What are your tips for keeping costs down

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DBhomebrew

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Re: partigyle. I think there's something missing. It's not just a matter of creating two or three different worts from the various runoffs and turning them into their respective beers.

The independently boiled worts were blended before fermentation. The strong beer might have 80/20% 1st/2nd running, the small beer 20/80. Maybe a third beer in there at 50/50.

This blending is what keeps the small beer from being tasteless, bodiless, and otherwise insipid.

ETA: Ron Pattison's take on British parti-gyling. Check out the comments for a discussion including Ron, Graham Wheeler, and Martyn Cornell.

 
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Martys1

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I'm looking to do this with a Double IPA and then "re-mash" for a low ABV pale. Can you provide some details? How much grain did you use, what was your OG of your main batch, and what was the OG of the second batch?
Orig grain was 8 lbs 2 row oh 1.048 in 4.5 gal water sparged 1.5 gal in a anvil foundry 6.5,
BIAB on stove added grains and DME, aprox 5.5 gal, 45 min boil, 1/4 lb DME, no og as this is guerrilla brewing,5-6 Abv
 

BrewBerg

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Buy malt in full sacks, and hops by the pound or more.
Buy in bulk.
Most homebrew shops will let you "buy" a full sack of malt at a steep discount and track your usage via a card. Then when you've hit 50 pounds, you "buy" another one. It's great picking out a recipe knowing that your base malt is largely taken care of.
 

Dr_Jeff

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Most homebrew shops will let you "buy" a full sack of malt at a steep discount and track your usage via a card. Then when you've hit 50 pounds, you "buy" another one. It's great picking out a recipe knowing that your base malt is largely taken care of.

That's works out if you have a local homebrew store, none close to me however, and the one that is remotely close totally sucks.
 

z-bob

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My next beer will be a raw ale. I don't want to use the immersion chiller because it's too much of an infection risk. The wort won't be all that hot to begin with, then I will chill it with sanitized ice bottles. If this works, it might be my new "house beer" for the summer.
 

Closet Fermenter

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I have a wood stove just outside the rollup door, under the overhang of my shop, and access to plenty of wood. I use it to bring my strike water to temperature while I am getting everything else ready and grinding my grain. Once I get the mash going, I put the sparge water on the stove. This way, no propane use until I start my boil.
I run my garden hose to a pre-chiller made from a piece of copper tubing left by the previous owner by wrapping it around an oxygen cylinder. It goes in a bucket of water with a couple frozen juice jugs. This water goes through my homemade immersion chiller. I catch the water and use it for cleanup. Any surplus goes on my garden. Spent grain is fed to the chickens.
I am purging with fermenter gas.
I will use yeast a couple times before opening another packet.
 

pvtpublic

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I know it's been mentioned a few times, but I'm going to reiterate milds. Just a great, flavorful style. And not much alcohol, so you could enjoy a few more than you normally would. But don't make them too good, it wouldn't be cost effective anymore.
 

An Ankoù

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Ok I read somewhere that in the UK that some brewers would brew another beer with the spent grain, so I tried it. After mashing for an ipa, I took the mash pipe out and put the spent grains in a kettle on the stove with a bag, BIAB.Now I’m brewing 5 electric and 5 Biab, I also added 1 lb grains and 1 lb of DME, some hops then some saved yeast, Now you’re not going to win any competition with it but it’s pretty good.Actually I paid for beer at some breweries that wasn’t as good.
This sounds like parti-gyling. It's a no sparge method where all the wort is run off to make a very strong beer, more water is added and this is run off to make a decent-strength beer, then more water is added to make a weak beer. The wort's can be fermented separately or blended together to get the required strength.
Don't add water that's too hot as you don't want to extract tannins.
 

An Ankoù

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The best way to save on beer is to not drink be... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I couldn't even say that with a straight typing face
Yeah, avoid the effects of air pollution by not breathing would be preferable to not drinking. 🤣
 

geezerpk

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About a year ago I decided to cut back on any attempts to make "big beers". I don't mean "huge beer", 5-6 gallon recipes employing 12-14lbs. of fermentables. Too many calories, and too many extra pounds for we geezers. By cutting back fermentables to 8-9 pounds, using higher percentages of darker roasted grains. grains that improve body – wheat and oats – lessened the impact of inflation without sacrificing much, or any, of the flavor. At least they taste damn good to us. Price, about $17-$19 per 5-6 gallon batch, reusing yeast more times than I'm willing to admit and very modest amounts of the less pricey hops like nugget, chinook, willamette.
 

Protos

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In all my life, I've never spent as much money on drinks and never consumed as much alcohol as I do now, after having picked up the brewing hobby. And I used to think I consumed a lot of alcohol (a bottle of hard liquor every other weekend). Little did I know, what's a "lot". Even though I don't drink hard liquor anymore.

Hobbies are meant to be expensive. I think I'm lucky it's just brewing. If I had a passion for yachting, equestry or chicks three times younger than me, my life would have been way harder.
 

Murph4231

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Grow your own hops. Plant a field of barley and wheat. Cultivate yeast from beers that you bought. But don't count the cost of land, seeds, machinery and fuels etc. Much like brewing, the cost of ingredients is minor compared to the cost of equipment and energy to brew.

Oh sorry OP. You ask how to keep cost down, simple. Stop drinking.
 

z-bob

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Building (and improving) your own "ghetto" brewing equipment is a hobby unto itself. It's something I enjoy, to an extent. You can brew surprisingly good beer with surprisingly crappy-looking and cheap gear. You ought to see my 5500W electric kettle for heating the strike water. But I've moved past that and seldom use it now; I use hot tap water now (about 140°F) and then bring it up to temperature over low heat on the stove supplemented with a 1650W emersion heater. But if I ever need 4 gallons of boiling water ASAP for some reason, I've got it covered 😂
 

Upstate12866

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Using morebeer.com I can usually get base grains around 1.60/lb these days in 10lb bags, and certain hops around $1/oz if I buy a pound. Free shipping over 59 bucks, a pretty killer deal in my opinion. Not as cheap as 50lb sacks but cheaper than shipping them actually.

I think you can do a 5% smash beer for 4 bucks a gallon this way.

Make sure you reuse yeast if you can, it's not delicate and should not be a significant cost if you reuse it. Eg, half a pack in a 2-3 g small batch, now you have a massive starter that can create a dozen new lines, each line reused 3-5 times. I suppose not every strain works so well but every one I've tried has.

You can get more extreme by adding a bit of sugar (maybe 10% of gravity points, but maybe more. I've seen very old recipes with a LOT of sugar). 25c per pound typically.

Basic rice or corn starch is 50c, nicer jasmine rice or grits 1 dollar per pound. All fine ways to stretch base grains if so inclined. I explored these during our recent grain price surge. Made a few room temp Japanese and Mexican inspired lagers for ridiculously cheap while I shivered with fear over what prices tomorrow might bring. :)
 

z-bob

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K1V-1116 is one of the few wine yeasts that can be used for beer. If you buy the packets 10 or 12 at a time, you can get them for about $1 each. They will store in the refrigerator for years.
 

An Ankoù

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K1V-1116 is one of the few wine yeasts that can be used for beer. If you buy the packets 10 or 12 at a time, you can get them for about $1 each. They will store in the refrigerator for years.
If you want to use some authentic beer yeasts then this supplier in Scotland discounts heavily for multiple orders. You don't have to buy multiples of the same yeast, either. I've used several varieties and they're very good. Postage is kept to a minimum. I think you have to pay in GBP, but PayPal can easily handle that.
 

Saunassa

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Wish I had your strength of character!
That's how I ended up with an anvil and 2 tilts and 2 wifi temp controllers when I only needed 1 of each.🙄 Just hard to keep the geek down.
If you use liquid yeast at least repitch it one time to bring the cost down to dry yeast pricing.
 

An Ankoù

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On this side of the pond, one way to keep prices down is to buy base malts by the sack and not by the pound. I'd recommend this especially if you use European malts as the prices are going up and are going to increase even more due to the mess in Ukraine. A sack of whole (unmilled) malt should be good for 3 years or more if kept properly, by which time things should have sorted themselves out one way or another.
 

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Hoard. No, seriously, hoard.
In a couple of years, in regard of the rising prices, you'll be brewing REALLY cheap.
That's what I do. Pipe tobacco hoarding taught me a lot. I don't believe the prices I paid for the tins I'm smoking now. Because I bought them 5 years ago. If I were buying them now, I'd pay three times more.
Despite the common misconception, essential brewing ingredients (malt, most hops, dry yeast) survive a long storage pretty well, if stored right. They do change with time but the change is negligible in most cases.
 

aceluby

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I always have a cheap beer on tap. $.90 a pound grain ($45/55 lbs), $1 an ounce hops in bulk, harvested yeast, maybe $1 total on misc treatments (campden, whirlfloc, gelatin, water, cleaner, sanitizer). I can do a warm fermented 4% lager for $10. The citra IPA I brew is probably closer to $25, but those beers are still significantly cheaper than anything at the store - and my neighbors can’t believe it’s homebrew. For specialty beers, I just do a gallon at a time to keep costs down
 

odie

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keeping costs down?

repurpose equipment you already have (free).
buy bulk ingredients (sacks of grain, hops by the pound, brick of yeast)
buy used stuff cheap (it will make beer as good as the shiny fancy stuff)
harvest/reuse yeast (free again)
improve your efficiency (free)
collect free beer bottles (more free stuff)

less is more
 

Pkrd

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I also limit my drinking on those days to only one glass. I might fill that glass a few times though! 🍻
You know if you keg your beer and drink directly from the faucet you can get by entirely without glasses.

Cost wise taking a break from brewing and taking up fishing will help enormously with putting hobby costs into perspective.
 
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When you buy beer, you're actually paying someone else to have all the fun of brewing, but also to cut corners on ingredients and underpay their employees so they can use your hard-earned money to buy a yacht. Then they sit on their yacht, listening to yacht rock while sipping commercial beer Champagne.

Friends don't let friends buy beer. Instead, they invite them over to their basement, ply them with pint after pint of free homebrew while rattling on nonstop about the virtues of 3724 vs. the evils of 3711, and how free pickle buckets are practically just as good as stainless conicals.
 
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