Quantcast

inexpensive but delicious

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

phuzle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
hey all,
i was wondering if anyone had ideas for making a very inexpensive beer without sacraficing much taste. i have been doing 10 gallon batches for a while now and my prices have ranged from $55 to $90 for one batch (depending on how fancy I get), but i am curious to see if i could get the price down to the $35 - $45 range (still 10 gallons), while still having a delicious, refreshing beer. if anyone has any ideas, let me know!
 

canabisto

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
phuzle said:
hey all,
i was wondering if anyone had ideas for making a very inexpensive beer without sacraficing much taste. i have been doing 10 gallon batches for a while now and my prices have ranged from $55 to $90 for one batch (depending on how fancy I get), but i am curious to see if i could get the price down to the $35 - $45 range (still 10 gallons), while still having a delicious, refreshing beer. if anyone has any ideas, let me know!

I think A.G. is less expensive than extract. I do partial mash brews and purchase in bulk, grains with pale malt extract for a base. About $150 for 3 to 5 batches (5gal) depending on "how fancy". Thirty dollars per batch is my rule of thumb. My investigation leads me to think A.G. would be about $20 per, and this is for high grav, big beers that I prefer. Others may help more, A.G. is around the corner for me. Be careful, "very inexpensive" can become cheap. Good Luck!
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
phuzle said:
hey all,
i was wondering if anyone had ideas for making a very inexpensive beer without sacraficing much taste. i have been doing 10 gallon batches for a while now and my prices have ranged from $55 to $90 for one batch (depending on how fancy I get), but i am curious to see if i could get the price down to the $35 - $45 range (still 10 gallons), while still having a delicious, refreshing beer. if anyone has any ideas, let me know!
You must be brewing extract? I brew 10-12 gallon batches all-grain and it costs about $30-$35 for an average batch. If you're going to brew that much, you should consider going all-grain and buying ingredients in bulk.

Dang, extract brewing doesn't really save you any money does it?
 
OP
P

phuzle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
so i just have to go all grain and buy in bulk... that makes perfect sense. right now i am paying $1.50 per lb of grain and $1.50 per oz of hops, so it makes sense that the store is marking that up quite a bit (its hard to make profit on such small prices unless you round up, say, to the nearest 50 cents). unfortunately the all grain equipment costs so much. ah well, pays out in the long run, right? maybe i'll even bump myself up to 20 gallon batches once i start all grain.
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
phuzle said:
so i just have to go all grain and buy in bulk... that makes perfect sense. right now i am paying $1.50 per lb of grain and $1.50 per oz of hops, so it makes sense that the store is marking that up quite a bit (its hard to make profit on such small prices unless you round up, say, to the nearest 50 cents). unfortunately the all grain equipment costs so much. ah well, pays out in the long run, right? maybe i'll even bump myself up to 20 gallon batches once i start all grain.
Well, 20 gallon batches is a whole new kettle of fish. You'll need to basically build a stationary brewery. 2 guys can lift a kettle with 10 gallons in it. Not so with 20 gallons. And the cost of your equipment goes up dramatically. A converted keg can be scrounged cheap for a kettle for 10 gallons. How you'd boil 20 gallons I have no idea. Not to mention mashing, heating sparge water, etc. I think 10 gallon batches is the perfect homebrew size, but that's just me.

Another thing I'd add is that yes, the equipment is expensive. And yeah *maybe* it pays for itself in the very long run. But in general, monetary savings isn't a very good reason to homebrew, because you'll usually be disappointed ;) What with time, equipment, etc, etc, etc, it needs to be a labor of love. I'm constantly putting money into it, but, hey, I have a blast doing it and I have fresh beer on tap all the time.

In other words, when you factor everything in, I'm not convinced homebrewing really saves that much money over buying beer no matter how you do it.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
152
Location
Twin Cities, MN
Being a kit guy thus far it seems to range in the $24-35 range for 5 gal. I'd say it's a "little bit" cheaper than going out and buying 2 cases of guiness etc not including the equip & my time but I agree I'm not in it for the the cash savings.
 

D-brewmeister

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
1
Location
Pocatello, Idaho
Man, don't those local brew shops ream you on buying small quantities?

Try looking for hops online, for example heartshomebrew.com is a great place, I just bought 2 pounds of whole hops for about 73 cents per ounce, shipping included. If you are brewing large batches, or have friends to split the costs, that is the way to go. Also, for grains, you might look for a microbrewery in your area. Here in pocatello Idaho we have the Portneuf Valley Brewing co., great guys work there, and I can get 2row pale malt for 35 cents a pound and specialty grains for 50 cents a pound. So a 5 gal. all grain batch can run about 9 bucks for grain and hops! There are plenty of online places that sell bulk grains as well, but there you run into the costs of shipping overwhelming any savings per pound. Local is the way to go! Good luck on the search for good cheap beer, it is possible, and it is the reason I am switching to all grain!
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
D-brewmeister said:
Man, don't those local brew shops ream you on buying small quantities?

Try looking for hops online, for example heartshomebrew.com is a great place, I just bought 2 pounds of whole hops for about 73 cents per ounce, shipping included. If you are brewing large batches, or have friends to split the costs, that is the way to go. Also, for grains, you might look for a microbrewery in your area. Here in pocatello Idaho we have the Portneuf Valley Brewing co., great guys work there, and I can get 2row pale malt for 35 cents a pound and specialty grains for 50 cents a pound. So a 5 gal. all grain batch can run about 9 bucks for grain and hops! There are plenty of online places that sell bulk grains as well, but there you run into the costs of shipping overwhelming any savings per pound. Local is the way to go! Good luck on the search for good cheap beer, it is possible, and it is the reason I am switching to all grain!

Hey thanks for the link. $5.99/pound for whole Cascades?!?!?! That's awesome! Too bad I just ordered $80 worth of hops the other day.

And $.50 per pound for grain? You lucky dog. Treat those brewers right :D

I gotta check with some of my local breweries and see what they can do for me...
 

D-brewmeister

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
1
Location
Pocatello, Idaho
Sorry about the double post, but what Janx and Desert say above is true, I have probably sunk close to 200 bucks on getting set up for all grain, and even with cheap raw materials, it will take a while to make all that back. I mainly did it because I think all grain looks like a ton of fun, more control, fresher taste, and basically a love of the process of beer making! :D (but it does help justify the whole process if you can make a bottle of beer for just over a quarter! And you can justify drinking more of it too! :rolleyes:) Hmmm.... Beer.
 

NUCC98

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2004
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Location
Providence, RI
Janx said:
Another thing I'd add is that yes, the equipment is expensive. And yeah *maybe* it pays for itself in the very long run. But in general, monetary savings isn't a very good reason to homebrew, because you'll usually be disappointed ;) What with time, equipment, etc, etc, etc, it needs to be a labor of love. I'm constantly putting money into it, but, hey, I have a blast doing it and I have fresh beer on tap all the time.

In other words, when you factor everything in, I'm not convinced homebrewing really saves that much money over buying beer no matter how you do it.
That's funny you mention that, because that's why I started originally. That motivation ended once I started my first batch. Once you throw yourself into every aspect of your brewing, however easy or hard you decide to make it, it raises the enjoyment to a much higher level.....
 
OP
P

phuzle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
damn! 50 cents a pound for grains is awesome. i live in kalamazoo (bells brewery) and at their store, grains are $1.50 a pound. i get a 20% discount on all brewing supplies, but still... 50 cents would be awesome.
 

OSUmoney83

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
111
Reaction score
3
Location
In the heart of buckeye nation, now (2012) in Scot
phuzle said:
damn! 50 cents a pound for grains is awesome. i live in kalamazoo (bells brewery) and at their store, grains are $1.50 a pound. i get a 20% discount on all brewing supplies, but still... 50 cents would be awesome.

Since you're in the Bell's brewery area, I was wondering if you have tried or can recommend the expedition stout. I haven't heard too much about, and what little I have is mixed.
 
OP
P

phuzle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
they dont call it the alcopolco gold of beers for no reason :p it's best aged, though. i have a case worth from several different years in my basement. i'd try brewing your own imperial stout and aging it for a year or so, as it'll probably be as good.
 

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
I just ordered a bunch of grain from morebeer.com That's right...ordered it ;) If you buy $50 or more UPS is free. Hard to believe but true. My UPS guy is gonna be ticked when he has to bring 300+ pounds of brewing stuff up here.

It was a pretty good price...$38 or so for a 50 pound sack.
 

D-brewmeister

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
224
Reaction score
1
Location
Pocatello, Idaho
Janx said:
I just ordered a bunch of grain from morebeer.com That's right...ordered it ;) If you buy $50 or more UPS is free. Hard to believe but true. My UPS guy is gonna be ticked when he has to bring 300+ pounds of brewing stuff up here.

It was a pretty good price...$38 or so for a 50 pound sack.
Sounds like a good deal! Thanks for the link. So how long do you keep your stockpile of grain around? Do you just keep it in containers in the garage or something? Damn, I bet 300 pounds of grain would make a lot of beer!:D
 
OP
P

phuzle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
108
Reaction score
0
rightwingnut said:
What's the typical poundage required for a 10-gallon mash?
15 lbs, give or take... i've seen recipes calling for 7 lbs and others calling for 20.
 

Uncle Fat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
134
Reaction score
1
Location
Beervana
Janx said:
It was a pretty good price...$38 or so for a 50 pound sack.

That's about what I pay at my local palce ($35), but they're pretty high on the hops with no discount for buying in bulk. I think my brewing cost will go fairly drastically once I start buying hops in bulk, and harvesting yeast.
 

zprime

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2005
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
MO
so how do you store your grain and hops when you buy in bulk? ....I don't want to have 200lbs of grain go south because i stored it wrong :)
 
Top