Cost of batch


I've been brewing for about 8 years, not too adventuresome, and still using the partial-grain method. My last batch of ingredients, for a Sam Adams "clone," came to $44. (Hops and yeast have gone up considerably, and I can buy SA for about $40 a case). My supply store had kits (Brewer's Best and a British one) for $25 to $35 for other beers I like, so can someone talk me out of going that route? Thanks. Dave J
Reply to
jdjordahl

Easy, buy in bulk and the cost goes down dramatically. I buy the base malt in 25kg bags, crystal malts etc, in 3-4 kgs amounts, hops the same. The initial outlay seems high until you break it down across the number of batchs you'd get from a 25kg bag of MO.
Reply to
jason

I get ~2 cases out of a 5 gal batch. That would only be $22 a case, much better than the $40 for the "real thing". If your clone tastes close to what you are trying to clone, I'd stick with it.
Reply to
DragonTail

2 cases out of a 5 gallon batch? What are you doing? I average for the price on one case I get 5. That's one full corny per batch.
Reply to
jason

On Mon, 29 Jan 2007 22:16:04 -0400, jason wrote:
I made an error in the original post--meant to say $20 a case, not $40. I can't make it as good as Sam does. Anyway, do the kits make sense, or are the ingredients "stale?" Buying in bulk makes sense, though it seems like for every batch I use different malts. Thanks again. DJ
Reply to
jdjjordahl

As usual I live in a limited place when it comes to buying local but this is what I have found.
If I buy my own recipe I will pay about $40 for 5 gallons. That is malt, grains, hops, and yeast. My alcohol level is general somewhere around 7-9%. The Brewers Best kits generally run about $25 at my local store and comes with around 6lbs of malt (syrup or dry), yeast pack, grains, hops, bag for grains, bottle caps, and priming sugar.
A friend of mine that has recently gotten into the hobby has made nothing but kits and has stuck to the kits only. Generally a kit is set up to give you a good flavor for the type of brew you are making with around 4-5% alcohol by volume. Drinking these I can say they are good but then I could buy something off the shelves with about the same taste and kick.
For me I normally will add in around 3 more pounds of malt and usually around a pound of corn sugar just to add a bit more kick. In the end I spend about $25 on a kit, $10 on some extra malt, and $2 on some sugar. So I have about $32 invested plus I get the caps & bottling sugar to add on to the savings. So I save somewhere around about $9 per 5 gallon batch.
Not only that but my batch still has the flavors the kit was going for and people can get that buzz factor on around half the brew. OK so many say taste is more important than kick but if I can get a tasty brew with kick then there you go, best of both.
Reply to
dlihcsnatas

Depends on what you mean by "kits" and where you get them, DJ. When I don't make one of my own "recipes", I either pick up a "recipe" from the LHBS or order from an online shop. They aren't a prepackaged "box" like Coopers, John Bull, or Brewers Best. They are ingredient kits put together in house to make a certain style. When I get the ingredients from the LHBS, they are from bulk containers, for the grain and extract, that they measure out the specific amounts of a said ingredient. The hops and yeast come out a fridge. One shop buys bulk hops and then breask them down to 1oz bags, another has them prepackaged. I usually use liquid yeast. Again this depends on where I get my "kits" from but I usually use White Labs and if I can't get that I try to get a comparable strain from WYeast. I haven't tried any of the prepackaged kits, but if you trust your shop keep, check for an "expiration" or "use by" date, and buy fresh yeast, you should be fine. About the only ingredient I buy in bulk is DME for making starters. Hope that helps. Cheers,
Reply to
DragonTail

Bot sure what you mean. I do a 5 gal batch and fill 48 bottles (2 cases). When I keg I get 1 corny. If I bottle, it works out to less than $1/bottle.
Reply to
DragonTail

Dave,
I just started with making beer with kits that made from malt extracts and they ranged from $20 to $40. I now do all grain and started with kits from Midwest supply that range from $15 to $20 for 5 gallons.
I now do all grain in bulk, it is costing me about $7 per 5 gallons for a dark beer and something like Budweiser is about $2 for 5 gallons not counting bottles or caps.
Roy
Reply to
Roy Boy

I'd like to learn more about that! Where do you buy your bulk grains and what are you paying for a certain amount?
Reply to
basskisser

Buying in bulk helps a lot. My base malt is bought in 25kg bags, crystal etc I buy in 4kg ish amounts, hops are purchased the same way. The initial outlay seems large but when you break it down to cost per batch it's really quite inexpensive.
Reply to
Jason

Yes indeed I do. If fact almost all my brewing supplies are bought over the net. I use the following depending on their stock:
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I know of brewers that have also bought from
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Jason
Reply to
Jason

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Now for more questions! Because of the many, many recipes out there, it would seem to me that if you bought in bulk, you'd have many, many vessels of various grains hanging around right? I mean, let's say I've got an all grain recipe that calls for 8 pounds of Klages malt, 1 pound of light Munich, 1/4 pound each of 40L and 80L crystal. So, you buy everything in bulk, you've got all of those grains around, you've used a small part of them. Your next recipe may call for totally different grains, right? (bear with me here, I'm an extract brewer at the time!).
Reply to
basskisser

* basskisser :
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Well ales all basically have a standard base malt, crisp or 2 row etc. so that's easy, just buy one big bag.
But yes it does get interesting when it comes to the rest. One has to improvise and adapt. I've done batchs that called for crystal XX but I had crystal YY so I have to adjust accordingly. Yes it won't turn out exactly as planned but it will still be beer.
Basically the crystal I have falls into one of 4 catagories. A light, medium, dark and really dark (Crystal 120 currently). I'd love to be able to do a container of 10, 20, 30, 40 etc. but that's just not possible due to money and space limitations.
You'll run into this as well when it comes to hops. I'm making an Irish Red shortly that uses a lager hop, I don't have that hop so I'm just adjusting the recipie to use what I do have in the freezer.
Jason
Reply to
Jason

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So, seeing how most recipes only use a part of a pound of crystal, do you still buy those in bulk, like 25 pounds? What do you store them in? So when a recipe calls for Klages malt, you just use whatever 2 row you have? Like the example, you have Klages malt, and light munich malt, what would you substitute? I guess what I"m asking is if and when I go all grain, what base types of malts and crystal should I buy?
Reply to
basskisser

In bulk yes, in bulk in 25kg amounts no. The only thing I buy in that size is the base malt, personally I prefer MO Crisp. The speciality grains get purchased in 3-5kg amounts depending on what it is, how much I use etc.
If the recipe calls for 2 row which I don't have I just use the Crisp. I have one recipe here I made that called for Carafa which I don't have, so I had to improvise. I believe I used Chocolate, it wasn't exactly what right but it all worked out nicely in the keg.
The speciality grains get stored in old ice cream buckets that I got from the local Laura Secord store and the Crisp is stored in a garbage pail.
As to what you should get? Well that would depend on what you like brewing. Is there a particular style you brew on a regular basis now? I'm partial lately to bitters, porters and stouts so my speciality grains, hop and yeast selection reflects that.
Jason
Reply to
Jason

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