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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Wheat_Brewer on March 26, 2011, 04:54:01 PM

Title: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on March 26, 2011, 04:54:01 PM
I was reading another post in this category that stated the average homebrewer/winemaker spends $100 a year on their hobby.  This got me thinking about my $100 a month allowance on homebrewing...I don't even think this was enough!  Am I just crazy for thinking my allowance is low?!
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: Pinski on March 26, 2011, 05:07:20 PM
If you're doing extract/partial brews and bottling you're budget seems frugal but not unreasonable.  If you're like me and get possessed by the need to expand your brewing horizon you'll need to lay down some more coin unless you're a very patient and resourceful individual.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: Tristan on March 26, 2011, 05:18:52 PM
I don't think you're crazy at all.  Look at how much other hobbies cost!  You could buy a bass boat, a big truck and fishing gear and spend a butt load of money.  Brewing is cheap in comparison for how much joy it provides.

I brewed the "legal limit" last year  ;D  Cost was $833 in ingredients, not factoring in energy costs (propane, electricity, water).  I probably spent a bit more factoring in on-hand grain and hop quantity.  That's $69 a month.  I usually drink 2-3 beers a night, but have friends over and bring  a lot of beer to family gatherings, parties, brew club meetings and competitions.  At the end of the year my kegerator was full, six 5 gallon cornies and a 3 gallon cornie with a few batches in primary.  If I was the only one drinking beer I would go through a batch a month.  I think $100 a month is way more than you'd need when you factor in needing to buy misc items such as tubing, hydrometers, autosiphons, etc.  
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on March 26, 2011, 05:20:54 PM
Luckily I've been able to do some cost saving parts to brewing; all grain not extract, culture my own yeast, occasionally score some free hops from the in-laws who just like the hops to grow.  With all this I'm able to brew about twice a month with some left over cash I can save up for a toy...You're right though I might need to plead to the wife for a little extra for a system.  
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: denny on March 26, 2011, 05:23:23 PM
I don't have an allowance per se, and I don't track how much I spend, but I'd be surprised if it didn't average out to at least $100/mo.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: a10t2 on March 26, 2011, 05:31:24 PM
Once you've amortized the equipment home brewing can be incredibly cheap. It would be difficult to put together a 5 gal AG recipe that cost more than $40, and if you're buying ingredients in bulk and culturing yeast the average is probably closer to $10. So to spend $100/month you'd have to be doing some serious production.

Then again, I'm probably on the low end of the spectrum; most of my ingredients are in the category of "rounding errors" now. I'm brewing a 10 gal batch of blonde ale today that's going to cost me about $9 including propane... ;D
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on March 26, 2011, 05:34:42 PM
Wow!  Where do you buy your ingredients?  I just spent $40 on an admittedly big grain bill, yeast, hops, and cane sugar.  Some of the cane sugar can go into other brews...but still $10?!  Wow. 
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: euge on March 26, 2011, 05:37:50 PM
Wow!  Where do you buy your ingredients?  I just spent $40 on an admittedly big grain bill, yeast, hops, and cane sugar.  Some of the cane sugar can go into other brews...but still $10?!  Wow. 

Most likely buying everything in bulk and harvesting or yeast ranching.

Don't think I'd quite hit the $800 mark. Maybe $500 at most in a busy year not including equipment.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: tubercle on March 26, 2011, 05:46:13 PM
Once you've amortized the equipment home brewing can be incredibly cheap. It would be difficult to put together a 5 gal AG recipe that cost more than $40, and if you're buying ingredients in bulk and culturing yeast the average is probably closer to $10. So to spend $100/month you'd have to be doing some serious production.

Then again, I'm probably on the low end of the spectrum; most of my ingredients are in the category of "rounding errors" now. I'm brewing a 10 gal batch of blonde ale today that's going to cost me about $9 including propane... ;D

 I've been past the capital investment stage for many years now so brewing gets cheaper with each batch. Its just the bulk grain cost now. Toast my own, reuse most yeast, grow 75% of hops. Mainly propane, tubing and CO2 are regular cost.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: corkybstewart on March 26, 2011, 06:09:45 PM
I bet I don't average $75/month. Each year I make a few big purchases like 10 pounds of assorted hops,($150), bulk malt from brewpubs($200 got me 3 sacks of pilsner, 2 sacks of Munich, a bag of wheat and 2 bags of 2-row pale) and 20 packs of dry yeast and maybe a dozen White Labs or wyeast packs.  I've had my $400 3-tiered stand for 12 years so it's paid for, and my wife gave me my conical, so it was free.
But if i was to buy 2 sixers per week of normal craft beer at $10 I'm looking at $80 per month minimum so for me it pays off and I have vastly more beer to drink than 1.8 bottles per day.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: bluesman on March 26, 2011, 06:17:53 PM
I haven't been tracking my spending but I would bet, not counting equipment and gadget purchases, that my expenses on ingredients is around $70.00/month. That's an average as some batches require more ingredients than others.

If you want to add equipment it's a whole different number but I have recently built a brewstand so that is a one time expenditure.

I keep all of my reciepts in an affort to someday track it but I've been too busy to do it as of lately.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: tygo on March 26, 2011, 06:38:07 PM
Just buying ingredients I don't go through $100 a month.  But I'm usually in some phase of upgrade so that adds up.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: ccarlson on March 27, 2011, 02:07:45 PM
A hundred a month??? There's no way my wife and I drink that much.

That's a lot of beer.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: cheba420 on March 27, 2011, 05:56:43 PM
I'd say I'm in the $60-$70 per month ball park on ingredients. Havent started reusing or harvesting yeast yet and that could save me $7 a batch. I can usually crank about 5 batches out of a propane tank so I'd have to add $2 per batch for that.

I drink 2-3 a night so 15-20 per week. If I run out of home brew, it costs $10 a sixer and I'd need to buy 3 of them to keep from getting thirsty! $60 per month for 10 Gallons of home brew or $120 per month for 6.75 gallons of commercial beer? That one's kind of easy for me!
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: a10t2 on March 27, 2011, 06:31:14 PM
Wow!  Where do you buy your ingredients?  I just spent $40 on an admittedly big grain bill, yeast, hops, and cane sugar.  Some of the cane sugar can go into other brews...but still $10?!  Wow.

CMG isn't taking new home brewers as customers, but your LHBS should be willing to let you order sacks of grain. hopsdirect.com (http://hopsdirect.com) and freshops.com (http://freshops.com) are good for bulk hop orders. Even Northern Brewer has two dozen varieties for $18/lb or less.

So $10 was probably low-balling it, but base malt by the sack should be less than $1/lb, hops around $1/oz, and you only have to use a pack or vial of yeast four times to get that under $2/batch, so it's definitely possible to brew something like an APA for less than $20, including propane.


Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: BrewArk on March 27, 2011, 06:32:08 PM
I never calculated it.  But $100/month for an obsession is a bargain.  If I wasn't growing hops & yeast, I might be close to that.  Far less than SWMBO spends replacing clothes that don't really need to be replaced.
Title: Re: Homebrew allowance?
Post by: ajk on March 28, 2011, 12:02:49 AM
I spend $125 per month.  A good chunk of it is brewery improvements and festival and competition fees.