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Old 07-27-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
SteveHeff
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Default What does your LHBS charge?

I recently bought grains for a chocolate oatmeal stout. The grain list is as follows:

8# 12 oz maris otter
1# 12 oz flaked oats
1# C60
1# carapils
1# Chocolate malt
6 oz Roasted barley
1 oz fuggles
1 oz EKG
1 wyeast 1084 smack pack

Overall, I spent almost 50 bucks. I recently moved from Michigan to NJ but I can't ever remember spending more than 30-35 dollars for grains, hops and yeast. I think my total was 48 and change to be more specific. Am I getting hosed or was my LHBS in MI really cheap?


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Old 07-27-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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I pay about the same here in california. You ought to pay a bit less since you are closer to the grain belt...

Try thinking of it this way...for 50$ you are getting a fresher, carbonated beer than you would pay at the pub. The margins are small for the shops. You pay a lot but they don't make a lot.

Good luck.


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Old 07-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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50 bucks. How many good beers can you get out of 50 dollars? Bottled, maybe 24? I guess I should stick to simpler recipes that only require 1 base malt and 1 specialty grain. Yeast washing would save me money, about 6 bucks a whack. I could get it down to about 35 for my cheap beer, but I really enjoy making better than cheap beer. Other than ordering all of my grains from a warehouse like Northern Brewer, I guess I'm stuck buying from my LHBS.

I do realize it's not all about how much you spend. I do want to keep the guy employed. He owns the store and is the only one who works there. I guess it's a question of service. He doesn't make me feel as welcome as I think a proprietor should. He is always on his computer, answering questions from 30 feet away. But that is completely different from spending too much on grain. That's customer service. But if you offer good service, I imagine that some people are willing to overlook prices that are 10-20% higher than others.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Rough estimate of the grains and hops brings it to about $30 at my LHBS. Not sure about what they charge for the smack pack because I usually use dry yeast.

Sounds high to me.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHeff View Post
I recently bought grains for a chocolate oatmeal stout. The grain list is as follows:

8# 12 oz maris otter
1# 12 oz flaked oats
1# C60
1# carapils
1# Chocolate malt
6 oz Roasted barley
1 oz fuggles
1 oz EKG
1 wyeast 1084 smack pack

Overall, I spent almost 50 bucks. I recently moved from Michigan to NJ but I can't ever remember spending more than 30-35 dollars for grains, hops and yeast. I think my total was 48 and change to be more specific. Am I getting hosed or was my LHBS in MI really cheap?
How much was the Maris Otter per pound?
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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Figure the average brew pub beer runs what, $5 on tap? So that's 10 beers worth of ingredients for $50 if you're using brew pub math.

Now considering you get about two cases (48 twelve oz. bottles) out of a five gallon batch. That's what, $1.04 per beer? That's pretty good and comes to about $6.24 a six pack. Still cheaper than most craft beer six packs.

If you want to lower the price per finished bottle beyond that, buy 50 lbs. of grain in bulk and vac seal what you don't use. If you don't brew constantly, then just order your base malt in 50 lb. bags. You might be able to pick them up in a group buy in the $30-$40 range.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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A month ago I did 10 gallons of Yooper's Oatmeal Stout and my cost was $37 and some change, but I buy grain and hops in bulk.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
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Seems expensive if you have an online vendor who allows order pickups anywhere near you. If you don't have access to that, I'd imagine after shipping you'll come out pretty close to the price you paid at the LHBS.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:19 PM   #9
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Buy your base malts through bulk buys. There is at least one in your area

Then get your specialty malts, yeasts etc. at your LHBS. Shopping around for one who has better prices may save a few extra bucks. Some online vendors have good deals too and combined with free shipping it may work out just fine.

Shipping liquid yeast, particularly in the summer is not a good idea. Even a cooler pack will not last in a UPS truck for more than a couple of hours, at best.

For all your liquid yeasts, make starters. It will prove its viability and ramp up the cell count to pitchable rates. Otherwise you may have to pitch 2 packs or vials, sooner or later.

Yeast is a relatively large portion of the brew cost at $7.00 a pop. You can reuse/harvest/wash/store yeast, but only if you can be meticulous about sanitation and sterile methods. It can also ruin a $25-50 brew just as easy or turn it into an unintended sour.

MO is usually priced at a premium at the LHBS. Mine has Muntons MO priced at $1.90 a lb (for 5 lbs. and over). Thomas Fawcett's Golden Promise is $1.88 at that quantity. I can get a whole sack of MO at a bulk buy for $50-60, and it used to be better than that

LHBS make good money on hops. It maybe good to buy your most used hops by the pound from the known hop sources. Starting next month they're selling the 2013 crop. I bought hops from Hops Direct for $10-15 a pound on average, depending on varieties and total shipping cost. At my LHBS I couldn't even buy 6 ounces for $15.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:24 PM   #10
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I guess all the figures add up. My LHBS was charging me 2.49 for the Maris Otter and 2.99 on all specialty grains, including flaked oats. Smack pack was 5 or 6 and hops were a couple bucks each. Like I said, I want to see his company succeed. But I do have an issue spending 2.50 for base malts. I think a storage barrel, along with a chemistry/lagering fridge are in line. I have the fridge so I guess now comes the purchasing of flasks and a barrel.


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