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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Cheaper to buy kits
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:16 PM   #11
ArcaneXor
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Small local homebrew stores provide a lot of value-added service that online stores cannot (samples, custom iterative recipe design, hands-on troubleshooting, hands-on demonstrations, being able to chew grains and smell hops), plus they don't have the advantage of economies of scale and often cannot order from some suppliers at all because of minimum purchase requirements.

Pre-made kits are often discounted because there is less on-demand labor involved in making them. The downside is that you don't know how long the kits have been sitting around with hops and crushed grains being stored at room temperature...

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Old 03-31-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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At my LHBS ingredients are just about the same as online, and he does enough business that the turnover keeps stuff fresh. For gear, his stuff is a a bit more expensive than online, but with shipping most items even out and I don't have to wait for the mail. I only order stuff he doesn't have, or if I'm getting enough stuff at once that the shipping is free.

More importantly, he's a nice guy, knows his stuff, has his own homebrew in kegs to share samples, and likes to try my stuff and give advice. Way more satisfying than a trip to the internet.

Bottom line, if your LHBS won't change to improve, it sounds like you need to find a new one, even if it's further away.

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Old 03-31-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Britinusa View Post
I was doing some research on prices today and to my surprise its cheaper to buy a 5 gallon kit than to buy the grains separately, ($8.00 cheaper) its also cheaper for me to buy the kit online and pay shipping than to go to my local HBS.
Total opposite of my expectations.
I guess if I was buying in bulk and crushing own it would be cheaper.
I find online cheaper.
kits vs bulk being the cheaper route depends on how you brew. if you look at a kit recipe and need to buy all of it. ingredients might be more than the kit.
buying ingredients for 2 kits is even worse because kits tend to add a little of everything so its cheaper to buy the kit.

most of my recipes are based around 3 base malts, 1 type of extract, and a few specialties so buying in bulk is always cheaper (for me). anything new only requires buying a couple extra things .
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:22 PM   #14
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I guess you guys have more HBS choice than we do, my only one is about 1/2 hour away, its a small store the owner is very nice.
The next closest is an hour away, to be fair to them I have only shopped there once, they dont seem to have much in the way of equipment they mostly do grains and hops.
I guess I was wanting to see if anyone else is finding the same cost difference as I am.

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:53 PM   #15
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Morebeer has free shipping with orders over $60, There bulk grains are high because they don't qualify for the $60 shipping but you can order 10lb increments of grains and they do ship free, they have great kits also.

I like midwest kits but to be cost effective you have to order 3 or 4 at a time because of there shipping cost

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Old 03-31-2013, 11:00 PM   #16
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Surprisingly, kits and equipment at my LHBS are on par with online offerings...makes it a lot easier to support local AND he organizes group meetings every month for local brewers. :-)

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Old 04-01-2013, 01:25 PM   #17
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I've given lots of money to the LHBS's in my area over the years but their prices have gone from a little high to plumb F'ing stupid.

I'm done shopping the LHBS unless its an absolute must have! From now on I order damn near everything online from Midwest Supplies and its still cheaper after shipping than some other mail order places or the dreaded LHBS!

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