Costs Economics

What does it all cost you ask? All that equipment and those elaborate procedures! The answer is — quite a lot, perhaps as much as US$1,000 or the equivalent if you buy everything new. Is it worth it? Well, that is a very individual decision and to help you decide, an estimate has been made of all the major costs involved.

The costs provided below refer to the United States in 1997, even though none of the experimental work and none of the purchases were made there. It is simply a shopping list of the things you will need with a rough idea of what you may have to pay. No sales tax is included. Undoubtedly in your own country you will find that some things are cheaper and some more expensive than they are in the United States. Even within a country prices can vary widely so it is up to you to shop around for the best deals.

Costs can be reduced by using, as far as possible, common domestic articles made for the mass market. For example, an ordinary light dimmer switch good for 600 watts is readily available and quite cheap, but similar controllers for high wattages are less in demand and are therefore much more expensive.. A sensitive domestic kitchen scale, graduated in 5 gram divisions, can be found if you shop around a bit and will be a tiny fraction of the cost of a scientific balance.

As in any manufacturing operation, even if it is only a hobby, the costs involved can be broken down into three main categories. They are:

CAPITAL

MATERIALS & SUPPLIES

LABOUR

Such a listing seems a little formal for a simple hobby so the same items can be re-worded as:

Equipment required

Cost of sugar, yeast, etc.

Time occupied by the hobbyist

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