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Old 01-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #11
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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.
Split up your DME outside into 2 or 3 lb bags and don't get LME. Problem solved.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:55 PM   #12
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Split up your DME outside into 2 or 3 lb bags and don't get LME. Problem solved.
Yep, you can do that if you want, but it's a lot more trouble and mess than other bulk options.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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For the 3 lb bags of DME, the cost/lb is $4.

If you bought a 55 lb bag of DME the cost/lb cost goes down to ~$3. If I had the space for a 55 lb bag of DME that would be a good deal.

But then again, if I had the space for a 55 lb bag of DME, I'd rather use it for bulk grains and a mash tun...some day, <sigh>

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Old 01-25-2013, 09:24 PM   #14
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Yep, you can do that if you want, but it's a lot more trouble and mess than other bulk options.
I totally agree. AG is the way to go, but some people haven't gotten that far yet or prefer the repeatability of extract. Before I went AG, I was getting 55 lb bags of DME. I'm a cheap bastard.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:46 PM   #15
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I'm paying around 1.50 for bases and around 1.90 for specialties. And I guess I could go to half of that or maybe a third if I bought in bulk from some of the numbers I've seen around here.

I just do wildly different styles for now. I haven't brewed the same thing twice yet except a Scottish ale which uses Golden Promise.

If I bought a bag of 2-row, I'd be kicking myself for MO. And vice versa. I'm not a good committer.

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:38 AM   #16
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I totally agree. AG is the way to go, but some people haven't gotten that far yet or prefer the repeatability of extract. Before I went AG, I was getting 55 lb bags of DME. I'm a cheap bastard.
Yeah, I am still doing PMs so I go through quite a bit of DME, but I'm not hard core enough to go with bulk. I'd probably get through a 55 lb bag in a year if I did go that route, and when I got my vacuum sealer I thought about making the investment, but I get enough sticky dust around the kitchen just opening a couple 3 lb bags. Also my son is allergic to wheat (not celiac, an allergy), and it seems that the barley glutens are also a problem for him, so I try to keep dust down to a minimum.

Anyway, I don't mean to discourage anyone from saving a buck going in bulk, but for purposes of comparing kits to raw ingredients, I think it's fairest to compare single-batch prices since I'd think most people doing enough brewing to be making bulk buys are probably rolling their own. (I could be wrong, and I'm sure there are exceptions, though.)

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:56 AM   #17
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Yeah, I am still doing PMs so I go through quite a bit of DME, but I'm not hard core enough to go with bulk. I'd probably get through a 55 lb bag in a year if I did go that route, and when I got my vacuum sealer I thought about making the investment, but I get enough sticky dust around the kitchen just opening a couple 3 lb bags. Also my son is allergic to wheat (not celiac, an allergy), and it seems that the barley glutens are also a problem for him, so I try to keep dust down to a minimum.

Anyway, I don't mean to discourage anyone from saving a buck going in bulk, but for purposes of comparing kits to raw ingredients, I think it's fairest to compare single-batch prices since I'd think most people doing enough brewing to be making bulk buys are probably rolling their own. (I could be wrong, and I'm sure there are exceptions, though.)


Dowhat? I would use 10 or 11 lbs of DME for each 5 gallon batch. That's 5-6 batches worth of ingredients. Less once you count in yeast starters and such. It sounds like a lot but it's really not. If you brew once a month you can easily go through two bags a year. 12 batches per year is a bad year for most homebrewers.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:51 AM   #18
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Keep in mind, the kits usually throw in corn sugar for priming. That could explain part of the difference, a buck or so (if you're buying corn sugar 4 ounces at a time, at about $1.25/bag).

Definitely bulk is cheaper, but when I've run side by side comparisons, paying the per-pound price a la carte (not per-50-lb price) just about equals the price of the kit.

Plus I like kits because there are never any ingredients left over to store. It's all gone at the end of brew day. This totally varies from person to person, but I'm in the camp of people who would rather not have a random 6.35 ounces of crystal torrified toasted triticale whatever-whatever in the bottom of the freezer because the LHBS only sells the stuff in one-pound increments.

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:53 AM   #19
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With bulk you should also figure in overhead costs if you're going to make these comparisions.

Actually when it is all said and done and your just starting out or you don't want to warehouse product, kits are a fair deal. A couple pennies either way is not ripping somebody off.

I think the vlaue changes as the brewers experience changes and space allows for bulk grain purchase, for a deep freezer full of hops and all that other stuff. So the value depends on the brewer and the setup.

I've started to reduce my brewing costs as my experience has grown and I've begun to buy more bulk.

That said, until you're ready to branch out a bit, kits are a great value.

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Old 01-26-2013, 06:05 AM   #20
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Where do you guys buy in bulk? Do brew shops give discounts for huge bags of grain? I'm planning on brewing nothing but hefeweizen for a stretch but have no idea where to look for bulk grain...

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