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Old 01-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
rhoop
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Default differences in brewing costs

I'm noticing a lot of people saying how they have spent $70-$90 on ingredients for a HG all grain batch. I live on the prairies, so maybe I'm lucky, and can buy 50lb bags of 2-row for $22, and even if I'm buying specialty malts by the lb from my LBHS, I'm not paying more than a $2.50ish a lb. I've never spent more than $50 on a 5G batch.

My question is, do grain prices vary that much throughout North America? Or am I just missing something? How do you spend that much on a 5G batch?

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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Cheapest I can find US 2 row around here is about $60 per sack. Maris Otter would be close to $80! From my LHBS I pay between $2.99 and $3.15 for specialty malts per pound. White Lab yeast is $10 per vial.
A big beer could add up really fast. Thankfully I brew mostly 1.040 to 1.060 beers.

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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Rhoop, if you're in Canada, that may have something to do with it. My brother lives in Winnipeg, MB and reports that the Canadian dollar is stronger than the American dollar at the moment, so prices on certain things are cheaper than here. It really depends on what it is, though -- gasoline is higher, for instance. And since MB only sells beer through the government stores, it's higher there, too.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that you're a) closer to the source and b) your money is worth more, so your grain prices are a bit better.

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
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My LHBS 10 miles away in decorah has very good prices, plus, no shipping for me if I get stuff there. Although, they also have good shipping prices (not sure about sacks of grain though) for those that are not local.

2Row is $38ish I think for 50lbs. Pilsner, munich, other bulk malts, etc are around $50 for 55lbs.

Specialty malts are maybe $2-$2.50 I think buying by pound.

$7 for yeast. (although I usually get 2-4 beers per yeast by building starters or saving yeast).

Hops by the pound for $10-$20 for the most part.

The big thing is no shipping makes a huge difference, plus, the ability to buy sacks of grain relatively cheap. The only way I have ever come close to $50+ on a batch is huge beers like Belgian Dark Strong or Barleywines. Typical beer maybe $20-$30 for ingredients.

Anyone spending $50-$70 per batch on all-grain really needs to seek out group buys, better options - It would be worth driving a couple hours to pick up 200-300 lbs of grain and 10+ pounds of hops to stock up for 6-12 months at a time.

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #5
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LHBS sells MO for $90/sack. I don't understand their pricing when I can get it shipped from halfway across the country and pay $75/sack including shipping.

Where are you getting grain for $22/sack?

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Think of other things that may be added into the batch.

I made a 10 gallon batch of a chocolate cherry porter (racked 5G on 3#s of cherry and 5G on 6#s of cherry) The 3 cherry purees alone cost me $50.

Then I wasn't buying grain in bulk so using 20#s of grain cost me $40 then $14 in yeast because i wasn't making starters, and another $8 in hops

So the total for just that was $112.

I also made a 5G Gulden Draak clone that was $40 in grain $20 in hops $14 in yeast $10 in candi syrup... i was looking at $85ish for 5G...

granted now that i own a mill and buy grains and hops in bulk and make starters and harvest yeast i could make that same batch for around $25, but thats when i was learning. I was trying to make crazy complex and big beers and was just throwing money away...

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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The most expensive AG 5 gallon batch I've made was a 1.074 IPA and that was only $30. If it cost me $90 for a batch I might not homebrew.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Group buys save a ton of money. I paid about $50 for around 80 lbs of various grains and less than $10/ lb of hops in my last one. With reusing yeast I can do a batch for around $10-$15 lately.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
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I spend about $90 dollars a batch for 10 gallons. Not to bad. Grain is already milled and ready to go. Someday I'll buy bulk, but until that time, this works for me.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhoop View Post
I'm noticing a lot of people saying how they have spent $70-$90 on ingredients for a HG all grain batch. I live on the prairies, so maybe I'm lucky, and can buy 50lb bags of 2-row for $22, and even if I'm buying specialty malts by the lb from my LBHS, I'm not paying more than a $2.50ish a lb. I've never spent more than $50 on a 5G batch.

My question is, do grain prices vary that much throughout North America? Or am I just missing something? How do you spend that much on a 5G batch?
Maybe their LHBS has high prices? There's not one in my town but there is one about 30 miles down the road and their prices about 1.5x more expensive than online. Makes me glad it's so far away that I don't feel morally obligated to patronize it.

Otherwise, I have no idea. I just put together a 1.092 IIPA with 8 ounces of hops for $65 including yeast and shipping. And that's extract. It would be slightly cheaper if I did AG.
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