Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > cheap ale
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:10 PM   #1
rexbanner
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Default cheap ale

Hey, I have a goal of making a 5 gallon batch of ale for under 25 bucks. Any ideas? I have a bunch of dextrose and blond candi sugar already.

I might prime with peach schnapps too.


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Old 08-18-2009, 07:52 PM   #2
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Do the peach schnapps count toward the $25?

Even with extract, a mild or brown of wheat beer can keep your costs down. Low hops, lighter, sessiony beers will keep costs in check. No idea how the schnapps will fit though.


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Old 08-18-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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I just sampled the first couple bottles of a pale ale I did 3 weeks ago (2 weeks primary, 1 week in bottles) and it's delicious already. The grain bill is simple so it doesn't need much aging. The two week primary makes it crystal clear. And if you bottle-condition with 5 oz of priming sugar at 75F, it should be well carbonated after 7-8 days. Here's the recipe:

8 lbs domestic 2-row pale malt
1 lb Vienna malt
.5 lb Crystal 40L
.5 lb CaraPils malt
Mashed together at 154F for 1 hour, sparged in 170F water.

1 oz Simcoe pellets @ 60 mins
.5 oz Centennial pellets @ 20 mins
.5 oz Cascade pellets @ 5 mins

White Labs WLP 008 East Coast Ale at 62F, although any clean ale yeast will work.

The grain bill and hops cost me $19 at my LHBS. I repitched onto an old yeast cake so I saved there, but you could use dry for the cheap factor. Since you're looking for extract, sub the 8 lbs domestic 2-row with a 3.3# can of light LME and a 3# bag of light DME, and just steep the other grains in 154F water for an hour before your boil. You should still be close to $25 and have a clean, smooth and delicious ale in about 21 days.

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Old 08-18-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
Hey, I have a goal of making a 5 gallon batch of ale for under 25 bucks. Any ideas? I have a bunch of dextrose and blond candi sugar already.

I might prime with peach schnapps too.
To keep the price of 5 gal batch to under $25, you need to:

1. switch to AG
2. use dry yeast
3. reuse your yeast
4. stay away from "big" beers with high OG and lots of hops, such as IPA's.

A 5 gal batch of beer w/ about 11 lbs of grain, 2 oz. of hops and free (reused) yeast would cost you about $22, IMO.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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can you prime w/ peach schnapps?

please tell me more...as I have a bottle left over from our wedding that we will never never drink.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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...and i'm a big-time newbie....

but it wouldnt be that hard to make batch under $25; i just bulk ordered light dme for about $10.50 for 3# bag. that could serve as a base, re-use yeast, and add light hops, little grain for color...no?

morebeer.com offers a bunch of extract kits under $25 and that includes shippping. i was thinking about giving them a go at some point.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:01 PM   #7
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Go to austinhomebrew.com, they have excellent kits, and they have a whole section dedicated to cheaper ones - I think its their ".50 cent beer" section.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManyBrews View Post
i just bulk ordered light dme for about $10.50 for 3# bag.
If that's buying bulk I'm doing something all wrong...

It would be a lot easier to store that than the 100lbs of grain in my garage.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedigitale View Post
If that's buying bulk I'm doing something all wrong...

It would be a lot easier to store that than the 100lbs of grain in my garage.
haha...i just broke it down to how much you would need for one batch. i bought 18#(my first purchase outside of a kit :>), but really just getting a 3# bag is not that much more.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:10 PM   #10
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Lol... I figured that's what you meant, just sounded funny!

Seriously though... DME bumps the price way up... If you're looking to save money, you can brew AG batches for much cheaper. I can probably pull off a decent 10g batch for under $25.


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