Ready for the next step!

With 3 batches under my belt, I am feeling very confident in my brewing abilities. All 3 with the usual lessons learned from each. But I have noticed that most of the kits seem to cost me upwards of around $45 - $50 and I am yielding about 50 bottles. So I brew, I ferment, and I bottle and somehow the cost to brew at home is not much cheaper than purchasing retail. So I believe all grain is the next step from extract. What is the average cost yield per kit experienced? As much as I am enjoying the brewing effect, it is difficult to proceed with only the knowledge that, I brewed it. Looking for some external motivation here. Thanks.

I buy sacks of grain from a local brewery and buy hops in bulk. Reuse yeast, when I use yeast. Cost per batch averages $10-15.

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I buy extract ingredients bulk. Hops by the ounce are the greatest expense. I buy hop pellets by the half pound. Can’t remember exactly, but my last order for 16 gallons of beer may have been $17 per five gallons. I also take advantage of free shipping from NB with a certain dollar value order.

First of all I have to challenge your statement “not much cheaper than purchasing retail.” Purchasing WHAT retail? If you’re comparing the cost to brew decent craft beer at home to the cost of purchasing a couple cases of Bud or MGD then you’re missing the point of home brewing IMHO. $50 for 50 beers you say? What decent beer can you buy for a buck a pint?

I brew because I feel like I can brew beer that’s comparable and in some cases better IMO than available craft beers and because I just enjoy the whole process.

I buy 2 row, pilsner, vienna, and munich dark in full sacks from my LHBS. The price is comparable to buying online and paying shipping. I buy hops online in 1 lb bags which I vacuum seal and freeze as I use. I also harvest and re use most of my yeast.

A typical 1.060ish pale ale hopped to 70 ibu fermented with saved slurry is under $20. That’s less than 50 cents a pint.

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Wow, crazy, I can brew a very close Duvel for $20.00 and thats not repitching yeast. It works out to close to 14 four packs, which cost 12 bucks per 4 pack where I live…. Now thats what I’m all about in my brewing hobby. Also if you like New Castle brown ale, which I do also and save the bottles, I can crank out a 5-er of it for under $15.00! Put back into the recycled bottles, 32 of them, which also costs 3 bucks for the 18 oz bottle, Savings, AND great tasting brews…. excuse me fer gittin’ a bit excited…. :blush: Sneezles61


Wow! I did not mean to get any pot stirring. Lets’s be real for a minute If I were one to prefer the likes of Bud or MGD, I’d probably have never found myself here. In my area, we have about 5 or 6 breweries and each can sell a 6-pack for about $9-$10 dollars.

I have never purchased a 4-pack of anything because I personally have trouble enjoying only 4 of anything. As a world traveller, I have enjoyed many varieties and am still reluctant to claim a favorite. I do not think I would compare the quality of what I have brewed to anything greater than what would be produced from a local brewery.

Like any other homebrew newbie, I often pondered making my own and have later learned that there was more to homebrewing than initially perceived. I am still enjoying brewing at home and most of all take pride in maintaining variety in my fridge. As my habits for brewing increase I look for ways to minimize expenses. It sounds like others have grown successful at it, as well, and it is great to hear their ideas. I would assume that the greatest factor resides in bulk ordering.

Yep! I buy all my base malts in bulk as they’re versatile, and buy specialty malts as needed. If you figure out which styles you like to brew, it’s easy to stock up on hops that suit your styles. Example, if you like British ales, you can get EKG in bulk and save a lot of money, and just buy the unique ones as needed.

Where you are located makes a big difference in costs of home brewing. I know of one person on the North American continent where 5 gallons of homebrew will cost about $80 US. It is also around $40 dollars a six-pack there.

Extract brewing is more expensive than all grain. Also don’t buy kits.

I’ve noticed. Cost me about 35$ to make five gallon. Still gonna do a couple more AG kits until I get a better fill off things. But I’m paying less than a dollar per brew, I’m good with that.
I just dropped $18 bucks on a four pack of Piraat strong Belgian so $40 bucks on 48 12oz is justified…

The deal breaker on the kits is if they make you choose a yeast. If you save your yeast which is easy you can repitch it numerous times. You can take the recipe from the kit you want and just buy all the ingredients ala carte.

Yep, as soon as I get the water under control yeast will be next.

If you spend 50 on a kit, and get 50 beers, that’s $6 for a six-pack. If you’re buying beer at $9-10 per six-pack, how are you “not much cheaper” than retail? That’s about 40% off.

I’d have to say, accounting for Gear Acquisition, I doubt I’m saving much. For me it’s pride and accomplishment.

Going all grain saves some money, but you’re still kinda limited to kits or small volume pre-crushed purchases. Until you also invest in a grain mill that is. Like I said, gear acquisition can be a bit**. Worth it for me. I wanted to brew a batch of Denny’s BVIP this weekend. Yeast and a couple specialty grains cost me almost $11. Everything else I had on hand.

Repitching yeast is the biggest bang for cost cutting, and can still be done by extract Brewers. The yeast was $8 of my $11 bill. That cost could be spread over several batches.

I got sucked into this trap of price per bottle right about the same time as the OP. So I started making my own recipes trying to cut down on cost as much as possible. What I learned is that I could make an ok cheap beer but my knowledge base was still not far enough along to really know what my preferences, gear, and ingredients knowledge could yield sans recipe. Now I’m about 30 batches in and I think I could make my own recipe just fine but I still use kits and clone recipes to push my knowledge base. Ultimately you will stop worrying about price and start chasing flavor (and you will still be cheapener than the store).

Many homebrewing suppliers will provide the specific ingredient list for their kits (NB is really good about it). With a little planning ahead this allows you to buy grain in some bulk scale rather than depending on the kit purchases and save you money. If you try to buy just the ingredients for a kit you may well spend more than the price of the packaged kit though.

Yeah, I checked and would only save about $5 bucks.
So I just got the kit.

Flars- do you order DME or LME? I’m thinking of switching from extract kits to replicating so I can buy bulk and noticed DME is cheaper.

I order both LME and DME going by the recipes as posted on the NB site. Last order was ingredients for 10 gallons of Dead Ringer IPA, 10 gallons of American Amber Ale, and 10 gallons of Petite Saison d’Ete.

I enjoy these beers so haven’t tried substitutions to make something that may be similar in taste.

When I reuse yeast and buy grain and hops in bulk I can do a 10 gal pale ale for 25$. More hops and grain price goes up. Saving yeast is a big saver. 9 bucks for yeast, if you can uses it at least once more you cut that cost in half.

That’s not counting propane or water (I buy distilled my water sucks). I use to worry about the price, but now I care less. If I can save some money buying bulk, cool but I don’t sweat it. I mainly by bulk so that I can brew on short notice. My main focus is to brew good beer from scratch.

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