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Old 09-02-2006, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default Cost of Brewing.....Kits vs Bulk ingedients

Hello
I'm new to brewing and really want to know how many experienced extract brewers use kits.looking at prices it seems that kit prices aren't that much more expensive than separate ingredients for a similar recipe.Also shipping.Do alot of you buy mail order/internet or buy from brew stores.Kit prices at a dozen or so different online outfits seem very competitive,telling me that these kits aren't a bad way to go.What do you think?
Bill

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Old 09-02-2006, 04:55 AM   #2
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Kits are fine. As you become more experienced and read up here you'll want to make some of the recipes you find here. It's a progression.

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Old 09-02-2006, 05:40 AM   #3
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You can bring the price per brew down by buying ingredients in bulk like hops, grains, and extract. Find some brew buddies or join a local home brew club and you can split your orders. Harvesting your yeast can also be a cost saver.

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Old 09-02-2006, 05:57 AM   #4
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I've recently found that the Brewer's Best kits at my local Big Box Liquor Store are about the same price as buying the ingredients individually. Having the style guidelines from Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and the recipes from Szamatulskis' Beer Captured, I can build a batch with just ingredients. I find that I have a bit of each ingredient left over, so that just means that I can play a bit more with the next batch. Yeah, I'm this confident after only 4 brews. Go figure. If I can do it, anyone can...

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Old 09-02-2006, 02:22 PM   #5
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You start saving money when you buy hops by the pound and grain by the 50 lb bag. I don't buy in bulk, except for Columbus pellets.

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Old 09-02-2006, 02:48 PM   #6
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I buy by the batch, basically, at my LHBS. Kits have the advantage of removing guesswork, buying separately (as I do) will become more natural as you feel more like experimenting with variants. This will likely happen once you have a few batches under your belt (literally and idiomatically). You are correct that cost is not much of a factor if you buy by the batch, regardless of whether you use kits or not.

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Old 09-02-2006, 08:50 PM   #7
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I have never brewed grain, and have been amazed by the consistent quality of extract kits...

Big savings to be had switching from liquid to dry yeast

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Old 09-02-2006, 10:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kappclark
I have never brewed grain, and have been amazed by the consistent quality of extract kits...

Big savings to be had switching from liquid to dry yeast
I have to say that IMO the liquid yeast will ALWAYS make a better beer!!! And there is a much larger variety of yeast (some styles you can ONLY brew correctly using the proper yeast strain)

So you save $3.00 on a batch of beer... but if it isn't what you were shooting for, then I have to say you wasted your money


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Old 09-02-2006, 11:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo
Kits are fine. As you become more experienced and read up here you'll want to make some of the recipes you find here. It's a progression.
Yup.

First batch, kit.
Second batch, kit (split equally, half receiving raspberries and maple, the other being "control")
Third batch, recipe I borrowed from Walker.
Fourth batch, recipe I developed myself (with lots of help from folks here)
Next batch - AG/mostly-AG.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:04 PM   #10
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I've done 3 extract kits and a simple (hefeweizen) recipe I got with the help of guys on here. I've gone with kits and liquid yeast so far. Personally, I haven't been able to get a good deal on specialty grains to make my own recipes, so I've gone with kits because they've been cheaper in most cases due to needing to buy a whole pound of grain to get the 3 oz I need for the recipes I've looked at. And I'm just starting out and I like to brew a different kind of beer each batch, so I figure the grains will go bad before I get around to brewing the same recipe again.

Austin Homebrew does offer a partial pound specialty grain setup, but they are too far away from me through climatic extremes for me to trust the yeast I order from them during the warm months.

The only thing I think I'd consider buying large quantities of would be DME.

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