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Old 11-24-2008, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default When did you switch from kits to recipes?

And did it save any money? Or was it just to have more control over the ingredients?

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Old 11-24-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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Not this next batch I brew (already have the kit) but the next one will be no kit and all recipe. My reason is mainly cost control (trying my hand at bulk ingredients for savings). I am not sure if I am going to get better quality out of the brew controling my own ingredients since it is just an extract. Then again, I will be using the hops (and more of them) instead of using whatever comes in a kit. So I guess quality should improve.

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Old 11-24-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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Both. Beer from grain is like when a good dish is cooked from scratch. You have total control. Grain is about half price compared to commercial keg craft beer. This is when using grain bought in 50 or 55 lb bags at a reasonable price like at MoreBeer | Beer Making and Home Brewing Supplies

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Old 11-24-2008, 06:50 PM   #4
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I never really "switched" I still do kits, I just do recipes too now. Once you get the hang of the basics its not too hard.

I usually do a kit if I'm wanting to try a style of beer that I'm not familiar with - you know try something new. I usually make my own recipes for the regular beer that I like to drink on a day to day basis.

Another reason I like to brew my own recipes instead of kits, is I like to tweak something small each time I make it, like use a different hop or a different yeast and learn the differences that it makes so I get more comfortable with knowing what something will taste like if I see it in a recipe I've got an idea already if I will like it or not.

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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I did a kit and then started doing recipes and now I buy in bulk.

I did 1 kit, then A couple of recipes buying only the ingredients at the brew store. Now I buy bulk ingredients to stretch my dollar. I can do 8 - 9 ABV Belgian brews for right around $40 a pop.

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:27 PM   #6
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I bought 3 kits. The third one I modified with some additional grain, converting it to a partial mash. Since that point I have been doing AG batches with my own recipes. Most of my recipes have been based on proven recipes from others, modified for my available ingredients and desires.

Going AG and buying ingredients in larger quantities does save me money on a per batch basis. I buy 55# bags of base malt and 5# bags specialty malts. I also purchased most of my hops in larger quantities. So my price per pound/ounce is considerably less than purchasing exactly what i need for a batch. If you buy as you go then there is not much savings over a kit.

The other reason I went to making my own recipes is to have more freedom in the final product. There are alot of choices in kits these days, but I still prefer to make my own.

Craig

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:30 PM   #7
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Guess I'm going backwards-when I started, many years ago, I used recipes-I just bought my first kit last week, to get back in the game. However, I think from here on out, I'll do recipes, I'm just not happy w/ all the elements in the kit...

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:31 PM   #8
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I still do some kits... many times it is cheaper than buying the parts individually, so it makes sense. Kits also give you a baseline to tweak and modify them to help suit your tastes better. I still have to say that my BEST beers are not from kits though... go figure?

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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I like the kits, but I'm thinking about moving to try my own recipe at some kind of stout. Once my basement reaches 59° I'm going to go for it. It'll still be extract brewing, but I want to make something my own ideally.

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Old 11-24-2008, 08:10 PM   #10
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My first batch was the Irish Red recipe from Papa Charlie's NCJoHB. DME, steeping grain and hops. My LHBS at the time didn't stock kits.

I've since taught folks to brew using kits, but never bothered myself.

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