Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > $1.50/gallon beer...is it possible?
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:06 AM   #1
battlepanda
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Default $1.50/gallon beer...is it possible?

Hi guys, first time poster here.

I'm pretty new to home brewing. In general, I still brew from kits at my local homebrew store. Sometimes I find a recipe I like, and buys all the ingredients separately (again, from my local brew store), but every recipe I try seem to come out to about the same price as the kits, that is, $30 for a five-gallon batch.

The other day I was in an (non-brewing related) internet forum and this guy who used to be a hobby home brewer mentioned in passing that when he brewed his own, the ingredient costs was as low as $1.50/gallon! I wish I had asked him at the time how he did it!

Even if it's not possible to brew good tasting beer at home for $1.50/gallon, I'd appreciate some tips for cutting down on costs. Right now my ideas are stalling at:

1) Saving yeast from batch to batch
2) Growing my own hops

Both seem like a lot of work for very little savings.


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Old 03-01-2005, 04:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battlepanda
Hi guys, first time poster here.

I'm pretty new to home brewing. In general, I still brew from kits at my local homebrew store. Sometimes I find a recipe I like, and buys all the ingredients separately (again, from my local brew store), but every recipe I try seem to come out to about the same price as the kits, that is, $30 for a five-gallon batch.

The other day I was in an (non-brewing related) internet forum and this guy who used to be a hobby home brewer mentioned in passing that when he brewed his own, the ingredient costs was as low as $1.50/gallon! I wish I had asked him at the time how he did it!

Even if it's not possible to brew good tasting beer at home for $1.50/gallon, I'd appreciate some tips for cutting down on costs. Right now my ideas are stalling at:

1) Saving yeast from batch to batch
2) Growing my own hops

Both seem like a lot of work for very little savings.
i was asking this very question a few weeks ago. basically, the answer was to start brewing all grain (extract is expensive!) and to buy grains and hops in bulk. that (along with yeast cultivation and growing hops) should keep it really cheap. i doubt you'll get down to $1.50 per gallon, but you might get down to $3 a gallon.


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Old 03-01-2005, 04:12 AM   #3
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Save the yeast for sure, I thought it would be difficult at first also, Its not. Just takes a funnel, some empty bottles and a spoon. There is a thread under the technique section that I used and its well worth the minimal effort. I use the wyeast XL smack packs which run about $7 a batch, so it takes my cost down to about $25 for 5 gallons

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Old 03-01-2005, 03:55 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys

I did try to search to see if there's another thread on this issue, but I didn't find anything. Can you direct me to the thread you started on this issue?

I'm kind of scared of brewing all grain, but now I know the financial advantages I'm definitely going to investigate. And I"m definitely going to save my own yeast for the next batch!
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battlepanda
Thanks, guys

I did try to search to see if there's another thread on this issue, but I didn't find anything. Can you direct me to the thread you started on this issue?

I'm kind of scared of brewing all grain, but now I know the financial advantages I'm definitely going to investigate. And I"m definitely going to save my own yeast for the next batch!

Saving of the yeast thread....

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=473
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Old 03-01-2005, 05:21 PM   #6
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A far simpler technique for reusing yeast, and one I think is less likely to get you in trouble is to simply rack your new batch onto the yeast slurry of an older batch. Handling the yeast with spoons and bottles and whatnot is more risky, infectionwise.

Check out:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=288

Also, it's been discussed here before, and the consensus among experienced brewers is that if you brew strictly to save money, it just aint worth it. Once you factor in time, equipment and everything, you better have fun doing it as a hobby. Extract brew especially will never be very cost-effective. All-grain can be significantly cheaper than store-bought beer, but it takes the better part of a day to make it. So you better have fun doing it

Cheers!
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:21 PM   #7
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If you are brewing with extract, purchasing your malt in the 55lb box is a huge savings. I buy it from a local distributor to avoid shipping charges. The state I live in considers malt a food item and does not tax it.


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