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Old 04-03-2009, 07:35 AM   #1
endlesssurf
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Default Cheap brewing

hey everyone i am short on cash and have a pretty good homebrew setup what would be the cheapest way to brew something... anything... I am wanting to continue my hobby but its hard to find the cash these days.

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Old 04-03-2009, 07:59 AM   #2
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Honestly, the cheapest way to keep brewing cheap (ingredients wise, that is) is to go all grain and buying grain in bulk. That alone cut my brewing costs almost in half. I mean, if you don't include all the equipment upgrades I did along with that Barring that, you can also buy hops by the lb which is sometimes cheaper. Reuse your yeast cakes and look up yeast washing. Use dry yeast instead of liquid.

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Old 04-03-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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yes, all grain is much cheaper, if you want cheap ... go all grain.
if you want to save money build a system , there is many styles to choose from.
It looks like the cheapest is the brew in a bag system, but its up to you.

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Old 04-03-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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AHS has a Fifty Cent beer series:
Austin Homebrew Supply

Northern Brewer also has a Mild Ale extract kit that's around $20 and it is very good. In fact, I have it on tap right now!

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Old 04-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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Look up Apfelwein, it is a cider, but darn cheap to make!

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Old 04-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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You can brew many light lawnmower ales and blondes for under $20 per batch, if it is AG. +1 on bulk buying, but if money is tight you may not have the captital to get that infusion of ingredients. When and if you do, it is a good idea. I reduced my costs by about 40% overall. My average cost per brew, across all styles, is about $25. My blondes and haus ale are close to $15.

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Old 04-03-2009, 01:04 PM   #7
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I have EdWort's Haus Pale ale for $18.99, which is pretty inexpensive for an outstanding beer.

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Old 04-03-2009, 01:51 PM   #8
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Because propane to boil with costs so damn much, I am doing a lot of "mostly grain" batches. Target is using the maximum amount of grain that the resulting wort will boil down to the batch size in the optimal 60 minute bittering boil time, which seems to be about 9 or 10 lbs of grain.

That comes out a little light in the SG (I like my beer to be in the 5.5%+ ABV range), so a pound or so of corn sugar bumps up the gravity without much (or any) effect on the quality.

Once I get my keggle converted to electric boiling, I will cut down or phase out the corn sugar, but for now, it is a VERY cheap way to cut down on propane use.

If you have the time and space, growing hops, buying hops in bulk, saving yeast and buying yeast in bulk all are money saving options, too.

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Old 04-03-2009, 06:02 PM   #9
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check out his blog link, guys. college student! he may not have the capital to start straight out with a 7.5gal kettle, mashtun, propane, wort chillers, and most importantly a place to safely use propane. (propane costs money too...thats another 50$ for a tank that will last half a dozen batches, max)

in a dorm or apartment your stove usually sucks pretty bad, so you're limited to using heatsticks (and you'd need two separate circuits, or 240v) or doing partial boils.

theres nothing wrong with extract brewing, I'm an apartment dweller with a puny stove myself. partial mashing or small-batch biab are a possibility, maybe next year...

nothing against AG guys, it just doesn't seem like a full blown AG setup and bulk pallets of grain are a good fit for someone who is saying "i'm short on cash, help me brew on the cheap".

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Old 04-03-2009, 06:12 PM   #10
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I used to do two gallon all-grain batches with a big coffee urn I found at Goodwill for 4 dollars as a self-heating mashtun and empty carlo rossi one gallon glass jugs as carboys.

Cheap brewing can be done.

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