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Old 01-25-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Kits vs. a la Carte?

I haven't really noticed it and I wouldn't expect it but are beer kits priced lower or higher than their respective components?

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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higher. Even more so when you consider buying those ingredients in bulk.

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:50 PM   #3
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I don't buy in bulk yet. But if I took apart the kit and bought all those pieces separately you're saying there is a mark-up?

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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I just checked a randomly selected kit at Midwest Supplies (their Pilsen lager). The kit costs $28.49. The individual components cost $27.78. So it's slightly cheaper to buy the components, but it's not a big markup. If you have the capacity to do bulk buys, that will help, but otherwise it doesn't look like it makes much difference. (That is assuming that this is a representative example.)

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I just checked a randomly selected kit at Midwest Supplies (their Pilsen lager). The kit costs $28.49. The individual components cost $27.78. So it's slightly cheaper to buy the components, but it's not a big markup. If you have the capacity to do bulk buys, that will help, but otherwise it doesn't look like it makes much difference. (That is assuming that this is a representative example.)
The more popular the kit...or if its a pro brewer kit then the mark up goes up.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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Once you get comfortable with recipe formulation, start buying in bulk. It saves a lot of money. Or even if you're not comfortable. Just keep a descent selection of specialty grains around and you can look at kits and steal their recipe and brew it on the cheap.

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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What type of kits are you looking at? I actually did this comparison for a Jamil's Evil Twin kit from NB this morning.

Kit price (excludes yeast and priming sugar): $40.45
DME and hops: $38.72 (7 lbs light DME, 1 oz Columbus, 2 oz each Cascade & Centennial)
Specialty grains: $5.50 (3-1lb bags) (Caramel 40 & 120, Pale Chocolate)
Note: Cost of grains (amounts in recipe): ~$2.50

I'm sure you can source some of the ingredients for less from other sites, or get the actual specialty grain bill from your LHBS, but in this case it would be more to order the ingredients separately. Take it for what it is, just one example from one site.

Of course buying in bulk would save on cost, but if you buy ingredients in bulk, I doubt you're buying many kits

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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Yeah, I don't think it's really fair to compare the kit price to bulk prices. If you're doing extract batches, other than for hops, the benefits of bulk are pretty small or nonexistent.

If you want to be sure you get the best deal, you just have to add up the prices for each kit, because it varies. I've never seen a big difference (though I've also never bought a kit).

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Yeah, I don't think it's really fair to compare the kit price to bulk prices. If you're doing extract batches, other than for hops, the benefits of bulk are pretty small or nonexistent.

If you want to be sure you get the best deal, you just have to add up the prices for each kit, because it varies. I've never seen a big difference (though I've also never bought a kit).
Actually, you can buy extract in bulk as well and it is definitely cheaper than buying small quantity or kits.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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Sure, but then you have to deal with either large quantities of sticky DME or have to be sure you get through your LME quickly enough that you use it up while it's still fresh. I don't see either of those as being attractive options.

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