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Old 03-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #41
Mar 2012
saint petersburg, FL
Posts: 198
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

If I stopped buying equipment upgrades, it wouldn't be bad at all. Being able to brew some bada$$ brews for 20-30 bucks @5 gallons is awesome. I seem to be addicted to upgrades

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:15 PM   #42
Dec 2012
Cumberland, VA
Posts: 84
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Originally Posted by thadius856 View Post

I've bought $8 22oz bombers without blinking.

Thought I haven't been able to produce anything coming close to them yet.
I've agonized over a few batches and come close $8 bombers. My point was that you're not brewing Old Milwaukees Best, you can't compare your costs to their prices. That said, I've had a $10 DFH 12 oz World Wide Stout, and I'd buy it again.

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:52 PM   #43
Jul 2011
glenmoore, pa
Posts: 233
Liked 31 Times on 18 Posts

Ag brewing does not need to be an expensive hobby. I'd go as far as to say it may be one of the cheapest hobbys out there. I'm in at under $700 total which includes, two burners, a mill, Johnson controller, two chillers, a 15 and an 8 gallon kettle etc. I consistently produce $40 per case beers for $15 per case and have been for the last year. My equipment has been payed for over six months at that rate. If you wish to buy $400 kettles or more beer brew sculptures your never going to save money, but if you enjoy being frugal and don't mind mismatched equipment you'll easily save money. Oh and no one will Ever pay you to have fun so stop including your time in your expenses.

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Old 03-09-2013, 09:56 PM   #44
Nov 2011
Putnam, CT
Posts: 471
Liked 79 Times on 61 Posts

I just dropped $200 between keggle upgrades (ss bulkhead and valve, sight glass and brewmometer) and a new bayou banjo burner. Im getting a bit more serious about it and figured if i wanted to expand, i could do that easily from here on out. Plus it'll be nice to have 2 burners, one to heat boil and the other sparge water.
Petey Photography CT Beer Trail

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Old 03-09-2013, 11:50 PM   #45
Jan 2010
Posts: 960
Liked 82 Times on 71 Posts

Keeping my equipment cost out of it I have found I can brew a batch of high quality tasty beer pretty cheap.This is the cost of an awesome pale I just finished brewing. I factored in all costs except gas to go to the LHBS and of course my time as this is a hobby after all

11 lbs 2 row purchased in bulk @ $0.59 per pound = $6.49
1.75 lbs specialty grains from lhbs @ $3.33
4oz hops purchased in bulk @ $0.57 per oz $2.28
City water given to me in jugs $0.00
1 pack US-05 $3.50
Irish moss $0.10
yeast nutrient $0.10
$3.00 propane

Total = $18.80

OG 1.078

Estimated final G = 1.017

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:40 AM   #46
Nov 2012
Posts: 213
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

For those who buy the grains in bulk, how long do they stay good/fresh? How are they stored? Anything special?

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:47 AM   #47
thadius856's Avatar
Dec 2012
Posts: 2,273
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Originally Posted by rdbrett View Post
For those who buy the grains in bulk, how long do they stay good/fresh? How are they stored? Anything special?
6 months minimum on base malts, probably closer to a year without any noticeable differences. 12 months no problem on specialty grain, perhaps more.

For base malts, I splurged on storage. I can fit 49-51# in a "40 lb" Vittles Vault. They're a little pricey, but I loved how they stored my dog food, and wanted something that would last for life (and not be able to be chewed open by dogs).

You could get by with much less expensive containers. While 50# of 2-row sounds like a lot, I've had batches that used 25#.

For specialty grain, I store in half-gallon mason jars. I'm hoping to push their longevity to 2 years, so I vacuum sealed them using a FoodSaver attachment I picked up off Amazon for $10. A brake bleeder pump can be modified to work too if you don't have a FoodSaver.

One half-gallon jar holds 2# to the neck, closer to 2# 4oz near the lid. They're $13 for 6 at Ace Hardware (stocked in most stores, also available for site-to-store special order at same price) or $9.80 at Commissaries if you have access to a base. Of course, they include lids and bands. If you want to go cheaper, wide-mouth quarts hold 1# to 1# 2oz for $10.40 at Walmart, or narrow-mouth quarts hold the same for $9.40.

Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:55 AM   #48
masskrug's Avatar
Sep 2012
, Florida
Posts: 1,402
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I try to stay around a dollar (shipped) per 22 oz bomber. Works out to around $25 per batch.

I've probably spent around $500 for my equipment and DIY materials.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:02 AM   #49
Oct 2007
Staten island, Ny
Posts: 228
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Regarding storing grain- uncrushed has the shelf life stated before (6 months, longer). Crushed will go stale quickly. Some say in a week or 2. Store grain in a dark cool place and minimize any air.
Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.

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Old 03-11-2013, 03:26 AM   #50
Sep 2011
Peterborough, ON
Posts: 228
Liked 12 Times on 11 Posts

My experience so far

-$60 for my Home Despot mash tun.

-$90 for a 2-port brew pot

-$50 for a basic outdoor propane burner

-$50 in misc supplies that I didn't need for doing full-boil stovetop batches

So, let's say $250 in basic equipment for doing all grain.

I then spent $80 on grains, hops, yeast, etc. That's enough for an IPA, a Pale Ale a Stout and Rye PA, with a leftover pack of Safale lager yeast for a yet undecided project.

So, let's say $20 per batch including yeast and sanitizer

Each 5.5 gallon batch works out to be about 2.5 cases worth of beer (based on the standard 341ml bottle here in canada)

A case of rotgut adjunct lager like Laker is 26.40 per case including bottle deposit. This works out to $1.10 per beer including deposit or $1 after bottle return. 2.5 cases (60 bottles) would run me $60 .

Comparing those numbers, I get an operating 'profit' of $40 per batch, or to put in in easy terms, my equipment will pay for itself inside of 7 batches.

Now, this doesn't take into account the fact i've also started kegging as a direct result of starting all grain... A good quality pressure tested corny costs me about $70-$75 shipped to my front door with taxes in, 2.5 cases of PET bottles costs me $30 without caps, 36.6 with caps, and once we include taxes i'm in to about $42 per batch to bottle in PET. I've grown to hate PET for doing anything but quick "drink it now" batches. so the extra $30 for a corny is well spent.

Even adding in the complete cost of my kegging setup (to be completed soon), with new fridge, stainless tap tower with perlick faucets, 3 kegs to keep one constantly waiting in the wings, CO2 tank, reg, etc, my setup will still pay for itself within 15 batches over buying crappy commercial beer.

I also buy premilled grain right now too, so as soon as I get my own mill, my costs will shrink again.
Fermenting - Pomegranate Mead (3g), Acerglyn

Kegged - Modified Bee Cave IPA, Calypso Pale

Bottled - Brown ale, Pomegranate Mead, Orange Apfelwein

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