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Old 06-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #21
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My goal has always been to brew good beer for cheaper than I can buy it. I have a basic set up and about 6 fermenters. I have been brewing for 3 years and I believe that I have spent about $300 of my own money. I brew all grain, buy grain and hops in bulk, re-use yeast as much as I can (get about 3-4 brews from one packet of yeast usually). I ask for money or brew related item for my birthday and Christmas and use the money for the grain, hops and yeast. So basically every homebrew I drink is a birthday or Christmas present!

I realize that I am not typical, but you can save money if you want to.

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Old 06-11-2012, 03:43 AM   #22
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I make almost every piece of equipment I use, so I try saving money everywhere possible, especially equipment upgrades. My MLT cost me about $15. My 50' 1/2" IC set me back about $60. My mill was a gift and the housing for everything cost about $5. Bought 150# of grain in a group buy for $100 and a bunch of hops in bulk for $20. I also rinse and reuse my yeast. My last 5gal batch cost me $8.50 (not including propane). Even after looking at all the small DYI and bulk ingredient purchases, I think I'm still breaking even. Then again, most 6packs are going for more than what I paid to brew 5gallons. I guess it all comes down to this; for what I drink, I pay less brewing and drinking my homebrew than if I were to just drink commercial beer. Cheers!

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Old 06-11-2012, 03:50 AM   #23
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saving. when you saved more at the right time you can spend more right?

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Old 06-11-2012, 03:58 AM   #24
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$7-$9 sixpacks
$3-$5 16-22oz singles

5 gallons of that is a lot more than ingredients for 5 gallons.
When you add in equipment,,, hell,, don't add in equipment . We'd have bought all those toys anyways.

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:09 AM   #25
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Gotta love the topic. Reminds me of the whole fishing thing. I've amassed over $5K in fly rods and reels and a couple of kilobucks of materials and a bazillion kinds of fly hooks, a 20' sport fishing boat and a couple of canoes over ~45 years in the sport - and I'm a catch and release flyfisher, which makes the per-fish-kept cost roughly...infinite.

I was about to cobble up a spreadsheet of my brew gear cost over ~10 years of home brewing and amortize that across an average of 150 gallons per year. Then I remembered the fishing thing, and decided to skip the whole exercise

Cheers!

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:29 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post

It's a hobby, and it's cheaper than owning a plane as a hobby.
This made me laugh out loud. I haven't done a price breakdown - its my hobby, and I enjoy sharing GOOD beer with people no matter the $'s (or lack thereof) involved.

That being said, I refuse to spend a couple hundred bucks on equipment when I can purchase the parts separately, read some 'how-to's' and put it together myself for a third of the cost.

I'm handy like that...
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:29 AM   #27
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Most of the replies are missing one crucial fact. The original poster is from Canada, and we pay more for beer than you lucky Americans do.

A sixpack of a craft type beer is going to be at least $12-15, so if you can brew at 50 cents a beer you're saving at least $1.50/beer. Multiply that by say 60 beers in a batch and that's a savings of at least $90 per batch.

I'm new to this, but I think I have enough equipment now to BIAB and bottle without buying anything else. My total costs with a starter kit ($70), kettle ($80), and other misc items (at least under $100), mean I could be saving money after 3 batches.

Of course that's probably not the reason to get into this as a hobby. You should do it because you love beer and you find the idea of making it yourself really interesting.

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:49 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr
Gotta love the topic. Reminds me of the whole fishing thing. I've amassed over $5K in fly rods and reels and a couple of kilobucks of materials and a bazillion kinds of fly hooks, a 20' sport fishing boat and a couple of canoes over ~45 years in the sport - and I'm a catch and release flyfisher, which makes the per-fish-kept cost roughly...infinite.

I was about to cobble up a spreadsheet of my brew gear cost over ~10 years of home brewing and amortize that across an average of 150 gallons per year. Then I remembered the fishing thing, and decided to skip the whole exercise

Cheers!
I gave up my guitar/band hobby many years back. This hobby is cheap by comparison and I have a decent brewing setup. I still have all the kilobucks of music gear. I just can't sell it. My 7yo son is interested in guitar now. He will have a good start!
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:09 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwarbiany
Clearly the per-batch cost is better than buying commercial. I brew 10-gallon batches (~4 cases). For a 6% IPA, let's say I'm spending $30 on grain, $20 on hops, and $10 on yeast. Add in sundries ($5 for propane, a few bucks for water, ice for my chiller [in the summer], electricity for my fermentation fridge), and I'm spending less than $80 for a batch. And that's one of my more expensive batches.

Compare that to the equivalent quantity of store-bought. 4 cases is 16 six-packs. Here in CA you can expect to spend at least $9 per six pack, and with tax and CRV, you're over $10. So each equivalent batch would cost me $160 or more commercially.

Brew a strong belgian, imperial stout, or a double IPA (beers usually bought in 22 oz bombers)? You'll save more money because those beers commercially are much more expensive, but homebrewing is not that much more expensive. Brew a more mild session beer, easier on the hops? You'll save more money, because those beers commercially are still in the $8+ range per sixer at the store.

How many batches will it take to amortize the equipment costs? Depends how balls-out you go on your equipment. My brew rig is pretty stable, cost-wise. But I just dropped $600 or so in total cost to outfit my 6-tap keezer, and thus it'll probably take me most of a year to amortize that cost in brewing savings. But since I do ~12 batches a year, at a savings of $80+ per batch, and I've been brewing 6 1/2 years, I'd say I've probably broken even by now.
+1 to this. Most of the beers I buy are like $10 a 4 pack. It cost me less than $50 to make 60 or so bottles of 7-9% beer. No doubt in my mind I'm saving $$ since I've started brewing. But I agree in the start it seems like a lot of spending to get everything set up.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:28 PM   #30
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Oh man...where do I start? I still have engine parts new since the 70's,including a crower injector scoup,a cobraII hood scoop,A holley street dominator intake,tires,& other misc tuner parts... I'm in trouble for the parts I haven't got to yet,grease stains on my hands,& I don't know where I've been. Am I here because of your humility...or your stupidity?...ooops,got away from myself there. I have a whole stack of guitars,& a half stack Fender rock pro 1000,stomp boxes,pedal boards,Now all my brewing gear. A lot of tools too. I'm not sure anymore if I'm a pack rat or a rennesance man.Still like to get back to playin guitar,brew more,put the parts in my lil tuner I have layin around....Maybe I need help...?
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