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Old 10-22-2009, 06:42 PM   #1
texasdontholdem
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Default Thinking of starting home brew

I'm thinking of making the plunge. My goal is to make a light beer, but most importantly, I'm looking to save $$. I typically buy the cheap brand beer, which runs at $28 a case...... How much cheaper is it to brew your own?

thanks

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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well you just listed 2 reasons to not start homebrewing.

1) HB is addictive
2) its not cheaper, atleast not untill you've brewed enough recipes
3) Making a light beer (like Budlight, Miller lite, etc) is difficult.

But on side note, I do make Cream of 3 Crops (Cream ale) for very cheap . I make 10 gallon batch for under $30 or less

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:45 PM   #3
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It's getting harder to brew your own and save money. The price of ingredients has gone up a lot in the past couple of years.

The real question becomes, "How much is your time worth?" You'll end up spending good amount of time on each batch (6 hours or more, considering brew-time, clean-up, bottling-day, etc).

How much money is 6 hours of your time worth to you?

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #4
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The short answer? It's not.

BUT, you get to be involved in the entire process, and can make it as easy or complex as you want.

You get to make a better quality product than what you'd be able to get at twice that price... or more. Plus you get to have an unlimited variety, some of which you may not even be aware of yet.

You get the pride of a job well done, usually.

You can start with minimal investment, or go totally off the deep end and build your own pub.......

If you are just interested in it for cheap beer, this probably isn't the hobby for you. But if you want to get involved, learn as much as you want, and join the obession, you cannot find a much better hobby.

Stick around, read as much as you can, especially the stickies at the top of this forum, then take the plunge. You'll never know how much fun it is until you try.

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
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i'm glad i asked... i knew it was time consuming but i thought it was going to be A LOT cheaper.

thanks

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:50 PM   #6
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I can do 6 gallons of a light ale for about $20, which is about 2.5 cases. Ale ferments at room temperatures, but lager (Bud, Miller, etc.) needs to ferment at 40-50 degrees for several weeks. That's hard to maintain- you either need to keep the fermenter in an ice water bath or convert a fridge to hold those temps.

Now, I do all grain, which is more complex than typical starter kits which rely on malt extract. I'd say my setup would run $350, but after that your batch cost goes from $40 to $20.

Brewing an extract recipe takes maybe 2-3 hours and can be done in a kitchen. Brewing all grain take 5 hours and would likely need to be done in a garage or outside.

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:53 PM   #7
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OP lives in Canada. Beer prices in Canada are ridiculous.

Extract batches run ~$40 for a little over 2 cases, but only take around 2 hours.

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdontholdem View Post
i'm glad i asked... i knew it was time consuming but i thought it was going to be A LOT cheaper.

thanks
It really depends on the beer style.

Example: I like IPAs. It costs me about $9 for a six pack of good IPA at the grocery store. Two cases of that would cost me $72. I can definately brew 2 cases of IPA for less than this, but I spend a lot of time brewing it compared to going to the grocery store.

The hobby is more about crafting the brew, enjoying the process, and pride in the product than it is about saving money.

It's almost certainly going to be cheaper to buy budweiser than brew something like it.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:20 PM   #9
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I agree with Walker, I usually drink brown ales and in Utah to get a decent one you have to go out of town or to the liquor store, either way I usually pay 1.80 or more per bottle so to be able to brew for around 1.00 a bottle or less works for me...Plus you get the satisfaction of brewing your own stuff. Of course you have to figure in your equipment, most of mine was given as a gift, I'v emaybe spent 75.00 on equipment, and maybe 45.00 on caps, and cleaners/sanitizers.... for me its deffinatly getting to be less expensive.

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I guess I'll just bite the bullet and bottle it up anyway. I would rather waste time than waste beer. LOL
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:23 PM   #10
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I can't speak for the rest of these guys, but I definitely save money brewing my own. Miller light prices for Quality beer taste. You can brew 5 gallons for $20 us. This hobby isn't about anything other than what you are looking to get out of it. If that is cheap beer, then go for it.

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