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Old 04-05-2013, 04:01 AM   #1
JeffD1
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Default How to keep costs down

I'm very new to AG, but one of the reasons I was excited to get into it was that I couldn't wait to start making $20 batches like everyone talks about. I went to my lhbs and with a couple of extra cheap things (caps, pbw, etc) it costs me $70! I decided to price my next brew out on NorthernBrewer and that came out to $44.96 without shipping. What am I doing wrong? I copied and pasted my cart from northernbrewer (see below). The grains are crushed, but that did not add to the price. The only extras in there are caps and an airlock. Is there a cheaper place to shop?



Product Name Unit Price Qty Subtotal Remove
Continue ShoppingUpdate Shopping Cart

Belgian Special B - 1 lb. crushed
$1.75 $1.75
Remove item

Bairds Carastan Malt - 1 lb. crushed
$1.75 $1.75
Remove item

Belgian Caramunich - crushed
$1.75 $1.75
Remove item

Weyermann Carahell - 1 lb. crushed
$1.75 $1.75
Remove item

Weyermann Dehusked Carafa II - 1 lb. crushed
$1.99 $1.99
Remove item

Sterling Hop Pellets 1 oz
Edit $1.75 $3.50
Remove item

Columbus Hop Pellets 1 oz.
Edit $1.75 $1.75
Remove item

White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale
Edit $6.99 $6.99
Remove item

Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt - 1 lb. crushed
$1.25 $12.50
Remove item

Bubbler Air Lock
Edit $1.25 $1.25
Remove item

Dark Belgian Candi Sugar 1 lb.
Edit $5.99 $5.99
Remove item

Brewers Best Crown Caps - 144
Edit $3.99 $3.99

Grand Total $59.90
Subtotal $44.96
Shipping & Handling (Ship Method - Shipping Information - UPS Ground ( 4 business days )) $14.94
Proceed to Checkout

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:03 AM   #2
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Buy in bulk. A 55lb sack of 2row on a group buy can be had under $30. Buy hops by the pound for under $10lb. Reuse yeast.

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:09 AM   #3
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Buying your base malts and hops in bulk will lower your costs, although you will need a grain mill. Reusing yeast is good, or using dry yeast when available will also lower your cost, often.

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:24 AM   #4
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LBHS don't always have the best deals. The closest LBHS's I have near me are over an hour away and 1 is ridiculously overpriced while the other is comparable to online. Like the others have said, buying in bulk will lower you price. One pound of of 2 row can vary from 1.25 to 2, but in bulk it is less than 45 dollars (at least where im at)

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:40 AM   #5
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Thank you for the quick replies!

I may have to invest in a grain mill.

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:04 AM   #6
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Bulk base and hops are the best way. Bulk hops cost me $.067/oz and base malt can be as low as $0.72/lb for domestic 2-row. I spend about $24 for a 5 gallon batch. Oh, yeah a good mill will allow you to get better efficiency which can amount to less grain being needed for the same OG/SG.

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:21 AM   #7
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Also, Northern brewer is great but not the cheapest by a long shot. In fact they are about the most expensive on most things...

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:37 AM   #8
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You can start with a simpler recipe to begin with. Your recipe calls for a Belgian Candi Sugar and liquid yeast....that's 13 bucks right there. A twenty dollar AG recipe will probably be pretty simple( Blonde, Pale Ale, Dry Stout, etc..)and either used dry yeast or washed yeast.

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Old 04-05-2013, 05:47 AM   #9
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As noted above:
1. Buy grains in bulk. While group buys are best, sometimes you can grab decent deals locally. For instance, my LHBS offers sacks of briess 2-row for $40 per 50 pound sacks a couple times a year. This works out to $.80/lb, or under $10 for base grain in a typical 5 gallon batch.
2. Reuse yeast. Trade yeast. This can save boat loads of cash. I just got done making a bunch of batches, all with washed s-05 from a previous batch. So my $4 package of s-05 has made 1 batch plus 4 more batches, and EACH of these will result in enough yeast to make 4 more batches. That works out to a pretty small $ per batch, but at the cost of a mason jar collection, some time, and space in a refrigerator.
3.Buy hops in bulk. There is a huge savings in buying a pound for $6, $10, $15 even $20 over per ounce prices. Another suggestion here is to "discover" hops other than those which always seem to be in short supply. I picked up pounds of Columbus, williamette, and several others for $6/pound. By looking for deals and buying a bunch to offset shipping, I've been able to accumulate a freezer full...including pounds of Chinook, Centennial, EKG, Simcoe, ... One last thing on hops, many recipes don't require the use of expensive flavor/aroma hops for bittering, where a clean bittering hop like magnum or perle will do.

Hope this helps...my typical IPA cost is under $15 for a 5 gallon batch!

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:01 AM   #10
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I buy my base grains in bulk. Everything else I will buy when I brew. I found that buying hops and dry yeast a online vender is cheaper then my local place (maybe buying enough for 3 brews or so).

I change styles so often, I waste money trying to buy some ingredients in bulk that I will never use.

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