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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Cost Difference AG vs Extract
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
AG=Cheap
Extract=Expensive
Thread=Done
This is true only about the actual beer ingredients. The truth, however, is that becomming an all-grain brewer is much more expensive than being an extract brewer. I brewed extract kits for a long time with about $140 worth of equipment. In the last year, I have spent upwards of $800 and counting on all-grain equipment. Thinking about it that way, it would take a whole lot of all-grain batches to bring down the overall cost-per-batch to what is was when things were canned and simple.
So I'm going to make the comment that, all things considered:
Extract=Cheap hobby
AG=Expensive hobby
The fact that I'm saving $6 in ingredients per 5 gallons to do all-grain is offset by hundreds of dollars spend on boil kettles, insulated mashtuns, tanks, testing equipment, books, etc. etc. etc. IMHO, if you want this hobby to not cost you a ton stick with the cans!!
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:44 PM   #12
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All-grain brewing certainly requires some equipment that extract brewing does not, but it needn't be super expensive, either...

When I went AG, I purchased a keggle and rigged it for about $100. I already had a propane burner.

I made a MLT using an old cooler and about $10 worth of CPVC and tubing.

I use another old cooler to hold sparge water. I bought an aeration stone a sanitary filter to use with an aquarium pump for a few bucks.

So if I'm saving 8-10 bucks a batch on ingredients, it only takes maybe a dozen batches to recoup that cost. I brew a little over a dozen batches a year, so that's not bad.

Of course, one could spend *much* more on fancy AG equipment, but it is not necessary.

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Old 01-17-2007, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
So if I'm saving 8-10 bucks a batch on ingredients, it only takes maybe a dozen batches to recoup that cost. I brew a little over a dozen batches a year, so that's not bad.

Of course, one could spend *much* more on fancy AG equipment, but it is not necessary.
You've got me beat! By off-the-cuff estimates of capacity, approx. $ spent and consumption rates it will take a few years to recoup my investment. And I agree with your last assertion that fancy equipment is not necessary. That being said, I am one who doesn't mind his hobbies consuming $$. I admire pennypinchers when it comes to brewing, but to tell you the truth I find my forrays into save-money-land only end up costing me time and aggrivation. In certain cases, I can be a competative DIY'er. In others, I know buying professional equipment will probably last me longer and be more reliable along the way. I think I have Alton Brown syndrome: I'm half Norm Abrams, half MacGyver. Sometimes the wallet is the solution, and sometimes a sock, silly putty and a paper clip will do!
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:58 PM   #14
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Right--if money were no object (or less of an object), I'd happily sink a bunch of it into fancy brewing equipment. Nothing wrong with that at all.

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery Sword
This is true only about the actual beer ingredients. The truth, however, is that becomming an all-grain brewer is much more expensive than being an extract brewer. I brewed extract kits for a long time with about $140 worth of equipment. In the last year, I have spent upwards of $800 and counting on all-grain equipment. Thinking about it that way, it would take a whole lot of all-grain batches to bring down the overall cost-per-batch to what is was when things were canned and simple.
So I'm going to make the comment that, all things considered:
Extract=Cheap hobby
AG=Expensive hobby
The fact that I'm saving $6 in ingredients per 5 gallons to do all-grain is offset by hundreds of dollars spend on boil kettles, insulated mashtuns, tanks, testing equipment, books, etc. etc. etc. IMHO, if you want this hobby to not cost you a ton stick with the cans!!

The way I see it is, equipment costs (assuming you stick with it and don't have an equipment loss) will be recouped. I tend to think of it this way. A case of decent beer costs upwards of $25, many reaching into $30+. Multiplying this factor by the number of cases one brews in a month can easily justify it in all honesty. If I was spending $75 a month on 3 cases a month before, and now my ingredients cost is in the $15 for 3 cases that is significant. It doesn't account for time of course and accidents...but I think in general as long as you don't continue to spend on equipment you can quickly recover your costs if you consume a bit to begin with. If you are only brewing once every 3 months or something it would take significantly longer.
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:59 AM   #16
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Ok fine lets project this out a little - what does a modest, fully functional 10 gal AG system consist of and cost? Vs. a $90.00 a month beer purchasing budget. Lets go out 12-24 months god knows I haven't stopped drinking beer its a part of my daily routine.

How many batches does one really have to make to make it COST effective. $$$ only not enjoyment, fun, experimentibility etc, $ and sense.

It seems that after 12 months of brewing AG would be all savings? Someone do the math Im busy. $30.00/case commercial beer VS. $x.xx/ 10 gal batch.

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Old 01-18-2007, 01:20 AM   #17
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I've dropped about $250 so far on AG equipment, it'll be probably $300 before long. I figure a decent-sized AG batch costs $20, versus $40 for extract. So, the payback is about twelve to fifteen batches - probably a years' worth of brewing, probably a bit less.

Plus, it's a lot more fun to be able to work with different malts, to be mashing - somehow, for me, it's more satisfying. Nothing wrong with extract, I may do some kind of wheat beer with extract in Febuary - but to me, AG is a lot more enjoyable. So really, I'm already in the black

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Old 01-18-2007, 01:44 AM   #18
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You can do AG on a budget. I've used just about everything from my extract days. The only thing I added was a Mash cooler. It cost me 25 dollars to make. I also added a keg kettle. Which cost me 35 bucks at a scrap yard. Cut the top off myself I already owned the tools. Been using a turkey fryer for years now. You could use a stove but it will add time. I've got no more than 75 bucks in to my AG brewing.

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Old 01-18-2007, 01:49 AM   #19
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i would love to go AG just don't have the room. but i am looking foward to the challange of makeing my beers more to my likeing. and i also only started about six months ago. i have 6 extract brews done. so far i have been able to keep the primary full thanks to all the cool recipes i find here. well some day ill be able to hang with you AG guys and girls

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Old 01-18-2007, 03:26 AM   #20
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Don't forget the tools= toys = cool factor. Not sure it's all a guy thing but with any hobby half the fun is buying the "stuff".

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