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Old 07-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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That's a good idea. I didn't even consider the clubs aspect. Great advice! Thanks.
I'm in the Sultans of Swig and we meet at Gene McCarthy's on the 3rd monday of the month at 7:30. People usually start showing up about 6:45 to have a couple pints before the meeting starts. We also have socials the first monday of the month at various establishments around the area.

Stop in for a meeting if you get a chance, and bring 3-4 bottles of any beer you have ready for the tasting. It also helps if you bring the recipe/brewing methods used.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:29 AM   #12
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Hi everyone,
I am new to home brewing and was wondering of anyone can give me any good tips for cutting costs? I'm not cheap, but at the same time I am not made of money. And for me it seems like with a hobby like this, anyway to be cost efficient would add to the hobby since it allows you to brew more often, experiment, try new things, and impress/brag to your friends about how little it costs to enjoy the fine brew you made yourself at a fraction of the cost of their <insert generic McBeer here>. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Paul
1) DIY Anything you can.
2) Buy in Bulk, Things like grain, hops,yeast etc you will save in the long run.
3) Brew Lower ABV Beers, Less goes in, Less cost. OTOH you could brew VERY high ABV Beers, say around 12% so you have to drink less for the same effect.
4) Don't get caught up on LHBS Loyalty unless they take care of you well, If you can buy it cheaper Online DO.
5) See what kinda deals your LHBS can offer you on Bulk buys, Say you what to buy a case of Nottingham yeast, Ask if they can cut you a deal if you buy in bulk.
6) Don't fear simple sugars they are cheaper than malt and as long as you keep it to 20% or less of the brew, you prolly wont notice much other than the brew may be dryer.
7) Buy Used equipment when possible.If it has been cared for well it will take care of you.
8) Grow your own Hops, may take a couple years to see the savings but when they start producing you will save a ton.
9) Buy Grains that dont need to be malted such as wheat or rye from a Local Grain Elevator, i was quoted 55lbs of red wheat for 5 bucks. Wheat will Gelatanize at standard mash temps, so you can just crush it, mix it with malted barley and brew.
10) Always shop around and compare prices before you buy. A buck cheaper here or 2 bucks cheaper there really adds up FAST.
11) Buy beer in bottles that you can reuse, IE Not twist offs if you plan to buy beer, Free Bottles when the beer is gone.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips. I'll have to look into BIAB. Sounds interesting.
With buying in bulk, ect, how much would be the average cost to brew a 5 gallon batch?
Wash and reuse yeast? Isn't it a 1-use thing?
Check out this thread on yeast washing: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yea...strated-41768/

And actually, to save even more money, I usually avoid making starters by scheduling my brewdays and bottling days for the same day so that I can just scoop yeast right out of the fermenter and pitch into the new beer. This calculator even tells me how much to use under the 'repitching from slurry' tab: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html If you do it this way you will have better results if you strain your wort into the fermenter and you'll probably have to ferment in buckets (I just set a strainer on top of my primary bucket and pour it from the pot into the bucket through the strainer)

The cost of a five gallon batch will vary based on what kind of beer you make and how hard you are willing to work for deals, but with minimal effort I can get my grain costs down to $1/lb and my hops to $1/oz. If I get six batches out of one liquid yeast packet, that's also $1/batch, and I can make 5 gallons of a basic pale ale with an ingredient cost of $15 or less.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:12 AM   #14
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I'm in the Sultans of Swig and we meet at Gene McCarthy's on the 3rd monday of the month at 7:30. People usually start showing up about 6:45 to have a couple pints before the meeting starts. We also have socials the first monday of the month at various establishments around the area.

Stop in for a meeting if you get a chance, and bring 3-4 bottles of any beer you have ready for the tasting. It also helps if you bring the recipe/brewing methods used.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:17 AM   #15
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For your general ales, use dry yeast instead of liquid.

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Old 07-29-2011, 02:38 PM   #16
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Where in Buffalo are you?

On task again, buy in kits. Not nearly as cheap as pure bulk buying, but still about half the cost of piecing a brew together. At least, kits allow me to order from a distant HBS instead of paying the rather high LHBS price for grain. I want to go bulk grain soon, but am going to have trouble storing 55 lbs. of 2-row. Ehhh, figure it out. Kyle

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Old 07-29-2011, 04:22 PM   #17
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Where in Buffalo are you?

On task again, buy in kits. Not nearly as cheap as pure bulk buying, but still about half the cost of piecing a brew together. At least, kits allow me to order from a distant HBS instead of paying the rather high LHBS price for grain. I want to go bulk grain soon, but am going to have trouble storing 55 lbs. of 2-row. Ehhh, figure it out. Kyle
I live near UB South. You?

Yeah I can see where 55 pounds would be sorta hard to store. Haha
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:08 PM   #18
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Buy hops by the pound. I don't know what your lhbs charges but it's around $4.50 for two ounces. A pound (16oz) online is around $10-12 plus a little shipping.

Your recipe will also affect the price. Fewer grains=cheaper, unless that means you just drink more at a time.

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Old 07-29-2011, 07:37 PM   #19
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A few people have advised buying in bulk (grains, hops, etc) I know that several different places have several different prices, so in everyone's opinion, which HBS has the lowest prices for the individual bulk items, including shipping, while still maintaining quality?

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Old 07-29-2011, 11:26 PM   #20
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I live near UB South. You?

Yeah I can see where 55 pounds would be sorta hard to store. Haha
Easier than you think.
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