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-   -   How would you go cheap? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/how-would-you-go-cheap-54603/)

artyboy 02-11-2008 12:24 AM

How would you go cheap?
Buying from the home brew store I end up spending just about the same amount of money brewing my own beer as I would buying the same amount of good micro brew from the liquor store. What do you do to get your costs down? Once I get my all grain setup finished that'll help a bit. I might even try my hand at growing my own hops. I've thought about going to the feed store down the street and buying a 50 lb bag of wheat from them. Barley isn't a whole lot more expensive. I've got the basic equipment. Now I want to know how to buy the ingredients as cheaply as possible.

eschatz 02-11-2008 12:25 AM

Edworts Apfelwein! look it up on the recipe database... this is so good/cheap. its worth your time.

Beerrific 02-11-2008 12:26 AM

1. Dry yeast
2. Reuse liquid yeast
3. Brew low hoped beers, hops are getting expensive.
4. Buy in bulk wherever possible.
5. Feed wheat is not the same as brewing wheat.

homebrewer_99 02-11-2008 12:36 AM

Use liquid yeast and learn how to wash it for re-use and buy everything else in bulk (usually NOT from a HBS...buying a lot of the same supplies and paying the same as 3 lb bags of malt is not buying bulk...). :D

Rick_R 02-11-2008 12:40 AM

Can't speak from experience, but I'd think what HB Bill said, with 10g all grain batches.


Schlenkerla 02-11-2008 01:01 AM

artyboy - Most of us don't do it for the cheapness aspect. We do it for entertainment and self gratification. We also do it because we like to share with friends. You do to obesses about beer.

I think most people who are involved in this hobby are gadget liking people. They are DIYers and tend to lean to being technical/analytical types. Therefore its not always for doin' it on the cheap. Its doing because you just like to.

How many batches do you have under your belt?

If you start goin AG, and growing your own hops you'll question the time you spend and say you can go buy it for definately less effort, but you won't because of all the things I said above. If you buy barley at the feed store you have to malt it and roast it before you can mash or brew with it so more time spent... ... and growing your own hops, you gotta give your 1st year hops a lot of TLC. Watering & weeding and subsequent years its less watering more weeding and lots of pruning.

You do it because you love it and its better than watching the crap on TV!


Rick_R 02-11-2008 01:43 AM


Most of us don't do it for the cheapness aspect
Yeah, I don't even try to pretend to SWMBO that this is saving money. Placed orders yesterday for $250+, basically ingredients for two 5g batches (extract), some equipment & bottles, and a bit of a hop hoarding effort (just getting a few reserves in place, not buying poundage or nuttin'). It do add up.

As for gadgets, I spent some of this afternoon gutting an old hard drive and PC fan to get a Frankenstirrer going; planning a starter this batch. It's ugly but Houston, we do have vortex.


ohiobrewtus 02-11-2008 01:56 AM

Agreed. If you're getting into homebrewing to save money you're probably doing it for the wrong reasons.

While you may be able to save a few bucks here and there, once you get into this hobby and start dropping money on equipment upgrades you can expect to at best break even (at least from my experience).

I don't brew to save money, I brew to make good beer that I can call my own. There's nothing better than pulling a pint from my kegerator and saying "I made this".

BuffaloSabresBrewer 02-11-2008 02:18 AM

going AG will help ALOT

PeteOz77 02-11-2008 03:58 AM

Considering that a decent cooper's extract kit with Morgan's 1.5KG malt can cost less than $22 from the LHBS, and case of CHEAP beer her costs over $35 (so roughly $85-$95 dollars for the same amount of beer as one extract brew), it's a BIG cost savings for us Aussies. The tax on any sort of alcohol (or Cigarettes) is VERY high here, so home brewing is a great opportunity to save yourself a LOT of cash. I know quite a few people who just go buy a cheap extract kit, the cheapest malts etc and are very happy with their brews. They are BMC drinkers, and aren't looking for high quaility beer, they are doing it to save a buck. and they do!

I also know a lot of people (myself included) that prefer a NICE beer, and those are really expensive here... so again home brewing is WELL worth it on the higher end for cost savings as well.

How bad are the liquor taxes here? a 700ml bottle of Johnny walker RED cost $30, black is $55 and Chivas is $60.

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