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bracconiere

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The higher ABV, craft beers cost an arm and a leg. I can't get below $35 (and won't try to) because I use DME.
damn man. i'd be drinking wheat germ table sugar washes before i was forking out $30 for 8 beers....nothing wrong with DME, it's like flavored sugar that allready has nutes for the yeast! :mug: (just requires paying other people to take some of the work off your shoulders.)
 

JacktardBrewmeister

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Ah... Redondo Beach. Back in my younger days (before I stopped working for a living and spending much of my life on the road) I used to waste brain cells down at the Redondo Beach Brewing Co., the Riviera for fantastic fish tacos, followed by a stop at Fatburger for a 'nightcap'. Loved trips to SoCal, but NorCal was where I gained an appreciation for craft beers like Sierra Nevada and even Anchor Steam. Did a road trip from the East Coast all the way to Russian River for a case of PtE a few years ago before the fires nearly destroyed the area. Good times.
Yeah, Najas was the stop for me right at King Harbor Pier near Quality Seafood and the Arcade (which is gone now). Najas always had Pliney and some good Firestone exclusive stouts. A lot of the bottle shops are carrying the nicer stuff now, but when I can brew it myself, I find it 10x cheaper on average and I enjoy the hobby. :D

I got a time share in Nor Cal in Windsor and the best part, the new Russian River Brewing Co. facility is right behind it since they expanded out of Santa Rosa. There is also Lagunitas, which a lot of people like, nearby as well. I have a soft spot for Firestone stouts in general though, and my brother lives 40 minutes east of Paso Robles. So, usually, every year I have about a case of exclusives from up north and from Paso and then my homebrew. Good beer is worth every penny.
 

Bad Bubba

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One needs to "rationalize" better when comparing brewing to other popular hobbies. Golf at $60+ a round, twice a week adds up quickly. How about snow skiing at $100+ a lift ticket. Then there is tennis at $200/racket, $3/new balls, 3 times a week..not counting new shoes at $80/pair every 6 months. New pool table...$2500. Then of course we have scuba diving...$2500 will get you some decent gear but then the airfills at $5/fill add up...or a boat charter at $125+ now and then. Pick your poison...home brewing is right in there with the best of hobbies.

I started in order to make better beer since 22 years it was near impossible to get a good "craft style" beer delivered to Hawaii...plus I needed a new hobby as weekly golf was beyond my budget in Hawaii.

The big move in my brewing process came when I got rid of my two refrigerators I used in my garage to ferment in and built the back yard brewery, with temperature controlled chill room for fermentation and bottling/storing/aging....a mere $6000 later. Hey, it could have been 100 rounds of golf over the past 22 years.View attachment 707120
I think you make some very good points. Hobbies can be very expensive - I had my own plane and flying was my hobby/avocation - what I spend on brewing is a drop in the bucket to that hobby. I do snow ski and it is at least $2000 a season and I save some money with a season pass. My son-in-law rebuilds classic cars - I think he has $40K in his '67 Camaro. Hunting is very expensive. The list goes on...

I am fortunate that my wife has some very expensive hobbies and she could care less on what I spend on brewing ( she knows I won't catch up to her).

The only thing I have saved money on is my carpentry, tiling, etc. I probably have about $10,000 worth of tools and have conservatively done about $150K worth or remodeling on our home over the years.
 

Golddiggie

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sounds like another purchase, haha... blichman beer gun is the answer. i bought one maybe a couple years ago and it works great. i rarely bottle, but have recently been doing more of it and the convenience and functionality are great.
i imagine you could hook a hose up to your tap and fill the bottle from the bottom up, let the foam run out the top, cap it, wipe it down and would be "ok" to transport somewhere. but i wouldnt expect to get any shelf life out of it. essentially the same thing as filling a growler at that point.
Bought my Blichmann beer gun (rev. 1) several years back. This year I changed out the item at the end with the stopper, that seals it when you don't want the beer to flow. The one on the original design wasn't fully captured, so it tended to go out of alignment, or fall off. I had also tweaked mine to use a ball lock post for the gas side (to purge what you're filling).

I would use that to fill swing top bottles. I also use it to fill the 64oz mini-keg that I bought to bring brew to small gatherings (or where we don't need a 3 gallon keg of it). I got another mini keg to give mom beer in. She brought it back the other day for a refill. ;)

I've also used it to fill up cans before sealing them up. Yeah, I got the Cannular machine (reversed rollers, so I 'saved' $100 on it!!). Bought both can sizes (330ml and 500ml). The smaller will be for bigger beers, the larger for lower ABV beers. There's a method to my madness. Really, there is. ;) If things keep going like they have been, I can see getting setup for nitro micro-dosing before sealing the cans. Because why the hell not?? It will be a while off though, since I really don't have space to do that. Which means my brewing gear spend is going to go really high next year. Going to be looking to get a house (been renting) starting in the spring. Part of it will be setup for brewing, and my other hobbies.
 

oakbarn

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He with the most Shiny Toys wins! There is always a new "wishlist" after I fulfill the one I made yesterday. Hard to say how much I have spent on this hobby over the years, but not insignificant. That being said, it is cheaper than many other hobbies and you get to drink the best beer in the world.
 

shoreman

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You need to factor in time on those purchases. Brew with the same gear over 20 years and that $100 brew kettle gets a lot cheaper.

I brew for fun but recently I’m brewing 3 gal stovetop with a $10 biab w/ a 5 gallon pot I bought years ago for $20. Bulk malt & hops and I certainly save $$but I’m not counting, takes the fun out of it.
 

TheBluePhantom

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speaking of bottling.... what would be the result of pouring my kegged beer into a sanitized beer bottle and capping it? - not a growler or even one of those bottles with the swing top caps.... just a regular bottle and cap attached with a capper.
I do that occasionally. nothing fancy, just a tube, sanitized in the nozzle of a picnic tap, fill from the bottom up. Have it a little overcarbed if you can, you will lose some CO2. Get the bottles colder than hell and it will minimize foaming, turn down the serving pressure a bit so it goes slower. you do get foam, but it can be minimized
 

Senormac

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Ah... Redondo Beach. Back in my younger days (before I stopped working for a living and spending much of my life on the road) I used to waste brain cells down at the Redondo Beach Brewing Co., the Riviera for fantastic fish tacos, followed by a stop at Fatburger for a 'nightcap'. Loved trips to SoCal, but NorCal was where I gained an appreciation for craft beers like Sierra Nevada and even Anchor Steam. Did a road trip from the East Coast all the way to Russian River for a case of PtE a few years ago before the fires nearly destroyed the area. Good times.
I too am familiar with Redondo Beach. I grew up there and even attended RUHS back in the day. WAY back in the day !! RBBC is a cool place. Can't beat sitting on the balcony and throwing down a couple while all the peeps walk past on Catalina Blvd. There is a pretty decent bottle shop just a few blocks from there on PCH. At least there was last time I was down there. I now live in Oregon. Lot's of great beer up here.
 

JoeMamasIPA

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I am unfortunately hooked on the pricy NEIPA's. Trillium isn't afraid of a $22 4 pack. Treehouse requires you to buy a $120 case for good IPAs. Most of the second tier 4 pack boys want $12-15. Luckily I can make something close for $2-$2.50 a pint when using the pricier hops. My other love is Imperial Stouts and their 20+ lb grain bills, but again the commercial versions are priced out the yang. Don't even mention ebay prices for any of these beers... unreal that people pay 10-15 for a can of beer.
 

day_trippr

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Having been a model railroader, R/C flight enthusiast, hard core fly fisher, multiple boats owner, and e-hobby aficionado, I know each of those endeavors were total money pits - but I reaped the enjoyment thereof, and like to think they have helped me survive as long as I have :)

I have yet to rationalize the fully amortized cost of my beer production with everything accounted for as being competitive with just buying outright over all these years. Not quite yet, anyway - but it's a goal :ban:

Of course the "I gots to have that!" paradigm provides periodic set-backs (like, the 20lb siphon tank I engaged in a permanent lease from AirGas this week) but that will definitely "save money" in the not-so-long-run. So, that positive net cost thing gets pushed back a little more, nbd :D

Cheers!
 

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Yeah, Najas was the stop for me right at King Harbor Pier near Quality Seafood and the Arcade (which is gone now). Najas always had Pliney and some good Firestone exclusive stouts. A lot of the bottle shops are carrying the nicer stuff now, but when I can brew it myself, I find it 10x cheaper on average and I enjoy the hobby. :D

I got a time share in Nor Cal in Windsor and the best part, the new Russian River Brewing Co. facility is right behind it since they expanded out of Santa Rosa. There is also Lagunitas, which a lot of people like, nearby as well. I have a soft spot for Firestone stouts in general though, and my brother lives 40 minutes east of Paso Robles. So, usually, every year I have about a case of exclusives from up north and from Paso and then my homebrew. Good beer is worth every penny.
Man, you're killin' me. Najas. I'd forgotten that place. Wife and I were traveling from Newport Beach through Santa Barbara, San LO, and Paso Robles on the way to NorCal. Had to stop at Redondo. Wish I'd remembered Najas on that trip. We did get of the wine trail long enough to stop at Firestone Walker in Paso for a few Wookie Jacks though. It was a great trip.

Brooo Brother
 

Dancy

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The truth is I'm not (usually) willing to pay big bucks on beer; I’d just as soon pay for a good bourbon and brew a Belgian at home (1st time) on my new BE Mash & Boil (just ordered the grain). I’m a little loaded as I write this but I don’t think I’ll regret it 😄
 

porterguy

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Really, there is. ;) If things keep going like they have been, I can see getting setup for nitro micro-dosing before sealing the cans.
The only micro-dosing I've ever heard of was in reference to less than fully hallucinigenic LSD.
 

JacktardBrewmeister

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Man, you're killin' me. Najas. I'd forgotten that place. Wife and I were traveling from Newport Beach through Santa Barbara, San LO, and Paso Robles on the way to NorCal. Had to stop at Redondo. Wish I'd remembered Najas on that trip. We did get of the wine trail long enough to stop at Firestone Walker in Paso for a few Wookie Jacks though. It was a great trip.

Brooo Brother
Yeah, a brewery and winery tour of California. Many go, few survive! GHAHAHAHA! But if you're in the area again, check out Yorkshire Square in Torrance. They do "ye olde" pull taps (not realy ye olde, just british style) ales and lagers. It's all barrel conditioned and barrel carbonated (except for their C02 stuff) and they even serve British style food.
 

JacktardBrewmeister

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I too am familiar with Redondo Beach. I grew up there and even attended RUHS back in the day. WAY back in the day !! RBBC is a cool place. Can't beat sitting on the balcony and throwing down a couple while all the peeps walk past on Catalina Blvd. There is a pretty decent bottle shop just a few blocks from there on PCH. At least there was last time I was down there. I now live in Oregon. Lot's of great beer up here.
King Harbor Brewing is still around for sure and the new hot spot bottle shop in Redondo/Torrance is Select Beer. They even had a Pliney the Younger event a year or so ago. Not much has changed except Torrance getting about 16 breweries, only 2 or 3 of them are even worth a damn. Placentia, CA (Orange County) has the best and boldest stouts in the west. I believe the ABV average there is 12% with most of them at 10 to 16.5 with about 20 dark beers on tap and 4 IPAs and a 20 bottle option of sours called The Braury.

Monkish and The Dudes have lost all their steam and pretty much just make cheap crap. Smog City is good about 50% of the time and their lager festival was fun. Ximix is gone, and they were decent. Three Weavers in Inglewood is really good, probably the best brewery in LA proper (not in the county). Yorkshire Square in Torrance has the best British style beers made with imported ingredients for pretty much everything they put on their pull taps. A lot has really changed around here over the years though, in a good way. :D A new place, Burning Daylight, in Lomita is pretty hit and miss, but they are still surviving. They were good the first month I tried it, last several months before (THING THAT CANNOT BE SAID HEAVEN FORBID) they have been really off on their quality. Lots of neat places popping up all the time.
 

Brooothru

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Yeah, a brewery and winery tour of California. Many go, few survive! GHAHAHAHA! But if you're in the area again, check out Yorkshire Square in Torrance. They do "ye olde" pull taps (not realy ye olde, just british style) ales and lagers. It's all barrel conditioned and barrel carbonated (except for their C02 stuff) and they even serve British style food.
British cuisine? That's an oxymoron, isn't it?

Back in the day (sure seem to be usin' that phrase a lot lately) I frequently traveled to London. Near the hotel where we stayed was a local pub called the Leinster Arms. Great place, not on the regular "tourist" pub list. You could get hand-pumped bitters and cask conditioned ales, as well as Guiness served the way it's supposed to be served. But food?

Thank the crown for invading India. Some of the best tiki masala, tandoori chicken and naan anywhere in the world. Including India! There was also a Greek restaurant nearby where the lamb was superb. And speaking of lamb, there was schwarma everywhere. I used to think that Brooklyn and Queens were diverse nationally, but London has to take first place in that category.

Which is a good think since most British food is on par with K-rations (MREs for you younger military folks). Except fish and chips. Yeah, I'll gladly eat London fish and chips any day of the week.
 

BrewZer

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One of my brew buddies owns the LHBS and 20 years ago he told me it actually wouldn't save much money but I could make what I liked and it's a hell of a lot of fun.

In 2011 I had a horrible harley wreck which almost killed me. When I got back on my feet my wife said you can have a new Harley or that backyard brewery you've dreamed about.
View attachment 707002
Insert "You Have Chosen Wisely" meme here...
 

Ninoid

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I love beer, It's practically my only drink for about 30 years. In my state, as probably in every one, good beer is expensive, and the job of buying and delivering beer was already getting on my nerves. I've seen it make my own beer and it's not that big of a problem and it's quite fun, I adapt to the conditions in a small apartment, I assemble the necessary equipment (electric BIAB and bottling) for less than $ 300 and, by error improvement method, I now brew one batch almost every weekend. Beer costs me at least twice as cheap as the cheapest beer from the store, and it’s a lot better than that.

Homebrewing is fun and great savings in money.
 

Newtobrewing85

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I didn’t think I would save any money brewing beer, I just wanted a weekend hobby every once and awhile and it’s fun the few times I have done it or helped do it.

I’m about $710 in (just this week 😳 😬 😱) and I haven’t even brewed a beer yet lol. But to be fair I have 3 beer kits, an anvil foundry, catalyst fermenter, utensils, cleaner, sanitizer, hydrometer, how to brew book, mash paddle, bottle filler and bottle caps all on the way. So I should be (mostly) set for a good long while. I’ll eventually want a 5 gallon keg and I’ll need a grain mill before I use the unmilled kits I bought. 🍻
 

Newtobrewing85

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I love beer, It's practically my only drink for about 30 years. In my state, as probably in every one, good beer is expensive, and the job of buying and delivering beer was already getting on my nerves. I've seen it make my own beer and it's not that big of a problem and it's quite fun, I adapt to the conditions in a small apartment, I assemble the necessary equipment (electric BIAB and bottling) for less than $ 300 and, by error improvement method, I now brew one batch almost every weekend. Beer costs me at least twice as cheap as the cheapest beer from the store, and it’s a lot better than that.

Homebrewing is fun and great savings in money.
How many fermenters do you have to brew a batch every weekend?!
 

bracconiere

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Do you transfer to something else or are you able to bottle them? I was under the assumption it took at least 2-3 weeks in a fermenter before you could even think of bottling.

i add gluco, and hit my FG of 1.000 in about 4 days usually, and siphon into kegs. in the inwter when it's cooler, take a day or so longer.
 

bleme

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Do you transfer to something else or are you able to bottle them? I was under the assumption it took at least 2-3 weeks in a fermenter before you could even think of bottling.
It really depends on your process and your yeast. @bracconiere usually makes the same beer, over and over, so it is all known and predictable. Then he goes straight to keg, which is a lot safer than bottling. Some yeasts will ferment completely in 2-3 days if you can control the temp perfectly. The 2-3 week rule is mostly just to deal with all the unknowns that new brewers face.
 

JohnnyO'

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I have three active hobbies at the moment:

Cycling - My road bike is stupid expensive - best carbon available - wireless electronic shifting, etc. My mountain bike cost more than most would spend - but not stupid money. My urban ride is a CX bike that was wayyyy overkill. I usually ride between 4 and 5 thousand miles a year.

Music - I play in two old man cover bands as the lead vocalist and pointless second guitarist. I own all the PA and have nice guitars. Three in rotation for live shows - worth about a grand apiece. I play around 18 shows a year.

Brewing - All grain on a Unibrau 10-gallon system. Keg - 4 taps at the house - two in a Marvel Kegerator and 2 in a homemade keezer. Seems like I brew around 5 gallons a week any more - but that is playing a little catch up as I took some time off while waiting for the Uni to arrive.

Cycling keeps me fit and non-fat and allows me to drink all the beer I want.

Music - I make a little scratch and the equipment has residual value. I get to hang out with friends - and bring homebrew to rehearsals, etc.

Brewing - Pretty sure I could get a good chunk for the Unibrau on the used market - at least for the time being. The rest of the stuff? You all know the score there.

I am comfy with the capital outlay, enjoy the process and the end product. Homebrewing is a no brainer, in my book. For me, that is. YMMV!
 

bracconiere

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Can you give more details?

yes. i brew light beer, so it has more alcohol, less carbs. but about the same calories. gluco amylase is an enzyme that will take the ferment totally dry. and i get really inconsistant effec with my homemalt, so i just 'shoot' for 83% and 1.060, and if i miss it i'll add how ever much sugar i need to get 1.060, so that when i'm counting calories with cron-o-meter. it's consistent.

with as much as i drink, it takes a very soupcon(it was option in spellcheck! don't blame me! ;)) effort to not weigh 400lb's. i'm a comfortable ~180 at 6'2".


with my home malt it vary between 72%-85% (i've sent off some to get a review on flavor to see if i should even try and get it like store bought where i get 92% pretty much everytime)
 

BarryBrews

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yes. i brew light beer, so it has more alcohol, less carbs. but about the same calories. gluco amylase is an enzyme that will take the ferment totally dry. and i get really inconsistant effec with my homemalt, so i just 'shoot' for 83% and 1.060, and if i miss it i'll add how ever much sugar i need to get 1.060, so that when i'm counting calories with cron-o-meter. it's consistent.

with as much as i drink, it takes a very soupcon(it was option in spellcheck! don't blame me! ;)) effort to not weigh 400lb's. i'm a comfortable ~180 at 6'2".


with my home malt it vary between 72%-85% (i've sent off some to get a review on flavor to see if i should even try and get it like store bought where i get 92% pretty much everytime)
Wow! I did not know this. I should use it in my beer too, but...flavor?
 

bracconiere

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Wow! I did not know this. I should use it in my beer too, but...flavor?

in my experience it's not about flavor. it's about mouthfeel. and if you don't try to make lagers it's fine. i'd say think something besides unfermentable dextrins for mouthfeel. and don't use wine yeast.

i just did a batch with 2lb's brown rice, 1lb roast barley and half pound black patent, 1lb crystal 60. 15 lb's pale. got something like 1.063 in a 10 gallon batch, ferment to 1.000. beer to remember!

i did use wine yeast and it was like a cup of coffee? if that makes sense? (hold on quicky for the on lookers i'm going to drop a hydro in a cylinder of coffee to check the gravity for the nay sayers)

well i just dropped the hydro in strong coffee got 1.000, so it is possible to have 'mouthfeel' with a dry beer!
 

Kirkwooder

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Just think, when your wife finds out "How much you have saved by brewing your own beer", and murders you, she'll get about $157.00 for all that stuff from some shmuck like me, on CL. Your from Hamlin you say... Rochester,NY Craigs List.... ;)
 
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