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Old 02-11-2008, 06:30 AM   #11
Got Trub?
Apr 2007
Washington State
Posts: 1,538
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As I heard on one of the brewing podcasts - it's alot cheaper hobby then buying a bass boat...

You must be paying top dollar at your LHBS if you can't get ingredients for 5g significantly cheaper then an equivalent volume of microbrew costs. I believe in supporting your local LHBS but not if you are getting gouged. I order some stuff on line, you can get free shipping from some places once your order is large enough and avoid state taxes in some cases as well.


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Old 02-11-2008, 07:48 AM   #12
For the love of beer!
Orfy's Avatar
Sep 2005
Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,732
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AG is the way to go.

Extract is expensive.
Have a beer on me.

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Old 02-11-2008, 11:49 AM   #13
Poindexter's Avatar
Oct 2007
interior Alaska
Posts: 1,195
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I agree that using less extract and more grains is a great place to look for savings.

I spent US$6.99 for a nylon mesh bag, I mash in the 5g brew kettle I already had and use my (already had) bottling bucket for my lauter tun.

I can handle about 4-5 pounds of grain per batch, but the more grain I use the better my beer tastes _and_ the less it costs.

I already had a thermometer, that will be another five bucks if you don't have one.

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Old 02-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #14
Oct 2007
Posts: 1,567
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Going all grain is the biggest help, the barley you get at the feed store is usually unmalted and requires that you go through the process of malting it. The hop problem is increasing the cost for everyone, the only solution to this is to either grow your own hops which will save you money some time around September, or go back in time and buy about 10 lbs of hops some time about 9 months ago.
No matter how rich you are, you can still only drink 16 or 17 liters of beer a day.

Originally Posted by quixotic View Post
The true definition of an addiction: not stopping even when a dog is having his way with you.:D

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Old 02-11-2008, 12:46 PM   #15
missing link
Jul 2007
Highland, MI
Posts: 648
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Having just made the switch from PM to AG, I can say that AG is the cheapest of the methods. My average batch was about $35 - $45 doing PM and is now about $25 doing all grain. In Michigan, a 6 pack of micro costs $9, if you get 54 bottles out of a batch that's $81 for the micro vs $45 at the most even for PM.

My local brewery will fill a cornie for $37, if you want cheap that can't be beat. Excellent beer for only $10 more than the ingredients!!!

Tap#1 = Beer
Tap#2 = Beer

THey change to often to keep up with the Sig.

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #16
Rich the Brewer
Sep 2007
Rhode Island
Posts: 19

I must admit I brew because I like good beer and I'm too cheap to buy it. $20 for 5 gallons of ingredients is a lot cheaper than $72 for 9 six packs at $8 each.

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:13 PM   #17
abracadabra's Avatar
Dec 2006
Newnan, Georgia
Posts: 1,923
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Look for homebrew clubs in your area or post on this forum. See if you can attract interest in a group buy. I've heard the minium for a pallet of grain is 40 each 50 lb. bags. So if you could get 9 other people to take 4 bags each that's doable.

Nothing wrong with growing your own hops if you like gardening. But just like brewing your own beer if your time has any value to you then it's not a money saving endeavor.

Other things that might save money is using other grains such as rice, wheat, corn, oats or other high carbohydrate vegi like potatoes.

Not being a hop head or brewing with less hops is a money saver big time.

Others have mentioned dry yeast but also pitching on top of an existing yeast cake saves you from having to buy yeast again. Likewise not brewing so many different kinds of beer so that you can use 1 type of yeast.

Brew for others if they give you some of the product. I understand it's legal as long as they picth the yeast.

On the good news, bad news front the savings should increase because the price of beer especially good beer is going up. I'm sure the big boys price increases will be less than small breweries simply because of their buying power and long term contracts.
Do what you like!
Brew what you like!

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:22 PM   #18
Gammon N Beer
Dec 2007
Posts: 714
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A big part of this hobby for me is yes, great beer. But the challenge of making stuff on the cheap, finding it on Craig's list, expanding the hobby to yeast harvesting etc offers so much enjoyment to me.

Then there is helping the new brewer down the street by lending them your extra equipment, bartering and sooooo much more to this thing.


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Old 02-11-2008, 04:29 PM   #19
john from dc
Jan 2008
Posts: 394
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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Use liquid yeast and learn how to wash it for re-use and buy everything else in bulk (usually NOT from a HBS...buying a lot of the same supplies and paying the same as 3 lb bags of malt is not buying bulk...).
ok, so where should i be looking for bulk dme?

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Old 02-11-2008, 05:36 PM   #20
loopmd's Avatar
Jan 2005
Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 657
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Originally Posted by john from dc
ok, so where should i be looking for bulk dme?

"Search" is your friend.


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