While some people get into homebrewing thinking that they will save money, I knew from the beginning that I was going to do it for the fun of it. And since I probably give away half the beer I make at parties, windsurfing races and the lake, the cost of the homebrew I actually drink is way up there.
Now while lots of people are making beer with very little capital investment, I am not one of those people. I have a 19 cubic foot fridge that I use to serve and age my beer. I have a chest freezer with a modified temperature controller that I use for fermenting or aging. I have 17 corny kegs, $400 of bar quality beer faucets and 50lbs of CO2 capacity. As for the brew stand, I have a two level, half barrel system. I usually brew 15 gallons at a time.
You know you're a serious brewer when you buy grain in 50lbs bags, hops in 1 lb bags, have your own grain mill and prefer your own beer to factory beer. I ferment in 7 gallon carboys. Secondary fermentation is done in 5 gallon carboys. I can start 15 gallons of beer every 14 days. And I have 56 gallons worth of carboys. Budweiser I ain't... But then my beer is a lot better.
I started making wine from concentrate in May of 2002.
I bottled my first batch in late December '02 and my second batch in February 03. And they were actually pretty decent. I continue to make a batch of wine about every 15 months, usually starting a new batch about the time I bottle the previous batch.
I did a Cizer one (apple mead). It wasn't a total failure, but the alcohol content was about double what it should have been. I can stand it if I drink it cold.
If you want to see what kind of equipment and money goes
into building a corny keg fridge - Dog House Keg Fridge
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