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How do you break down the cost of your brewing?

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OhCrap

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Just wondering how everyone breaks down the cost of each batch? If you bother.
I just ordered ingredients for the next 2 batches I'm planning.
But as I was working out prices I noticed myself pricing full amounts....
What I mean is that if I had to use 5.5 oz in the recipe I'd have to order 1.1 lb or 2.2 lbs (1/2 or 1 kg)
Then I'd figure the full price into that beer (or beers if I plan more). Then move on to the next beer and find I have most of the ingredients in storage and I just need yeast or something small....
Basically I write of the cost on the first batch then have a really cheap beer the next time. Completely daft but what the heck I'm not in it to save money. Now before you start about gas etc it's not a money saving hobby. As for my time it's well spent paying myself in beer. :)
 

rodwha

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I suppose I view it something along those lines.

Some people really break down the overall expenses and might include their gear too as it was certainly a part of the cost. I tend to look at it as money spent and no longer a concern. I'm not trying to recoup my cost as it's not a business.

I don't really figure up my cost per batch so much, and when I've considered roughly what it cost me in comparison to commercial beers I've typically left out the little things like caps and muslin bags. I suppose these ought to be taken into account though… I've just figured I can make a 12 pack of craft beer for about the cost of Bud, and I'm happy as it doesn't cost as much as good beers and is as cheap as the old crappy stuff I used to drink.
 

johngaltsmotor

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Anymore I only think about what I spend at the brew store. My propane is split between the grill, the deep fryer, and brewing. And the water salts last so long that I don't worry about that. Grain, any non-home-grown hops, and if I buy or re-use yeast. Mostly it's the grain and hops that I compare, those are where the majority of my cost comes from (since I prefer DIPAs).
 

unionrdr

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Well, looking back at this point, I'd say I concern myself with total cost of the ingredients I'm buying. Typically for one or two batches I'll be doing that month. Being retired with a mortgage, etc, I look at what style I can afford to brew that month, if any. Some batches cost a lot more than others, even with partial mash. It also depends on what odds & ends I have stored. My equipment has long since paid for itself, so no accounting involved there. :mug:
 

lazysunday

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Anymore I only think about what I spend at the brew store. My propane is split between the grill, the deep fryer, and brewing. And the water salts last so long that I don't worry about that. Grain, any non-home-grown hops, and if I buy or re-use yeast. Mostly it's the grain and hops that I compare, those are where the majority of my cost comes from (since I prefer DIPAs).
This is a bit how I roll now. The propane is very evenly split between the grill and the burner, and I usually only count what I spend at the brew shop.

That said, when my brew schedule has gaps in it (kegs are dry and carboys are full), I also spend money on craft beer. So I can definitely say I'm not saving money on home brewing.

But that is no longer the point. :)
 

unionrdr

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I noticed that when I'm brewing regularly & the pipeline's filling nicely, I tend to buy less or no beer & just spend it on brewing instead.
 

grainbill

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Used to run a spreadsheet, cost by the batch, or equipment buys etc. Narrowed down to cost per bottle by the batch and overall. It was interesting for a while, now I know I can get a batch in under 6 cents a bottle or $1.50 a bottle. Always better and less expensive than store bought. IMO.
 

bobeer

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I just started to buy bulk grain and hops and mill at home so my cost per batch is going down. I still use bottled water because I just hate the taste and stringency of tap water so that's an added expense I wish I could get rid of. I've tried to do half tap and half bottled water and that is a little better but it's still not my preference.
So far I try to do 3 bulk grain/hop orders a year. Each one is about $100 so that, plus the water, is what I count as my cost for homebrewing. I wash my yeast so I only have to buy it once every 4-6 batches so I don't count that. Propane is split between the grill and brewing so don't really count that either
The more I brew the less beer I end up buying so that saves money too.
 

rodwha

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I still buy craft beer. I don't want to forget what good beers taste like and still look for things I haven't had. Samplers get brought home quite often.
 
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OhCrap

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I still buy craft beer. I don't want to forget what good beers taste like and still look for things I haven't had. Samplers get brought home quite often.

How can u forget what "good beers" taste like? Aren't you brewing them 😜
 

TrickyDick

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I used to worry about it, but I gave up. I no longer count what I spend on my hobby. I didn't begin to save money, and I think unless you have a strict budget to maintain, that it's probably counter productive to frame in terms of cost.
It is much cheaper and easier onto go buy beer in general, especially if you factor in your time.
That said, bulk grain and home milling, yeast harvesting, and hop growing are all ways to conserve money. I only get to brew on average once per month, so I tend to brew ten gallon batches to get the most out of my time (I have tons of beer to bottle still!), so brewing larger batches you get more bang for the buck in terms of the time cost.
I do what makes me happy and that I enjoy doing when it comes to homebrewing. This might occasionally include some hare brained ideas, expensive DIY contraptions, failed experiments, and wonderful success.
TD


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Clonefan94

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I just don't bother to break it down on a per beer basis. It's my main hobby, I have a budget, but for no more than I spend a month, I look at it as my price for happiness.

Rather than getting specific for each beer though, I'd probably just add all costs and divide by the number of beers I've brewed. Since I'm not a business trying to recoup costs. It doesn't really matter to me if one batch costs $30 and another only $25. The overall cost compared to my brewing budget is all that really matters to me.

I will say though it doe amaze me how many people have asked, "How much does it cost to brew this?" The first time they try my beer. If you think about it, it's kind of rude. If someone told you they love to golf, would your first question be, "Really how much does that cost you a month?"


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kh54s10

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I used a spread sheet that got anything I spent $$ added. Then calculated the running price per bottle. When I could buy new equipment and the price per bottle stayed below $2 I stopped keeping track.

I have added kegging and a second fermentation chamber for lagers but think I am still under $2/bottle. This is the average for commercial craft brews so it saves in that way... But I drink a lot more beer now so the savings is not as much.
 

fartinmartin

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I did a full study of a brew , it included all goods and the electricity , i came to 32english pence per pint, my labour however was not in this and at my rate , or the rate I would like, it would get up to over £3 per pint but. It's my hobby !
 

unionrdr

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I did a full study of a brew , it included all goods and the electricity , i came to 32english pence per pint, my labour however was not in this and at my rate , or the rate I would like, it would get up to over £3 per pint but. It's my hobby !
Exactly why I just concern myself with how much the ingredients cost me per month. That's the most direct way to me.
 
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OhCrap

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As I said in OP I'm not talking about saving money etc, just that when I plan on brewing a beer, I price up that batch of ingredients and say to myself "this works out at €x per pint..... Brew it and then the balance of the ingredients go into storage.... Moving on to the next beer I look at the ingredients an realize that I have most if not all of them in storage and only need yeast.... Then I start talking to myself "yeyyyy this beer is free....." It's my hobby so it's not about cost BUT you have to rationalize cost somewhere so I write it of on the 1st batch
 

guitarguy6

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I used to until I realized how much I could save ordering in bulk. Hops are down to $1-2 an ounce, grain is $0.8 - 1.2 per lb so even if I use 4-5oz of hops and buy new yeast it costs me $20ish per 5Gal batch. Electricity is dirt cheap in Canada and I use a blichmann 4500watt boild coil so that doesn't really affect the cost.
 

eric19312

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I like to know the ingredient cost per batch and use this information to alternate between lower cost and higher cost batches. Beer Alchemy does a pretty good job with ingredient costs by weight of what was actually used.

When I started I got into tracking all the costs and trying to apply costs for disposables like PBW and amortize equipment to batches. Stopped doing that when I started kegging and decided to build a brew stand...
 

rodwha

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"How can u forget what "good beers" taste like? Aren't you brewing them"

Usually. But I've moved and have begun doing new things and using new equipment. I've tried 3 of my latest beers, one being my first all-grain attempt, another being a 102 IBU IPA with no hops beyond 30 mins, and the last a brown ale. The brown is fine, but more roasty than I'd like, and the others are just a little off. I did make PLENTY of mistakes throughout all 4 brew days as I had become a bit rusty from not brewing for 4 months, and adding several new things made things a little difficult.

Most of my beers have been good, as in they could sit on the shelf with the average example for the style. Some have come out excellent and may have given a run against those great examples. And there have been some flops! Only one has been so bad I dumped it though.

But I still like my commercial craft beers...
 

unionrdr

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Hey, we do have to do ongoing market research, don't we? I was just thinking of trying something different with my Cougar Country IPA, a cross between Pliny & the better IPA's out there. You guys are inspiring sometimes! That's the other thing that makes it hard to figure what a great beer is worth to ya . :mug:
 

rodwha

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Pliny the Elder is one beer kit I've actually considered buying as I hear many raving about that beer being one of the best IPA's. However I'd much prefer the real thing so as to really know what it's like. I'm certain mine wouldn't taste the same. But I can't get it down here in TX.
 
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I don't keep track batch by batch but just keep a file w/ all my expenditures. Secret file so only I know!!!


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normonster

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I call it a buck a beer and tell my wife I'm saving 30% which means I can increase consumption by that amount and still not spend any extra.

If she doesn't like that I multiply by 2, then add 50% then divide by a factor of 3, round down to the nearest nickel, and sum it up as a good deal for the whole family. I'll move decimals or whatever it takes!
 

normonster

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Pliny the Elder is one beer kit I've actually considered buying as I hear many raving about that beer being one of the best IPA's. However I'd much prefer the real thing so as to really know what it's like. I'm certain mine wouldn't taste the same. But I can't get it down here in TX.

I live near there and have had it several times. It is a great beer but no better than lagunitas IPA. IMP lagunitas IPA is the best beer I've ever had, plus up here it is on sale for 11.99/12 like once a month so I stock up on about $100 worth during those sales. Between SN Pale and Lagunitas IPA I really don't even need any other beer brands at all.

Pliny is prohibitively expensive.
 
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