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Thread: Buy new, buy used, or build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Dunedin FL
    Posts
    30

    Buy new, buy used, or build

    I need to decide what electric 3 vessel 2 or 3bbl system to start with. I know nothing about brands besides what I can search up. Hear good and bad things about Chinese products. But in my case where I only plan to use this for a few years I'm not sure the lack of quality (if any) would be an issue. I'm also fully capable of all metal and mechanical work to build my own system if need be.

    I have been brewing on my 3 keg half bbl system forever decades. I really enjoy brewing this way. I have a burner under each pot. I can keep my mash temp within 1 degree every time using my pumps and direct flames. I would love to have my same system in a larger scale. But I need to change from flames to electric. Does anyone have an element in the bottom of the mash ton? I like to brew back to back and would like to be able to heatup the mash without using one of the other pots.

    Recommendations for a system? Brand? Vendor? Used equipment (I'm in FL)?

    Also need a half dz or so fermenters. Don't really have the room for a larger cool room. Thinking lining the walls with double walled temp controlled units would be best but also the most exspensive way to go.
    Any suggestions as for fermenters? Homemade solutions?
    Plan to serve from kegs out of a cold room chilled by a 24 k BTU ac unit.

    Appreciate your time and suggestions.
    Thank you
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Newbie; 10-16-2019 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Dunedin FL
    Posts
    30
    Anyone home?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ area
    Posts
    10
    Hi Jay, I'll give you my thoughts on the subject.

    My professional background is in high-spec welding and fabrication and always maintained a side hobby as a home brewer. These two things combined a few years back and I spent about 5 years running a company that manufactured 3.5-30bbl brewery equipment. I still fabricate equipment on the side, and am currently deciding if I should start my own thing full time. Enough about me.

    A few things I learned in that time:

    1) Don't cut corners when it comes to your brewhouse. It is the workhorse of the brewery and sees quite a bit of stress (thermocycles) on a day to day basis. This is also a piece of equipment you don't want going down on you as there is really no back up. I wouldn't recommend buying an american made brewhouse. I have had numerous discussions with previous customers of mine that went Chinese at first and lived to regret it.

    2) For the most part Chinese cold side is okay, just do your research and buy from reputable company. Of course, american made is always a better option if you can swing it.

    3) If you are considering making/modifying equipment, check out this book if you haven't already. https://www.amazon.com/Brewery-Opera.../dp/B00EGTTE6W I personally know the author and he is a wealth of information. He's also got some great info on what he calls his Frankenbrewery setup.

    Cheers,
    Red
    Last edited by Bigredwelder; 10-16-2019 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Typo
    Robert "Red" Westphal
    Quality Manager/Certified Welding Inspector/Independent Stainless Steel Fabricator
    Phone: 719-661-8602

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Dunedin FL
    Posts
    30
    Thx Red

    I had over 100 vendors producing machined and fabricated parts from around the planet. I know all to well what a mess it can be dealing with a vendor in China. Communications, material issues, any changes, the slow boat from China is real, and customs. That being said I do have a few people from here using equipment from and recommending Gavin from Sungoods. Seems they have it down rather well. Everyone receiving what they ordered and their happy with it.

    But yes it would be nice to have Made In America stamped on the side.

    I'm fimiliare with Frankenbrewery. Lots of good ideas.

    Now if I could just get he Electrical Eng to show up and tell me what I can do for power I could decide on 2 or 3bbl lol

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