Templar Tips: Buying Homebrewing Equipment

Ed M Morris Homebrewing Templar Tips

Edited By Editor In Chief/ Lord Of Words Ed M Morris

Templar Tips brings you tips and advice from the Lords and Ladies from the Pints Templars Community. This week, we bring you tips on buying Homebrewing equipment from Templar Jack Gordon, Lord Of The Northwoods: 

The Equipment Buy - By Jack Gordon

Greetings fellow Templars and Homebrewing enthusiasts.  As I sit here drinking a Homebrewed IPA I got to thinking how I came to brew (what I think) a top notch beer that I made myself.
We got our Mr Beer kits, and after the 2nd batch we knew could do better. While the Mr Beer kits make a good introduction to brewing at home, they can be limiting.
Now to be able to move up from Stove-top to "All Grain" you need the equipment. This can be an roadblock as the majority of us don't have the money to buy all new equipment. Well, that's where I can help with some tips on how to make the dive into Homebrewing not drain your bank account by looking for previously owned equipment.
Now, there are some things you will probably want to buy brand new are the Hot Tank and Mash Tun. I bought our 25 gallon boiler new also (even though it was a bargain). When I am looking for used equipment, I normally go to Craigslist first. Using the key word beer, or beer brewing, you can usually find whatever you need.  
There are a few tips for looking for and buying equipment:
1) Look local: For those of us who enjoy the hobby there are at least 3 who don't enjoy it and getting out.
2) Make sure you see pictures. This is a good way to see if they have everything they say they are selling. If you don't see what you are buying ask for a picture. Also ensure when you inquire for the first time and any replies, that you include your email address so they can reply. I always include my phone number so it's a faster reply.
3) The most important tip: Always Negotiate.  The person who is selling wants to get the most out of their "used" equipment, you want the most for your "buck". For example I found a listing on Craigslist that had been posted for over a month. The person who was selling wanted $100 for a couple of carboys and a wort chiller plus some miscellaneous other things. Seems like a good deal, but I thought I could do better. I counter offered $75 for the $100 bundle and because they wanted the equipment out of their house they said yes. I am not saying you will always get your price but at least the attempt was made to save yourself some $.
Editor's Tip: If you have a local Brewing club, see if anyone is selling any of their equipment, as people upgrade and want to sell what they do not use anymore.
So, while it looks like Homebrewing is expensive in the beginning, it doesn't have to be. Do some research, negotiate, and keep in mind that used gear can be good gear.

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