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Old 01-04-2013, 03:59 AM   #1
Apr 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio
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It seems like it might save some money to buy the materials separately instead of buying a pre-assembled kit, but maybe not. I could always tweak the recipe too. So does anyone do that or does everyone just buy kits?

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:03 AM   #2
twalte's Avatar
Nov 2012
Roseville (Sacramento), California
Posts: 393
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I did 4 extracts and switched to all grain. Saves about $10 per batch, and I like being able to play with the all grain recipes.

To avoid investing in equipment, I just used this process and bought a $10 bazooka screen for the brew kettle. You could also look at Brew In A Bag (BIAB). However, I already had a pot that could handle a full boil.

Nothing wrong with extract, but I liked the money savings and the availability of more recipes.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:20 AM   #3
Nov 2012
Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 255
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When I want to make something quick and easy, extract-based kits are great. One of the LHBS here makes some good ones.

Otherwise, AG or extract, I like blending my own recipe, which means buying malts, grains, hops, and otherwise separately. Not so much about saving money, more about making the beer I want to make.

IMHO, it's a trade off between time and $$$. I've made some batches recently from malt I sprouted and kilned, and hops from the backyard. Besides time (which was considerable...it took a few weeks to make the malt!) my biggest expense for those brews was the package of yeast. AG is more effort than extract - but cheaper.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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Feb 2011
Wai, Hawaii
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My buddy does all extract, but NOT kits. He mixes everything himself. More variety that way. And cheeper.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
Jul 2011
Tucson, AZ
Posts: 513
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Originally Posted by C-Rider View Post
My buddy does all extract, but NOT kits. He mixes everything himself. More variety that way. And cheeper.
same here, buying all the ingredients at my LHBS is actually cheaper than buying the kits from say northwest or midwest brewing BEFORE shipping, let alone after.

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
Oct 2011
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 80
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I agree with above posts my initial brewing kit came with an 8 gallon pot and an extract kit . I did 4-5 extract batches purchasing ingredients separately and moved to all grain after that I have done a few extracts in between for a quick brew

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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Dec 2012
Toledo, Ohio
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I used to do kits but there was always at least one thing about them that I wish I could do my way; so I stepped up to doing all grain for my low to mid gravity brews and partial for my high gravity brews.

I *like* the kits I did, but they never quite felt "mine," you know? Assembling the grains and/or extracts myself helps me feel like it's more of my own creation instead of just following steps that someone else made up. Not that there is anything wrong with that; it's just a personal thing.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
Dec 2012
Posts: 26

If I buy my extract and hops in bulk I pay about half of retail at my LHBS. I would imagine if you added up everything in that kit you are paying full retail for it. Plus the whole point for me is making my own recipes.

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
Aug 2012
Auckland, NZ
Posts: 102
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I do partial mash brews and buy only the ingredients I want. Course, here in New Zealand, there is not a lot of "kit" variety. I choose the ingredients as it seems more fun than just assembling a kit. I like to be able to choose the materials.

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:21 AM   #10
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Dec 2011
DFW, Texas
Posts: 961
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I've done both and had good results each way but preferred the personalized feeling of non-kit batches. I'm doing all grain now and if I decide to do another extract batch I'd probably be buying ingredients separately. Although I have to say that some of the Austin Homebrew kits look interesting....

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