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RedOctober

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I have always thought of brewing my own beer. Can anyone tell my how much a case of homemade beer would cost, vs. store bought? Assuming that the equipment is already paid for?
 

Pyrenus

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An extract recipe "kit" would cost anywhere from $25 - $35 plus shipping. 2 cases of bottles (if you had to buy them) would cost around $24 + shipping, and $3 for a bag of caps. $12 for a capper.

Rough numbers that I remember.
 
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my last batch of Apfelwein costs $0.34 for 12 oz bottle. :ban:

equipment paid for....I figure I make beer for 1/2 price. A 6 pack of anything comparable is right at $10.00 and a batch usually ends up right at $20 to $30 since I went AG...and then there are all the tricks like yeast harvesting and bulk grain and hop purchases that can drop the price to around $13 - $15 a batch.
 

flyangler18

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The store bought (depending on what you like) will almost always be cheaper- but that's not exactly why we brew.

That said, I've gotten a couple recipes down to about $13/batch because I reuse my yeast and buy bulk grain/hops.
 

knowltonm

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I've seen kits for more than that, usually 35 or 40 but I'm sure it varies by where you are, since I've gone all grain the cost is down to about 25-30. Now that I'm re-using yeast from previous batches, less than $20 depending on hops. When you get processes down and your beer starts improving, you'd probably have to spend $50-$60 for the same quality store-bought.
 

Philip1993

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I have always thought of brewing my own beer. Can anyone tell my how much a case of homemade beer would cost, vs. store bought? Assuming that the equipment is already paid for?
If your only goal is cost savings, perhaps brewing ain't for you. True, I can beat the cost with AG batches and yeast reuse, but there's a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into making a great keg of homebrew. There's no way I'd go through all that just to save a few $$$.
 
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That said, I've gotten a couple recipes down to about $13/case
Per case or per batch?
I get usually right at 48 bottles per batch...2 cases.
and at $10 per 6 pack for anything good around here...that's like...$80 worth of beer. BMC is definitely cheaper...Old Milwaukee is cheaper yet...and the grocery store still has "White Can Black Letter BEER" for about a dollar a 6 pack.
 
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RedOctober

RedOctober

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This sounds like a really cool hobby. I was wonder what you guys thought about kegging instead of bottling?

Is it best to start out with the bottles?

Can I start with 200 dollars or less?

How much space will it take up?

How long does it take for a batch?

How many batches will I have to throw away due to stupid mistakes?

I have more lol, but I dont want you guys to get too mad at me.
 
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Bottling is like brewers penance. I think everyone should start there. Kegging can be started for around $150 but you'll need a spare refrigerator, so space is a concern.
$200 will get you about 2 extract kits and equipment to brew them.
To start...you'll need a corner in the closet...in time....have you seen Ed's brew hut?
You'll need to devote about 3 hours to your first batch...it gets faster...then about 14 days in fermentor, then another 3 to 6 weeks or longer in bottles.
If you slow down, keep your head out of your ass...hang out here...READ READ READ...I've never tossed a batch.
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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This sounds like a really cool hobby. I was wonder what you guys thought about kegging instead of bottling?

Is it best to start out with the bottles?

Can I start with 200 dollars or less?

How much space will it take up?

How long does it take for a batch?

How many batches will I have to throw away due to stupid mistakes?

I have more lol, but I dont want you guys to get too mad at me.
alot of us keg it rocks
yes
yes
as much or as little as you want corner of a room if your limited
you should start with extract and it will take a few hours on brew day, mostly cooling(sitting around) and then a few weeks to carbonate and age
none if you read and be smart this isnt that hard
 

phissionkorps

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I just made a partial mash wit for $28. Now that I have the right yeast, if I make it again, it'll cost me $25 for my typical 50ish bottle yield. Blue Moon, which is not a good wit IMO, is $7.50 or so for a 6 pack, so it'd cost me $62.50 to buy 50 bottles of that.

I don't understand why people say store bought will always be cheaper...that's rarely the case, and then only when you're buying the "beer" BK mentioned above. You're not paying for labor, transport, marketing, etc if you make it yourself. The Beast is really cheap, and the cheapest packing to get them in is a 30 pack, which is like $15-25 depending on where you live, or at least 50 cents a beer. Sure you might be able to get BEER cheaper than homebrew, but most of us don't brew lowball recipes (Beast clone? lol). When you consider the quality (and alcohol content), homebrew is always cheaper.
 

Revvy

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I base it on the per case cost for the commercial beers I buy...My house goto beer is usually Bell's Amber Ale, which a 6 pack retails for about $9.55 + .60 cent deposit, or $10.15/sixer....

Thus 2 cases of bell's would cost about 81.20...

that's probably the cheapest beer I buy I've paid 18 or 19 bucks for something like a 6 of Oaked Arrogant Bastard by stone...

With harvesting yeast, and building up a stock of hops over times (meaning I usually don't need to buy either when I go to the lhbs.)

I have brewed my clone of Bell's Amber with extract with grain for about $30 dollars for 2 cases of beer. I brewed an allgrain beer the other day with a similar grainbill, and it cost me about $12.00 dollars in grain for the same sized batch.

To me either price, (30 or 12) is still a bargain compared to the per 2 case price for that beer....and actually my Bell's Clones is one that to me taste closer as extract wi/ grain then it does with AG....(I've brewed it with both) And decided that it's just not worth the 2 extra hours it would take to mash and sparge the grain in an AG batch.
 

Ecnerwal

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Keg .vs bottle is a personal preference thing for some, a cost/spouse approval issue for others.

At the rate I consume, bottles make a lot more sense, and I land firmly on personal preference - and space. While two cases of bottles take up more space than a corny, they take up less space and are more flexible in where that space is than a kegerator to hold the corny and its friends.

Batch cost - last week's - $14.50 for dry malt extract, $4 for chocolate malt, 79c for yeast, and I haven't gone to look up what the cost of the hops from the freezer were - not much, not very hoppy, and some were homegrown (labor intensive, but no cash cost). Should be about 2 cases.

This week's - $15 for liquid extract, $7 grain, yeast free (pitched on last week's cake), still have not looked up the hops costs, still not much. Probably a hair shy of 2 cases
 

goodbyebluesky82

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If you like drinking Budweiser.... then buy Budweiser. If you appreciate high quality beers, then you can save some money by brewing them yourself.

I started wanting to brew because I was starting to drink beer that cost 8 bucks per 6 pack. I feel a lot less guilty brewing 48 bottles of beer for $30.00-35.00, than spending the same $30.00-35.00 on a few 6-ers. I'm cutting my cost in half, or driniing twice as much.... depending on hwo you look at it.
 

Penguin

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no commercial beer is as tasty as the homebrew you spent time and effort into brewing. the whole process is almost magical as you wait anxiously for that first taste of something you created.
 

Baja_Brewer

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I started brewing (this summer) because I thought it would be cheaper. 100$ in equipment and two batches in I loved it, two cases of beer per batch and I was addicted, looking for harder (read "more expensive") extract recipes (my chocolate stout is going to be awesome!)

Two weeks ago I bought a refrigerator conversion kit, kegs, and all the equipment needed for kegging, scored a free fridge off of craigslist and I know now that it isnt cheaper, but I DONT CARE! Once you taste a Nut Brown Ale or Stout that you've made, I would think anyone would have a hard time turning back.
 

Cakehole

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This sounds like a really cool hobby. I was wonder what you guys thought about kegging instead of bottling?

Is it best to start out with the bottles?

Can I start with 200 dollars or less?

How much space will it take up?

How long does it take for a batch?

How many batches will I have to throw away due to stupid mistakes?

I have more lol, but I dont want you guys to get too mad at me.

I went straight to kegging and skipped the bottles. It is an expense, but I feel WELL worth it. I bought a 4-tap system that included a CO2 tank and 4 cornies, all the hoses, 4 shanks and 4 taps for abpout $500 shipped to me from www.kegconnection.com .

Bottles are fine, if you like cleaning them and storing them. It takes me about 5 minutes to keg a full batch after I clean the keg and sanitize. Not sure how long it wold take to bottle a batch, but I am sure it is a while....

You can absolutely start for less than $200 if you plan your purchases and use ebay and craigslist. Good starter kits are out there for about $100 that will let you make a few batches to start the obsession.

As far as space is concerned, well, I brew All Grain so I have a bit of wquipment. Just got a lagering fridge, so more room gone in the garage. I guess the best thing to say about space used for brewing is this: Your brewing equipment will fully occupy all of the space you allocate for it, and then some.

RedOctober, hang in there, try a batch or two, read everything that interests you here and NEVER be afraid to ask questions here. Some of the smartest people around are here.

Cake.

PS Don't be scared of Yuri and his equipment. Yuri would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it and he builds his own equipment. He makes Tim Allen look like Rupaul. If it runs on 220 volts or has more steam pressure than a locomotive, Yuri has built it and uses it to brew.

From grinding grains to final siphoning into carboy takes me about 5 hours per batch. Figure 7 to 10 days minimum in primary, about 2 weeks in secondary, and then about 7 more days to force-carb, and I can drink a young beer in about 4 to 5 weeks. It is much better if it ages longer, but patience is not one of my virtues.

Never throw away a batch unless it makes you puke when you drink some. Yeast is pretty darn good at cleaning things up, now that being said, being clean and sanitary is paramount. Let time and your yeast try to clean things up before you consider dumping the batch.

Oh frack!! I just realized I am answering all the questions I asked when I began my journey... guess I am starting to leave the newb ranks ! !
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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Can you honestly afford NOT to have the satisfaction of brewing your own beer? Before you answer let me tell you, "No you simple cannot."
 
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Oh frack!! I just realized I am answering all the questions I asked when I began my journey... guess I am starting to leave the newb ranks ! !
<in a deep somber movie guy voice>
And so goes the circle of beer...From question asker, to question answerer...Young Cakehole has realized the joy of brewing good beer and sets out to help others.


<Back to Normal Voice>

ISN'T THIS PLACE GREAT! :mug:
 

tranceamerica

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I do (on some level) brew to save money. Therefore, I brew smaller beers, and simpler recipes & use the basic equipment. I do AG because I enjoy it, and it's a bit cheaper.

I spend about $20 a batch - and to do this most of my batches use very little specialty malts, lower hops (or higher alpha hops) and dry yeast. So, that's about $10 a case of beer, + all the time and energy put into it.

It's still "cheaper" to buy beer from the store, but like many have said, homebrew is so much better...

I like bottling, because I don't have the space to keg, don't want to spend the money, and enjoy giving my beer away (which is easier with bottles). bottles do take a lot of time, esp when they are "new" (IE: straight from my neighbor's recycle bin with mold and lables on them).

Once the bottles have been cleaned up, they dont' take too long. I'm sure kegging is much faster/easier, but the kegging guys do spend time on other things, like bad o-rings & getting beer out of their lines & such.

Welcome to the hobby, it's fun!
 

polun

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I'm sure if you compare it to the cost of bud light on sale at the local store..then yeah commerical beer is cheaper.

But once you start brewing more complex (ie more expensive) premium beers..homebrew wins every time. And believe me, it's simple to brew premium beers.

There are so many great kits and LHBS out there that you can make almost anything you want.

There's also an amazing resource here to help you with anything you can imagine..I've gotten some AMAZING recipies off of homebrewtalk.

I think the most I've ever paid for supplies in the 5 batches I've brewed was 35 bucks..and I get about 2 cases worth out of a batch. Well worth it to me - minus the satisfaction of creating something yourself.

Welcome and good luck! :mug:
 

hopsalot

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I think money is a bad reason for getting in to home brew, if you are getting into this to save money odds are you probably wont stick around through a couple bad batches
 

Dr_Deathweed

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If you get to the point that you have AG, buy ingredients in bulk, harvest yeast/build up a yeast bank, and have all your equipment built and paid for, it can be cheaper to brew 2 cases of your own than to pick up a 30-pack of Natty Light.

30 pack of natty ~$11

10 lbs of base grain ~$0.25/lb = $2.50
~1lb specialty grain = $0.75
2 oz hops @$2/oz = $4
water, propane, sanitizer, etc. = $3

Total: ~$10.25


I have has some batches of milds I have done for ~$6-7, it all depends on how much you want to invest up front.
 
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you probably wont stick around through a couple bad batches
The allure of saving money sucks you in....the satisfaction of brewing better beer than you can buy will keep you here.

Really...I think I may not be alone when I say that I drink because I brew. Lots of n00bs and College kids brew because they drink, but it turned around for me at about batch #2.

Doesn't matter why you start brewing...you're either born to love brewing or you're not, and if you were...once you start, you won't stop.
 

CarlosM

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If you get to the point that you have AG, buy ingredients in bulk, harvest yeast/build up a yeast bank, and have all your equipment built and paid for, it can be cheaper to brew 2 cases of your own than to pick up a 30-pack of Natty Light.

30 pack of natty ~$11

10 lbs of base grain ~$0.25/lb = $2.50
~1lb specialty grain = $0.75
2 oz hops @$2/oz = $4
water, propane, sanitizer, etc. = $3

Total: ~$10.25


I have has some batches of milds I have done for ~$6-7, it all depends on how much you want to invest up front.
I always wanted to know the fuel costs lol.

but yea once you buy in bulk it starts getting uber cheap

im at $0.48a lb for grain though

roughly 4 bucks maybe less for hops.

But yeah the savings you might get from brewing pale in comparison to what you actually created. And the fact you can get completely belligerent off of it is even better :)
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I am sure that my homebrewing will save me money, all the investment should totally pan out.... by 2050. ;)

Seriously though, I don't think I am into the saving money stage yet, there are just to many toys, upgrades, projects and whatnot. However, in a short term sense it does save me money. I brew all the beer when my wife and I throw parties, and with the premium beers we all drink, that saves me a ton, and allows me to show my wife just how worth while my silly hobby is. muh hahahaha.....

First purchase "How to Brew" by Palmer. Read it cover to cover. You will not understand it, but it will give you the basics and a general knowledge base. Then start brewing and asking questions. This time next year, you won't need to ask anymore.

Cheers, and welcome to the group!
 

Revvy

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The allure of saving money sucks you in....the satisfaction of brewing better beer than you can buy will keep you here.

Really...I think I may not be alone when I say that I drink because I brew. Lots of n00bs and College kids brew because they drink, but it turned around for me at about batch #2.

Doesn't matter why you start brewing...you're either born to love brewing or you're not, and if you were...once you start, you won't stop.

AND it's no guarantee that you will stop buying beer...I mean I probably buy MORE beer then before I started brewing....

I walk through the beer aisle and suddenly there's a sixer of Double Dead Guy, or Oaked Arrogant Bastard...or a Belgian Blonde that someone was raving about on here..and it's "instant wood," and next thing I know my hand's in my pocket (here's where BK edit's it for the memorable quote thread:D) and I'm reaching for a twenty.

Then of course you decide that you like it so much that you need to clone it...so you have to buy another 6 of it....and maybe something else because your pipeline is getting low.
 

CBBaron

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AND it's no guarantee that you will stop buying beer...I mean I probably buy MORE beer then before I started brewing....

I walk through the beer aisle and suddenly there's a sixer of Double Dead Guy, or Oaked Arrogant Bastard...or a Belgian Blonde that someone was raving about on here..and it's "instant wood," and next thing I know my hand's in my pocket (here's where BK edit's it for the memorable quote thread:D) and I'm reaching for a twenty.

Then of course you decide that you like it so much that you need to clone it...so you have to buy another 6 of it....and maybe something else because your pipeline is getting low.
Hey don't go bringing reality into the equation.
I definitely buy less beer, but I probably spend nearly as much one it. Where before a six pack of a decent micro brew for about $7. Now I buy a 750ml bottle of lambic for $14. Or a 10oz bottle of Thomas Harding for $8. Or maybe its that Belgian strong ale 4 pack for $18.

Brewing is a great hobby and it doesn't have to cost much but brewing to save money will probably leave you disappointed.

AG batches run me around $20 most of the time. Call it $15-$30 for most beers. However my 09-09-09 brew greatly exceeded that number. Actually I'm probably less than that because I have not purchased hops in about a year. My hops were either bought bulk as the hop crisis started or grown in my garden.

Grain usually runs around $1/# for base malt and $1.5 for specialty. I usually use dry yeast because it is easier but it also saves about $5 vs liquid.

Craig
 

Philip1993

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Bottling is like brewers penance. I think everyone should start there. Kegging can be started for around $150 but you'll need a spare refrigerator, so space is a concern.
$200 will get you about 2 extract kits and equipment to brew them.
To start...you'll need a corner in the closet...in time....have you seen Ed's brew hut?
You'll need to devote about 3 hours to your first batch...it gets faster...then about 14 days in fermentor, then another 3 to 6 weeks or longer in bottles.
If you slow down, keep your head out of your ass...hang out here...READ READ READ...I've never tossed a batch.
+1 to everything except "keep your head out of your ass". When you're first staring, it's sometimes very useful to stick your head somewhere to prevent over thinking it and taking a lot of fun out of it. Let me go ahead and answer the OP's first few questions.

* No, you didn't ruin it. Continue on, it'll be fine.
* Just buy another grommet and get that one out later.
* Yes, it does look infected. It's infected with yeast and that's a good thing.
* Just sanitize the airlock and put it back on.
* Yes, it does taste funny/bad after a week. It's not done yet.
* No, you should not pitch it and start over.

Welcome to the obsession! :mug:

<in a deep somber movie guy voice>
Sadly, deep somber movie guy (aka Don LeFontaine) died last week
 

cbg96

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My two cents as a blatant noob:

1) With something like this, for me part of the fun is to see how low can I go price wise and end up with top and/or high quality results. Don't quite know about the results end of it yet as I've only got the first batch into bottles (and I may have screwed the pooch in carbing it, but that's another thread :drunk:) but so far after two batches all told I'm (I think) a grand total of $117 into equipment and supplies. For two batches, that comes out to just about $1.20 per beer.

2) From here on out, I'm anticipating just needing supplies. I'm estimating about $25 give or take a buck or two per five gallon batch, and the amount could be less if I get my own little yeast bank built up and don't need to buy yeast. Another batch, I'm down to about $1.10 per beer, then about a $1.00 even, then, etc, etc, etc. I figure within a year, I'll be making good stuff that I like to drink at a cost of about $.75 per beer. :rockin:

3) Plus, it's fun. :D
 

Ballistic

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A pint of beer (ale) here in the UK depending on the part of the country and the type of bar \ pub and the type of beer can cost around £2.50 - £3.50. We don't tip in the UK unless it's brought over to your table especially. Retail, a bottle of Newcastle Brown 1 Pint is currently discounted in Tesco at £1.00 per bottle. 4 pack (440ml size cans) of Tetleys (cheap brand with consistent quality beer) is currently £1.83.

Most of the cost in the UK is tax and I would think that brewing your own beer would save a lot more than 50% in the UK although I haven't done any definate calculations.

1 UK Pound is currently 1 Dollar 80 cents and has been as hight as 2 dollars to the pound.
 

Pivzavod

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A pint of beer (ale) here in the UK depending on the part of the country and the type of bar \ pub and the type of beer can cost around £2.50 - £3.50. We don't tip in the UK unless it's brought over to your table especially. Retail, a bottle of Newcastle Brown 1 Pint is currently discounted in Tesco at £1.00 per bottle. 4 pack (440ml size cans) of Tetleys (cheap brand with consistent quality beer) is currently £1.83.

Most of the cost in the UK is tax and I would think that brewing your own beer would save a lot more than 50% in the UK although I haven't done any definate calculations.

1 UK Pound is currently 1 Dollar 80 cents and has been as hight as 2 dollars to the pound.
Bloody wankers dont tip? :) So if you are at a local bar and sitting all night at the bar you dont give a bartender any kind of tip for serving you all night?
 

fratermus

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I have always thought of brewing my own beer. Can anyone tell my how much a case of homemade beer would cost, vs. store bought? Assuming that the equipment is already paid for?
I have not read the thread, but I will predict that very many people said it could be done cheaply, but that it's not a great reason to homebrew.

It takes a nontrivial amount of effort, time, and space, so I'd say do it if you love doing it, otherwise buy the beer you prefer to drink.
 

Ballistic

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Bloody wankers dont tip? :) So if you are at a local bar and sitting all night at the bar you dont give a bartender any kind of tip for serving you all night?
Pretty much yes. It's a cultural difference, I know as I've travelled the U.S. too. Unless you are in a restaurant in which case you always tip (and they'd be bringing your drinks over anyway).

I was a bar man for a long time here in the UK, and people sometimes tip at the bar but normally only after a friendly conversation and "one for you" meaning it's to buy yourself a drink and NOT supplement your wages.
 
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