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Old 02-23-2006, 04:13 AM   #1
vasie
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Feb 2006
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I am new at homebrewing and am interested in what the big advantages are to using an all-grain brewing process? Is the beer that much better than extract brewing?

I am looking for ways to really get my per bottle cost down. In my research, I see that the cost of the input grains are less expesive than the extracts, but does it require that I put together one of those three tiered systems that I have seen posted in forum pictures? If so, how long does it take to recuperate the cost of purchasing all of the extra equiptment? (I am guestimating that the cost per bottle is about 30-35 cents. Is that close?)



 
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:28 AM   #2
Sasquatch
 
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Vasie, when I got going on brewing, I was happy at how cheap it seemed. Someone here mentioned to me that to think I was going to save money homebrewing was just silly. There's always more bottles, bigger equipment, better equipment, some new grain, etc to buy.

In your position, I would master brewing from extract kits first, before plunging into all grain. It's nice to limit the problems and get good at the whole process before adding in mashing and sparging and all that stuff.

Can you brew for 35 cents a bottle? Probably. But you never ever actually will.


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Old 02-23-2006, 05:08 AM   #3
digdan
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatch
Vasie, when I got going on brewing, I was happy at how cheap it seemed. Someone here mentioned to me that to think I was going to save money homebrewing was just silly. There's always more bottles, bigger equipment, better equipment, some new grain, etc to buy.

In your position, I would master brewing from extract kits first, before plunging into all grain. It's nice to limit the problems and get good at the whole process before adding in mashing and sparging and all that stuff.

Can you brew for 35 cents a bottle? Probably. But you never ever actually will.
So horrible true. I always justify my big purchases on calculating how many pennies I'll save per bottle.

But when its all said an done, I never actually calculated the thousands I spent getting to where I'm at now. On the flip side, I'm very satisfied with the money I invested into this hobby. If I cared too much about the almighty $$$ then I would stock pile Milwakees Best (a.k.a. The Beast)... And no one wins in those situations

 
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:48 AM   #4
Beer Snob
 
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Hmmm.... don't know... but just with ingrediants... how in the world do you just spend 35 cents a bottle? Trying to figure it out .... think its too late.
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:56 AM   #5
Janx
 
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Beer brewed all-grain is definitely that much better than extract.

And the process is much more fun and rewarding. You are involved and have control over many more aspects of the process.

If your primary reason for homebrewing is to save money, you'll probably be frustrated in that goal. At least that's what I've seen. You end up spending money on lots of things once you go AG if you get into it.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:50 AM   #6
Orfy
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It depends whether you want to spend more time brewing and have kit that costs a bit more and takes space.

It's like most hobbies the more invovled you get the more rewarding it gets.
The good thing is you are actually making good beer from cheaper ingriedients. It is far eaisier and less time consuming to extract brew. You have to plan time and ingredients etc when AG brewing.

I did around 10 extract brews before doing my first AG.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:50 PM   #7
Darth Konvel
 
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As has been mentioned, don't go AG if your only purpose is to cut costs. IMHO, the only reasons should be your love of the process and the pursuit of better beer. You can make great beer with extract, but you'll never have the level of control over the process as you would with AG.

Concerning equipment, the only things I purchased in addition to what I had for extract brewing was: another 5 gal pot, a 5 gal igloo cooler, conversion kit, bits and pieces for the manifold, and a large spoon to stir the mash. So all in all, around 100$ for additional equipment.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:03 PM   #8
cowain
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I think the best cost justification argument for home-brewing or all grain brewing is not based on a per bottle price, but a comparison price. You can't get much cheaper per unit than the big american companies. Therefore you have to try to say, "well, I make better beer than them". Therefore, compare your per unit cost to something equivalent, e.g. Sam Adams, and realize you're making equivalent or better beer for less than $1 or so a bottle.

Oh, and for AG vs. Extract, I chose AG because it gives you more control over various flavors, body, etc. that extract can't. Also, AG makes me feel like a monk or something and extract made me feel like I was cooking. I also like the additional experimentation that AG offers.

 
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:44 PM   #9
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Cost? My lhbs loves to see me coming! I've never walked out of there for less than $150. It doesn't help that I'm a gadget freak.
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:55 PM   #10
cgravier
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the biggest or most expensive item in all grain is the kettle, and possibly the propane burner you should (but dont have) to get. after that you will save money, especially if you use dry extract which is really expensive. Liquid is cheaper but i like dry better (its paler, and easier to work with). i spend about 40 bucks on partial mash, and 25 bucks on all grain. grain is cheap as hell, so are hops, the yeast is the most expensive thing, but once you learn to cultivate it, you dont have to buy it. you can make a zap-tap lauter tun with free food-grade buckets you can get at the supermarket. Just mash in your kettle and your good to go.

all-grain, or even partial mash is way better than extract beer i think...



 
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