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Old 01-04-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
xxdcmast
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Default All grain brewing cheaper than extract

Simple question but given the ingredients needed for the same volume and same type of brew is all grain cheaper to brew than extract?

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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simple answer....Yes it is.
Check online retailers, and figure you are going to get around 70% usage....so you will need 10 pounds of grain for every 7 pounds of extract...then compair price. It will make you smile.

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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ingredients, yes.
Ed's Haus Pale Ale:
8# of Pale 2 Row: $13
2# Vienna : $4
1/2# Crystal: $1

Total for the grain: $18.

Extract:
7# DME: $21
2# Vienna: $4
1/2# Crystal : $1

Total for extract: $26

But, for AG, you'll need a bigger brew pot, MLT of some kind (igloo cooler and parts)

So in the long run, AG isn't cheaper at the start. But after a few years it will be cheaper.

Until you build a sculpture.

B

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #4
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YES. And much better tasting. Consider this. You need two cans of LME or two 3# bags of DME per batch. You already know what that costs.

The average batch of beer uses 9# of 2-row and 1 to 2# of specialty grain. The 2 row can be had for between $55 and $65 for 50 to 55#, and the specialty grain can be had for $1.50 to $2 per pound. So, lets figure you guy a bag of marris otter - $65 for 55#. That's 6 batches at a cost of $11 plus the specialty grain at between $1.50 and $4. So on the grains alone you're paying $12.50 to $15 per 5 gallon batch. Two cans of Muntons LME are just under $30 and you may still have to buy the specialty grain...

So the short answer is you can make it for half the price with twice the good flavor...

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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Ingredients only? Yes, AG is much cheaper if you get average to great efficiency.

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:26 PM   #6
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Simple answer: Yes.
Complicated Answer: Depends on your equipment. You can start doing all-grain for under $100 if you buy a turkey fryer, use an old cooler for a mash tun, and use your boil kettle as your HLT (heating the sparge water). However, you have to figure in the savings per batch...then how long it will take you to break even given the new equipment purchase. The more you spend on equipment, the longer it will take to start "saving" money with going all grain. Here's how I started: I already had a turkey fryer kit and a 5 gallon cooler. I modified this cooler to be my Mash Lauter Tun (MLT) with a stainless steel brain and some fittings from Lowe's. I followed this guide here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/

So, I only spent about $30 for my first all grain batch...I was just limited due to the size of my mash tun. So, for a normal 5 gallon "pale ale" recipe from the LHBS with liquid yeast I would spend $32. For the same recipe for all grain it only cost $24 which was a savings of $8 per batch. At that rate it took me 4 batches to break even with my equipment costs. Not bad, but here's the catch...I didn't EVER stop buying new equipment ! I first graduated to a round 10 gallon cooler($50). Then I purchased a keg and modified it to be my boil kettle($60). Then I got ANOTHER keg and turned it into a Hot Liquor Tank($90), and bought a grain mill($160) so I could buy grains in bulk. From what I read and hear from other brewers...this is how the all grain thing goes for most people. With all those purchases it's going to take me all this year to break even...although the more I brew the more I save (right?).

But all of that stuff is not really important to me...it's about the quality of the beer and the love of the hobby/obsession. Going all grain gives you total control over your brew, and if you do it right will yield some fantastic and truly unique home brewed beer. Go all grain for the love of brewing it like the professionals do, the complexity of the process, and the love of learning the traditional method. Oh, and don't forget the love of shiny new toys for your brewing setup!

But to be fair, the last 11 gallon batch I brewed up cost me $24!

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Ingredients only? Yes, AG is much cheaper if you get average to great efficiency.
Does anybody have a good link descrbibing efficency? I have seen it everywhere and havent really comer across a good brewing definition of it is.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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How to Brew - By John Palmer
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:31 PM   #9
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It's in the wiki, in palmer's How to Brew - By John Palmer and in my all grain primer article found in my sig below.

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Old 01-04-2009, 11:51 PM   #10
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Yes it is. The other thing that makes it cheaper is by the time you are ready to do AG you will also be doing other things like washing yeast and saving it in the fridge, etc. Just that alone will save you $8.00 in liquid yeast. Also, the control you have over what you make is MUCH better. Not to bag on extract but it is like making top ramen compared to using the bone from your New Year's ham to make soup from scratch. You can't beat it!

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