I have to admit, when I first set out to build an electric brewing system, I didn’t fully appreciate just how big of financial commitment it would take. Up until the point I made the decision to build an electric brew system, I had probably spent less than $1,000 in total with all my previous home brew equipment purchases. I assumed upgrading to an electric brew system would be fairly similar, or at least in the ballpark. In truth though, I spent considerably more than I thought I would, mostly because I ended up purchasing all new kettles for my build.
If you already have a HLT, mash tun, and kettle that you are happy with, then it would probably be possible to come in around $1,000 or so for your build. But if you’re purchasing new kettles and don’t make too many compromises with your build, it’s very easy to spend $2,500 – $5,000 on a project like this.
Electric Brewery Costs
In terms of total costs, here’s roughly what I spent putting my system together:
- New 20 gallon hot liquor tank, mash-tun, boil kettle, and associated hardware – $994 [Kettles]
- Electric brew system enclosure and electric components – $626
- Plate chiller for wort chilling – $264
- Water and wort pumps – $325
- High temperature silicone hoses and associated quick-release hardware – $165
- GFCI Protection – $157
- Custom built stainless steel HERMS coil – $97
That puts the total cost at approximately $2,600 for the entire system so far. As Kal points out at the Electric Brewery, that amounts to a lot of beer. But given the quality of the kettles and the control system components, this is really the type of system that can last a lifetime, and I look at it like a great long-term investment. Plus, if I ever buy larger kettles all I would need to do is add electric elements to them ($100 or so) and I could comfortably brew up to 15-25 gallons of beer, enough in my mind for a small pico-brewing system.