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Old 02-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
bigadam
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Default Ways to save on brews

I've been brewing since December, but am on my 8th brew already and had many more planned for this year. That is until my brewery's accountant, aka my wife, asked how much they would cost. My budget has been cut significantly now.

What are some good ways to lessen the cost of the brew while not loosing anything in the quality? I've already converted any extracts to malts and that lowered the cost quite a bit. Are there any other options you can think of?

I'll admit that the beers I've done and had planned to do were not just straight forward basic beers, but ones I like to drink commercially: Christmas Porter, Smoked Maple Ale, Banana Porter, Strawberry Rhubarb Ale, a Shandy, etc. So maybe looking for options that are light on ingredients, but have good flavors or are unique in some way is the way to go. Any suggestions there?



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Old 02-06-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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What's your budget?



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Old 02-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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I've been told I need to stay around $30-$40/beer.

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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The best I can suggest is buying all your base malt and hops in bulk. Wash your yeast as well and you'll be well on your way to maximizing your budget, whatever it is.

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:50 PM   #5
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If you are all-grain brewing then buying bulk is a big money saver. Likewise saving and washing your yeast also can help save a lot of money. I recently got a grain mill so I am able to buy my grain from the lhbs uncracked cheaper. I also plan a few brews out so that I can buy a larger qty at once which also lowers the price over the long term. Hops also are cheaper in bulk. Like an oz was 2 or 3 something but I bought a whole pound of cascade yesterday for 12 bucks. Good luck and cheers!!

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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x2 Yeast washing and buying in bulk saves a lot. You need to get your wife to get her work to let them sell you ingredients at their cost. We used to do that until we had a falling out with the guy working at the brewery over other matters. They waste more stuff on a brew day than we use to brew a batch so its pretty insignificant.

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigadam View Post
I've been told I need to stay around $30-$40/beer.
Completely attainable when you can get your base malt for around $.60-.70/lb, hops at $1/oz and specialty malts at around $2/lb (assuming not buying bulk for specialty grains).

Typical Stout/Porter Brew Example

9 lbs 2-row @ $.70/lb = $6.30
4 lbs specialty @ $2/lb = $8.00
3 oz hops @ $1/oz = $3.00
Liquid yeast (new) = $6.50
Total = $23.80
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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Depending on where you live you could grow your own hops. But buying in bulk and washing yeast is the best way to save right away

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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You should have no trouble staying between $30 and $40 per batch for regular brews (e.g., a standard pale ale). I regularly brew 5 gallon batches of beers with OGs of 1.050 for about $20 per batch.

Buying in bulk helps. I can get a 50 pound bag of 2-Row brewers malt locally for about $45. That is the base malt for 6 batches (so a bit less than $8 per batch). I supplement with between 2 and 3 pounds of specialty and crystal malts, bringing the total cost of my grain bill to about $13. Hops run no more than $2 per ounce (and most hops I buy in bulk for about $1 to $1.50 per pound). I also have switched to dry yeast (mainly US-05) and that runs less than $4 a pack.

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Old 02-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigadam View Post
my brewery's accountant, aka my wife,
haha I am going to steal this one.

I think the best way to save is to start yeast washing. There are other ways, but that is the easiest way to start I think.


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