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Old 01-24-2008, 04:38 AM   #1
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Default cheap extract sources?

So, I don't like the idea of brewing a batch for $50. That said, two 3# bags of extract can run you close to $30 or $40 depending on where you buy them. Where do you get your best online deals for extract? I'm seeing grape.net running about $12.5 for a 3# bag of Muntons. So with two of those plus a few specialty grains, a small amount of hops and the yeast and I'm hiting over $50 with the shipping to brew one batch. Does it come any cheaper or am I being a real cheapskate here?

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Old 01-24-2008, 04:41 AM   #2
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About the only way to save money on extract is to buy in bulk. If you switch to partial mashing you can offset a bunch of the extract cost by mashing grains and you can probably do it with minimal equipment purchase (if any).

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Old 01-24-2008, 04:56 AM   #3
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Forgive me, but I'm cheap too.. expand on grape.net please..

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Old 01-24-2008, 05:29 AM   #4
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I'm also interested in finding places to get extract... Austin Homebrew Supply has DME for about $1.50 less per # than my LHBS, but I don't know if that's enough to make up for shipping costs (plus, I like supporting local businesses).

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Old 01-24-2008, 05:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist308
So, I don't like the idea of brewing a batch for $50. That said, two 3# bags of extract can run you close to $30 or $40 depending on where you buy them. Where do you get your best online deals for extract? I'm seeing grape.net running about $12.5 for a 3# bag of Muntons. So with two of those plus a few specialty grains, a small amount of hops and the yeast and I'm hiting over $50 with the shipping to brew one batch. Does it come any cheaper or am I being a real cheapskate here?
Well, you can do a little better at MoreBeer or AHS...$3.75 and $3.99 a pound for DME. Buying in bulk will get the price down to around $3.00. Or switch to LME ($2.40, $2.59 per lb) although you have to use more of it to achieve the same OG.

Are you using liquid yeast? If so, consider switching to dry for some styles. You can save several dollars a batch that way, and modern dry yeasts give spectacular results with any style that calls for clean, neutral fermentation.

As you're surely aware, brewing all-grain drastically reduces the per-batch price, most of my beers come in around $20 each. Obviously there are many other advantages as well, although I know it's not practical for some due to limitations of their living situation. But as bradsul pointed out, even partial mashing will save you a few $$$ and is well within the reach of just about everybody.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:16 AM   #6
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consider harvesting your yeast from batch to batch to save even more money.
I get at least five batches from a single smack pack of yeast.

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Old 01-24-2008, 06:21 AM   #7
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Default Sounds overall overpriced to me

My LHBS has most kits for less than $30.00, that come with the dry yeast. Add $6.00 for the liquid.

Higher gravity beers more, sure.

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Old 01-24-2008, 07:01 AM   #8
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i'd go for the partial mashing. for pseudo mashing, all you need is a colander and you can do it in 3 easy steps.

1. steep your mash in 1.25 quarts of 150-160*F water for 30+ minutes
2. pour grains and water through colander into brewpot
3. pour some sparge water at 170*F over the colander (still filled with grains) into brewpot

add water to your boil limit, and BAM! you're ready for your boil. plus you've just improved the flavor of your beer and lessened the effects of extract twang.

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Old 01-24-2008, 12:36 PM   #9
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Default Go for the kits!

I'm in the same camp as you are -- extract is expensive, no matter where you look for it (especially if you don't have the $$ or the space for a bulk purchase. However, my cheater's solution is to buy the Brewer's Best (or similar brand) ingredient kits.

A 3.3# can of extract may run $13-$16, so by buying two, you're up to around $25-$30, approximately...and you still need to buy yeast, hops, etc. However, since the kits run between $30-$40 (less if you buy them online) and include more than just extract, I simply find the kit that has the extract I need, and then save the superfluous ingredients for future brews.

I just did this last night, in fact. Picked up a kit for American Pale Ale, in which the hops and extract matched what I needed for a Black Cherry Ale recipe. I spent about what I would have spent on extract alone, and I have a pound of crystal malt, extra hops, and a bunch of bottle caps that I can use later on. Works for me!

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Old 01-24-2008, 01:05 PM   #10
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Northern Brewer has good extract at decent prices, 13.50/6lbs. Here's a link
http://www.northernbrewer.com/malt-extract.html

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