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  • Why Not Source the System Yourself?

    So we're weeks away from ordering our new 10 bbl system for our brewery, and we've received quotes from every leading manufacturer in the country for the options we want. Most of them are within the same price range. The exception is the the quote we received from a manufacturer in China, who has been very well reviewed here on ProBrewer. The prices we received were significantly lower than what we were quoted by the stateside folks, for what we are assuming is also Chinese steel. The only part we need to source stateside is the control panel, and there are several places that will do a custom panel for our setup for a very reasonable cost, and we have a local installer that has done multiple systems in our area, so I also don't need to pay someone from the company fly to Virginia and pay them a daily fee to set up their system. Why would I pay a 30% mark up on equipment I can source myself? Am I missing some glaring risk or issue that would come up with not paying more?

  • #2
    We wrestled with this issue as well. A few differences in our area though. Nobody to reasonably build controls. Nobody to assist/oversee the install.

    The biggest issue for us though is that we want one company to stand behind this major investment. If we source some tanks from China and buy some pumps and parts, we don't have a support system if/when things "go south" so to speak.

    We've opted to single source even though there is a premium. Any of the parts that have been sourced from China in our upcoming system have at the very least been vetted by our supplier and we have a list of install references to check on.

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    • #3
      That was our biggest concern as well. Part of our strategy was to buy several spares of key components, like pumps, valves, etc. (which we should all do anyway, regardless of the manufacturer). When we discussed the issue resolution process with the manufacturer, they said they'd get us resolution for non-human error based issues within 48 hours. We asked for references as well for the brew house, so hopefully we can get some first hand feedback. That will go a long way to calming some of our nerves about it. But as a small start up, the savings is just immense.

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      • #4
        I think you will find varied opinion on this subject. It really comes down to your budget, time frame, and your comfort level if you have to make repairs or alterations on your own. Some would rather pay a bit more to have a complete system with company and some sort of warranty to stand behind it. I would definitely get references for folks running similar equipment and see what they have to say. Also consider resale value.

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        • #5
          Chinese prizes usually do not include freight. And you pay 30% for support.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CasselBrewery
            We recently bought directly from a China manufacturer called Jinan Shendong, we ordered a 15bbl Kettle 2x 15bbl BBT and 1x 7bbl FV. Our SS welder saw the vessels that came out of Jinan on an order before us and although it look rough on the edges a few thousands fixed it all and the client still saved money. We asked for a better quality because if they weren't sending better quality to us we told them we would make sure everyone in NA knows not to buy from them. We received our order and our welder was very impressed about the shift in quality and craftsmanship. A few welds required polishing but overall very satisfied. It cost us easily, all cost considered, 50%+ less than buying from a local distributor for the same tanks built in CN.

            Ordering directly was the best thing.

            I gave Jinan a few advice on the welding practices before we ordered and they listened, I gave then some new advice on the vessels we received. For example, make sure to ask for a shadowless manway. I didn't and we got shadow manway. Not the end of the world but I prefer shadowless as its easier to clean.

            When it comes to anything electrical, I'm still skeptic about it. But Jinan showed me the new sets of components which are UL and CSA approved (I'm in Canada) so pretty happy about that and more confident about ordering anything electrical from them in the future.

            Overall great experience ordering directly from CN and will do it again and again. I'm aware though, that one day they might send me a container with shitty made equipment, but shitty made equipment can get better with a great welder which we have ;-)
            Hi Mario. I'm also quoting from the chinese factories and Jinan Shengdong (SDET) is one of the top 2 of my list.

            Good tips on the shadow-less manway.

            By your experience, is there anything else that I should specifically request to them? Anything that you would change on your system if you going to order it again?
            I will get the steam heating version and I'm going for a 500 liter brewhouse with 1000 liter fermenters.

            Thanks.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RodrigoEick View Post
              Hi Mario. I'm also quoting from the chinese factories and Jinan Shengdong (SDET) is one of the top 2 of my list.

              Good tips on the shadow-less manway.

              By your experience, is there anything else that I should specifically request to them? Anything that you would change on your system if you going to order it again?
              I will get the steam heating version and I'm going for a 500 liter brewhouse with 1000 liter fermenters.

              Thanks.
              Great!

              Request good quality welds otherwise you will give them a bad reputation amongst all the brewers you know. It will get them to do better. You will have to spend a 1000-2000$ in welding services to polish some welds but then you end up saving a lot so it compensate for it.

              Ask for thicker steel for the brewhouse platform (if you will have one), the one we got has 6 steps but it's damn flimsy, we'll need to reinforce it. Ask for 40" railing not the 24" they provide.

              If you order pumps or anything electrical, confirm the voltage and the UL logo, ask for a picture of the nameplate of the exact pump you will be getting.

              Email me if you need help!

              Cheers
              Cheers!
              ______________

              Mario Bourgeois
              www.CasselBrewery.ca
              Casselman ON Canada

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hokus View Post
                I think you will find varied opinion on this subject. It really comes down to your budget, time frame, and your comfort level if you have to make repairs or alterations on your own. Some would rather pay a bit more to have a complete system with company and some sort of warranty to stand behind it. I would definitely get references for folks running similar equipment and see what they have to say. Also consider resale value.
                And this is where we found the biggest departure was that it's not just a "bit" more. Seriously, the markup on the brew house alone is 40%. We also have a 2 year guarantee on the whole system, as long as it's not human error. I'm calling the references they provided today so I'll post what feedback I get.

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                • #9
                  Decision Made!

                  Talked to two different breweries today that are using the same equipment and everything from the welds to the service were up to snuff. I'll report back as we move through the process.

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                  • #10
                    Very happy with SDET (Shandong Shendong Equipment Technology Co.)

                    I have just finished installing my 10 BBL system bought from SDET (http://www.cnbreweryequipment.com) and I am very happy with what I have bought. It is a basic system, electric heated, with a RIMS on the 15 BBL mash tun. Price was very fair. Nice welds as well. The control panel parts are all great quality CSA/UL (2 small design mistakes [which my electromecanic will fix easily by adding the missing controls], I would ask for a technical plan on the layout of the control panel in the future).

                    Equipment was well packaged for shipment. There was only one cosmetic mark on one of the tanks.

                    15 bbl HLT
                    15 bbl CLT
                    15 bbl MT: with rakes and RIMS
                    10 bbl KW
                    4 x 10 bbl FV
                    1 BBT to be used for bottling
                    CIP
                    Pumps assorment
                    Grain mill
                    Plat chiller

                    Communications were great and prompt answers were received. Sales rep Elva did a great job throughout the process, and still very helpful now. There were a few missing relays in the control panel and they sent them at no cost, express.

                    I highly recommend them for a good system at a good price.

                    You can see images of the (still in pre-opening) brewery at:
                    http://monsregius-bieres-artisanales...t/145889523495
                    http://monsregius-bieres-artisanales...t/145889553400

                    I will try to write an update after I have used the system a few times.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      I purchased 4 tanks from SDET a while back.
                      The quality ranged from average to sub par. I had to have a welder fix pin wholes inside the tanks where the expansion foam came through and some of the nasty welds. After I showed SDET the pictures of the holes they didn't believe me. They wanted a video of the tank leaking.
                      The tanks are slightly different sizes and didn't come with racking arms.
                      The ports are too small for a better cab stone like from GWKent.

                      I sourced my kettle from Sungood and it's pretty nice. My only issues with it is that it's actually kind of narrow causing the hop cone to get sucked out and cleaning it sucks balls with out a side port big enough to get the trub out.

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                      • #12
                        Chinese Equipment Suppliers

                        Hi all,

                        Sorry to revive an old thread, but I'm in the process of sourcing my 10bbl brewing equipment from China, and trying to make a decision between different suppliers.

                        I'm looking seriously at Shendong Shandong SDET as supplier, but I'm seeing contradicting feedback in this thread regarding their quality.

                        I was wondering if any of you had any more info on your general experience with them, and if you recommend them.
                        If not, are there any other Chinese suppliers you would recommend?

                        Many thanks in advance,
                        Dieter

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                        • #13
                          Jinan Shendong crap...

                          Bought 7 sets of equipment from 4 different Chinese companies and installed many more Chinese systems that others have bought over the years. Been to China twice to inspect breweries in production. Jinan Shendong was the worst of the bunch. Spent lots of time working through drawings to get what we wanted. They delivered very poor equipment not at all to the drawings I approved. Stay away from those guys at all costs. You get what you pay for. Just because it looks shiny doesn't mean that it's put together well.
                          Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gitchegumee View Post
                            Bought 7 sets of equipment from 4 different Chinese companies and installed many more Chinese systems that others have bought over the years. Been to China twice to inspect breweries in production. Jinan Shendong was the worst of the bunch.
                            Thanks Phillip for the quick feedback on here. Given your extended experience installing breweries and visiting factories in China, which were the suppliers that you were most impressed with? My shortlist includes SunGood, NFE, and Tiantai. I've heard good things about all three.

                            Many thanks for your input,
                            Dieter

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                            • #15
                              Recommendations....

                              Obviously I haven't used everyone's equipment. Many Chinese equipment manufacturers change names to keep new name from old name's bad press. But of those that I've dealt with, Gavin at Sungood provided me with good equipment several times. And he's really easy to deal with. I can recommend them. Also HGM is hard to beat. Bit more expensive, but they have been in the game a long time and provide very nice tanks. A few issues with their brewhouses, but that's less than most. I would stick with very well known businesses that have been open (and under the same name) for at least 5 years with good reviews. Don't dive to the bottom for lowest price. You really do get what you pay for. Sometimes not even that. And you will have to live with your decisions for quite a while, so make good ones. I would never even consider a newer startup in China without a history of providing the US with quality equipment. Personally, I would buy USA in USA (and I have), but most of my work is in Asia and so we buy Asian for those projects. Also, remember that it's up to YOU to provide accurate and succinct specifications for your own equipment. Don't just take what they offer, specify what you want. Before you go asking for quotes. YOU have to know what you want before they do!
                              Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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