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Good Deal or Bad Deal on Custom Fab Brewhouse

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  • Good Deal or Bad Deal on Custom Fab Brewhouse

    Just wanted to get some feedback and see what those in the industry thought about if this is modification of used dairy tanks was a good deal or bad deal.

    4.5 / 5.0 BBL Brewhouse

    200 gallon SS cylindrical tanks w/ lids, single wall (x3) - $2400
    Shipping of tanks - $700
    Tank ferrules, parts, fittings - $1100
    Custom False Bottom - $900
    Welding (Sanitary) labor - $2000
    Electric Control Panel & 24kW of elements - $3700

    Total - $10,800

    Have the tanks and parts in hand, welding work is going to be done next week by sanitary welder with a lot of brewery experience.

    Downside is that the tank walls are a bit thin and would not accommodate manway on mash tun, so will be graining out the top, and may need to insulate kettles. Upside is the tanks are a nice diameter (40") and 36" height, so grain out won't be that bad. All heating will be done in Boil Kettle (24 kW elements) and HLT will act as holding tank.

    Thoughts? Just hoping this used dairy tank route is worth it and I am not throwing my money down the drain.

  • #2
    There can be extreme value from re-purposed equipment, however the old saying tend to hold true. You get what you pay for. You really need to understand your objectives and equipment to make good value of used or re-purposed equipment.

    If you plan to use this equipment for daily operations I would suggest investing in more purpose-built equipment. If this is a hobby, or stepping stone (short term), then it may be acceptable for your objective. Whatever you save from the equipment costs will be lost in efficiency (energy and ingredients) and frustrations over time, undoubtedly.

    Ironically, with efficiency loss, you are literally trickling your money down the drain.

    Something to consider, if you are sticking with this system, you may want to swap the false bottom for a Speidel type solution on a mesh basket that can be removed with a hoist. I would despise working on a system that require grain be removed out of the top, and would engineer an alternate solution. And you WILL need to insulate your kettle.


    • #3
      Thanks for the response!
      Yes, this is a stepping stone brewhouse in order to reduce debt at startup. Will insulate kettles and try to come up with a better grain out system. Plan is to use this for startup (x1-2 years) then resell at time of expansion to 10 bbl system.