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Author Topic: Making a bag of 2 row last longer  (Read 1948 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2023, 11:11:13 am »
It is still cheaper if you amortize the equipment over a cpl decades.

That would depend on the equipment and the age and health of the brewer, wouldn't it? I know I won't be around drinking beer long enough to amortize mine.
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Offline Megary

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2023, 05:51:27 pm »
It is still cheaper if you amortize the equipment over a cpl decades.

That would depend on the equipment and the age and health of the brewer, wouldn't it? I know I won't be around drinking beer long enough to amortize mine.

I guess it all depends on your kit, and how often one feels the need to upgrade.  Since I brew with the basics, I’m already in the black.  Guaranteed.  Especially since I’m not comparing my homebrew expenses to a 30 pack of Miller Light (nothing against Miller Light, I just don’t enjoy it).

Offline Skeeter686

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2023, 05:42:51 am »
Especially since I’m not comparing my homebrew expenses to a 30 pack of Miller Light (nothing against Miller Light, I just don’t enjoy it).

I think this is another huge consideration.  I doubt that anyone would be able to compete with the price of something like Bud or Miller.  They've optimized their processes to a degree that I'm certain we could not, and they buy ingredients in bulk at a price that we cannot.  But I'm not trying to reproduce their beers, either.

Also, I'm speaking from the perspective of someone buying beer in a major urban area in the US.  It sounds like the situation in Canada is very different.

Offline BrewBama

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Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2023, 05:59:03 am »
It is still cheaper if you amortize the equipment over a cpl decades.

That would depend on the equipment and the age and health of the brewer, wouldn't it? I know I won't be around drinking beer long enough to amortize mine.

Not really. Don’t confuse spreading the cost of equipment over time and batch on paper with the life expectancy of the brewer.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2023, 06:52:40 am by BrewBama »

Offline ScallyWag

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2023, 06:54:37 am »
Especially since I%u2019m not comparing my homebrew expenses to a 30 pack of Miller Light (nothing against Miller Light, I just don%u2019t enjoy it).

I think this is another huge consideration.  I doubt that anyone would be able to compete with the price of something like Bud or Miller.  They've optimized their processes to a degree that I'm certain we could not, and they buy ingredients in bulk at a price that we cannot.  But I'm not trying to reproduce their beers, either.

I did the calcs a few months ago on my costs, and was pleasantly surprised to discover my cost per was way cheaper than any decent beer in the stores, and maybe as cheap or cheaper than Miller or Bud (I don't know what they charge per case). 

Granted, my kit is probably the cheapest imaginable...  boiling in a propane turkey fryer that cost me less than $40, mashing in a $10 igloo cooler; the most expensive items I have are a 2-roller grinder (<$90) and an immersion coil chiller (<$50).  Igloos, plastic buckets, etc.  No kegs, I probably spent $70 on a couple hundred PET bottles that I reuse. 

And of course that's not costing in the time for my labor, but who does that for a hobby??

I need to do the calcs again and write them down, but I'm making solid (even 'great', arguably) craft beer for less than half of what a Sierra Nevada or Terrapin would cost me from the store...  And that's only spreading the equipment costs over maybe 80-100 batches (I've only been brewing about 4 years or so.)  Sunk-costs-wise, cost per batch just keeps getting cheaper.

I'll bet I'm close to matching the cost for buying Bud or Coors or Miller.  Making great homebrews can be done super-cheaply, if you don't mind the cheap gear.  I realize better gear might make the process more enjoyable, but I love the beers that I make. 

And that's with higher cost malts too, Weyermann Barke, BestMalz, Mecca Grade, Simpsons/Crisp, etc.  I almost never use basic 2-row pale. 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2023, 07:02:16 am by ScallyWag »

Offline neuse

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2023, 09:00:06 am »
Especially since I%u2019m not comparing my homebrew expenses to a 30 pack of Miller Light (nothing against Miller Light, I just don%u2019t enjoy it).

I think this is another huge consideration.  I doubt that anyone would be able to compete with the price of something like Bud or Miller.  They've optimized their processes to a degree that I'm certain we could not, and they buy ingredients in bulk at a price that we cannot.  But I'm not trying to reproduce their beers, either.

I did the calcs a few months ago on my costs, and was pleasantly surprised to discover my cost per was way cheaper than any decent beer in the stores, and maybe as cheap or cheaper than Miller or Bud (I don't know what they charge per case). 

Granted, my kit is probably the cheapest imaginable...  boiling in a propane turkey fryer that cost me less than $40, mashing in a $10 igloo cooler; the most expensive items I have are a 2-roller grinder (<$90) and an immersion coil chiller (<$50).  Igloos, plastic buckets, etc.  No kegs, I probably spent $70 on a couple hundred PET bottles that I reuse. 

And of course that's not costing in the time for my labor, but who does that for a hobby??

I need to do the calcs again and write them down, but I'm making solid (even 'great', arguably) craft beer for less than half of what a Sierra Nevada or Terrapin would cost me from the store...  And that's only spreading the equipment costs over maybe 80-100 batches (I've only been brewing about 4 years or so.)  Sunk-costs-wise, cost per batch just keeps getting cheaper.

I'll bet I'm close to matching the cost for buying Bud or Coors or Miller.  Making great homebrews can be done super-cheaply, if you don't mind the cheap gear.  I realize better gear might make the process more enjoyable, but I love the beers that I make. 

And that's with higher cost malts too, Weyermann Barke, BestMalz, Mecca Grade, Simpsons/Crisp, etc.  I almost never use basic 2-row pale. 
I also have very basic equipment, and my brewing costs are similar to yours. I've had expensive hobbies in the past. But being retired, I'm trying to keep the cost down. With that approach, brewing can be a great hobby (the best in the world) that actually saves money.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2023, 10:19:40 am »


Granted, my kit is probably the cheapest imaginable...  boiling in a propane turkey fryer that cost me less than $40, mashing in a $10 igloo cooler; the most expensive items I have are a 2-roller grinder (<$90) and an immersion coil chiller (<$50).  Igloos, plastic buckets, etc.  No kegs, I probably spent $70 on a couple hundred PET bottles that I reuse. 

I need to do the calcs again and write them down, but I'm making solid (even 'great', arguably) craft beer for less than half of what a Sierra Nevada or Terrapin would cost me from the store...  And that's only spreading the equipment costs over maybe 80-100 batches (I've only been brewing about 4 years or so.)  Sunk-costs-wise, cost per batch just keeps getting cheaper.


im jealous of those american prices. its not just the price conversion to CAD$ but they gouge more here. maybe taxes too.


i think the quality is a really interesting part and obviously the subjective part. i have made beers that i have cool-headedly and truly assessed as better than store bought equivalents or that have no store equivalent and are excellent, but it also pains me to make a beer that is in the ballpark and drinkable but just lacking in a few ways.

areas i feel my homebrewed beer absolutely wins in are - "thickness" of taste (this kind of feeling of density of the flavour per cm/3(?) for better or worse), and absolutely body. there are very few commercial beers that can compete with the extremely light (or at least in my case) filtering done on homebrewed beer. these two areas i think are probably connected. re: thickness of taste - when a stout, porter or other beer with a lot of specialty malts esp. roasted malts does come together flavour wise it is a mass of flavour that i rarely get in most commercial beers.

areas my homebrewed beer has a higher tendency to fall short in compared to great commercial beers (barring technical failures i made in production) is muddled esters, unpleasant esters/flavours, water issues throwing off the flavour, poor recipe due to trying something new and it just not being a good idea

these problem areas i think i am correcting by recording everyting over the years and realizing it makes sense to make excellent beers of the kinds i know i can, and limit the experimental beers and think through them carefully before making them.


next beer is 99% pils 1% acid malt 1.045OG or so and a lager yeast. not much that can go wrong there. hopefully


Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2023, 08:57:43 am »
I find yeast to be the biggest expense, so I serially re-pitch whenever I can.  That brings the yeast cost down considerably.  I just paid $117 for a sack of Crisp Hana, though.  That one will make some expensive lager beers.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2023, 07:59:51 am »
I find yeast to be the biggest expense, so I serially re-pitch whenever I can.  That brings the yeast cost down considerably.  I just paid $117 for a sack of Crisp Hana, though.  That one will make some expensive lager beers.
Where did you get it? I just got a bag of Crisp #19 maris otter for $66 in a piggyback purchase through the local homebrew club via a local brewery.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2023, 09:03:26 am »
My sack was sold through my LHBS - they were able to get only 2 sacks and made one available to me.  They set it aside in anticipation that I would take it.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"