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Old 05-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
HBC
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I get tired when I see the trite 'reply' postings when anyone makes a comment that they are brewing beer 'to save money'. I totally understand where they are coming from and honestly not so sure that those who replied have put the numbers in a spreadsheet. I have done just that recently.

For many folks, they are trying to make a beer that seems like a value (cost affected and effective). If we build a beer with similar ABV, mouthfeel, and relative SRM to the commercial brews that they are coming to, I find that it is indeed much cheaper to brew your own.

The obvious factors of equipment cost are a consideration when evaluating the per unit cost, but even still- equipment can be inexpensive (turkey fryers that are in the garage, cheap fermenting buckets, and reused bottles.......) - you get the point.

With that stated, my objective of the post is to illustrate, as others have in past forums, that the per unit cost can be controlled and the comment that many newbies make in regards to low-cost beer, can be realized:

Example:
Purchase your grain in bulk and store them in dry storage containers that we all have in our garages!

5-gallon batch of summer ale- inexpensive/tasty beer
-$6.75: 9lbs of MO or 2-ROW in bulk/from COOP. or direct if you can get a vendor to sell to you, will get the cost of grain down to $.75 per lb to $1.00 with shipping depending on how many lbs your COOP. purchase).
-$2.00: 1lb of specialty (like C-40) -- and maybe you pay the normal LHBS pricing for it.
-$1.50 yeast : I use 1/2 packs of the dry S-05 and have GREAT fermentation results.
-$2.03 hops for 2.5 oz total (I buy in bulk 1lb units)
-$.50 of sanitizer for cleaning all items prior to fermentation
-$1.00 of propane to make the water roll.
-FREE BOTTLES from your neighbor that threw them out after his recent drunk-ass party.
-$1.00 for the corn sugar that you used for fermentation (bought in bulk)
-$1.00 for the caps that you used on your bottles.

TOTAL for about 53-beers? $13.75 or .25 per bottle. I am sure it can be MUCH cheaper than this, and much more expensive- but there are the real numbers from my latest batch of kick ass-summer ale.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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You can absolutely save money by brewing. But in my case, I don't because:
1) I'm always buying new equipment, upgrading, etc
2) overpaying for ingredients because I don't buy in bulk (I'm just not at the point where I brew enough where that's economically feasible)
3) I actually buy MORE commercial beer than before I started brewing, because I'm always sampling different styles and breweries to learn what I like/don't like and enhance my palette (R&D, if you will)

Once I get to the point where I stop buying equipment, buy in bulk, and drink more homebrew than commercial, I probably will start saving money. In the mean time, I'm not too worried about it, because that's not why I got into the hobby. For me it's just like any other entertainment cost, like going to the movies or buying another book.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:02 PM   #3
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And I TOTALLY Agree with you too... in that I support my LHBS since they have done me right! I buy bulk from him bow, and pay about $1.25 per lb for MO. That is the price he set.

I like equipment as well, and have built two systems (e-brew and a simple propane BIAB rig).

I agree --that it is my hobby too-- which entitles me to budget a monthly expense of about $75-100 of beer-related stuffto make me happy (that is what it is all about right??).



Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter_la5 View Post
You can absolutely save money by brewing. But in my case, I don't because:
1) I'm always buying new equipment, upgrading, etc
2) overpaying for ingredients because I don't buy in bulk (I'm just not at the point where I brew enough where that's economically feasible)
3) I actually buy MORE commercial beer than before I started brewing, because I'm always sampling different styles and breweries to learn what I like/don't like and enhance my palette (R&D, if you will)

Once I get to the point where I stop buying equipment, buy in bulk, and drink more homebrew than commercial, I probably will start saving money. In the mean time, I'm not too worried about it, because that's not why I got into the hobby. For me it's just like any other entertainment cost, like going to the movies or buying another book.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
atreid
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What if you buy a book about BEER...!? Won't that result in an infinite loop causing cataclysmic paradox effects?

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
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I do 5gal PM brews, and even with shipping I can my really flavorful 50 bottle batches for $30-$35 (at MOST $.70 each), a 12 pack of a micro/craft brew would cost me nearly twice that (per bottle).

Some cheaper 5gal PM kits (AustinHB) can be had in the low mid $20's, my recently bottled Lemon Wheat Beer cost about $.55 per bottle and its is darn good.

So yea, if you are a craft brew drinker, over time you will pay for your hobby by brewing.

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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I get my beer for free. It's my homebrewing hobby that costs me a small fortune. But, isn't that the case with most hobbies?

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:11 PM   #7
RmikeVT
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No one ever factors in the health benefits of Homebrew. Drinking living breathing beer in moderation has positive health effects.

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
atreid
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It's going to take years to balance that nearly 2000$ of total equipment cost and brewing raw materials...

It all went crazy when I built my 3 kegs system with beer rack and pump.... :-P

 
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLBeanJ View Post
I get my beer for free. It's my homebrewing hobby that costs me a small fortune. But, isn't that the case with most hobbies?
I get my beer for free too and believe it or not I get the yeast to do all the work, cheapest labor in town. They work 24/7 until the jobs done and then go to sleep until there is more work to do.

Its making wort that is expensive.

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Old 05-01-2013, 07:21 PM   #10
cheezydemon3
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Durrrrrrrr......

If you make enough beer then it becomes pretty cheap.

So do you make more beer (which actually costs more PERIOD) just to say that you are getting beer cheaper???(and you must be putting it somewhere you fat, alcoholic SLOB!)

SORRY.

I thought the OP was gonna rant on the assinine process of calculating costs (especially when, as I stated, the cost goes down sheerly by volume and averaging cost of equipment over more and more beer) on an effing HOBBY.

Instead, what do we see? Yet more posts on the process that would ONLY help a raging alcoholic save money

Calculate away you effing nerds.

I am a pretty hefty nerd, but not so pathetic as to "spreadsheet" the cost of a hobby THAT ACTUALLY PRODUCES SOMETHING USEFUL.

How does a sailing enthusiast calculate the cost of each voyage?

If they actually want to have fun sailing, rather than save a few pennies on sailing trips, THEN THEY DON'T.

Nerd away Merril! Nerd away.

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