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Old 02-24-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
Sep 2008
Posts: 260

I was just thinking that with the economy in the crapper that I would start a thread for people to give their best money saving tips for brewing.

I'm not talking about skimpping on good ingredients but maybe just some bulk supply buying ideas, good websites for certain ingredients, or any money saving brewing tips.

I know I could stand to save a few bucks per brew day.

For example, I finally started buying my sanitizer in large quantities and I figure it is going to save me at least $50.00.

Who's got budget friendly tips?
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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Washing liquid yeast is my biggest $$$$ saver. I still have a door on my kegerator with stored yeast strains. I make at least 4-5 batches out of one vial of yeast. (See the thread on yeast washing).
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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Most everything we use in brewing, except ingredients and a few dedicated tools (hydrometers, etc.) can be found in at the hardware, discount and dollar stores, much cheaper...If its used to prepare the wort, then it can be found in the kitchen supply section for a lot less... My strainer was 4.95 at the grocery store as opposed to 15 bucks at my LHBS...My big spoons came from the dollar store, my big funnel was a 1.50 at the hardware store...

My 5 gallon stainless pot for extract or stovetop brewing I got a dollar general for 9.99
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:11 PM   #4
Dec 2008
Posts: 547
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I'm splitting my brews into 4 one gallon fermenters
so that I can get 4x the experimentation out of my
money. I'm just getting started and I can already
tell that dropping $55 on every batch makes no
sense for me at this stage.

+1 to buying equipment from non LHBS sources.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
nealf's Avatar
Jan 2008
Hiram, GA
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Bulk buy with friends to save on shipping and still get the variety you want... And if you're not washing your yeast, you should start.

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Old 02-24-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
Short Drive
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Oct 2006
Racine WI
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Know a Chef that buys from Gordon Food Service. They sell Briess 2-row for $26 delivered. Ask me how I know.

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Washing liquid yeast is my biggest $$$$ saver. I still have a door on my kegerator with stored yeast strains. I make at least 4-5 batches out of one vial of yeast. (See the thread on yeast washing).
Hell, I even wash dry yeast! That saves $4 on ten gallons. I know it's not a lot, but it all counts IMO.

I am not a cheapskate, but I make frugality a part of the hobby. I find that keeping the cost to a minimum gives a little extra challenge to te whole experience.

Oh yes!! Cheap tricks! Get your buddies to buy their BMC in plastic "Ball park" bottles. They work perfectly well for HB, and you don't have the hassle and (minimal) cost of capping them.

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:20 PM   #8
May 2008
Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 1,329
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I just picked up two 3.5gal buckets with lids(with rubber gasket seals) for FREE at the local grocery store bakery. They are frosting buckets and easy to clean.

I figure why buy a 7 gal fermenter when I can ferment in two 3.5gal buckets. Plus as mentioned before, I can experiment on one batch and compare it to the other.

Next step is to make the hole in the lid, which I have done with a heated 1" diameter socket. Just put in on your electric stove element for several minutes, pick it up with a pair of pliers and press it on the lid until it burns through. Makes a clean hole with smooth edges for the stopper.

2nd point: From the many debates on HBT one can decide on what equipment is entirely necessary. Example: Hydrometers in extract brewing. You can buy one or wait. Patience is free. Wait 3-4 weeks in the primary. Most of the time is it should be done.
Then you can shift equipment $$ to ingredient dollars.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
Oct 2008
Fairmont, WV
Posts: 106
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Toasting your own malts from base malt is a cheap way to save a few bucks if you buy your specialty malts in 1# bags at the LHBS for $1.80/lb+ (my LHBS is a ripoff unfortunately).

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
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Sep 2008
Lakeland TN
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Buy hops by the pound, shop around.

Try growing your own hops.

Go AG, or at least MG. Grain is $1.15 to $1.60 a pound. DME is $4.00+ a pound.

As mentioned above, buy in bulk. If possible, get in on local group buys to REALLY buy in bulk.

For a lot of gear, you can build it yourself.

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