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Apimyces

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As a rule of thumb, I try to keep my recipes below the cost of what I could simply buy. Though I love experimentation, there's so many things I can make myself, I try to at least save a little when I put the time/risk in making things myself.

This brought me to experiment a bit in BeerSmith, and compare the price-efficiency of various ingredients. I'd like to validate some of those results, and get your input to put those differences in perspective.

For example, in 1L of wort, to get 1.5% ABV, you need about either:
  • 1oz of sucrose
  • 2oz of amber dry extract
  • 14.5 oz of amber malt
An once of sucrose costs me about 2 cents. By the pound, 2 oz of dry extract will cost me about 74 cents, and 14,5 oz of malt will cost me 1,44$.

Now yes, those numbers are a bit biased, given that my sucrose is priced bulk (sugar keeps, and I always have bulk sugar on hand), while the other two prices are not bulk. However, quickly looking at bulk prices... at most I half these costs, with two key factors remaining true: sucrose is insanely cheaper than grain-derived sugar, and dry extract is cheaper than malt.

Now, obviously, a 100% sucrose-derived beverage is, quite simply, not beer. For most places, I believe you need over 50% of the fermentible sugars to derive from malt (or at least grains) to qualify as beer. And a 49% sugar beer is... probably not all that good. Presumably, it would taste very watered down, thin, without body or mouthfeel, or at least not much of it.

But... adding sugar is not all that far-off. Rule of thumb is up to 10%, right? A recent brulosophy trial at 10% showed no difference than without sugar in a belgian tripel. How far can you go without impact? And then, even further, how far can you go without making too much of a negative impact?

Another question that arises is, if we dilute the wort with plain sucrose, can this be compensated by using certain "stronger" malts? I'm still very much a newb when it comes to malt, so in this regard, I have no answers. Color can certainly be compensated by using darker malts and specialty malts for that remaining (up to) 51% of the bill. But if you can attain the same level of color using 1/4 of a given light malt with a much darker malt, I'm not sure that 1/4 quantity of that other malt will give as much flavor... will it?

So which malts taste... maltier? Which give the most flavor? What is the correlation between flavor and color? And between these and mouthfeel?

And if the first questions related between sugar vs malt pricing, and the second in how to balance lower malt worts, the third big line of questions I have is extract vs all grain. I thought that all-grain, for all of its extra expenses in equipment and hassle, would at least offer cheaper brews. After all, you use raw-er ingredients, and thus less transformed products are usually cheaper. But by my calculations, per every point of ABV, extract is significantly cheaper than whole malt? Even retail quantities of extract are cheaper than bulk quantities of malt??? So while I can understand that malt in homebrew shops is more expensive per sugar content then bulk sugar (which you can buy at costco in 25kg bags for the same price or extremely close to what you'd pay by buying by the tonne), this malt vs extract difference I have a harder time understanding? Why bother going three-vessel all-grain, when you can have just about as much customization, for cheaper, with a single-vessel partial mash using dry extract and a handful of specialty malts? Are there drawbacks I'm not considering?

I've not started brewing with sucrose yet, but I have brewed a few batches with liquid extract, and *if* there is a quality difference between grain and extract (of which I am far from convinced), I still ended up with products I quite enjoyed, that cost me below the minimum legal cost of beer (never mind craft beers at 3x *that* price), while still allowing me to be generous with other specialty ingredients like hops, and end up with quite flavorful brews and good prices. Plus bonus, I get to pick the ingredients (especially hops) that *I* like, instead of whatever happens to be trending and that will become unavoidable in commercial brews.

So... why not add sugar to the wort? Why not use extract instead of plain malt? How much sugar can we get away with? And what tricks can we used to compensate for sugar's drawbacks? All while considering that the goal is to cut costs while remaining tasteful, not in merely getting some american light lager or otherwise simply drinking the cheapest water-ethanol solution possible.
 

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Apimyces

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Where could the errors come from? My Brewsmith equipment values? When switching Amber Malt of Pale Malt (2 row US), the result reamins something similar, over 12oz/L of malt for 1.5% ABV.
 

RPh_Guy

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Where could the errors come from? My Brewsmith equipment values? When switching Amber Malt of Pale Malt (2 row US), the result reamins something similar, over 12oz/L of malt for 1.5% ABV.
Not sure, I use a different calculator, Brewer's Friend.

It's assuming 37ppg malt, 70% brewhouse efficiency, and 73% attenuation. Take a look at your numbers.
And double check it's per 1L.
 

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most of my beers use 10lbs of grain, reclaimed yeast and hops from a bulk buy. 10lbs of hops for $70 shipped.

That's $15 of base grain plus hops depending on recipe (a little over 2$ per .oz)
Today's 5 gallon batch is a sterling smash.
So that is a $20 batch of 5-5.5% abv beer.
I can't buy 2.5 cases of even mass produced cheap beer for that.
So something comparable would cost even more.
I'm satisfied with how much it costs me.
I save a lot of money because I drink mostly my home brew.
 

gromitdj

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I get numbers much closer to @RPh_Guy using Beer Tools Pro and 85% efficiency (since that's what I get).

1.34 oz of sucrose
1.41 oz of light DME
2.05 oz pale malt
 
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Apimyces

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Are you putting 85% efficiency on the sucrose, though? I'm not sure what BeerSmith is doing for me in that regard, but I'd expect 100% sucrose conversion to ethanol.

I'm really confused about this malt business though. For 1L of wort, if my recipe is nothing else than 2 row pale malt, and I put a whole pound of it, BeerSmith2 is telling me I'll have an est ABV of 1.6% (and 5.3 SRM).
 

RPh_Guy

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Are you putting 85% efficiency on the sucrose, though? I'm not sure what BeerSmith is doing for me in that regard, but I'd expect 100% sucrose conversion to ethanol.

I'm really confused about this malt business though. For 1L of wort, if my recipe is nothing else than 2 row pale malt, and I put a whole pound of it, BeerSmith2 is telling me I'll have an est ABV of 1.6% (and 5.3 SRM).
What are the estimated OG and FG?
 

Vale71

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Did you switch the recipe type from Extract to All Grain? If you do you'll see that 1 pound per liter gives you a whopping 25°P at 75% mash efficiency and 32°P at 100% which makes malt the cheapest source of fermentables after table sugar. Certainly much cheaper than DME.
 
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Apimyces

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Huh. Damn. Switched to all grain from extract, which made it fo from 1.6% ABV to 10.2% ABV, with 1lb per L.

Thanks for that. Can you explain to me... why that is? What are the premises that these options run off to give such different results?
 

gromitdj

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Are you putting 85% efficiency on the sucrose, though? I'm not sure what BeerSmith is doing for me in that regard, but I'd expect 100% sucrose conversion to ethanol.

I'm really confused about this malt business though. For 1L of wort, if my recipe is nothing else than 2 row pale malt, and I put a whole pound of it, BeerSmith2 is telling me I'll have an est ABV of 1.6% (and 5.3 SRM).
I think you already have a part of your answer to what is going on. But, since it's not being mashed, I assume 100% efficiency for the Sucrose and DME. 85% is only my extract efficiency.
 

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I think it's generally accepted that you pay a premium for extract in exchange for a shorter and easier brew day. It's certainly true for my situation (LME is around 2.5x more expensive than equivalent base-malt).

Sugar is a false economy in my opinion. It's purpose is to increase alcohol without adding body, which you might need for a tripel or DIPA. I don't think 10% is going to be a problem in any style, but at 10% how much of the total brew cost are you actually saving? At 50% sugar your beer tastes like crap and you have saved less than 50% on fermentables, but by the time you include hops, yeast, shipping, gas it might be only 25% savings on the total cost of the brew.

If you really want to save money on ingredients without affecting quality (in rough priority order)...
  • resist the urge to buy unnecessary crap for your brewery
  • stop brewing IPAs all the time and explore the wonderful world of malty / yeasty beers
  • harvest your yeast and repitch
  • switch to all-grain (or partial mash which requires way less up-front investment)
  • buy grain by the sack and hops in bulk
  • take advantage of "free shipping if you spend over $--"
  • brew with electric instead of gas
  • Substitute recipes with cheaper local ingredients instead of imported ingredients
  • purge kegs with fermentation gas and naturally carbonate to save CO2
Replacing malt with sugar would be way down near the bottom of my list of cost-saving tips.
 

z-bob

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I typically use 7.5 to 8 pounds of grain to make 4 gallons of beer, and I seldom brew anything less than 5% ABV. I buy my base malts in 50 or 55 lb bags, and hops by the pound when I can find them on sale. I don't use much specialty malt, so it doesn't matter if I spend $2 or $3 a pound for those.

Adding sugar doesn't even make it to the cost-savings list. I do add a little sugar occasionally if it's appropriate to the style , but not to save money.

I do reuse yeast to save money (I'm a cheapskate), and I'm experimenting now with using K1-V1116 wine yeast (89¢ a packet.) I've used it once before and the beer turned out awesome; I want to see now if that was just a lucky accident :)
 

jimmyjusa

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I typically use 7.5 to 8 pounds of grain to make 4 gallons of beer, and I seldom brew anything less than 5% ABV. I buy my base malts in 50 or 55 lb bags, and hops by the pound when I can find them on sale. I don't use much specialty malt, so it doesn't matter if I spend $2 or $3 a pound for those.

Adding sugar doesn't even make it to the cost-savings list. I do add a little sugar occasionally if it's appropriate to the style , but not to save money.

I do reuse yeast to save money (I'm a cheapskate), and I'm experimenting now with using K1-V1116 wine yeast (89¢ a packet.) I've used it once before and the beer turned out awesome; I want to see now if that was just a lucky accident :)
Interested in the k1v yeast experiment, i have multiple packets on hand
 
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Apimyces

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I'm definitely going to have to re-do my calculations since I had beersmith set on "extract" which gave radically less efficiency on the grain than otherwise.

Giving up on hops, though, not sure I can do that! I do almost always aim for the lower end for IBUs on the styles, but I do like my hop flavors and aromas. ;) :)
 

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I brew my beers for flavor. So, I could care less that sucrose is cheaper than malted barley. I use sugars or extracts when it adds something to my recipe. If I don't think it will add anything positive it doesn't go in the recipe.
 

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most of my beers use 10lbs of grain, reclaimed yeast and hops from a bulk buy. 10lbs of hops for $70 shipped.

That's $15 of base grain plus hops depending on recipe (a little over 2$ per .oz)
Today's 5 gallon batch is a sterling smash.
So that is a $20 batch of 5-5.5% abv beer.
I can't buy 2.5 cases of even mass produced cheap beer for that.
So something comparable would cost even more.
I'm satisfied with how much it costs me.
I save a lot of money because I drink mostly my home brew.
and you havent yet calculated in the cost of your equipment or power/fuel to run it,time ,kegging equipment ,etc...
Brewing beer is a hobby resulting in enjoying beer that you made yourself and can't be bought en masse...Theres a great amount of "worth " in that alone that you just cant put a $ figure on.
Pride vs Price. Quality over quantity . Bragging rights maybe.
Life is too short to drink cheap beer anyway.
I understand if one drinks beer to get drunk, there is a cost to think about especially if you like lighter flavored and bodied beer ,so yes the cost to make it shouldn't break the bank. Go buy a 30 pack of Natty's if youre worried about the cost of a buzz. How much would you pay to have a high quality craft beer pulled (kegged ,on Nitro ...mmmmm)and served to you in a glass? Now , figure how much of that price pays not only for the beer ,but the overhead and bartender.
I understand though about deciding what to buy when your budget is $ XXX . Do I buy 1 kit or do I cheap out so I can buy 2 kits for the same amount or just buy bulk ?
Don't take anything I stated above personally.
Sometimes I get to rambling. I just like to make and drink good beer.
I try to keep my AG bill under $40/ 5 gallon batch.
RDWAHAHB.
Prost!
 

applescrap

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two key factors remaining true: sucrose is insanely cheaper than grain-derived sugar, and dry extract is cheaper than malt.
.
Generally dry malt is 3x more expensive than grain. Bought in bulk its double. I have been tetering on the edge of buying bulk dme, so I know for sure. Sugar doesn't seem the worst idea buy your stuff in bulk, thats where the savings are at.
 
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NitrogenWidget

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and you havent yet calculated in the cost of your equipment or power/fuel to run it,time ,kegging equipment ,etc...
Brewing beer is a hobby resulting in enjoying beer that you made yourself and can't be bought en masse...Theres a great amount of "worth " in that alone that you just cant put a $ figure on.
Pride vs Price. Quality over quantity . Bragging rights maybe.
Life is too short to drink cheap beer anyway.
I understand if one drinks beer to get drunk, there is a cost to think about especially if you like lighter flavored and bodied beer ,so yes the cost to make it shouldn't break the bank. Go buy a 30 pack of Natty's if youre worried about the cost of a buzz. How much would you pay to have a high quality craft beer pulled (kegged ,on Nitro ...mmmmm)and served to you in a glass? Now , figure how much of that price pays not only for the beer ,but the overhead and bartender.
I understand though about deciding what to buy when your budget is $ XXX . Do I buy 1 kit or do I cheap out so I can buy 2 kits for the same amount or just buy bulk ?
Don't take anything I stated above personally.
Sometimes I get to rambling. I just like to make and drink good beer.
I try to keep my AG bill under $40/ 5 gallon batch.
RDWAHAHB.
Prost!
I'm really not sure what you are going on about here.
I just stated it costs half as much to buy cheap beer than it does to brew good beer.

didn't think it required such a long comment.
 

NitrogenWidget

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Generally dry malt is 3x more expensive than grain. Bought in bulk its double. I have been tetering on the edge of buying bulk grain. Sugar doesn't seem the worst idea buy your stuff in bulk, thats where the savings are at.
I picked up a 55lb sack of bulk grain from the homebrew shop last yr and it saved me about $10.
could probably save a few more dollars by ordering online with free shipping but, i'd rather give the money to the homebrew shop since we are only talking a few dollars.

It was nice having a tub of 2-row right there because in the summer I mostly brew smash and session smash ales and with a freezer full of hops I didn't have to go anywhere.
I just brewed when I wanted to.

will definitely grab a sack, but of something else for the summer and brew away.
change it up.
 

IslandLizard

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Are we here to save money or to brew and enjoy good (excellent) homebrewed beer? We can do both!

I can brew a 5 gallon AG batch (equivalent to 2 cases) for $15-25, including the (electric) energy I use in the process. Buying 2 cases of that or similar beer will run me $100. Plus 9% tax. That's a lot of money saved, right there! Spending a few more bucks on better or more expensive ingredients (e.g., more expensive hops, a special yeast) won't break the bank.

It also takes me 5-6 hours to brew that including prep, cleanup, etc., and then several hours (say another 3-5) over the next 2-3 weeks paying attention to fermentation and finally kegging. But since it's a hobby and better than watching TV, there's no price on that. Moreover, it's something I enjoy doing, and thus... actually... priceless!
 

applescrap

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I picked up a 55lb sack of bulk grain from the homebrew shop last yr and it saved me about $10.
could probably save a few more dollars by ordering online with free shipping but, i'd rather give the money to the homebrew shop since we are only talking a few dollars.

It was nice having a tub of 2-row right there because in the summer I mostly brew smash and session smash ales and with a freezer full of hops I didn't have to go anywhere.
I just brewed when I wanted to.

will definitely grab a sack, but of something else for the summer and brew away.
change it up.
i messed that up, I have been tetering on buying bulk dme not grain, I already buy bulk grain. I fixed it, but a little late. 10$ for oe bag seems low. I figure the 35 dollars for 50 pounds equals about .70 cents per pound for cheaper domestic 2 row. At 1.8 per pound average in lhbs, thats 1.10 savings per pound on 50 pounds. 55 dollars per bag and 11 per batch. Hops are near 300 percent mark up, some of them. They are 16 per lb bulk and 3 dollars per ounce.
 

NitrogenWidget

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i messed that up, I have been tetering on buying bulk dme not grain, I already buy bulk grain. I fixed it, but a little late. 10$ for oe bag seems low. I figure the 35 dollars for 50 pounds equals about .70 cents per pound for cheaper domestic 2 row. At 1.8 per pound average in lhbs, thats 1.10 savings per pound on 50 pounds. 55 dollars per bag and 11 per batch. Hops are near 300 percent mark up, some of them. They are 16 per lb bulk and 3 dollars per ounce.
you are right.
It's a bigger savings than $10 for a sack.
I think I paid $60 for a 55lb?
It was last yr. lol.

For hops whenever anyplace online has a sale or clearance I stock up.
I pay ther most for nobel hops plus cascade and centennial then I'll go to town on the $3-$5 lb bags of experimental or previous yrs hops. (i've yet to buy an unkown or new hop that didn't make good beer)
biggest savings right there.

I harvest yeast also.

Granted i'm limiting myself when it comes to clones but i'm ok with that.
 
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Apimyces

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Yea, the premise of the discussion is always, next to the "how can I save money", that vital "without ending up with some watered down tasteless garbage". ;) There's already some arguments saying that costs can be cut with some adjuncts, such as sucrose, without any impact on quality at all. So how far can that go? :p
 

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For 4 gallons of beer, I usually spend on average $6 on grain and maybe $2 on hops. Obviously more than that if I'm brewing an IPA or something with a lot of expensive adjuncts, but I don't brew those all that often. Yeast is the wildcard but I reuse my yeast at least once, so worst case is about $4 for yeast (half a pack of liquid yeast) and sometimes the yeast is much cheaper than that. I don't know what the energy costs but I think it's negligible except the one or two times a year I brew outside with propane so I'm going to ignore it. I'm probably leaving something out... the price of bottle caps? I guess that could add another $1. So overall about $10 to $12 a batch, usually closer to $10.

It's deemed a good beer if I would be willing to pay $1 for a bottle of it at the liquor store, and if I'd be proud to serve it to my friends.
 

Sadu

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Yea, the premise of the discussion is always, next to the "how can I save money", that vital "without ending up with some watered down tasteless garbage". ;) There's already some arguments saying that costs can be cut with some adjuncts, such as sucrose, without any impact on quality at all. So how far can that go? :p
You should price up a recipe and swap out different amounts of base malt for simple sugar? Tally up the cost of malt, hops, propane / electricity, yeast and see what it looks like.

I just ran the numbers for my favorite pilsner recipe, swapping 30% of the fermentable with sucrose - I'd save around 15%. I didn't include the cost of yeast because I harvest already, but if I was paying for yeast then the savings would be 11%.

What savings do you get?

So the question is, does this seem like a worthwhile change to save 11-15%? We can't answer that for you. You may find that there's only a small difference and it's worth it to save some money. You may also find you prefer the drier, more cidery flavour that comes with it. I once had a friend compliment my homebrew, saying that it tasted cidery and she loved it!
 

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So how far can that go?
With the discussion here, probably not much farther. Lots of reporting on batch costs, not as much interest in discussing ingredients.

If you're looking for more information on brewing with various types of sugars, 4e of HtB has a partial chapter. Note that ingredients used in a recipe may change the style of beer that is actually brewed (might be hard to make a malty barleywine with 50% table sugar), so the beers you make may not have a BJCP associated style. That, by itself, doesn't make it a bad beer - just a beer that's a little harder to 'understand'.

IIRC, the conventional wisdom is that home brewers generally don't brew with sugar (or DME/LME) because of bad initial brewing experiences (badly brewed kit&kilo recipes, outdated ingredients in extract kits, ...) - so the fear (real or imagined) of 'cidery flavors'.

The "Shut up about Barclay Perkins" blog (and some of his books based on the blog) seem to be a good resource for finding a practical limit for using various sugars in some styles. I've brewed adaptations of some of the recipes with tasty results.
 

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As a rule of thumb, I try to keep my recipes below the cost of what I could simply buy. Though I love experimentation, there's so many things I can make myself, I try to at least save a little when I put the time/risk in making things myself.

This brought me to experiment a bit in BeerSmith, and compare the price-efficiency of various ingredients. I'd like to validate some of those results, and get your input to put those differences in perspective.

For example, in 1L of wort, to get 1.5% ABV, you need about either:
  • 1oz of sucrose
  • 2oz of amber dry extract
  • 14.5 oz of amber malt
An once of sucrose costs me about 2 cents. By the pound, 2 oz of dry extract will cost me about 74 cents, and 14,5 oz of malt will cost me 1,44$.

Now yes, those numbers are a bit biased, given that my sucrose is priced bulk (sugar keeps, and I always have bulk sugar on hand), while the other two prices are not bulk. However, quickly looking at bulk prices... at most I half these costs, with two key factors remaining true: sucrose is insanely cheaper than grain-derived sugar, and dry extract is cheaper than malt.

Now, obviously, a 100% sucrose-derived beverage is, quite simply, not beer. For most places, I believe you need over 50% of the fermentible sugars to derive from malt (or at least grains) to qualify as beer. And a 49% sugar beer is... probably not all that good. Presumably, it would taste very watered down, thin, without body or mouthfeel, or at least not much of it.

But... adding sugar is not all that far-off. Rule of thumb is up to 10%, right? A recent brulosophy trial at 10% showed no difference than without sugar in a belgian tripel. How far can you go without impact? And then, even further, how far can you go without making too much of a negative impact?

Another question that arises is, if we dilute the wort with plain sucrose, can this be compensated by using certain "stronger" malts? I'm still very much a newb when it comes to malt, so in this regard, I have no answers. Color can certainly be compensated by using darker malts and specialty malts for that remaining (up to) 51% of the bill. But if you can attain the same level of color using 1/4 of a given light malt with a much darker malt, I'm not sure that 1/4 quantity of that other malt will give as much flavor... will it?

So which malts taste... maltier? Which give the most flavor? What is the correlation between flavor and color? And between these and mouthfeel?

And if the first questions related between sugar vs malt pricing, and the second in how to balance lower malt worts, the third big line of questions I have is extract vs all grain. I thought that all-grain, for all of its extra expenses in equipment and hassle, would at least offer cheaper brews. After all, you use raw-er ingredients, and thus less transformed products are usually cheaper. But by my calculations, per every point of ABV, extract is significantly cheaper than whole malt? Even retail quantities of extract are cheaper than bulk quantities of malt??? So while I can understand that malt in homebrew shops is more expensive per sugar content then bulk sugar (which you can buy at costco in 25kg bags for the same price or extremely close to what you'd pay by buying by the tonne), this malt vs extract difference I have a harder time understanding? Why bother going three-vessel all-grain, when you can have just about as much customization, for cheaper, with a single-vessel partial mash using dry extract and a handful of specialty malts? Are there drawbacks I'm not considering?

I've not started brewing with sucrose yet, but I have brewed a few batches with liquid extract, and *if* there is a quality difference between grain and extract (of which I am far from convinced), I still ended up with products I quite enjoyed, that cost me below the minimum legal cost of beer (never mind craft beers at 3x *that* price), while still allowing me to be generous with other specialty ingredients like hops, and end up with quite flavorful brews and good prices. Plus bonus, I get to pick the ingredients (especially hops) that *I* like, instead of whatever happens to be trending and that will become unavoidable in commercial brews.

So... why not add sugar to the wort? Why not use extract instead of plain malt? How much sugar can we get away with? And what tricks can we used to compensate for sugar's drawbacks? All while considering that the goal is to cut costs while remaining tasteful, not in merely getting some american light lager or otherwise simply drinking the cheapest water-ethanol solution possible.
As stated i malt my own for ~29 cents a pound when said and done...buy two year old hops at a discount, and before i thought up my sweater drying system for malt, could only do 8lbs at a time...so i doped my beers with 10 pounds of sugar, for a 10 gal batch. came out pretty good! but my malt was kilned at 205f, so it was more like munich malt and had a lot of flavor and body on it's own....

Now that i can malt 20lbs at a time though, actually 100% malt is cheaper then a sugar doped beer...

I'm not sure where you live, but you can always do a sugar/wheat germ wash, distill it. mix liquor with some lemon juice conc. and add a bit of sugar. keg that, pretty good hard lemon aid...

and don't forget you can use white flour in your mash too! here's a pic of 2016 and 2018

flaked wheat was actually white flour....

beerprice1.jpg


10.30 for a 10 gal batch wasn't bad, but whats fun about not trying to improve! so here i'm at these days!

beerprice2.jpg


8.4 for a 10 gal batch is even better! lol
 

Sadu

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IIRC, the conventional wisdom is that home brewers generally don't brew with sugar (or DME/LME) because of bad initial brewing experiences (badly brewed kit&kilo recipes, outdated ingredients in extract kits, ...) - so the fear (real or imagined) of 'cidery flavors'.
This is actually a good point. I think most of us know that cidery taste that bad homebrew has. We partially associate that with using kit and kilo with table sugar, but of course it is also derived from no temp control, an undersized yeast sachet, poor sanitation, all those things that beginners do.

Maybe with everything else being managed properly, 50% simple sugars doesn't result in cidery homebrew-flavoured beer?

I'm still sceptical though, I like a bit of body and sweetness in my beers.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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So how far can that go?
Maybe with everything else being managed properly, 50% simple sugars doesn't result in cidery homebrew-flavoured beer?
A brief review of Braggots (note the style change) may offer insights.

I like a bit of body and sweetness in my beers.
Me also. So British brewing history may offer a good idea as to the upper limits.
 

Soulshine2

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I'm really not sure what you are going on about here.
I just stated it costs half as much to buy cheap beer than it does to brew good beer.

didn't think it required such a long comment.
Take it as a long comment of agreement. we all know cheap beer is always going to be cheaper than brewing (good beer) or we wouldn't be here,would we?
 
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Apimyces

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Re-ran the numbers. (CAD$, did not shop for price but used one retailer that had it all, took cheapest brands and largest volumes)

Cost per 1% ABV using various fermentibles in a 10L mash with 60 min boil:
Sucrose: 0,10$
DME: 2,32$
LME: 2,00$
2-row malt: 0,82$
pre-crushed 2-row sold by the pound: 1,39$

Now these numbers make more more sense than my original ones.
 

bracconiere

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Take it as a long comment of agreement. we all know cheap beer is always going to be cheaper than brewing (good beer) or we wouldn't be here,would we?
i'd have to disagree...this is what i'm brewing today...

beerprice3.jpg


for 8.96, i get 8.88889888 twelve packs, of 9% alcohol beer, and doesn't that color look a lot better then a $9 twelver of milwaukee's best! :mug:

edit: and the reason my pale malt is now .29 a pound instead of .32, because @Schlenkerla good idea of wire screen roasting pans saves me a 12 hour kilning cycle... always ways to save a nickel on a twelve pack! if that's what your trying to do!
 
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z-bob

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i'd have to disagree...this is what i'm brewing today...

View attachment 606339

for 8.96, i get 8.88889888 twelve packs, of 9% alcohol beer, and doesn't that color look a lot better then a $9 twelver of milwaukee's best! :mug:

edit: and the reason my pale malt is now .29 a pound instead of .32, because @Schlenkerla good idea of wire screen roasting pans saves me a 12 hour kilning cycle... always ways to save a nickel on a twelve pack! if that's what your trying to do!
Is that a good beer? (no disrespect intended) I can't tell from the recipe.
 

z-bob

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BTW, here's my last recipe. The beer is almost ready to bottle. I can't tell from the recipe if it's good either, but it smelled good when I racked it to a secondary last week: :)

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: American Pale Ale
Boil Time: 45 min
Batch Size: 4 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.040
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 5.5%
IBU (tinseth): 34.99
SRM (morey): 9.48
Mash pH: 5.47

5.5 lb - American - Pale Ale (71%)
2 lb - American - Munich - Dark 20L (25.8%)
4 oz - Cane Sugar - (late addition) (3.2%)

25 g - Dr. Rudi, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.5, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 29.83
1 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 5.16

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 150 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 4 gal
2) Sparge, Temp: 120 F, Time: 10 min, Amount: 2 gal

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
3 ml - Phosphoric acid (85%), Time: 60 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
1 each - Vitamin C tablet (500mg), Time: 10 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Sparge

YEAST:
K1-V1116

NOTES:
Ferment for a week in a bucket with loose-fitting lid at 65°. Then rack to a carboy w/ airlock and add the sugar. Raise the temperature to 70° until it's finished. Bottle as usual.

Both malts were $38 a sack. The hops were $10/lb. The yeast was 89¢ a packet. I'm using tapwater, so I don't have to buy RO (I don't mind the expense there as much as the hassle) So the malt was about $5.50, the hops about $1.50, and everything else about a dollar. $7 for approximately 40 bottles of beer, and I had fun brewing it.

If it wasn't fun, the cost savings would still be there vs. buying cheap beer, but probably not worth the effort.
 
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Soulshine2

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i'd have to disagree...this is what i'm brewing today...

View attachment 606339

for 8.96, i get 8.88889888 twelve packs, of 9% alcohol beer, and doesn't that color look a lot better then a $9 twelver of milwaukee's best! :mug:

edit: and the reason my pale malt is now .29 a pound instead of .32, because @Schlenkerla good idea of wire screen roasting pans saves me a 12 hour kilning cycle... always ways to save a nickel on a twelve pack! if that's what your trying to do!
Ive never had a Milwaukees Best...what makes you think Im going for cheap beer anyway. whatever floats your boat dude.
 

jimmyjusa

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BTW, here's my last recipe. The beer is almost ready to bottle. I can't tell from the recipe if it's good either, but it smelled good when I racked it to a secondary last week: :)

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: American Pale Ale
Boil Time: 45 min
Batch Size: 4 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.040
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 5.5%
IBU (tinseth): 34.99
SRM (morey): 9.48
Mash pH: 5.47

5.5 lb - American - Pale Ale (71%)
2 lb - American - Munich - Dark 20L (25.8%)
4 oz - Cane Sugar - (late addition) (3.2%)

25 g - Dr. Rudi, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.5, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 29.83
1 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 5.16

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 150 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 4 gal
2) Sparge, Temp: 120 F, Time: 10 min, Amount: 2 gal

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
3 ml - Phosphoric acid (85%), Time: 60 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
1 each - Vitamin C tablet (500mg), Time: 10 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Sparge

YEAST:
K1-V1116

NOTES:
Ferment for a week in a bucket with loose-fitting lid at 65°. Then rack to a carboy w/ airlock and add the sugar. Raise the temperature to 70° until it's finished. Bottle as usual.

Both malts were $38 a sack. The hops were $10/lb. The yeast was 89¢ a packet. I'm using tapwater, so I don't have to buy RO (I don't mind the expense there as much as the hassle) So the malt was about $5.50, the hops about $1.50, and everything else about a dollar. $7 for approximately 40 bottles of beer, and I had fun brewing it.

If it wasn't fun, the cost savings would still be there vs. buying cheap beer, but probably not worth the effort.
Looking forward to tasting notes on the batch. I may have to do a mini batch with the same yeast the next time i brew
 
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