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Old 01-17-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
Superman3278
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Default All Grain Not cheaper in comparison by much

Well I went all out this week and brewed my first all grain recipe. I always hear how much cheaper it is, well $ 50.00 for 6 gal of primary is not cheaper than extract. In fact it was cheaper but by comparison it was only 10% cheaper.

I not bummed out, my brew came out great. I was able to pull 1.050 out of two 6lb grain beds in 85 minutes each, rest time included. The house still smells sweet and hoppy, it's been about 3 days in primary (love that smell, wifey don't )

The recipe was John Palmers Big Basin American Ale. In a pinch a borrowed 5 gal round cooler with a steamer basket and a large coarse bag was a great lo-tech approach for the MLT. I recomend it to anyone wanting to try all grain for the first time without the cost of purchasing new equiptment. However a valve does need to be installed to control your draw off rate. I used a spare valve for bucket and the steamer basket was 50 cents at the 5 and dime resale shop.

In closing, this was still fun and worthy even though I had to stop in the middle of it for an emergancy. Good thing it was in the single digits this week, St. Louis has been wintery cold and it saved the day. Thats another story I'll share else where on HBT.

Cheers,

Travis

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:36 PM   #2
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The real savings come in buying bags of grain, where you pay anywhere from $1 to $1.35 a pound instead of $1.50 to $2 a pound when you buy it by the pound.
It gets even cheaper than that when you can get in on a bulk grain order, sometimes as low 60-75 cents a pound

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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$50 for a 6 gallon batch? Without trying to hard i can make a 5.5 gallon batch of 1.050 beer for around $20. If i'm buying stuff in bulk it could be closer to $12 or so...

Did you use an outrageous amount of hops or just get gouged by your LHBS?

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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How in the world did you spend $50 on a 6 gallon batch? I'm not familiar with the recipe but it doesn't sound *that* big.

You can make good AG beers under $20 easily, if you buy bulk it's even cheaper.

Glad you've made the switch you won't regret it.

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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Maybe wherever you get your ingredients is unusually high, but I find that a typical extract with grains recipe runs me around 50 bucks including yeast and hops, whereas the same recipe when converted to all grain comes to between 20 and 25 dollars for the same batch.

I know that I can get a 10 pound bag of 2-row for about 15 bucks, and a 50 pound bag for about 50 bucks at most of the LHBS's that I frequent, and I'm sure I could probably find it cheaper online or through a bulk buy, but I don't have the space to store it.

My grain bills for most beers is between 6-10 pounds of basemalt (2 row) and another 2 to 4 pounds of other grains depending on the recipe.

I also use dry yeast for most recipes, or harvest yeast. And have built up a supply of hops in my freezer...so often I am just buying the grain for my recipe...again which cuts down the cost immensely per batch.

You can search for some of the threads that break down these things even further tere are several threads on cost of AG vs Extract...and Chriso IIRC did a thread breaking down the cost of certain recipes from different online suppliers.

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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To make it even cheaper, buy your hops from freshops.com.

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chello View Post
$50 for a 6 gallon batch? Without trying to hard i can make a 5.5 gallon batch of 1.050 beer for around $20. If i'm buying stuff in bulk it could be closer to $12 or so...

Did you use an outrageous amount of hops or just get gouged by your LHBS?

Yup. I routinely make a Pale Ale that has an OG of 1.051. With 5 ounces of hops I still come in at $21 a batch for 5.5 gallons. The LHBS I deal with has great prices for grain. I buy my grain up front for $1 per pound. Each time I go there he just subtracts however much grain I get from how much I have on credit. It's pretty cool. Oh, I buy my hops in bulk and package/store it myself in 2 ounce packages.
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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I buy at a LHBS and have them grind the grains for me. 13 pounds of grains, a pack of yeast, two packs of hops and a bag of priming sugar is around $32.00 total with tax. I could by bulk and save, but I am lazy.

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Old 01-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #10
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Of the top of my head I'm getting getting about 30 gallons AG over 20 gallons extract brewing the same kind of ales.

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