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Old 09-26-2012, 07:53 AM   #11
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Two words: beer thirty. That's about as cheap as I've ever seen, 14.99 for a 36 pack. A buddy of mine said it was the worst beer I've ever seen. Worst than Pabst light (ew. But times are tough)

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Old 09-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #12
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When you guys are talking about your costs to brew you're not really covering it all. Sure you have your grain costs, hops, and probably wash yeast to reuse it, but there's a lot more to it.

Propane (or electricity for heat elements) to heat water, boil wort, etc.
DME for yeast starters, and bottling day for people who don't keg.
CO2 for people who do keg.
Cleaning/sanitizing solution (for bottles, kegs, bottle caps, fermenters, carboys, etc).

Don't get me wrong, you can easily craft a 6pack of brew for less than the $8.99 or whatever you'd pay in the store for a similar type, but I doubt it's truly as cheap as some people say. I calculated the cost of a batch once out of curiosity...I truly don't care what it costs because it's awesome and I love beer...and the 5 gallon batch of IPA was just under $30. This factored in anything that was consumed (propane, water, vodka, iodophor, DME, grains, hops, yeast) and definitely didn't include a cost for time.

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:17 PM   #13
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+1. Yeah.. I figure $5 per batch for propane... Grains are about $1.20/lb for 2 row, $2.50 for various other grains.
I throw in $2 per batch for electricity... not even sure what it really is, but I gotta store the hops, keep the fermentation temps correct. We reuse yeast, but I throw in a $1 for that...

Hops... Citra for $1.30? not from a LHBS, perhaps online, plus shipping. So a pound of the most expensive hop is around $1.72 per ounce, so for the Zombie dust it would cost me at least $40.00 for 5 gallons...

So 14.5 lbs of grains for $12.60?? You must buy in bulk then... Thats what we are trying to do...

So shoot... Last weekend we did 20 gallons...

Galactic Black
Green Flash West Coast IPA

total cost was around $144.00 and thats the cheapest we can brew those big boys...

about $36.00 per 5 gallons...
90 cents per pints

and once we start buying bulk grains... we can get it down just a little bit... and dont get me started on equipment. :-)
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20 gal Galactic Black IPA, 10 gal Ypers Pale Ale,
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10 gal Coffee Stout,10 Gal Raging Beeatch, 10 Gal Hop Head IPA

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:34 PM   #14
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How much are you willing to pay to sit in a health spa steam room with hops aroma therapy? You must subtract that value from the cost of supplies when calculating the cost of homebrew.

Enjoyment of the hobby makes calculating costs a non-starter.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by stagedivesandhighfives View Post
Two words: beer thirty. That's about as cheap as I've ever seen, 14.99 for a 36 pack. A buddy of mine said it was the worst beer I've ever seen. Worst than Pabst light (ew. But times are tough)
Keystone light runs around the same price and quantity around here.
I used to sell these in an antique pepsi machine in college for $0.50 each and could make a slight profit. On occasion I can get it on sale for $8 for a 24 pack case. Now that is cheap for probably the best light beer out there (not really saying much).
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
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Priced out 5.5 gallons of Centennial Blonde at $13.25
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #17
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In canada beer is a lot more expensive then in the states. The average 12 pack of cheap beer is $21 and craft beer is $26. The prices are regulated by the government and all beer and wine stores buy from the same warehouse and all they can control is their markup. Everything is taxed heavily.
My local u brew place sells me malt extract for $8 a liter, glucose for $4. Hops are .08 per gram and yeast is $.50/gram. A 5 gal batch generally equates to about $25 - $35 not jncluding propane or whatever. This works out to about 1/4 of the price of buying beer from the store. And about 1/2 the price of u brew. Plus its fun.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #18
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Walgreens in Texas sells a 6 pack of beer. I forget the name, but my neighbor bought some. It was $2.99 a sixpack, I believe. The beer wasn't very good, but it wasn't worse than Natty Light.

I don't count my equipment cost, just because it's a hobby. I am all electric, so there isn't any propane, and I have a 20# co2 tank that is going to be filled every two years or so, and under $20, so the cost of gas for my kegerator is negligible.

I grow 7 types of hops. I save and reuse yeast. I buy grain in bulk, and hops by the pound (the ones I don't grow).

Some of my cheapest beers recently:

"Caribou Slobber"- $20.58 for 11 gallons
"Two Hearted Clone"- $25.50 for 10 gallons (homegrown centennial hops, except for the bittering)
"House IPA"- $26.53 for 10 gallons (this one is not including yeast- had to buy some)

Of course, there are some more expensive beers too. I used Rahr two-row for the base of those beers, and it was $36 for 50 pounds.

I rarely use a special strain of yeast for a one-time beer. I almost always buy a couple of standards, and use one vial for about 6 batches by splitting up the yeast cake from the first batch.

If I added up all of my equipment costs, of course the actual amount of money I have in each beer would skyrocket!
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #19
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I get most of my brewgredients from http://www.midwestsupplies.com . My most recent 15 gallon batch of 4.8% ABV witbier works out about as follows pricewise. Most beers of comparable gravity cost me about the same.

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Old 09-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #20
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Even if I add all my utility, water, propane and cleaner costs that doesn't add more than 1 dollar per gallon of beer. I bought a 5 gallon bucket of PBW from a brewpub 6 years ago, I still have over half of it. I can brew 30 gallons on one $15 bottle of propane, and I built my 3 tiered system for under $300, including burners and hoses, about 200 batches ago so that cost is pretty much near zero per batch now.
I don't brew to save money, but given the quantity of beer I drink, I could not afford to buy commercial craft beer all the time. Homebrewing savings allows me to buy a few choice bottles when I want to.
As for my brewing time, it is free and I pretty much brew only when I have nothing else to do so I have no opportunity cost associated with brewing. Brewing is also mental therapy for me, a time to shut out the pressures of my job, and be creative for a while. I would have to pay big bucks at a spa or therapist so that's a double savings for me, and when I leave the spa I don't have 10 gallons of new beer to take home.

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