Frugal Brewing - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Frugal Brewing

Thread Tools
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?
Albatross Brewing Company

Help pick out my next beer for the British Open:

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, That's as good as they're going to feel all day.
-Frank Sinatra

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,742
Liked 8019 Times on 5603 Posts

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).
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3198 Times on 1886 Posts

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
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:11 PM   #4
Dec 2008
Posts: 547
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts

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.
Kill your television

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:23 PM   #5
nealf's Avatar
Jan 2008
Hiram, GA
Posts: 1,350
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
Short Drive
Brewer Baseball!
Short Drive's Avatar
Oct 2006
Racine WI
Posts: 1,785
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Know a Chef that buys from Gordon Food Service. They sell Briess 2-row for $26 delivered. Ask me how I know.

Magic Bus Brewery

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
Laughing_Gnome_Invisible's Avatar
Jan 2008
Posts: 12,250
Liked 697 Times on 513 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 02:20 PM   #8
May 2008
Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 1,329
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts

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.
Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2003!!! Whoop!

Now, Harry you must know all about Muggles, tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?
- Arthur Weasley

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
Oct 2008
Fairmont, WV
Posts: 106
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

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).

Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
Cpt_Kirks's Avatar
Sep 2008
Lakeland TN
Posts: 3,723
Liked 47 Times on 41 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frugal Fuggles chefchris Drunken Ramblings and Mindless Mumbling 7 09-22-2009 03:11 AM
Super Frugal... 50 cent bottles. JoeSponge Cider Forum 13 06-23-2009 09:13 PM
Motorcycle heads... frugal, yet workable GPS...? beergears General Chit Chat 16 12-08-2008 07:05 AM
I'm feeling very frugal today cweston Equipment/Sanitation 7 03-25-2006 04:56 AM

Forum Jump