What does it all cost you ask? All that equipment and those elaborate procedures! The answer is — quite a lot, approaching $1000 in fact if you start from scratch. 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, and also some of the minor ones. Prices vary from country to country of course, and it's always possible to make shortcuts, but we feel it's best to be realistic and not pretend that these things can be done for nothing.
The costs provided below refer to the United States, 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. 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. Other variables are: i) the number of items you already have such as fermentation equipment, thermometers, hydrometer, plastic tubing, solder, nuts and bolts. ii) whether you choose to make the two boiler system, the single boiler system, or fabricate something from scrap. And so on and so forth.
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 about $4 whereas a 1,000 watt dimmer is likely to cost $40 and a 2,000 watt dimmer $140. Quite a difference! A sensitive domestic kitchen scale, graduated in 5 gram divisions, can be found if you shop around a bit and at $10 to $15 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:
MATERIALS & SUPPLIES
Such a listing seems a little formal for a simple hobby so the same items can be re-worded as:
Cost of sugar, yeast, etc.
Time occupied by the hobbyist
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