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Old 12-04-2007, 05:12 PM   #21
Ó Flannagáin
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Jan 2007
Wichita Falls, Tx
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I dunno abou the folks that are losing money, but I'm saving a ton. When I don't have homebrew on hand I spend 10-15 bucks on beer EVERY DAY. Now, I'm a heavy drinker, luckily my metabolism can keep up with me and I don't get drunk every night, but I do drink a pint or 3 every night.

10-15 bucks a day for 30 days is $300 - $450 a month.

I spent $180 bucks on homebrewing last month, that got me enough grains to brew for 4-6 months. I don't think I will be spending ANY money on homebrew items this month and I have 4 full kegs, 2 batches in bottles and 2 batches in fermenters.

I save a ton of money, my friend. Because I'm all grain. Now, I've probably spent close to a grand on equipment, but that will be made up for in no time, it might already be made up for.

Not to mention the money I save by not going to the bar and having friends over to drink or just having a relaxing evening with my wife and drinking some great beer off my kegs..

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:47 PM   #22
Oct 2007
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Aside from the fact that I can't stop buying new equipment I would actually be saving a little money by homebrewing. I usually drink "good" beer that costs upwards of 8 bucks a 6 pack here in Massachusetts, and I have to say that my homebrew rivals some of the better beer in the fridge at the package store.

I did the math and my 14+ cubic foot chest freezer which held 7 cornies and a Co2 Tank would cost me between 20 and 30 a month to run depending on what I had the temperature set to.
No matter how rich you are, you can still only drink 16 or 17 liters of beer a day.

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:59 PM   #23
rdwj's Avatar
Jun 2006
Plainfield, IL
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Originally Posted by Donasay
...I did the math and my 14+ cubic foot chest freezer which held 7 cornies and a Co2 Tank would cost me between 20 and 30 a month to run depending on what I had the temperature set to.
I guess it's not a high efficiency one, huh? That seems WAY high per month.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:59 PM   #24
May 2007
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I am confident that saving money is not the "primary" brewing motivation for any of the regular users here. Anybody entering the hobby for that reason is bound to be disappointed. Around here, people brew for the sheer satisfaction of making their own beer...which for the most part, turns out much better than nearly anything we can buy. It's a hobby, not a means of saving money.

Ingredients aside, I'd have to brew an awful lot to pay off my investment in equipment! Sanyo fridge, spare fridge in garage, Co2 tank, regulators, kegs, tower, faucets, lines & fittings, sanitizers and cleansers, carboys & caps, buckets, thermometers, refractometer, hydrometer, airlocks, strainers, siphons, coolers, turkey fryers, pots, propane, water filters, spray bottles...I could go on and on. By the time a batch is finished, I bet I've spent a dollar just on vodka for the airlock! And if you value your time at all (I do!) that means most of us are drinking some of the most expensive beer on the planet!

Brew because you enjoy the process and and satisfaction of making, drinking and sharing your own high quality beer. There is no other reason.

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:01 PM   #25
Nov 2007
Rochester MN
Posts: 156

No, but it's better, more enjoyable, and the ladies dig it.

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:16 PM   #26
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Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
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If you're going to talk about it from a pure economics perspective, you HAVE to factor in your time and energy costs too. They're very real and ignoring them is just false rationalization (we all do this no matter what our hobby is)

If you run propane, you probably get two brew sessions out of a 20lb tank right? $7-8 per brew. I run nat gas and spend about $4-5 per session.

It takes me about 5-6 hours for a batch. Even at $6/hr, that's another $30 in labor.

So for me, a typical grain bill is about 20lbs on a 10gal. Base + specialty cost average out to a typical $1/lb for $20. Hops are now up at about $2 an ounce and I average 2-4oz per batch for about $6. Dry yeast, negligable cost.

$25 materials
$ 5 energy for the brew
$ 5 energy for ferment control (rough guess)
$ 5 energy for keg refrigeration for this amount of beer (highly dependent on how fast you consume 10g).
$30 minimum wage labor (I haven't worked this cheap since I was 14).

$70 for 4 cases of micro if you'd work for minimum wage.

Yes, we'll all concede that this is a hobby and we enjoy it so the labor doesn't count. Well, if all you care about it the economics between buy vs. make (which I get from the OP's words), you cannot ignore it. When companies work out the buy vs. build, inhouse vs. outsource choices, they would never factor in how much they enjoy the work.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:16 PM   #27
Feb 2007
Vancouver, WA
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I would say it depends on the brew and your style of brewing, how much you've invested in your equipment and so on. I have just about as basic a setup as one can get but it suits me just fine and I make some pretty good, inexpensive beer with it.

I just brewed and bottled a Westmalle Trappist that I paid over 6$ for a 11.5 oz bottle in a craft brew store. My cost to make it comes out to .96 cents per 12 oz bottle. I'm not a mathematician but I would say that's a huge savings...
"I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer." ~ Homer Simpson

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Old 12-04-2007, 06:28 PM   #28
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Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
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This hobby save my FRIENDS a tremendous amount of money.
If that's your angle, go buy your friend a starter kit.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:38 PM   #29
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Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
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Originally Posted by olllllo
This hobby save my FRIENDS a tremendous amount of money.
If that's your angle, go buy your friend a starter kit.
So true. My friends supply their own ingredients (well ok they give me the money for some of mine) but I supply all the equipment, knowledge and time.

A 12 pack of anything decent up here costs about $25CDN so to get the 42 bottles of homebrew for ~$30CDN worth of ingredients is a pretty massive savings for them.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:03 PM   #30
Oct 2007
Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 12

Omar at Surly Brewing in the Twin Cities says that it's a myth that you can save money by brewing your own beer - but his reasoning is that it would have been a whole lot cheaper for him to buy some beer than to open a brewery :-D
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