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Old 07-21-2011, 01:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by terrapinj
don't stop drinking commercial beer
+1. Gotta keep some commercial in the mix or you'll blow your precious load too quick.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:40 AM   #22
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The most expensive kits I get with tax are right around $60. That $60 makes 2 cases of beer, sometimes more. That same $60 kit that makes two cases of beer is the type of beer that bought in the store would run you $10 or more for one bomber.
Check out the recipes on here plenty of extract ones 33Lbs. of LME is 72.00 by me add some seeping grains, bulk hops keeping yeast cultures and you can brew for 2/3rds of a kit. My most expensive bath is a Barleywine at 23# of base grains...Or go all grain and save.........my.02
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:56 AM   #23
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I just started in April but I have now accumulated a 6 gallon better bottle, 2 Ale Pales, 2 5 gallon better bottles and a 3 gallon glass carboy. I plan to use the 3 gallon for strong beers I might not need 5 gallons of, for example the barley wine I am going to brew in a couple weeks. When I first started reading this site I didn't get the pipeline idea but now I do. I think of some of my beers as session beers and some as big beers than need some time. I always try to keep a session beer around and brew those often. But I also figure I will usually have a bigger project going too, like an imperial stout or stock ale or something. Right now I have 2 cases of a SMaSH beer for session and need to brew an oatmeal stout soon to go with the pumpkin and get me through the fall and winter. I also have an imperial stout and a winter warmer in carboys aging, those will also be holidays gifts so they will go pretty quick.

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:19 AM   #24
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first go all grain a bag of bulk grain(50-55 pound sacks) run 35-40 bucks a sack in group buys stock up with 4 or 5 sacks. each sack will make 25 gallons on average. buy hops buy the pound cost 8-14 dollars a pound. brew at least 10 gal batches. harvest and reuse yeast. I'm electric so energy cost is about $2.00. per session. my cost for a average 10 gal batch is about 30 dollars. I keep 6 taps and 4-6 kegs in reserve at all times, its cheap and easy by brewing large batches.

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:52 AM   #25
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Check out the recipes on here plenty of extract ones 33Lbs. of LME is 72.00 by me add some seeping grains, bulk hops keeping yeast cultures and you can brew for 2/3rds of a kit. My most expensive bath is a Barleywine at 23# of base grains...Or go all grain and save.........my.02
I'll be going all grain soon. I was waiting to get Beersmith and since 2.0 just came out I can use it on my mac. Next on the list is a keg or two and then all grain.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:56 AM   #26
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1. Drink less so you have to brew less.
2. Brew more than you can drink.
3. Find cost cutting techniques.

Everybody has hit on #2 so I won't touch on it further. #1 is obvious, but as you may or may not have already discovered, brewing makes you want to enjoy your beer frequently which means you will drink a lot. There may be some health reasons (e.g. weight) why you may want to limit your drinking. Alternatively, you may be comfortable with the amount you drink, in which case you will have to accept that one way or another you are going to expend cash on beer/alcohol.

Ok, so on to #3. Extract is a very expensive way to brew. I know people will point out the equipment costs with all grain but you don't have to constantly upgrade or buy expensive equipment. You can do BIAB techniques for the cost of a paint straining bag and a second kettle (if you don't already have one). Even the igloo cooler route is not very expensive and over time you will recover costs. (I am not hating on extract brewing -- just looking at the cost.)

Lots of brewers (myself included) like to make big beers, special brews, etc. that add expense. While there's nothing wrong with making that 200 IBU RIS with oak, cherries, fifteen yeast strains and then soured for 20 years, you probably don't need to drink something so elaborate all the time. Mixing in session beers into your pipeline will help lower expenses.

Yeast washing will help lower the cost of yeast (if you are using liquid). Once you go all grain you can patch together simple session recipes like SMaSH brews that are inexpensive. You can also buy hops in bulk, which is a huge cost saving. If you are making several similar types of beers, especially not highly-hopped beers, you can use one or two types of hops, bought in bulk, where the recipes may call for ounces of 4-6 different types of hops. I bought a pound of Fuggles a year ago and used it in wheat, porter, saison, tripel, dubbel, belgian golden strong, sour, pale ale, kolsch, and brown ale in different ways over about 30 gallons of beer (and I still have some left). That was about $22 with shipping. If I had bought that much hops from a HBS by the ounce I would have easily spent $32-64 plus tax. You could buy 2-3 types of hops and easily get plenty of variety for low cost.

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Old 07-21-2011, 04:16 AM   #27
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All grain in the long run is the most economical. 48 beers for $20.00 is tough to beat. Odds are you have most everything you need to do BIAB or all grain. I drink 3-4 beers a day so I need to make sure I need to brew enough to meet that requirement plus a little more for the days they are going down too easy.

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Old 07-21-2011, 07:46 AM   #28
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My tricks:
All-Grain, buy in balk, brew 10 gallon batches of session, only occasional 5 gallon batches of fancy. Almost always use good ol reliable... and cheap Nottingham yeast.

And by far the most important move to make:

Tell your brothers and sisters, your parents, SWMBO, SWMBO's parents, SWMBO's brothers and sisters, your kids, and all your friends that you only have one thing on your birthday/christmas list from now on.... And that is gift certificates to your favorite online brew store. And then send them the link straight to the gift card on the website every time someone asks "what do you want?" In the last 3 years I've probably gotten around $750 in gift certificates and not one single F-ing sweater.

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:18 PM   #29
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There was a post about this yesterday.. get more fermentors and keep them full. Brew bigger batches if you need to. It's pretty easy if you have the time to brew. Heck, a new bucket fermentor only costs a few bucks if that's all that's stopping ya.
That was my post!!
I got the same advice you did; then I ordered some more carboys & picked up a couple of buckets!!
I think it's sick irony to say "I'm a homebrewer, but I'm drinking commercial". I also come from a long line of beerdrinkers/alcoholics so the whole fam wants to "try" a brew. The waiting does pay off it really does. But damn if patience wears thin!!
By the way....I'm planning a 3 in 1 brew day next week!!! I'm just going to load em' up!!
Good Luck!
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:40 PM   #30
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I try to keep a few extra pounds of grain on hand.

Nice!!!

+1 for brewing more, and adding some commercial beer to the mix. My wife and I both drink lots of beer, about half homebrew, half commercial (that includes cheapys like PBR), we brew two or three times a month and keep a decent pipeline going. Ideally, we'd brew weekly and cut out some purchasing of beer, but time and space don't always permit that.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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