Originally Posted by Chimone
IMO you get ripped off buying kits from online stores. Your going to pay more than you would if you just ordered the grains you need.
Look in our recipe section. There are many Stout and Hefe recipes.
As for the starters. I keep a couple lbs of DME on hand and make the starter early on in the week.
I have priced buying the ingredients vs. buying the kits and in most cases buying the kits are around the same price or slightly higher. The only way I have seen where buying ingredients is drastically cheaper is when you are buying more in bulk.
For example a Cream Ale AG kit from Northern Brewer:
Kit = $19.57 w/ liquid yeast (Wyeast Smack pack) w/ crushed grains
Ingredients from NB:
7 lbs. Rahr 2-Row Pale = $7.63 ($1.09 per lb (crushed))
0.75 lbs. Gambrinus Honey Malt = $1.60 per lb (crushed)
0.25 lbs. Dingemans Biscuit = $1.60 per lb (crushed)
1 oz. Mt. Hood = $1.25
1 oz. Willamette = $1.30
Wyeast #1056 American Ale Yeast = $5.75
Total = $19.13
Buying the ingredients is $.44 cheaper but you have to measure out some grains because they only ship in whole pounds. I don't know about you but I don't have a scale yet and have no means of measuring out .25 a pound.
Unless you can find a couple of recepies that have similar ingredients then you can buy more in bulk and make a couple of brews. You would also need a grain mill or you risk your cracked grains going bad before you use them all up.
I have only done 2 AG brews (so I'm no expert) and have done both in kits. Anyway the long and short of it is your not getting "ripped off" IMHO.
Just my 2¢.