This post is rated N for Number Crunching. This post contains scenes of on-screen Math and explicit min/maxing and optimization strategies that are not suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. So... this topic again. We've covered it before, so why again? Well... there's a couple of reasons why. First, there's been some changes in 1.4 that have caused revisions. Second, because there's some interesting discussion surrounding this that has come up since the last time we covered it, that I feel important enough to highlight and go over so we can all play with it and come to a consensus. Time Flies... until it doesn't New to 1.4 is a 'fix' to how time works for processing. Instead of being able to sleep the day away to speed up processing, every day is now a fixed 1600 minutes. While some are less happy about this, I'm actually not upset. This means I can use concrete numbers for processing times and thus how many processors I will need per given supply of goods in a given time frame. Some numbers to keep in mind: Preserves Jars take 4,000 minutes to process a given fruit or vegetable into their respective jelly or pickle. This is also precisely how long it takes to turn Roe into Aged Roe... with a singular exception. Brewing Kegs are a bit more complicated because different things brew up at different rates. Fruits take 10,000 minutes to brew into Wine. Vegetables take 6,000 minutes to brew into Juice. Hops takes 2,250 minutes to brew into Pale Ale Wheat takes 1,750 minutes to brew into Beer So now that we have a constant time flow, we can now precisely calculate how long it takes in days to process something. For Preserves Jars, other than that one exception (Caviar), everything takes 2.5 days to process For Kegs: Fruit takes 6.25 days, For veggies, it takes 3.75 days, for Hops, it takes just under 1.5 days, and for wheat, it takes JUST over a day (150 minutes longer than a full day cycle). However... Manually processing things in half-days or so is a royal pain in the keister. You don't want to have to suddenly stop whatever you are doing, rush back to the farm, and start processing everything the moment they become available. Especially not if you're doing something like diving the mines or Skull Cave or something. Especially if you have MANY jars and kegs, you will probably want to do all your processing in one batch, generally at the beginning of the day. Which means not being able to take advantage of fractional days. Which means rounding up to the nearest whole day. With that in mind, we have some practical numbers to use for processing times: Preserves jars: 3 days Kegging Fruits: 7 days Kegging Veggies: 4 days Kegging Hops and Wheat: 2 days Reaping the Profits So... what do we get out of processing? Well, let's run through some formulas. Let's also define a few variables while we're at it. We're going to use x as the price of the produce. Jellies and Pickles are worth 2x+50g and take 3 days to produce. So the formula would be (2x+50)/3 for daily income. Juice (veg in keg) = 2.25x and takes 4 days to produce. Thus the formula (2.25x)/4. Wine (fruit in keg) =3x and takes 7 days to produce, so (3x)/7. Hops is a special case and is WAY off the charts. You brew it in a Keg. Artisan perk multiplies by 1.4x, so this can make even marginal crops profitable to process. So from there, we can plug the base cost numbers into these equations to get a cost analysis. Let's start with Blueberries. Being a Fruit, it can either be processed into Jelly or Wine. Base price is 50, so both Jelly and Wine end up costing the same. (2*50+50) is the same as 3*50. However, Preserves Jars only take 3 days to process, while Kegs take a Week. Therefore, it is clearly better to process into Preserves. Especially when you take into consideration how many blueberries are produced per plant. Now let's pick something worth a bit more: Melons. Also being a fruit, it also can be processed into either Jelly or Wine. Base price is 250g, which makes Preserves worth 550g and Wine at 750g. Here it is less clear which one is 'better', because while Wine is definitely worth more per each, it also takes longer to produce. Now, Melons take longer to grow as well, around two weeks. So it's not as cut and dried an example. We need to take some other factors into consideration Which is as good a transition as any into our next topic... But at what cost? As the old saw goes... in previous number crunching exercises such as this, we were so busy focusing on whether or not we could we didn't stop to consider if we should. Specifically, how much does it cost to set up our processing infrastructure, and what is going to be the RoI (Return on Investment... basically 'how long until we pay off the cash we sunk into production')? Does it make sense for us to even bother? Well... that's a much more complex question, but I'm glad you asked! Let's get into this question, because it is one that many, including especially myself, have rather handwaved previously, and I feel that it is sufficiently important to cover. Over an arbitrary period of time, of course, ANY infrastructure is going to pay itself off, simply through the increased profit margins you will realize by utilizing them. This, of course, requires you to actually utilize them, which takes time and effort a player may not wish to invest, and it requires time, which you may not have if you get bored with the map and want to play something else. The previous assumption which I based my old calculations on assumed an arbitrary time period. We won't be doing that this time. Instead, we'll be looking at time in vs time out and RoI numbers more keenly. Of course, RoI is going to be based on what we put into our processing facility, so those numbers will need to be drawn up as well. But it'll still be far simpler than an actual real-world RoI calculation since, unlike any company in existence (with the exception of Tesla Motors), we are able to sell 100% of everything we produce, guaranteed. First off, let's talk about the cost of kegs and jars themselves... Jars require 50 wood, 40 stone, and 8 coal. Not too bad, except the coal part. Kegs require 30 wood, 1 copper bar, 1 iron bar, and 1 Oak Resin So... cost analysis? Complicated. Wood and stone you can obtain throughout your travels, but that's a lot of coal per Preserve Jar. You can buy them from Clint at 150g/ea in the first year or 250g/ea after that, but that can get pricey if you aren't careful and you're wanting to step up your game to industrial levels. Kegs are even more complicated because you can't just buy Oak Resin, and copper and iron ore are absurdly expensive to purchase, but can be found in the mines fairly consistently. On the whole, though, Oak Resin is going to be your limiting factor in producing Kegs. You can go diving in the Mines for Copper and Iron, you can chop down all of Cindersnap Forest for wood if needed, but the ONLY way to get Oak Resin is by tapping Oak Trees. Now, Oak Resin seems to be running in roughly the same time frame as brewing fruit in kegs... 10,000 minutes, or (as we round up) 7 days. So the real question is how many oak trees can you tap, and can you collect and refine that much copper and iron bars in a week? It shouldn't be too difficult normally, but just keep in the back of your mind that the limiting factor in Kegs is more the time frame than the actual material costs. But Preserves Jars? Those can theoretically be purchased, but expect to lay out some big bucks. Assuming Year One prices, you've got 500g in wood, 800g in stone, and 1200g in coal (from Clint). This can be dropped down to another 800g if you use Charcoal Burners, but those require so much micromanagement that I rarely consider them worth it, so we're going to go with Clint's price tag. Assuming you flat-out purchase everything, that's 2500g/ea per preserve jar. But assuming you at least obtain the wood and the stone elsewhere, that's still at least 1200g/ea for the coal. Since you're going to be burning coal to smelt the copper and iron for your kegs, you probably also won't have enough left over to start mass producing kegs. There's also the matter of the footprint... where are they going to go? Now, you could store them off-site. There's plenty of strategies for, say, filling up the oasis tunnel (and apparently Pam is a good enough driver to dodge them all somehow), or the little path north of your farm that leads to Robin's house... no one walks up there anyway so it's a perfect place to stash kegs and jars. There's also the Quarry, once you unlock it. The quarry also makes for a fine place to put an oak tree stand as well, if you want to go through the effort of clearing the place out and laying down the flooring to keep stones from popping back up. There's also Sheds. And new in 1.4... the Big Sheds. Sheds were already pretty neat. It's a relatively small footprint, and has storage for around (depending on which platform you are on and your ability to access corners) let's say an even 60 processing containers, and the Big Shed doubles that to 120ish. This makes the Big Shed the most efficient building (on a farm footprint per number of processing containers) to store your kegs and jars in. But they aren't cheap. A shed will set you back 15,000g and 300 wood. Upgrading it to a Big Shed will set you back *another* 20,000g, 550 wood, and 300 stone. Also remember you can only have one building being built/upgraded at a given time and it takes three days to build/upgrade. Therefore... The question is not 'should you build and use preserves jars and kegs', the question should be 'will I make my investment back soon enough to be worth the trouble'. That's a question only you, the player, can truly answer for yourself. Preserves Jars or Kegs... this is the wrong question to ask When setting up processing, often the first question I hear will be 'kegs or jars'. This is the wrong question to ask. It should be 'what am I processing, and what fits my personal needs better to process that'. And usually, at least in my experience, the answer isn't either kegs or jars, but both and how many of each. Kegs and Jars both increase profits, but the cost analysis are quite different. Jars produce faster, but generally are lower absolute numbers. You use these typically on lower-cost produce to crank them out fast while still seeing an enormous increase to your bottom line. Kegs take longer to produce, but typically (though not always) yield higher profit margins. Let's use some examples, shall we? In my Greenhouse Build, found elsewhere, I had 74 Hops, 30 Ancient Fruit, and 30 Pomegranate Trees. So... how do I process this? Well, the Hops are a no-brainer. Hops produce daily, and takes approximately 2 days to process Hops into Pale Ale in a Keg, so that's what we'll be doing. 74*2=148 kegs needed to keep up with daily production. Ancient Fruit is also pretty much a no-brainer as well. It takes one week for Ancient Fruit to produce fruit, and it also takes one week to brew that fruit into wine. A match made in heaven indeed. So... that's another 30 kegs. But Pomegranate? That's a tougher call. They also produce daily, but it's either 3 days in a Preserves Jar or 7 days in a Keg. And I have 30 pomegranate trees to take care of. So either that's 90 Preserves Jars or 210(!) Kegs. Here's where we need to make some decisions about which one to use. Pomegranate Preserves (assuming Artisan) is 461/ea, while Pomegranate Wine is 588. The base fruit is worth 154g itself (and because they are surrounded by a bunch of stuff, they won't ever produce more than basic fruit). So, for 90 Preserves Jars, my daily profits go from 154*30= 4,620g to 461*30= 13,830. That's... a very substantial improvement. So, at a minimum, I really want to at least turn it into Jelly. For 210 Kegs, my daily profits go up to 588*30 = 17,640g. While this is certainly higher than the 13,830g that Preserves nets me, it's also substantially more expensive to set up. So the question here is... is it *enough* more profitable to be worth it? What will my RoI be on it? Well, for me, it's not really about the money so much as the time. You see, those 210 kegs? Yea, that's gonna require 210 Oak Resin. Now, I typically have a stand of 30 oak trees, so assuming I can produce 30 Kegs a week, that's 7 weeks, or almost two months, of nonstop keg production just to be able to begin production. However, Pomegranate Trees take a full season to grow, which means for three whole weeks, I won't be able to process all of my pomegranates as I'm building up my kegs. While I can, if necessary, purchase supplies from Robin and Clint to make the Jars immediately. It'll cost... but that's a problem I can throw money at, and recoup that money fairly rapidly. So, for this particular instance, I feel, for my personal play style and habits, that Preserves Jars are going to be more efficient for my Pomegranates. I will 'settle' for Pomegranate Jelly to sell, rather than Wine. tl;dr: It's not a matter of only making kegs or jars, it's a matter of what you are growing, what you are planning to grow, and what you feel is the best way to process them. In Conclusion Is it profitable to process your produce? Of course it is. However, is it enough more profitable to justify the extra expense and hassle to do it? That's... a trickier question. And it will depend on what you, the player, want to do. Not everyone cares about making bank... and that's great. If that's the case, then processing probably isn't going to be your... jam (sorry, the pun was inevitable). But even for those of us who enjoy maxing out our profits... sometimes the costs outweigh the additional returns in some use-cases, and we need to reexamine our RoI numbers to see if we're really going to be comfortable with them. Sometimes it is better to 'settle' for preserves jars, because the outlay for kegs would not be paid back for several months, or the oak resin simply won't be available to build that many for several weeks or even months. Sometimes it is worth the additional expense to go ham on kegs and make up your profits faster. I can't tell you which one is definitively better. I can't even tell you which one is definitively better for each individual crop. All I can say is that it is something each farmer needs to determine for themselves. Both Kegs and Jars *can* be an enormous profit multiplier. But they can also be annoying to use frequently. So it's really up to you which one, or how much of both, you want to use. And that's probably going to be based on what sorts of products you enjoy producing. If you are wanting to compete with Starbucks and have fields of coffee dotting the landscape in Spring and Summer... you're probably going to want plenty of Kegs to back them up. If you're wanting fields of blueberries and cranberries... you're probably wanting to lean into Preserves Jars as a way of more efficiently processing them all. The rest... is up to you.