Author Topic: Cost Per Batch?  (Read 3345 times)

Offline captnjohnny1618

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Cost Per Batch?
« on: April 06, 2010, 11:48:36 AM »
I try to keep my prices around $30 per batch (I'm still extract brewing) but they always seems to creep closer to $40, which is quite an expenditure all at once for a college student!  I'm not complaining, it's still cheaper than store bought beer or beer at a bar, but I'm just trying to stay thrifty.

So my question, (to both extract and all grain brewers):

How much money on average does a 5 gallon batch cost you? Any what are your brewing mostly (dark beers? Light beers? Belgians? etc.)

(Feel free to throw in any tips for keeping costs down...  ;D)

Offline babalu87

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 11:54:47 AM »
Half that anyway but we do bulk grain buys with my brew club.

Re-use yeast ( you can get minimum 5 generations out of one pack, more if you reserve and make starters OR freeze)
Buy hops in bulk

Jeff

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Offline captnjohnny1618

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 12:04:06 PM »
Half that anyway but we do bulk grain buys with my brew club.

Re-use yeast ( you can get minimum 5 generations out of one pack, more if you reserve and make starters OR freeze)
Buy hops in bulk



Yeah, I'm hopefully joining a club soon. (I'll be attending my first meeting this weekend! Woo hoo!) I don't brew often enough (I try to brew once every 3-4 weeks) to reuse yeast without going to lengths to culture my own. I also don't think my fridge is big enough to properly culture yeast.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 12:51:25 PM »
every three to four weeks you should be able to reuse your yeast fine.  just save the slurry and build up a new starter from it.  keep it in a small mason jar.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 12:51:30 PM »
All grain with 55 lb sacks is the way to go (I think I pay 88 cents per pound for Best Malz and MFB Pils sacks at my LHBS).  Buying a pound of hops from hopsdirect is also going to save you a lot of money.

Everything else (yeast ranching, canning starter wort, etc) is worth it, but has less return.
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Offline denny

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 12:56:20 PM »
I have no idea what a batch costs me...it's my hobby, so I really don't care.  I know it's cheaper than buying a bass boat!  ;)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline yugamrap

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 01:10:23 PM »
I have no idea what a batch costs me...it's my hobby, so I really don't care.  I know it's cheaper than buying a bass boat!  ;)
My sentiments exactly!  I try to keep my costs down by purchasing un-crushed base grains by the sack, and reusing yeast when I can - but that's as much about convenience as it is cost.  It seems almost silly that I think about saving a few cents per pound of grain when I have three refrigerators dedicated entirely to brewing and beer (one for fermenting, one for lagering, one for serving).  I guess what I save on ingredients helps offset the fuel and electricity I use when I brew and store my beer.  IMHO, saving money isn't a good reason to take up homebrewing - or any other hobby.  I do it because I enjoy it (okay, I'm obsessed, too!).
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 01:10:35 PM »
Go all grain and buy your malt and hops in bulk and reuse your yeast. I can make 10 gallons of beer for less than 20 bucks.
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 01:13:14 PM »
All grain with 55 lb sacks is the way to go (I think I pay 88 cents per pound for Best Malz and MFB Pils sacks at my LHBS).  Buying a pound of hops from hopsdirect is also going to save you a lot of money.

Everything else (yeast ranching, canning starter wort, etc) is worth it, but has less return.
+1 on the full sacks of grain if you can store/use them.

There are lots of little tricks (like brewing 10 gallons instead of 5 to save pennies on propane or growing your own hops) that aren't going to be appreciable.

I'd recommend acquiring the important equipment over time when you can find it cheap.  When you do spend money, focus on the biggest bang for the buck in quality (i.e. control fermentation temperature before buying a draft system).

If you really want to control the cost per batch - brew the cheaper beers now while you're poor.  Get good at it, then when you can afford it move up the line.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 01:44:25 PM »
My goal is to the make the best possible beer with quality ingredients. Therefore cost becomes secondary. I do try to buy ingredients in bulk or group grain purchases. I also price shop online to find deals. I won't let cost get in the way of quality if I can help it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 02:03:05 PM »
My goal is to the make the best possible beer with quality ingredients. Therefore cost becomes secondary. I do try to buy ingredients in bulk or group grain purchases. I also price shop online to find deals. I won't let cost get in the way of quality if I can help it.

+1 to you and yugamrap.....I don't have a "damn the cost" attitude and I do try to keep costs reasonable, but beyond that it just doesn't matter to me.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2010, 02:37:10 PM »
You can still make great beer and keep the cost down. I never understood that "damn the cost" attitude. But I am a frugal dude. That said, I'm not suggesting skimping on ingredients either.

BTW, denny, what happened to CHEAP and easy?  ::) ;)
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2010, 02:57:37 PM »
You can still make great beer and keep the cost down. I never understood that "damn the cost" attitude. But I am a frugal dude. That said, I'm not suggesting skimping on ingredients either.

BTW, denny, what happened to CHEAP and easy?  ::) ;)

Choose one option

Expensive equipment
Craptastic ingredients

Craptastic equipment
Expensive equipment
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline BarleynYeast

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2010, 03:24:42 PM »
I brewed 10 Gallons of blond ale for a St Patrick’s day party. I used repitched yeast, hops that where giving to me by the party host. (He is from Yakima and get lots of hops every year for free ;D Lucky me!) So the total cost was $18.00. (Cheapest beer I ever made.)
That’s what I tell my wife and I am sticking to it! Never mind the $5k in brewing equipment over the last 4 years :o

Offline majorvices

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Re: Cost Per Batch?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2010, 04:23:51 PM »
You can still make great beer and keep the cost down. I never understood that "damn the cost" attitude. But I am a frugal dude. That said, I'm not suggesting skimping on ingredients either.

BTW, denny, what happened to CHEAP and easy?  ::) ;)

Choose one option

Expensive equipment
Craptastic ingredients

Craptastic equipment
Expensive equipment


I think I'll choose "buy quality ingredients in bulk and save a s***load of money".  ;)
Cowboy. Pirate. Brewer.