's supposed to do in the manner I'd hoped for and paid for. Any shortcomings stem from supply chain issues.

My complaints with SSBT are their QC oversight and their off-shore vendors, not over design, but fabrication. Otherwise I'm satisfied with the gear.
 

deuc224

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Just because the product is "in their custody," doesn't mean that their QC will necessarily adhere to the specifications of the company contracting the fabrication. Unless the company that hired them demands 100% inspection (all units), and has that written into their contract language, the contractor will only spot check a small percentage before sending them out the door. Lots of goods go through somebody's "custody," yet many times they arrive as non-conforming goods. That is true, whether the distance is 10,000 or 10 miles. I agree, every unit should be inspected. And modern QC methods employ checks along the entire mfg process, not just a final inspection. Crappy welds, bad parts, damage, etc., should be caught in-process before it's shipped to the company. Then, the company should perform its own inspection of each unit that arrives into their inventory, before shipping it to the customer.

My point is not about "where it's made." This isn't a U.S. vs. China dichotomy. It's about the level of control a company has over the processes employed by the contract manufacturer. There are methods of monitoring contract mfrs, like ISO-9000 standards, audits, etc., but those may be out of the reach of most smaller companies. Total Quality Management requires trained eyes to watch throughout the entire process.
This is so true. I just bought a spikes cf15 and no lie im impressed with the quality of work, very well made and no dust welds at all, you can tell they polish the dog s*$t out of it to make sure the welds are super smooth.

Now on the flipside, I just ordered and received something from China, if you order thru alibaba, you can pay an extra 50 bucks and monitor everything. The communication i had from them was superb and the item i ordered looks wise is extremely well made, ill dig deeper into it and clean it later this week and see what i can find wrong with it. I have 40 days to ship it back on their dime if im not happy with it, but so far, im elated with it, now let me give it a cleaning and see if i can find anything wrong with it.
 

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I’m not pissed enough to send it back (I finally got a UPS driver that was willing to deliver to my neighborhood after two tries. UPS drivers are allowed to decide that they don't want to deliver to your neighborhood because it's too dangerous) but I am pissed enough to pour some gas on this fire.

This is the recirculation manifold for the infusion mash tun. Nice dent we have there. There’s also a cracked weld on the bottom and all kinds of nasty tool marks on the bottom. The packaging was in pristine condition upon arrival, so this isn’t shipping damage. They shipped this trash and charged me 54 bucks for it. That said, none of that should affect the performance of the device. I’ll try it out this weekend. Still, come on! You charge a premium price, you need to deliver a premium product.

I think I’m done with SSbrewtech.
2EDC6B1D-FD82-4680-A5B7-8FB010FC06A2.jpeg
 

ChihuahuaTN

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I would definitely want to sent that chronicle BACK it looks nothing like mine. Having said that I have multiple SSBT brew buckets/ mash tons ect..... I have never had an issue with QC from my perspective. I am also hard on my gear generally in life and will continue to buy SSBT products. I have replaced o-rings and 2x digital temp gauges but thats about it and I brew every other weekend (over the last 3 years). SSBT has been very responsive to my emails and my requests to their credit. I am am sure QC has items that slip threw the cracks it happens. I have also had multiple unanswered emails from "American makers/fabricators" in the past few years. I hope your issue gets resolved......
 
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Jako

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You're going to have to ask them leading questions. Something that requires "yes" or "no" answers. It sucks having to do that but sometimes people need to be prodded to give the necessary answers. You shouldn't have to do ping pong with customer support.
Looks like I definitely need to. My fermenter never arrived today address was incorrect not my fault.

The blow off tube is welded crooked. Not sure if it's the design of the 10G fermenter but the butterfly valve can't be attached straight on the dump valve since it hits the leg of the fermenter. *Edit* I went to look at the butterfly valve on the website. Looks like I have it oriented wrong.

I hate to keep beating a dead horse at this point so I will just leave it at that for now. Just wanted to follow up as today I was expecting the replacement I never asked for.

My LHBS is a spike dealer so I stopped by to look at the spike fermenters. Worth the hour drive to the store and back. Thinking I will just place an order with them so we all win.
 
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My LHBS is a spike dealer so I stopped by to look at the spike fermenters. Worth the hour drive to the store and back. Thinking I will just place an order with them so we all win.
We'd love to hear back on how our fermenter stacks up against the competition!
 

oakbarn

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Years ago I worked for a major Oil Company.

We only used IBM computer equipment.

I got a Tape Backup that was bad. I had to send it back to be fixed. When I got it back, I tried to insert a tape cassette. The spindle was "UP" in side the machine. There was a lever on the front that controlled the spindle. I move the lever and the spindle went "Down" but now the lever blocked the entrance.
:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
We were also having about a 30% bad out of the box issues with PS2 computers. They switched to Dell and IBM lost a major customer (1000s of PCs about every 2 years).

A bad reputation and poor product control can kill a business.
 
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Jako

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Okay I need some honest advice. Second one arrived today. It's marginally better. At least the chilling coil arrived attached so no damage.

But am I being overly sensitive to the quality of welds and final finish? I will save the long story and me with awful grammar trying to explain it all once more. If I am being too picky let me know, it's hard to not become so emotionally invested in something so expensive.

I think the fermenters sit outside at one point or another before final packing. This thing is filthy and it arrived with some bird poop free of charge.

I added a picture of the blow off cane. I had the old fermenter mocked up and out in the living room. Every day I would see how crooked it was welded and driving myself mad I had to share.
 

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Jako

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Years ago I worked for a major Oil Company.

We only used IBM computer equipment.

I got a Tape Backup that was bad. I had to send it back to be fixed. When I got it back, I tried to insert a tape cassette. The spindle was "UP" in side the machine. There was a lever on the front that controlled the spindle. I move the lever and the spindle went "Down" but now the lever blocked the entrance.
:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
We were also having about a 30% bad out of the box issues with PS2 computers. They switched to Dell and IBM lost a major customer (1000s of PCs about every 2 years).

A bad reputation and poor product control can kill a business.
I am just thinking about all that work sending and resending messed up products over and over and over.

Are you still in the IT business?
 
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Jako

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Just helped a dear friend cook her 1st 1 BBL batch, she has an ss fermentor and it does not have any of this problems, its just pure beauty.
I was looking at my 7G fermenter that's a few years old side by side to the new ones. Even after the heavy use it looks significantly better as welds and final finish of the stainless.
 

hout17

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For the cost of this kind of equipment it had better be inspected. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience if I ever go this route it will be Spike after seeing this.
 
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I’m not pissed enough to send it back (I finally got a UPS driver that was willing to deliver to my neighborhood after two tries. UPS drivers are allowed to decide that they don't want to deliver to your neighborhood because it's too dangerous) but I am pissed enough to pour some gas on this fire.

This is the recirculation manifold for the infusion mash tun. Nice dent we have there. There’s also a cracked weld on the bottom and all kinds of nasty tool marks on the bottom. The packaging was in pristine condition upon arrival, so this isn’t shipping damage. They shipped this trash and charged me 54 bucks for it. That said, none of that should affect the performance of the device. I’ll try it out this weekend. Still, come on! You charge a premium price, you need to deliver a premium product.

I think I’m done with SSbrewtech.View attachment 740133
Weak man. Don't get me started on our UPS guy.... if I could upload a video of him destroying my yard on his way to deliver my boxes then yelling at my door after his weak knock because he hurt his hand I would.

Not to mention he often forgets our street or will bulk deliver items to other houses to avoid walking longer driveways.

If that mash recirculation ends up being junk let me know. I might phase mine out for a different design. It's a little overkill as I whirlpool and flow over the top of my grain basket.
 

matt_m

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I see some crappy but probably sufficient welds outside but I'm not seeing anything inside in your pictures. If this is the vessel you want would probably accept it and move on. Scrub the hell out of it with BKF paste and a soft cloth, rinse, passivate, sanitize, brew. If you have buyer's remorse return it but I wouldn't argue to much if they say return shipping on this one is on your dime.
 

Jtvann

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Okay I need some honest advice. Second one arrived today. It's marginally better. At least the chilling coil arrived attached so no damage.

But am I being overly sensitive to the quality of welds and final finish? I will save the long story and me with awful grammar trying to explain it all once more. If I am being too picky let me know, it's hard to not become so emotionally invested in something so expensive.

I think the fermenters sit outside at one point or another before final packing. This thing is filthy and it arrived with some bird poop free of charge.

I added a picture of the blow off cane. I had the old fermenter mocked up and out in the living room. Every day I would see how crooked it was welded and driving myself mad I had to share.

You spent a lot of money on this. It depends on your perspective if you should send it back. I would personally be fine with it.

If you’re not satisfied though, for years to come every time you use it, you’ll see the blemishes and it will be a constant annoying reminder. If it bothers you, I’d send it back and go with Spike.
 

Brooothru

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I see some crappy but probably sufficient welds outside but I'm not seeing anything inside in your pictures. If this is the vessel you want would probably accept it and move on. Scrub the hell out of it with BKF paste and a soft cloth, rinse, passivate, sanitize, brew. If you have buyer's remorse return it but I wouldn't argue to much if they say return shipping on this one is on your dime.
This was my issue, and also my solution. The first purchase was an Ss Brew Bucket. No problems with fit/finish, etc. Followed 6-8 months later with a Chronical. Good but not great fit/finish, nothing but cosmetic 'gripes' that were taken care of with BKF and elbow grease. A year later, the Unitank (delivered late summer before Covid) had an "iffy" weld of one of the legs, the transfer port wasn't centered between the legs, the neoprene jacket didn't fit evenly over the ports or support legs, the logo wasn't centered on the front of the unit but didn't matter since it's covered by the jacket. All those issues are related to a crappy job attaching the legs to the tank itself. That reflects on the fabricator in China, but ultimately rests with the marketer SsBT.

With all that said, is it a functional unit? Absolutely. Am I happy with my purchase? Yes and no. On the one hand it does everything I want it to do in exactly the way I want it to perform. The design of the unit is superior, and I have no issues with any of the sub components (valves, fittings, etc).

My complaints are with the offshore fabricator and the domestic QC. For the most part these concerns are either cosmetic of were correctable. The disappointment is that they existed in the first place.
 

Brooothru

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This was my issue, and also my solution. The first purchase was an Ss Brew Bucket. No problems with fit/finish, etc. Followed 6-8 months later with a Chronical. Good but not great fit/finish, nothing but cosmetic 'gripes' that were taken care of with BKF and elbow grease. A year later, the Unitank (delivered late summer before Covid) had an "iffy" weld of one of the legs, the transfer port wasn't centered between the legs, the neoprene jacket didn't fit evenly over the ports or support legs, the logo wasn't centered on the front of the unit but didn't matter since it's covered by the jacket. All those issues are related to a crappy job attaching the legs to the tank itself. That reflects on the fabricator in China, but ultimately rests with the marketer SsBT.

With all that said, is it a functional unit? Absolutely. Am I happy with my purchase? Yes and no. On the one hand it does everything I want it to do in exactly the way I want it to perform. The design of the unit is superior, and I have no issues with any of the sub components (valves, fittings, etc).

My complaints are with the offshore fabricator and the domestic QC. For the most part these concerns are either cosmetic of were correctable. The disappointment is that they existed in the first place.
Addendum:

I added an SsBT glycol chiller to the mix of toys over a year ago and it looks and has performed flawlessly. Different supply chain I'd presume than their tanks.
 

shoengine

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Addendum:

I added an SsBT glycol chiller to the mix of toys over a year ago and it looks and has performed flawlessly. Different supply chain I'd presume than their tanks.
I have a glycol chiller as well, which I got second hand, and mine looked and performed great.

I'd be curious to know what their internal quality policy looks like. It is possible that they are letting quality escapes go violating their own internal controls.
 

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Those welds look like some untrained monkey did them (the actual primate). With scratching inside, I'd have them take it back as well. That's a hard "F NO!" in my book. At this point, with two units full of issues, I'd go to a different maker. I'm on the cusp of ordering my third conical fermenter. Looking at another Spike CF10. Wish I could get SOMEONE to buy my two fermenter glycol chiller so I could order one that supports up to four fermenters. ;) I'll probably order the new gear within the next week (or so). Need conical #3 before cider season starts.
 

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I've had a few issues with SSBrewtech stuff, but they have always been very accommodating and helpful when I reached out. I hate not being able to talk on the phone with anyone, but it is what it is, and I've had pleasant experiences emailing back and forth.

They usually have very high quality equipment, but it's over priced for what it is. But I like shiny glowing things so I've stuck with SSBrewtech. I have 3 7 gallon brewmaster brew buckets, 1/5 HP glycol chiller and their 15 gallon kettle. Looking at the keg washer soon. That being said, if I was starting from scratch today, I would probably go with a different company...
 

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I've had a few issues with SSBrewtech stuff, but they have always been very accommodating and helpful when I reached out. I hate not being able to talk on the phone with anyone, but it is what it is, and I've had pleasant experiences emailing back and forth.

They usually have very high quality equipment, but it's over priced for what it is. But I like shiny glowing things so I've stuck with SSBrewtech. I have 3 7 gallon brewmaster brew buckets, 1/5 HP glycol chiller and their 15 gallon kettle. Looking at the keg washer soon. That being said, if I was starting from scratch today, I would probably go with a different company...
My thoughts exactly. I hate to admit it, but bling is a large part of the purchase decision, and SsBT is pretty high in the Bling Quotient. I like their design and engineering as well, but their fabrication and production could use some work. They are responsive to questions and concerns which is a strong positive, so there's that.
 

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Well this thread pushed me over the edge. I've been wanting a Unitank for long time now and the logical path was to upgrade one of my SSBT Chronicals to a Unitank since most of the accessories would transfer over. These types of threads on SSBT gear have become all-too common. Just not worth the hassle so I'm moving to Spike.
 

Brooothru

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Well this thread pushed me over the edge. I've been wanting a Unitank for long time now and the logical path was to upgrade one of my SSBT Chronicals to a Unitank since most of the accessories would transfer over. These types of threads on SSBT gear have become all-too common. Just not worth the hassle so I'm moving to Spike.
You'll still be able to use most if not all of your SsBT accessories on a Spike tank, certainly all the TC fittings except for 2" ports on the lower dump of the Spike tanks IIRC. I think in the end you'd like the SS Unitank (I really like mine). But I totally get the concerns with QC at Ss.
 

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And now, September 16, 2021, just to rub "salt in the wound"

"Due to the ever-increasing cost of raw materials and a dramatic increase in shipping rates, we will be adjusting the price of specific product lines listed in the link above, as well as some accessories, on October 1st.

We appreciate you all and your support of the brewing industry as a whole during the trying past year. As such, we wanted to give you some notice prior to the price adjustment, so all orders placed by midnight September 30th will be honored at current (lower) pricing.

Cheers and Happy Brewing
The Ss Brewtech Team"
 

Brooothru

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And now, September 16, 2021, just to rub "salt in the wound"

"Due to the ever-increasing cost of raw materials and a dramatic increase in shipping rates, we will be adjusting the price of specific product lines listed in the link above, as well as some accessories, on October 1st.

We appreciate you all and your support of the brewing industry as a whole during the trying past year. As such, we wanted to give you some notice prior to the price adjustment, so all orders placed by midnight September 30th will be honored at current (lower) pricing.

Cheers and Happy Brewing
The Ss Brewtech Team"
Got the same email. Supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressure I suppose. No real surprise. It's not just components and offshore fabricators. I've been waiting for a Stainless Steel JaDaHydra chiller since their stainless supplier hasn't been able to meet demand.9

Seen any auto dealer's lots lately? Not much on the lot at all. We've been in the market for a new Mercedes based RV, but the estimated delivery time is 24-36 months, minimum. Micro chips and raw materials shortages everywhere. When supply is down and demand is high (or even stable), prices go up. Capitalism 101.
 
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