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Old 02-18-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default It's a good thing I don't brew to save money!

All lot of the times when I tell people I brew, they ask me if I do it to save money. I just laugh and say no. And it's a good thing I don't, because I just added up all the receipts from Austin Homebrew, and I've spent $950 so far. Granted that it's worth every penny, I just can't believe I've spent that much so far.

I still havnt added up the cost of the keggorator or kegs, or the items I bought from Abilene's homebrew shop either.

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Old 02-18-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
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I've said it before and I'll say it again- we don't do it to save money. Granted, we do try to cut costs (buying in bulk, reusing yeast, etc) but the money we spend buying and building equipment is incredible, and we could mor than likely buy commercial beer cheaper. But we do it for fun, not money.

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Old 02-18-2010, 01:02 PM   #3
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Yep I think my last order from NB put me over the $1K mark in total spent actually probably closer to $1300. Lessee, that includes ingredients enough for 8 gallons of welch's wine, 3 gallons of apfelwein, 5 gallons of mrbeer, and 35 gallons of beer, so breaking that into 12 oz bottles is 544 bottles of beer and wine, so roughly $2.50 per bottle, that doesn't take into account time investment, just raw dollars. Granted I haven't gotten into kegging yet just bottles and a TAD. If I can resist the urge to blow another few hundred on a kegging setup and I simply make beer for a while I could see my average CPB (cost per bottle) drop with each batch.

Big IF right there.

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Old 02-18-2010, 01:04 PM   #4
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Yep I think my last order from NB put me over the $1K mark in total spent actually probably closer to $1300. Lessee, that includes ingredients enough for 8 gallons of welch's wine, 3 gallons of apfelwein, 5 gallons of mrbeer, and 35 gallons of beer, so breaking that into 12 oz bottles is 544 bottles of beer and wine, so roughly $2.50 per bottle, that doesn't take into account time investment, just raw dollars. Granted I haven't gotten into kegging yet just bottles and a TAD. If I can resist the urge to blow another few hundred on a kegging setup and I simply make beer for a while I could see my average CPB (cost per bottle) drop with each batch.

Big IF right there.
Bah, go for kegging.

I started keeping a spread sheet of how much I'd spent on brewing. Then I looked at it one day, realized swmbo may someday see the "Total" field, and deleted the spreadsheet immediately.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
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I always think "the next batch" is going to be cheap. Never seems to come to fruition. Like free beer tomorrow I guess. Last order from Austin was $200. $25 was for actual ingredients.

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Old 02-18-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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You CAN save a ton of money making mead. Figured it out the other day, if you included the carboy and the bottles (which we're going to re-use) our costs for a simple honey only mead come to about $84 for 24 bottles, which works out to $3.50 per bottle. If you remove the carboy and bottles (which we will eventually re-use) the cost drops to ~$25 for 12 # of honey, which is about $1 per bottle.

Not sure where I'm coming in on the beer. I've got a pretty simple setup, and I try to keep it that way. I've bought a beginner's kit ($60), a burner ($100), a wort cooler ($100 includes converting from IC to CFC), converted a keggle ($60), tubing ($30), bottles ($60), 3 carboys ($120), 5 Ale Pails ($60), plus a ton of kits. So let's say $600 on equipment.

We've probably got close to our legal limit going right now in the basement, and then I'd say a conservative estimate of 10-15 batches last year (we had to stop to buy a house). Extract kits run about $35 on average, which puts them at ~$4 a sixer, instead of ~$8. So I've saved between $320 to $480 on beer, which puts me $120 in the hole, but I've learned a ton, had a lot of fun, and reached out to a great group of people.

Sounds full of Win to me.

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Old 02-18-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Bah, go for kegging.

I started keeping a spread sheet of how much I'd spent on brewing. Then I looked at it one day, realized swmbo may someday see the "Total" field, and deleted the spreadsheet immediately.
hahaha Im with you! I just started brewing this year/January. I have to say Im glad I kept one private credit card to myself. IF she knew what I was spending on Ingredients, setups, and now the Keezer. Id probally be sleeping on the couch. I also made a cost list and once I saw the total, I never touched the "save as" button.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:43 PM   #8
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I like to word it this way:

Per batch, its not as cheap as a case of Natty Light, but its cheaper than buying somebody elses craft brew.

Of course the process and experience is priceless

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Old 02-18-2010, 02:22 PM   #9
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There is always a capital cost ofc but if you brew for a long enough time I imagine you will make it up. Heck the self reliance is awesome not to mention having 100+ gallon of homebrew beer and wine in my room is totally badass!

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Old 02-18-2010, 02:57 PM   #10
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Bah, go for kegging.

I started keeping a spread sheet of how much I'd spent on brewing. Then I looked at it one day, realized swmbo may someday see the "Total" field, and deleted the spreadsheet immediately.
My swmbo just started tracking all our spending in quicken. I got find a way to get rid of the Beer Supplies section that she made.
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