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Author Topic: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?  (Read 5159 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2022, 07:58:20 pm »
I was told there would be no math.  :D
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline RC

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2022, 08:14:09 pm »
Based on the time I spend on this hobby--forget about equipment--my homebrews are probably more expensive than simply buying beer. But it's worth it, because even though there are 90 craft breweries within a one-hour radius of me, most of them suck. I brew for my palate, and my palate alone. If other people like my beers, that's a bonus.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2022, 08:16:53 pm »
those numbers are crazy, plus all the additions you state (even though you've lumped in "hoses" as if that's going to be significant lol :) ).

i don't think i even need / or am willing to go into them fully. but more than anything i don't really get your premise on the main cost - "a used system" = $5,200? what used system is $5,200? then a grainfather is $499, so.... forget the grainfather option and just make the equipment cost $2,800? uhhhh am i missing something?

my equipment is not challenging for me to use as a mid 30s fairly fit male using a little elbow grease and in total was maximum $500 (hoses and all included), i can't remember exactly how much but im guessing less than that.

i stand behind my numbers as completely reasonable for a basic amount to explain my idea, knowing others may pay more for equipment.



more than anything, how about switching out SNPA as your comparison beer with store bought belgian ales or imp stouts?  :D
« Last Edit: March 17, 2022, 08:19:01 pm by fredthecat »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2022, 11:11:22 pm »
I have a low cost system and while I haven't done the math in a while I'm pretty sure after thirteen years I'm brewing way cheaper than what I would buy. Maybe I'm wrong.

Most of my brewing of late has been lower ABV (4-5%) session beers to fill taps. I brew a lot of sour beer and Belgian styles although less of these lately while I try to drink down my older beers so I can justify brewing and bottling more of those.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2022, 04:29:45 am »
I have unloaded a ton of cash on this hobby in the stratosphere of $13K all in. This obviously doesn't include the cost of ingredients, utilities, future replacement parts or time. That is a lot of money for most people regardless of status. It was never about costs for me personally. I love brewing! I love prepping for a brew day. I try and squeeze as much life out of my time on this rock as I can because once they throw dirt on you the squeeze is over. Money (not wealth) disgusts me and it is meant to be enjoyed, used and discarded sometimes without guilt. If a 12oz pour of beer I made costs me $1 or $5 I would continue to make that beer regardless because it is money well wasted.

Offline Megary

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2022, 06:55:32 am »
I find this discussion fascinating.

I gave it a good going over and I think I've spent about $900 on all my brewing equipment and about $500 of that was on kegs, a dual regulator and the CO2 tanks.  But I will acknowledge that that number is a function of my brewing 2.5gal batches.  Many things that others have had to spend serviceable money on, I didn't. (Grain mill, chiller, keezer, etc.)

I guess it's all relative.  I agree with HopDen.  The key is to have fun, money be damned.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #51 on: March 18, 2022, 07:41:42 am »
... because even though there are 90 craft breweries within a one-hour radius of me, most of them suck.
I've been to some craft beer festivals here and I have to say that I'm sometimes APPALLED at some of the beer being produced by small breweries.  I have had some undrinkable beer and that's not just because it was a style I don't care for.  It might be a pale ale or amber ale, etc. and it's just turrible.

On the equipment side:  My setup is basic and cheap.  A cooler.  A large kettle.  A propane burner.  Yes, I have a pH meter and two Thermapens but things are pretty basic here on brewday.  That said, I currently own FIVE refrigerators dedicated solely to beer and a 4-faucet draft system that I have posted pictures of.  I once determined that I could easily make a 5-gallon batch of beer for about $12 which included malt, hops, yeast being reused, etc.  At $12, that's about 25ยข per 12 ounce glass of beer.  No, my time, any energy, etc. is not included in that but I'll take it.  Plus... I love brewing and I love going down to "the pub" when it's time for a beer and tapping a glass.   Cheers Beerheads.
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline pete b

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2022, 08:10:51 am »
I imagine that I have spent about $1500 on equipment and supplies over the years. Some of that has been birthday presents that my wife got me that would have been spent on something else.
I don't care to figure out my per batch rate because it won't change anything but based on what I spend on craft beer, which is very expensive here, when I don't have homebrew on tap I would say I do better homebrewing money wise.
As far as figuring time into the equation I don't think that is a good way to look at it because having hobbies is beneficial, it's like paying money to travel. It's not in place of money making work time, it's one of the reasons to make money with part of our time.
My wife has a good attitude towards her time. She left her job as a Finace Director at the end of 2016 to become a full time artist and author. If she counted her artwork and writing as "work" time she would not be getting a very good hourly rate. But she views her art time especially as just time doing what she wants to do and would be doing with her spare time. What she counts in her mind as work is preparing and packing orders and mailing them to customers, answering customer emails, dealing with the printers and other business tasks. She "works" maybe ten hours a week on average and is doing what she loves the rest of the time.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2022, 08:17:28 am »
I imagine that I have spent about $1500 on equipment and supplies over the years. Some of that has been birthday presents that my wife got me that would have been spent on something else.
I don't care to figure out my per batch rate because it won't change anything but based on what I spend on craft beer, which is very expensive here, when I don't have homebrew on tap I would say I do better homebrewing money wise.
As far as figuring time into the equation I don't think that is a good way to look at it because having hobbies is beneficial, it's like paying money to travel. It's not in place of money making work time, it's one of the reasons to make money with part of our time.
My wife has a good attitude towards her time. She left her job as a Finace Director at the end of 2016 to become a full time artist and author. If she counted her artwork and writing as "work" time she would not be getting a very good hourly rate. But she views her art time especially as just time doing what she wants to do and would be doing with her spare time. What she counts in her mind as work is preparing and packing orders and mailing them to customers, answering customer emails, dealing with the printers and other business tasks. She "works" maybe ten hours a week on average and is doing what she loves the rest of the time.
I like all of that and you're right... it's a hobby.  It's supposed to be fun, distract us from work for awhile and entertain us.  I know some people who could desperately use a hobby they like.  I also like the story of your wife and I keep hearing of people lately who are quitting the "my job pays the bills but I don't like it" job and looking to do something that they have more passion for.  I remember asking local brewing buds years ago "wanna open a brewery?!" and they all waved me off and after thinking about it I understand why... we have a passion for beer and brewing and injecting a "work component" into that might spoil it.  Brewing is great when it's a hobby but I would bet it could be a nightmare if it were a business.  I like how my brewing opens up my creativity.  I can brew what I want and be in total control.  I used to make tap handles but now just make labels that I put above the taps so there is an artistic component to it too.  In many areas of life we give over control to someone else but in the brewery we can do what we want and it's a good feeling.   
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline jeffy

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2022, 08:38:41 am »
I must be the luckiest homebrewer ever, except for maybe denny.  I seem to be in the right place at the right time pretty often.
A retiring brewer gave me his old SABCO Brew Magic, one of the original ones I think, before all the bells and whistles.  I've done some maintenance on it, updated the burners and added quick disconnects and hoses.
I was gifted my malt mill at Christmas about 25 years ago.
I have 4 refrigerators; I think I gave $100 for the used kegerator (it came with a CO2 bottle and regulator) and the rest were free.  No, I used to have a new chest freezer, but it eventually died. 
Temp controllers (I have three) were raffle prizes.
All of my 5-gallon kegs were either free or really cheap.
I bought 3 smaller kegs new about 15 years ago.
I got two chillers, one for $20 used and a Blichman as a "commission" for helping someone sell his equipment.
I just bought a new hydrometer this week because the one I've been using for decades finally slipped out of my hand and broke.
When I used a stir plate, a friend who works in a lab gave me one, but I did buy the 2-liter flask.
Other equipment I remember buying - a beer gun, a thermapen, an extra pump, several glass carboys which I no longer use and two new plastic fermenters just last year.
Oh, I bought a 10x12 shed, added insulation and an A/C unit.  That kind of blows the whole budget right there, unless you count it as a property investment.
Like everybody says, it's a hobby, but I haven't spent a heck of a lot of money on it.  Lucky, I guess.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline goose

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2022, 09:06:03 am »
I imagine that I have spent about $1500 on equipment and supplies over the years. Some of that has been birthday presents that my wife got me that would have been spent on something else.
I don't care to figure out my per batch rate because it won't change anything but based on what I spend on craft beer, which is very expensive here, when I don't have homebrew on tap I would say I do better homebrewing money wise.
As far as figuring time into the equation I don't think that is a good way to look at it because having hobbies is beneficial, it's like paying money to travel. It's not in place of money making work time, it's one of the reasons to make money with part of our time.
My wife has a good attitude towards her time. She left her job as a Finace Director at the end of 2016 to become a full time artist and author. If she counted her artwork and writing as "work" time she would not be getting a very good hourly rate. But she views her art time especially as just time doing what she wants to do and would be doing with her spare time. What she counts in her mind as work is preparing and packing orders and mailing them to customers, answering customer emails, dealing with the printers and other business tasks. She "works" maybe ten hours a week on average and is doing what she loves the rest of the time.
I like all of that and you're right... it's a hobby.  It's supposed to be fun, distract us from work for awhile and entertain us.  I know some people who could desperately use a hobby they like.  I also like the story of your wife and I keep hearing of people lately who are quitting the "my job pays the bills but I don't like it" job and looking to do something that they have more passion for.  I remember asking local brewing buds years ago "wanna open a brewery?!" and they all waved me off and after thinking about it I understand why... we have a passion for beer and brewing and injecting a "work component" into that might spoil it.  Brewing is great when it's a hobby but I would bet it could be a nightmare if it were a business.  I like how my brewing opens up my creativity.  I can brew what I want and be in total control.  I used to make tap handles but now just make labels that I put above the taps so there is an artistic component to it too.  In many areas of life we give over control to someone else but in the brewery we can do what we want and it's a good feeling.

Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2022, 09:27:41 am »
Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
The other thing I keep hearing is that if you OWN the brewery then you're probably not brewing beer because you're too busy with other stuff and HELLO... that's kind of the point.  I want to brew beer!  Maybe I don't want to OWN a brewery, I just want to brew in one.   ;D  Although I know that brewers don't make much money so maybe when I retire.   :P
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline denny

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2022, 09:35:18 am »
Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
The other thing I keep hearing is that if you OWN the brewery then you're probably not brewing beer because you're too busy with other stuff and HELLO... that's kind of the point.  I want to brew beer!  Maybe I don't want to OWN a brewery, I just want to brew in one.   ;D  Although I know that brewers don't make much money so maybe when I retire.   :P

For me, one of the big problems with brewing commercially is that you have to brew what people want to buy, not what you want to brew.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #58 on: March 18, 2022, 09:36:44 am »
Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
The other thing I keep hearing is that if you OWN the brewery then you're probably not brewing beer because you're too busy with other stuff and HELLO... that's kind of the point.  I want to brew beer!  Maybe I don't want to OWN a brewery, I just want to brew in one.   ;D  Although I know that brewers don't make much money so maybe when I retire.   :P

For me, one of the big problems with brewing commercially is that you have to brew what people want to buy, not what you want to brew.
Also true.  What if I have a passion for German Lagers but all the customers keep asking for Belgians?   ???
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline goose

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Re: What kind of beer do you make and what is your goal?
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2022, 09:45:06 am »
Good points!  A hobby is something that a person uses to get away from the stressful nature of life.  That is why i homebrew.  Does it cost $$ to set up a home brewery, damn straight.  But it's a hobby and what person doesn't spend significant money on a hobby.  Once the bug bites, a person will grow into it more.

I did the pro thing parttime for six years with the idea of maybe opening up my own place.  But the amount of work (other than brewing) cured me of that.  It would have turned a passion I have for making good beer into a stressful job and would kill the passion buzz.  When i want to keep my pro brewing feet wet, I simply volunteer to help out at a brewery (as I do in FL every year) and use this to get some new ideas and share ideas with the brewers.
The other thing I keep hearing is that if you OWN the brewery then you're probably not brewing beer because you're too busy with other stuff and HELLO... that's kind of the point.  I want to brew beer!  Maybe I don't want to OWN a brewery, I just want to brew in one.   ;D  Although I know that brewers don't make much money so maybe when I retire.   :P

For me, one of the big problems with brewing commercially is that you have to brew what people want to buy, not what you want to brew.

Very true, Denny!
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified