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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Extract brewing: does everyone buy kits or does anyone buy the materials separate?
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:54 PM   #21
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I have done 4 extract brews in the last 3 months and all of them have either been my own recipe or a modification of something I found on here.

For me it was the whole idea of the the Kit brew not truly being my own brew. Actually my starter kit came with an extract kit but I just took ingredients from it, mainly the LME, and used it for my own recipe.

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #22
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Interestingly, I figured it would save me a chunk of money buying it separately, but I priced out a breakfast stout on Northern Brewer and without the coffee and grain sacks, it came out only a couple dollars cheaper. Yes I would have a few ounces left over of some ingredients, but that's not worth much. I guess I'd have to really buy in bulk to save more. Good to see they aren't gouging us just for putting the kits together.

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #23
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Never bought a kit.

My LHBS lets me buy 2.3 oz of crystal 120 if I need it. Plus I want them to be OPEN. She is a genuine german import. Wealth of knowledge on beer and wine making.

Wine and Beer supply Louisville, Ky.

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Old 01-04-2013, 07:54 PM   #24
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I also have found that my pm batches cost about as much as the $25 kits from midwest. But that's ok,since I'm still saving a minimum of $10 over extract. Sometimes a lot more.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #25
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My experience with kits were mixed. I made some good beers and some ok beers. The kits I once purchased sat on the shelves for who knows how long. The hops and yeast were not kept refrigerated. That changed when I went away from "kits" and ordered / bought the ingredients separately. I knew the extract was fresh and I perceived a difference in improved taste.
That was about 5 years ago... moved on to AG and never brewed another extract. There's nothing wrong with extract brewing... I just enjoy the AG process.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:53 PM   #26
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I recently got a friend who had been tweaking Mr Beer kits to at least get a little more involved by making him a wheat beer "kit" and giving him my old bottling bucket.

He was looking over the kits from MoreBeer and decided it was easier to just buy their kits as stopping by a LHBS was too much of a hassle, and MoreBeer only sells their grains by the pound.

I don't like hanging on to opened hops, which is why my low IBU beers are made with a single type of hop typically.

The kits the sell are very reasonable.

If you have a LHBS that will sell you exact amounts of grains then making your own may be slightly better, though you may end up as I did and limiting yourself on hop usage. I do save a little, but not a lot.

But that savings buys me a couple of oz of hops for stocking! So I'm all in! And I enjoy creating my own recipes and having to ask the more knowledgeable people here if it'll need some changes.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:57 PM   #27
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I did 4 extracts and switched to all grain. Saves about $10 per batch, and I like being able to play with the all grain recipes.

To avoid investing in equipment, I just used this process and bought a $10 bazooka screen for the brew kettle. You could also look at Brew In A Bag (BIAB). However, I already had a pot that could handle a full boil.

Nothing wrong with extract, but I liked the money savings and the availability of more recipes.

http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique...chmidling.html
Neat, but that doesn't come close to answering the question
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:02 PM   #28
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I started with kits, then looking up extract recipes and gathering ingredients. A couple times I went on the northern brewer website, then spec'ed out what a kit would cost if I bought the ingredients separately, there was little difference.

The nice thing about a kit is that you're usually going to have little waste. When you do your own recipe, you might have to buy much more than the recipe calls for

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:28 PM   #29
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I used extract kits at first while I was getting the hang of things, but over the last 3 years or so, I've moved onto buying separate ingredients and working from (or creating) recipes, and greatly prefer it that way. For one, I had some freshness issues with some of the kits I got. Plus, there were several occasions when I'd make a kit beer and think "it's ok, but I'd like more hop aroma" or "this seems a little thin". I like being able to make adjustments as I go.

It's easy enough to get a concept of what you make and go on Hopville or some other recipe calculator to do the math for you. Being able to find a store that sells loose ingredients may be the biggest hurdle.

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:43 PM   #30
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"Being able to find a store that sells loose ingredients may be the biggest hurdle."

That right there might be key for you.
I have a place I can buy grains in the amounts I need. Otherwise I suppose I'd be buying kits.
And maybe the kits would be better than some of mine, but I sure do enjoy creating recipes, doing the research, and asking questions.

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...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

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