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Old 09-04-2006, 11:28 PM   #11
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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I basically have three of my own ale recipes, which are fine-tuned to my tastes. The rest of the time I buy kits or follow recipes; extract, AG, doesn't really matter. I enjoy doing clones someone else worked out. I rarely do high gravity ales & I don't drink enough to make bulk grain worth while. Last year, I purchased a 45 lb box of short bags of extract from Williams. It was fun working my way through those.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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Old 09-05-2006, 04:53 PM   #12
Apr 2006
North Carolina
Posts: 182

ive never used a kit in any of the brews ive done.. i basically search for something i like then tweak it to my tastes.. sometimes i only do a few changes.. i always buy my stuff per my recipe.. now granted i could run out and buy a case of budlight cheaper than what it costs me to brew my own..but it would not be as good or have that feeling of .. I DID THIS!
On Tap: Pansy's Pale Ale
Bottled: Pansy's Pale Ale ("lager"not)
Bottled: My Sweet Cherry Juice (wheat)
Bottled: Raspberry Overload (wheat)
Bottled: Cheesefood's Caramel Cream Ale
Bottled: Holiday Cheer (belgian wheat)

Fermentor: Traditional Mead
Fermentor (2): Common Apple Cider
Secondary: Holiday Cider
Secondary (2): Common Apple Cider

Up Next: Heffenweizer

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Old 09-05-2006, 07:04 PM   #13
Evan!'s Avatar
Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,863
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In my honest opinion, if you want to create your own recipes (which is, I think, the funnest part of this whole thing), then ProMash is indispensible. For $25, you get more than you'll ever need in the way of calculations and inventory management. I've never done a kit, and I don't think I ever will. To me, it's the difference between buying the ingredients at the store and making dinner from scratch, and using Hamburger Helper. Well, not THAT bad, considering that kits make perfectly good beer. But, for most homebrewers, it's not just about the finished product. How you get there is important as well.

I guess, in the end, I'd go with a kit if I didn't trust myself, or if I was short on time and didn't have enough time to research and compile a recipe.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers

•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:32 PM   #14
mozicodo's Avatar
Feb 2006
Colorado Springs, CO, CO
Posts: 257

I've found out that kits are more cost effective than buying ingredients for single batches, but when buying for multiple batches things change. I recently figured this out for one recipe I like from Seven Bridges. They have flat $11 shipping which comes into play when ordering multiple batches at once.

Here's the numbers I came up with. My individual costs don't include irish moss.

These are the costs per batch
Kit: $31.00
One Batch: $31.99
Two Batches: $29.39
Three Batches: $29.59
Four Batches: $28.89
Five Batches: $29.45
Six Batches: $28.64

The best thing to do is to work up a spreadsheet because it's also dependent on the recipe. Because of the quantities in which Seven Bridges sells their hops and smaller quantities of malts (like for chocolate and caramel 120) it's more cost effective for me to buy for an even number of batches than odd.
It may take a real man to brew a big beer, but it takes a big man to brew a real beer.

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Old 09-05-2006, 11:47 PM   #15
Sep 2005
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 342

Originally Posted by BeerLuvnGrl granted i could run out and buy a case of budlight cheaper than what it costs me to brew my own..but it would not be as good or have that feeling of .. I DID THIS!
Agreed. We *ahem* drank ourselves silly on a mix of 6 homebrews last New Years, and it was very rewarding to say "I made this hangover!" We were genuinely proud of our sick and sorry asses.

I'm also proud to report I've not been sick on homebrew since.

Make beer, not bombs.
(...and not bottle bombs either.)
Primary Fermentor - *empty*
Primary Fermentor -

Secondary - Mystery IPA
Secondary -
Bottle Conditioning -
Keg Conditioning -

Draft: - Apfelwein, Belgian-style Dubbel w/ Grains of Paradise
Bottles:(and still in stock): FIRST AG - (I)IPA 4.1.07, PK's Warm Spring Marzen, Summer Cerveza -BANG, PK's Winter Spice II, Espresso Stout, Indiana Pale Ale, PK's Chocolate Bitter II, Porterfield Porter, and New Year's 2006 remnants.

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Old 09-06-2006, 12:43 AM   #16
Apr 2006
Posts: 60

I brew all grain, average ABV 5.5 and it comes in at about @.19 per 12 oz. I know I spent $400.00 or so on AG equipment and that is not included in the .19
I think my first three brews were kit and they were $.50 - .60 per bottle. There is a steep learning curve but each batch amortizes my equipment cost so that I save money in the same way my wife does when she comes home with armloads of crap and says "Look how much money I saved!"

A lot

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Old 09-06-2006, 05:46 AM   #17
Aug 2006
Posts: 829
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My first brew was an extract plus specialty steeping grains kit. That wasn't that long ago. I put it in the fermenter 51.5 hours ago. I bought all the ingredients for my second brew today at my LHBS. This one will be a mini-mash. 5 pounds of grains that I'll batch sparge and 4.5 pounds of extract to add to the boil. I'll probably continue in this vein with kits and/or mini-mashes until I feel like I have the hang of it and understand the principles of AG.

I'm sufficiently challenged with my hamburger helper menu right now while I'm studying the more complex methods that I'm sure I'll be using eventually. In the meantime, I'm having a blast and I'm well on the way to beer bliss nirvana, Just looking forward to the day I can try my own bottle-conditioned home brew.

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Old 09-06-2006, 08:10 PM   #18
Aug 2006
Posts: 349
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I brew extract/specialty grain beers. By planning seasonally and buying bulk and reusing yeast.......I have my cost down to @ $15-20 per 5 gallons.

When you can buy LME for $1.40/lb bulk compared to $3.62/lb in can see the reason to go bulk!

Brew kits until you find your favorites then just buy the kit ingredients in bulk.

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