Author Topic: HELP! I want to buy beer.  (Read 21046 times)

Tacosrocket

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HELP! I want to buy beer.
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:29:05 PM »
An 18 pack lasts me about a month 1/2 to two months, that's a lot of money to spend that often :( Should I brew my own or do I just need to get forum posted in the mouth?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 09:39:38 PM »
An 18 pack lasts me less than a week. You are doing just fine. Yes it's a lot of money, but life is worth living so if you can afford it just go for it.

At that drinking pace if you brew your own beer you would have a 6 month supply from one batch. It's likely not worth the effort simply for cost savings, but if it makes you happy to make your own beer the cost savings should be a bi-product. Your real goal should be learning the process of brewing.

the fixer

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 10:05:58 PM »
Making beer by fermenting malted barley is one of the most complex ways to produce alcohol, so it's accordingly expensive to do yourself. If you can be flexible about the alcohol you drink, you can produce mildly alcoholic beverages extremely cost effectively.

Try making mead: stir some RAW honey and dechlorinated water together (1 part honey, 4 parts water). If you use non-raw honey, you can introduce yeast either with commercial packets (expensive) or chunks of organic fruit. Let sit for a few days, stirring 1-2x/day to keep mold from forming on the surface, until it starts to fizz. Once the fizzing slows down, store in the fridge and enjoy within about a week. You can pour a splash of the finished product into a new batch as a "starter" to make the fermentation start quicker the next time.

Try making hard cider the easy way: buy a bottle of cider and an organic apple. Cut a few chunks of the apple into the cider to introduce bacteria, and leave it out for a few days. Follow same pattern as mead above.

There are also simple beers you can make by cooking and fermenting corn, rice, and other grains/starches. They are more complex than making sweet alcoholic drinks, but still not as difficult as barley beers.

Note that fermenting alcohol generally only works well during warmer times of the year, yeast isn't happy when it's cold out. I made a batch of mead by incubating it in a warm oven, but maintaining its temperature over a week or so is a pretty annoying and awkward process. Also, none of the above is more than about 2-3% alcohol by volume. Getting higher percentages either requires full fermentation (which requires air-locked vessels and a lot of patience) or distillation (which requires a still and is illegal).

For more: see http://www.wildfermentation.com/

wtjbatman

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 10:27:02 PM »
18 pack lasts two months?! I say bravo to that. I went ice fishing last weekend, and well... we left a lot more than 18 bottles in the nearby Super America's dumpster.

chasesfish

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 04:45:41 AM »
I think you're doing fine.  I pay $8-$9 for a good six pack one every week or two.

MgoSam

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 04:53:20 AM »
Making beer by fermenting malted barley is one of the most complex ways to produce alcohol, so it's accordingly expensive to do yourself. If you can be flexible about the alcohol you drink, you can produce mildly alcoholic beverages extremely cost effectively.

Try making mead: stir some RAW honey and dechlorinated water together (1 part honey, 4 parts water). If you use non-raw honey, you can introduce yeast either with commercial packets (expensive) or chunks of organic fruit. Let sit for a few days, stirring 1-2x/day to keep mold from forming on the surface, until it starts to fizz. Once the fizzing slows down, store in the fridge and enjoy within about a week. You can pour a splash of the finished product into a new batch as a "starter" to make the fermentation start quicker the next time.


I don't drink right now, but I would be interested in making mead if I were to start up again. How does it taste? I know that mead is considered the almost alcohol in the world.

happy

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 05:11:15 AM »
No help from me either. I have to say at 21, I was a poor student, and so were all my friends. Coffee and grog money were the last things to disappear from the budget.

1 beer every 3 days or so, or 2-3 on the weekend and none during the week is fairly modest, especially if you get them from the bottlo.  Paying bar prices is not cool.


jhartt3

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 06:42:48 AM »
If you are buying beer in 18 packs chances are you cannot brew it cheaper. The benefits of home brewing show up when you make good beer not american lagers. So unless you like ales its not worth it.  Plus 18 beers every 2 months. You're doing fine

rocksinmyhead

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 08:59:54 AM »
If you are buying beer in 18 packs chances are you cannot brew it cheaper. The benefits of home brewing show up when you make good beer not american lagers. So unless you like ales its not worth it.  Plus 18 beers every 2 months. You're doing fine

+1

skunkfunk

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 09:33:31 AM »
I make my own, but I drink a lot more than that. I will say that it really sucks to spend 6 hours brewing a batch, 2 more hours bottling it, and then have it turn out bad. I've only had 1 batch that really wasn't very good, but it was my first batch, and at your drinking pace, having 5 gallons of gross beer would not be good.

However, you can brew 1 gallon batches on your stove top with minimal investment. Try it, all you need is a small bucket, a pot, and a bag for the grain.

Exflyboy

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 10:31:01 AM »
Tobi,

A guy on my FB account pointed out that Trader Joes has incredibly cheap beer that apparently is very drinkable.. Called "Name tag" and "simpler times".. Like $2:99 for a 6 pack.

I think I might steer away from that.. I just discovered the red wine (4 bottles worth for $11) and its GOOD!... At those prices I can afford to take up a whole new self destructive hobby..:)

Frank

Eric

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 05:23:17 PM »
Hi Tobi,
I'd like advice from you on how to make an 18 pack last 6 weeks or more.  Do you just drink a lot of whiskey instead?
Thanks,
Eric

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 06:17:48 PM »
I... How... 18 beers in two months? Unless you are living in Australia where beer costs more than blood plasma, I would say you have nothing to worry about. At that rate you are spending MAYBE $150 on beer per year at U.S. prices.

Tacosrocket

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 06:58:19 PM »
Thank you for the informative replies! MMM had done an article about brewing his own beer and that it saved him money, so I thought I could maybe do the same, but it looks like it isn't that easy. I might try those other ideas for creating alcohol because it does sound fun.

I just feel so guilty every time I go to buy it because I think... What an expensive thing I don't need! I should just put this back... Never happens lol.

Thanks everyone, it looks like fermenting isn't an option right now but maybe I'll like those other homemade alcohols, thanks!

Tacosrocket

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 07:10:40 PM »
Hi Tobi,
I'd like advice from you on how to make an 18 pack last 6 weeks or more.  Do you just drink a lot of whiskey instead?
Thanks,
Eric

Just have a very low tolerance I guess lol (I'm also short and under weight, so that helps) And no on the whiskey, it tastes nasty.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2014, 08:03:38 PM »
An 18 pack lasts me a few hours, but hey, it's not a competition.

I have some mead that I'm letting finish up. My first batch tastes like vinegar, I'm hoping the second one is delish.

greaper007

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2014, 09:22:30 PM »
I just made a batch of beer for $.44 a bottle.   But it's an English Mild, not an IPA.    Still, I did a halfway decent American Pale Ale last month for $.67 a bottle and an IPA for not much more than that.

You can save money with brewing, but it takes a couple batches to pay for your equipment.    Homebrew really comes in handy when you're serving guests   $4 a six pack for great beer is way less of a gut punch than $10+ a six pack craft brew from the liquor store when you have to hand out beers for free.

Any home distillers on the board?   I know it's not legal to distill alcohol but I just want to distill water (not bourbon I swear).

TreeTired

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2014, 10:00:04 PM »
I was literally composing a letter of appreciation in my head today to Yuengling,  thanking them for producing such a great reasonably priced beer.  I would explain to them that although I am extremely price sensitive, I would not choose Heineken or Becks or really any premium beer over Yuengling even if was the same price.   It is almost always the least expensive beer at the grocery store (excluding one or 2 rotgut brands)  and we have gotten it as cheap as $13.99 for a 24 pack of bottles, which I prefer over aluminum cans.   My wife balked once after one of those great sales when it went back to $16.99 for 24.   I explained that was still  $8.50 for a 12 pack which was a lot less than any other brand -  many go for $12.99 for 12.

m8547

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2014, 10:14:22 PM »
Don't let people here rationalize drinking for you if you don't want to. I probably average one beer a week (and almost no other alcohol), while a lot of people I know average one a day or more! I enjoy the taste of good beers, and drinking is the social norm a lot of times, but otherwise I could live without it.

Beer (alcohol) is mildly addictive, so it's good not to have too much in my opinion. One way I avoid drinking by realizing that it's addictive. When I get a craving for a beer, I interpret that as addiction and avoid it. Same goes for caffeine, TV, sugary foods, etc. At some point you won't even crave it any more

For the people that asked about how to make beer last that long, the answer is simple: don't drink so much beer!  Or if you want a better answer... I set rules for myself about when I can have beer. For example, I know alcohol interferes with my sleep, so I don't have it after around dinner time during the week. I read that alcohol interferes with memory development/learning, so I avoided it during the week in college, for the most part. I've kept that up, so I really only drink on the weekends. Another personal rule is no drinking and driving, as in not even one drink with dinner if I'm going to drive home later. I know this is conservative since I could likely drive after one beer and would probably still be under the legal limit after two or more, but driving is dangerous so it's not worth it to make it any more risky. Biking after drinking is OK since it's unlikely to harm anyone else (legal limits still apply). Another rule is that I avoid buying beer at restaurants/bars because of the cost. I try to have no more than 2 beers at a time. The result is the only time I can drink is some Friday or Saturday evenings, and I'm OK with that. For me these rules are not strict rules but guidelines. I don't have to follow them, but I try to most of the time. The rules work for me, and and that's important because otherwise there's no way I could stick to them.

For anyone out there trying to reduce your drinking, try setting some rules for yourself. Start with something easy. It can even be completely irrational, like limit one beer on odd days except the third Friday of the month. It might make a good conversation starter!

This is probably an unpopular opinion, given that half the posts here are praising beer! But if I've learned anything from this forum it's that sometimes it's better to question the popular opinion.

wtjbatman

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2014, 10:37:22 PM »
Sounds like someone needs to relax. May I recommend a beer?

pdxvandal

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2014, 10:53:32 PM »
Don't let people here rationalize drinking for you if you don't want to. I probably average one beer a week (and almost no other alcohol), while a lot of people I know average one a day or more! I enjoy the taste of good beers, and drinking is the social norm a lot of times, but otherwise I could live without it.

Beer (alcohol) is mildly addictive, so it's good not to have too much in my opinion. One way I avoid drinking by realizing that it's addictive. When I get a craving for a beer, I interpret that as addiction and avoid it. Same goes for caffeine, TV, sugary foods, etc. At some point you won't even crave it any more

For the people that asked about how to make beer last that long, the answer is simple: don't drink so much beer!  Or if you want a better answer... I set rules for myself about when I can have beer. For example, I know alcohol interferes with my sleep, so I don't have it after around dinner time during the week. I read that alcohol interferes with memory development/learning, so I avoided it during the week in college, for the most part. I've kept that up, so I really only drink on the weekends. Another personal rule is no drinking and driving, as in not even one drink with dinner if I'm going to drive home later. I know this is conservative since I could likely drive after one beer and would probably still be under the legal limit after two or more, but driving is dangerous so it's not worth it to make it any more risky. Biking after drinking is OK since it's unlikely to harm anyone else (legal limits still apply). Another rule is that I avoid buying beer at restaurants/bars because of the cost. I try to have no more than 2 beers at a time. The result is the only time I can drink is some Friday or Saturday evenings, and I'm OK with that. For me these rules are not strict rules but guidelines. I don't have to follow them, but I try to most of the time. The rules work for me, and and that's important because otherwise there's no way I could stick to them.

For anyone out there trying to reduce your drinking, try setting some rules for yourself. Start with something easy. It can even be completely irrational, like limit one beer on odd days except the third Friday of the month. It might make a good conversation starter!

This is probably an unpopular opinion, given that half the posts here are praising beer! But if I've learned anything from this forum it's that sometimes it's better to question the popular opinion.

Thanks, Dad.

Tacosrocket

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2014, 01:33:29 AM »
Don't let people here rationalize drinking for you if you don't want to. I probably average one beer a week (and almost no other alcohol), while a lot of people I know average one a day or more! I enjoy the taste of good beers, and drinking is the social norm a lot of times, but otherwise I could live without it.

Beer (alcohol) is mildly addictive, so it's good not to have too much in my opinion. One way I avoid drinking by realizing that it's addictive. When I get a craving for a beer, I interpret that as addiction and avoid it. Same goes for caffeine, TV, sugary foods, etc. At some point you won't even crave it any more

For the people that asked about how to make beer last that long, the answer is simple: don't drink so much beer!  Or if you want a better answer... I set rules for myself about when I can have beer. For example, I know alcohol interferes with my sleep, so I don't have it after around dinner time during the week. I read that alcohol interferes with memory development/learning, so I avoided it during the week in college, for the most part. I've kept that up, so I really only drink on the weekends. Another personal rule is no drinking and driving, as in not even one drink with dinner if I'm going to drive home later. I know this is conservative since I could likely drive after one beer and would probably still be under the legal limit after two or more, but driving is dangerous so it's not worth it to make it any more risky. Biking after drinking is OK since it's unlikely to harm anyone else (legal limits still apply). Another rule is that I avoid buying beer at restaurants/bars because of the cost. I try to have no more than 2 beers at a time. The result is the only time I can drink is some Friday or Saturday evenings, and I'm OK with that. For me these rules are not strict rules but guidelines. I don't have to follow them, but I try to most of the time. The rules work for me, and and that's important because otherwise there's no way I could stick to them.

For anyone out there trying to reduce your drinking, try setting some rules for yourself. Start with something easy. It can even be completely irrational, like limit one beer on odd days except the third Friday of the month. It might make a good conversation starter!

This is probably an unpopular opinion, given that half the posts here are praising beer! But if I've learned anything from this forum it's that sometimes it's better to question the popular opinion.

Beer does deserve praise :) Did you know that during the black plague, beer was safe to drink because the boiling part of the process they used killed off the bacteria? Giving people (children included) something besides the infected nasty water to drink... pretty cool, hee hee. There's even speculation that it kick started agriculture.

But really, I totally feel you. I think that what you do (avoid something because you crave it, unless it's good like if you crave exercise or something) is a good practice, and I am actually pretty successful with the same thing unless it's coffee, because I don't mind being addicted to coffee ;)

My rule is to never drink in a bad mood. I either find some other way to deal with it or I accept that "sometimes I'm happy and sometimes I'm sad" which is life, so boo hoo.

I think the people asking about how to drink less beers are joking... lol. Although I do have another answer for them: hate peeing more than you like drinking. It's a useful skill, that one.

On a serious note, it might not be as simple for some people as discipline, but I want to talk about the cost effective issues of  beer and not really the other effects ^^ We can go to the off-topic part of the forum for that subject. For now, apparently brewing beer is hard and expensive so maybe in the future as a neat hobby :)

Thank you for replying ^^

rocksinmyhead

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2014, 05:42:56 AM »
I was literally composing a letter of appreciation in my head today to Yuengling,  thanking them for producing such a great reasonably priced beer.  I would explain to them that although I am extremely price sensitive, I would not choose Heineken or Becks or really any premium beer over Yuengling even if was the same price.   It is almost always the least expensive beer at the grocery store (excluding one or 2 rotgut brands)  and we have gotten it as cheap as $13.99 for a 24 pack of bottles, which I prefer over aluminum cans.   My wife balked once after one of those great sales when it went back to $16.99 for 24.   I explained that was still  $8.50 for a 12 pack which was a lot less than any other brand -  many go for $12.99 for 12.

I also love Yuengling for this reason. I miss it :(

jhartt3

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2014, 07:09:24 AM »
again see that post above on the costs of homebrewing better beer than lagers. if you're drinking american lagers you WILL NOT save money brewing your own.  the best way to save money drinking american lagers is to buy which ever one is on sale for the cheapest price per beer.  They all taste virtually the same don't let anyone convince you otherwise.  in a blind taste test of self proclaimed "coors" guys and "miller" and "bud" guys that my wife ran at work last year guess what beers won. 

1. Old Milwaukee
2. PBR
3. Busch Light

If you cant really taste the difference when trying them all blind dont let the label fool you into thinking you're getting a better product. 

Yes you can get into some fancier lagers that cost more and do have some flavor profiles. (i'm a self proclaimed beer snob i know this) .. but the OP said 18 packs you dont but any craft beer in an 18 pack. 

jba302

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2014, 07:15:43 AM »
An 18 pack lasts me a few hours, but hey, it's not a competition.

I have some mead that I'm letting finish up. My first batch tastes like vinegar, I'm hoping the second one is delish.

Did you figure out why this happened? Was it just contamination? I just opened up my first batch of mead last weekend and had to dump the entire batch for the same reason (15 bottles :( ). Sad day, had to go to a glass of eagle rare in mourning.

foobar

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2014, 07:40:38 AM »
18 beers is like a 2 year supply for me. You should check into AA as you clearly have a drinking problem. Your spending a good 15 bucks on a useless product instead of like .05 on water. Less if you bottle the water from a water fountain and take it home. And tequila and wine are clearly different than beer and are parts of any healthy diet:) :):):) And I don't know what to say about Heineken being a premium brew:)


 Is your goal in life to live as cheaply as possible (beer is a waste) or live the life in a way that expresses your values(i.e. maybe drinking a beer makes sense)? You will find people advocation the former but most people prefer the later.


An 18 pack lasts me about a month 1/2 to two months, that's a lot of money to spend that often :( Should I brew my own or do I just need to get forum posted in the mouth?

markstache

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2014, 08:32:19 AM »
apparently brewing beer is hard and expensive

It is neither.

It is not hard: if you can make tea and clean your house, you can make beer. It is harder than, say, sitting on the couch cracking open a PBR, but in terms of actual effort, many activities require more skill and physical effort.

It is not expensive: Like many hobbies, you can spend a lot of money if you want by buying near pro-level equipment. I've posted my money saving hints, which basically boil down to keep equipment purchases to a minimum (used if possible) and buy your ingredients in bulk. There will be some up front cost, but if I factor in all of my equipment costs (about $350, which includes used kettles, some plastic fermenters, a grain mill, and even a temperature controlled closet in my garage), my product has cost on the order of 0.90/12oz bottle. It's almost as cheap as PBR, and I would compare the quality to a decent craft brew.

Given you are not drinking a lot, I think you would be a good candidate for brewing. There is a lot of patience involved waiting for the yeast to do their work. The cheapest way would be to find a local brew club in town and make a friend with equipment. Go over on a Saturday to help make a batch, and come home with a few gallons of fermenting wort for your help.

the fixer

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2014, 11:20:12 AM »
An 18 pack lasts me a few hours, but hey, it's not a competition.

I have some mead that I'm letting finish up. My first batch tastes like vinegar, I'm hoping the second one is delish.

Did you figure out why this happened? Was it just contamination? I just opened up my first batch of mead last weekend and had to dump the entire batch for the same reason (15 bottles :( ). Sad day, had to go to a glass of eagle rare in mourning.
This happens because you're either trying to age the mead, or just letting it ferment too long. What's happening is that acetobacter bacteria are moving in on the surface and digesting alcohol into vinegar. Acetobacter require oxygen to live, but the process of fermenting sugars produces carbon dioxide so, if fermentation is vigorous enough, there's enough CO2 being produced on the surface to inhibit growth of acetobacter. The problem comes in when you try to age the mead, which means you're letting it ferment past the quick glucose fermentation stage and consume all the slower-to-ferment fructose as well. Because the fructose fermentation is such a slow process, not enough CO2 gets produced to inhibit the acetobacter.

The solution to this, if you still want to age the mead, is to seal the vessel tightly and use an air lock. Brewing supply stores sell these pretty cheaply, but you can also make one yourself using some vinyl tubing. These devices basically prevent gas exchange between the inside and outside of the fermentation vessel, but also prevent pressurizing.

My solution is to just not let the mead age that long. Once the glucose fermentation is complete, I call it done and enjoy it sweet and mildly alcoholic. It tastes kinda like a daiquiri or something. I've also experimented with feeding the mead more sugar as it ferments, to extend the glucose fermentation time and let the mead become more alcoholic (but also sweeter).

jhartt3

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2014, 11:25:19 AM »
apparently brewing beer is hard and expensive

It is neither.

It is not hard: if you can make tea and clean your house, you can make beer. It is harder than, say, sitting on the couch cracking open a PBR, but in terms of actual effort, many activities require more skill and physical effort.

It is not expensive: Like many hobbies, you can spend a lot of money if you want by buying near pro-level equipment. I've posted my money saving hints, which basically boil down to keep equipment purchases to a minimum (used if possible) and buy your ingredients in bulk. There will be some up front cost, but if I factor in all of my equipment costs (about $350, which includes used kettles, some plastic fermenters, a grain mill, and even a temperature controlled closet in my garage), my product has cost on the order of 0.90/12oz bottle. It's almost as cheap as PBR, and I would compare the quality to a decent craft brew.

Given you are not drinking a lot, I think you would be a good candidate for brewing. There is a lot of patience involved waiting for the yeast to do their work. The cheapest way would be to find a local brew club in town and make a friend with equipment. Go over on a Saturday to help make a batch, and come home with a few gallons of fermenting wort for your help.

This is incorrect if you're buying 18 packs of beer and are happy drinking that you're not a good candidate for brewing beer.  your cost per beer will more than double.  now if you're buying craft beer then brewing beer is a better solution than not.  But someone buying 18 packs doesnt need to brew their own beer.  "90c/bottle almost as cheap as PBR"  so now you have to spend time effort and risk the cost of losing a batch to drink something more expensive than what the OP is currently buying.  Doesnt add up.   Not to mention tying up capital in the brewing equipment.

Wiggle

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2014, 11:27:26 AM »
Homebrewing is alot of fun and cost effective.  But you aren't really drinking alot and more importantly you aren't drinking the kind of beer you can homebrew more cheaply and easily anyway.  Ales will have a fuller, denser taste than you are getting right now.  I greatly prefer this kind of beer but it is not for everyone. 

markstache

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2014, 11:48:04 AM »
This is incorrect if you're buying 18 packs of beer and are happy drinking that you're not a good candidate for brewing beer. 

True. My assumption is that OP would prefer better beer if it were less costly. Perhaps this assumption is wrong.

If you had looked in my fridge this time last year, you would seen a lot of High Life. Did I prefer HL to fuller bodied, nuanced craft beers? No. But it was cost effective as an alcohol delivery vehicle. I can now brew better beer for effectively the same price, equipment included. My earlier calculation benefits from spreading the cost of equipment (still quite moderate in my opinion) across more volume than OP would probably require, but I provided a suggestion for finding a brew buddy that already has equipment that would reduce the costs to just ingredients.

I won't argue that home brewing is for everyone, but I wish to counter the opinion that it is complicated and costly. OP could make a few stove-top 1 or 2 gallon batches per month using even cheaper equipment (say a $20 walmart pot and recycled 1-gallon apple juice jugs) and be quite happy with the results. Someone who drank more beer might be frustrated with this scale and not have the patience to wait 3+ weeks for 1 gallon of product. I trust everyone to make good decisions. I just want people to be properly informed. I'm happy to provide more data from my experience if anyone would find it helpful.


greaper007

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2014, 11:59:17 AM »
apparently brewing beer is hard and expensive

It is neither.

It is not hard: if you can make tea and clean your house, you can make beer. It is harder than, say, sitting on the couch cracking open a PBR, but in terms of actual effort, many activities require more skill and physical effort.

It is not expensive: Like many hobbies, you can spend a lot of money if you want by buying near pro-level equipment. I've posted my money saving hints, which basically boil down to keep equipment purchases to a minimum (used if possible) and buy your ingredients in bulk. There will be some up front cost, but if I factor in all of my equipment costs (about $350, which includes used kettles, some plastic fermenters, a grain mill, and even a temperature controlled closet in my garage), my product has cost on the order of 0.90/12oz bottle. It's almost as cheap as PBR, and I would compare the quality to a decent craft brew.

Given you are not drinking a lot, I think you would be a good candidate for brewing. There is a lot of patience involved waiting for the yeast to do their work. The cheapest way would be to find a local brew club in town and make a friend with equipment. Go over on a Saturday to help make a batch, and come home with a few gallons of fermenting wort for your help.

This is incorrect if you're buying 18 packs of beer and are happy drinking that you're not a good candidate for brewing beer.  your cost per beer will more than double.  now if you're buying craft beer then brewing beer is a better solution than not.  But someone buying 18 packs doesnt need to brew their own beer.  "90c/bottle almost as cheap as PBR"  so now you have to spend time effort and risk the cost of losing a batch to drink something more expensive than what the OP is currently buying.  Doesnt add up.   Not to mention tying up capital in the brewing equipment.

Not necessarily.   I can still brew lots of light beers that non-craft brew types thoroughly enjoy for less than the cost of a sixer of PBR.   I just brewed up 10 gallons of pale mild for $33 (bulk hops and reused the yeast from another brew).    It has a little more flavor than a light lager but nothing that would offend BMC drinker.   If I pull 90 beers out of this (conservatively sometimes I can get more) that's only $2.20 a six pack, I think a six pack of pbr is going for at least $6.50 with tax.

A couple years ago I brewed a batch of cream ale, essentially the same as a Budweiser but with a little more flavor because it was an ale instead of a lager, still popular with the BMC crowd though.   Total cost, about $15 for 45 beers (again reusing yeast and buying hops in bulk).   That's $2 a six pack.   And it's a fantastic hot weather beer, just what you want to drink after you mow the lawn.   

You can spend a lot of money brewing up big IPAs with lots of different hops or belgian beers that need crazy starters, but you don't have to.   I think brewers just do that because they like beer, and like a lot of car guys who like torque and horsepower, brewers like hops and alcohol.   But you don't have to do that.   You can make little beers that taste great and won't get you wasted if you want to have a couple at the end of the day.    I actually like low alcohol beers because I want something I can drink without really catching a buzz, I just love beer (and wine and bourbon, tequilla, mead, and hey, why not pisco).

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2014, 12:07:22 PM »
You can make little beers that taste great and won't get you wasted if you want to have a couple at the end of the day.    I actually like low alcohol beers because I want something I can drink without really catching a buzz, I just love beer (and wine and bourbon, tequilla, mead, and hey, why not pisco).

This is something I've really enjoyed about home brewing: being able to make low alcohol beers that still have a very full flavor. That reminds me, time to make another American mild...

greaper007

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2014, 12:11:17 PM »
You can make little beers that taste great and won't get you wasted if you want to have a couple at the end of the day.    I actually like low alcohol beers because I want something I can drink without really catching a buzz, I just love beer (and wine and bourbon, tequilla, mead, and hey, why not pisco).

This is something I've really enjoyed about home brewing: being able to make low alcohol beers that still have a very full flavor. That reminds me, time to make another American mild...

I've never heard of an American Mild, do you have a recipe?

jhartt3

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2014, 12:13:40 PM »
apparently brewing beer is hard and expensive

It is neither.

It is not hard: if you can make tea and clean your house, you can make beer. It is harder than, say, sitting on the couch cracking open a PBR, but in terms of actual effort, many activities require more skill and physical effort.

It is not expensive: Like many hobbies, you can spend a lot of money if you want by buying near pro-level equipment. I've posted my money saving hints, which basically boil down to keep equipment purchases to a minimum (used if possible) and buy your ingredients in bulk. There will be some up front cost, but if I factor in all of my equipment costs (about $350, which includes used kettles, some plastic fermenters, a grain mill, and even a temperature controlled closet in my garage), my product has cost on the order of 0.90/12oz bottle. It's almost as cheap as PBR, and I would compare the quality to a decent craft brew.

Given you are not drinking a lot, I think you would be a good candidate for brewing. There is a lot of patience involved waiting for the yeast to do their work. The cheapest way would be to find a local brew club in town and make a friend with equipment. Go over on a Saturday to help make a batch, and come home with a few gallons of fermenting wort for your help.

This is incorrect if you're buying 18 packs of beer and are happy drinking that you're not a good candidate for brewing beer.  your cost per beer will more than double.  now if you're buying craft beer then brewing beer is a better solution than not.  But someone buying 18 packs doesnt need to brew their own beer.  "90c/bottle almost as cheap as PBR"  so now you have to spend time effort and risk the cost of losing a batch to drink something more expensive than what the OP is currently buying.  Doesnt add up.   Not to mention tying up capital in the brewing equipment.

Not necessarily.   I can still brew lots of light beers that non-craft brew types thoroughly enjoy for less than the cost of a sixer of PBR.   I just brewed up 10 gallons of pale mild for $33 (bulk hops and reused the yeast from another brew).    It has a little more flavor than a light lager but nothing that would offend BMC drinker.   If I pull 90 beers out of this (conservatively sometimes I can get more) that's only $2.20 a six pack, I think a six pack of pbr is going for at least $6.50 with tax.

A couple years ago I brewed a batch of cream ale, essentially the same as a Budweiser but with a little more flavor because it was an ale instead of a lager, still popular with the BMC crowd though.   Total cost, about $15 for 45 beers (again reusing yeast and buying hops in bulk).   That's $2 a six pack.   And it's a fantastic hot weather beer, just what you want to drink after you mow the lawn.   

You can spend a lot of money brewing up big IPAs with lots of different hops or belgian beers that need crazy starters, but you don't have to.   I think brewers just do that because they like beer, and like a lot of car guys who like torque and horsepower, brewers like hops and alcohol.   But you don't have to do that.   You can make little beers that taste great and won't get you wasted if you want to have a couple at the end of the day.    I actually like low alcohol beers because I want something I can drink without really catching a buzz, I just love beer (and wine and bourbon, tequilla, mead, and hey, why not pisco).

again lots of investment.  and she isnt buying 6 packs she is buying 18 packs.  Lager's avg 50Cents a can not on sale when purchased in bulk ... so her initial investment of 350 bucks in brewing equipment and time and effort and results of failing batches would save her about 80cents per six pack... and she goes though lets just say 18 every 1.5 months to be on the high end.  thats 24 six packs a year
so the annual savings is 20 bucks.  a 350 dollar initial investment pays off in 17 years.  really 18.  plus all that time and we still arent accounting for failed batches.  I mean even doubling my initial price to 1 dollar per beer the pay off is 9 years plus time and still not accounting for a failed batch.  And this is if the equipment can be found for that price.  and someone buys everything in bulk the way you are.  I just don't see Homebrewing benefiting the OP in anyway shape or form.  Unless she really wants to add it as a hobby.  take that same 350 and invest it at 5.5% a year thats 20 bucks a year. if she can get her avg beer price to around 50 cents a can.  she can break even on the money and not have to spend her time or energy brewing and risk losing a batch. 

rocksinmyhead

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2014, 12:25:05 PM »
You can make little beers that taste great and won't get you wasted if you want to have a couple at the end of the day.    I actually like low alcohol beers because I want something I can drink without really catching a buzz, I just love beer (and wine and bourbon, tequilla, mead, and hey, why not pisco).

This is something I've really enjoyed about home brewing: being able to make low alcohol beers that still have a very full flavor. That reminds me, time to make another American mild...

ahh, this is a reason I would like to get into it! I like good beer but I hate that so much of it seems to be >6%. gets me into the danger zone pretty quickly :(

Scandium

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2014, 12:36:30 PM »
apparently brewing beer is hard and expensive

It is neither.

It is not hard: if you can make tea and clean your house, you can make beer. It is harder than, say, sitting on the couch cracking open a PBR, but in terms of actual effort, many activities require more skill and physical effort.

It is not expensive: Like many hobbies, you can spend a lot of money if you want by buying near pro-level equipment. I've posted my money saving hints, which basically boil down to keep equipment purchases to a minimum (used if possible) and buy your ingredients in bulk. There will be some up front cost, but if I factor in all of my equipment costs (about $350, which includes used kettles, some plastic fermenters, a grain mill, and even a temperature controlled closet in my garage), my product has cost on the order of 0.90/12oz bottle. It's almost as cheap as PBR, and I would compare the quality to a decent craft brew.

Given you are not drinking a lot, I think you would be a good candidate for brewing. There is a lot of patience involved waiting for the yeast to do their work. The cheapest way would be to find a local brew club in town and make a friend with equipment. Go over on a Saturday to help make a batch, and come home with a few gallons of fermenting wort for your help.

Do you do extract or all grain, I assume the latter? I've done maybe ~10 batches of extract the couple years I've done homebrewing and am thinking about getting into all grain. Not so much to make more "complex" beers, but I'm thinking it will be cheaper. Is this correct? The malt extract is pretty pricy, often running $20-30 just for that in one batch.  I'm looking to find some cheap equipment to get it set up.

A few batches a year of a medium gravity, low IBU session beer (English mild, scottish, cream ale) to have on hand can cut down some on the alcohol budget, as those would be cheap to brew. I've made some crazier imperial IPAs and Belgians and it's fun, but don't think I'm saving any money on it. (Although 2 cases of an 8% IIPA might cost more than the $70 i paid to brew it..)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 12:38:26 PM by Scandium »

markstache

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2014, 12:41:41 PM »

I've never heard of an American Mild, do you have a recipe?

It's more or less a made up term. I took a British mild and used American ingredients (malts, hops). You could also call it a session pale ale or something like that.

http://brewtoad.com/recipes/james-monroes-era-of-good-feelings

markstache

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2014, 12:55:46 PM »

Do you do extract or all grain, I assume the latter?

All grain, specifically the Brew In A Bag (BIAB). If you have the equipment to do full boil extract brewing, you could start with BIAB on your current equipment. I have an 8gal kettle. I mash in that with the grain and as much water as I can fit. I then remove the grain bag, dunk it any remaining water in a bucket ("dunk sparge"), remove the bag from bucket, and pour the remaining water back into the kettle. Everything after this point would be the same as extract.

I buy base grains (pale ale malt, wheat malt) in 50lbs bags (~$40). I also buy hops by the pound (~$12/lb). I tend to create recipes based on what I have, rather than buy ingredients based on a recipe. For example, I'm doing a lot of stouts and porters right now because I have an excess of roasted grains.

I think you could still beat extract prices paying by the pound for grain, but the gains are smaller. Paying by the ounce for hops gets expensive fast.

I've started kilning malt in my oven with mixed success. I'll take a few pounds of pale ale malt and roast it at 200 deg F for an hour to get a biscuit/amber malt or longer for a brown. I recently tried to make a Munich malt by letting the malt soak for an hour first. The jury is still out on whether this is an effective technique.

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2014, 04:04:38 PM »
Well thank you for the replies everyone, I will admit I don't know much about this sort of thing at all yet, but it seems home brewing isn't for me right now.  Even so, I like the heavier beers anyway.

I found another piece of advice for those who wanted it:

Keep your tolerance low

Hate peeing

And what I discovered new now is to find a cute pair of shoes and spend your beer money on that ^^


Kriegsspiel

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2014, 06:10:05 PM »
An 18 pack lasts me a few hours, but hey, it's not a competition.

I have some mead that I'm letting finish up. My first batch tastes like vinegar, I'm hoping the second one is delish.

Did you figure out why this happened? Was it just contamination? I just opened up my first batch of mead last weekend and had to dump the entire batch for the same reason (15 bottles :( ). Sad day, had to go to a glass of eagle rare in mourning.
This happens because you're either trying to age the mead, or just letting it ferment too long. What's happening is that acetobacter bacteria are moving in on the surface and digesting alcohol into vinegar. Acetobacter require oxygen to live, but the process of fermenting sugars produces carbon dioxide so, if fermentation is vigorous enough, there's enough CO2 being produced on the surface to inhibit growth of acetobacter. The problem comes in when you try to age the mead, which means you're letting it ferment past the quick glucose fermentation stage and consume all the slower-to-ferment fructose as well. Because the fructose fermentation is such a slow process, not enough CO2 gets produced to inhibit the acetobacter.

The solution to this, if you still want to age the mead, is to seal the vessel tightly and use an air lock. Brewing supply stores sell these pretty cheaply, but you can also make one yourself using some vinyl tubing. These devices basically prevent gas exchange between the inside and outside of the fermentation vessel, but also prevent pressurizing.

My solution is to just not let the mead age that long. Once the glucose fermentation is complete, I call it done and enjoy it sweet and mildly alcoholic. It tastes kinda like a daiquiri or something. I've also experimented with feeding the mead more sugar as it ferments, to extend the glucose fermentation time and let the mead become more alcoholic (but also sweeter).

Damn, everything I saw said to let it age longer if you didn't like it the first time. Cue the "I forgot it in the back of the cabinet, tried it 2 years later and it was amazing!"

I used the cheap method from storm the castle, where you just poke a hole in a balloon as the airlock. My first batch didn't really inflate the balloon at all really (maybe I had a defective batch of yeast?). The second attempt inflated the balloon for a few days, so I think the yeast were healthy in there. I haven't tried the second run yet.

TreeTired

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2014, 06:47:22 PM »
Quote
Biking after drinking is OK since it's unlikely to harm anyone else


I strongly disagree with this statement.    First of all, it's not ok just because you are only harming yourself,  but more to the point,  it doesn't take much imagination to realize how easily a drunk or tipsy or even not 100% alert person on a bicycle could endanger others.

greaper007

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2014, 10:03:45 PM »
Quote
Biking after drinking is OK since it's unlikely to harm anyone else


I strongly disagree with this statement.    First of all, it's not ok just because you are only harming yourself,  but more to the point,  it doesn't take much imagination to realize how easily a drunk or tipsy or even not 100% alert person on a bicycle could endanger others.

Maybe, but if we're going to use that logic then walking down the street after a few brews could be dangerous to the public.   What if you trip and fall on an old lady and break her hip?   

I've been riding my bike after indulging since college and I've never had a problem.   When I lived in Florida I even had the unique opportunity of riding down A1A with other drunk people, though I was the only one that actually lived in a dwelling.

I've talked to cops and they've basically told me that one would have to be a real sphincter for them to get arrested for DUI on a bike.    I take a harm reduction model on this one.    In many areas of the country there just isn't public transportation to get to a local watering hole, and you can't always rely on a designated driver.   Cabs are generally in excess of 20 dollars each way and it's often too far to walk.   Thus, I don't think it's a big deal to ride a bike after you've had 2-4 beers and you're staying off the main roads.   I can hit my local watering hole without touching a street, it's all bike paths and they're totally empty at night.

greaper007

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2014, 10:07:29 PM »

I've never heard of an American Mild, do you have a recipe?

It's more or less a made up term. I took a British mild and used American ingredients (malts, hops). You could also call it a session pale ale or something like that.

http://brewtoad.com/recipes/james-monroes-era-of-good-feelings

Looks good, thanks for the recipe.

jba302

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2014, 07:29:17 AM »
I used the cheap method from storm the castle, where you just poke a hole in a balloon as the airlock. My first batch didn't really inflate the balloon at all really (maybe I had a defective batch of yeast?). The second attempt inflated the balloon for a few days, so I think the yeast were healthy in there. I haven't tried the second run yet.

I used one of those cheaper water valves, but I let it dry out at one point and I'm pretty sure that destroyed it now that I'm reading how it happens. It got worse once it was in the bottles, and it happened to every bottle so it must have turned to shit well it hit the bottle aging.

Scandium

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2014, 08:10:24 AM »

Do you do extract or all grain, I assume the latter?

All grain, specifically the Brew In A Bag (BIAB). If you have the equipment to do full boil extract brewing, you could start with BIAB on your current equipment. I have an 8gal kettle. I mash in that with the grain and as much water as I can fit. I then remove the grain bag, dunk it any remaining water in a bucket ("dunk sparge"), remove the bag from bucket, and pour the remaining water back into the kettle. Everything after this point would be the same as extract.

I buy base grains (pale ale malt, wheat malt) in 50lbs bags (~$40). I also buy hops by the pound (~$12/lb). I tend to create recipes based on what I have, rather than buy ingredients based on a recipe. For example, I'm doing a lot of stouts and porters right now because I have an excess of roasted grains.

I think you could still beat extract prices paying by the pound for grain, but the gains are smaller. Paying by the ounce for hops gets expensive fast.

I've started kilning malt in my oven with mixed success. I'll take a few pounds of pale ale malt and roast it at 200 deg F for an hour to get a biscuit/amber malt or longer for a brown. I recently tried to make a Munich malt by letting the malt soak for an hour first. The jury is still out on whether this is an effective technique.

Friend of mine did all grain in the pot on the stove like that I think. But he said he had issues getting got utilization and getting the gravity high enough, and he wasn't doing crazy high gravity beers either. Not sure if it's a big issue. I've been looking to get a cheap cooler and some parts from home depot and get set up. Shouldn't cost much (I hope..). I have everything else, including a 10 gl pot and a gas burner (~$50), so much better than electric stove top. I made a great wort chiller for <$30 worth parts from HD (fridge copper coil), love the time savings with that thing!

Made an awesome smoked porter by putting some malt in a friends smoker. If you're into smoky beers.. (which most people aren't)

Those are good prices you get on malts and hops. My local brew store list $2/lb for malt, not sure the price for 50 lb bags. And pellet hops go for $16-20 per lb. Might be seasonal.

I need to look into reusing yeast, and getting deals on hops. Those are the main expenses I could trim. Maybe we need a thread for homebrew savings tips and deals;)

Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 08:12:16 AM by Scandium »

skunkfunk

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2014, 08:14:33 AM »

Do you do extract or all grain, I assume the latter?

All grain, specifically the Brew In A Bag (BIAB). If you have the equipment to do full boil extract brewing, you could start with BIAB on your current equipment. I have an 8gal kettle. I mash in that with the grain and as much water as I can fit. I then remove the grain bag, dunk it any remaining water in a bucket ("dunk sparge"), remove the bag from bucket, and pour the remaining water back into the kettle. Everything after this point would be the same as extract.

I buy base grains (pale ale malt, wheat malt) in 50lbs bags (~$40). I also buy hops by the pound (~$12/lb). I tend to create recipes based on what I have, rather than buy ingredients based on a recipe. For example, I'm doing a lot of stouts and porters right now because I have an excess of roasted grains.

I think you could still beat extract prices paying by the pound for grain, but the gains are smaller. Paying by the ounce for hops gets expensive fast.

I've started kilning malt in my oven with mixed success. I'll take a few pounds of pale ale malt and roast it at 200 deg F for an hour to get a biscuit/amber malt or longer for a brown. I recently tried to make a Munich malt by letting the malt soak for an hour first. The jury is still out on whether this is an effective technique.

Friend of mine did all grain in the pot on the stove like that I think. But he said he had issues getting got utilization and getting the gravity high enough, and he wasn't doing crazy high gravity beers either. Not sure if it's a big issue. I've been looking to get a cheap cooler and some parts from home depot and get set up. Shouldn't cost much (I hope..). I have everything else, including a 10 gl pot and a gas burner (~$50), so much better than electric stove top. I made a great wort cooling coil for <$30 worth parts from HD (fridge copper coil), love the time savings with that thing!

Made an awesome smoked porter by putting some malt in a friends smoker. If you're into smoky beers.. (which most people aren't)

Those are good prices you get on malts and hops. My local brew store list $2/lb for malt, not sure the price for 50 lb bags. And pellet hops go for $16-20 per lb. Might be seasonal.

I need to look into reusing yeast, and getting deals on hops. Those are the main expenses I could trim. Maybe we need a thread for homebrew savings tips and deals;)

Thanks!

If you're buying american base grains like Breiss, $2/lb is absolutely horrible.

If you want a cheap cooler, pick up a coleman at sears http://www.sears.com/coleman-48-quart-cooler/p-00681001000P. With that and a few parts at the hardware store you can build a pretty cheap mash tun. Make sure it's all stainless or brass, no galvanized stuff in your wort please. I also don't recommend a 5 gallon igloo; I sometimes fill up the 48 qt coleman enough that stirring is delicate.

Scandium

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2014, 08:42:08 AM »

If you're buying american base grains like Breiss, $2/lb is absolutely horrible.

If you want a cheap cooler, pick up a coleman at sears http://www.sears.com/coleman-48-quart-cooler/p-00681001000P. With that and a few parts at the hardware store you can build a pretty cheap mash tun. Make sure it's all stainless or brass, no galvanized stuff in your wort please. I also don't recommend a 5 gallon igloo; I sometimes fill up the 48 qt coleman enough that stirring is delicate.

Yeah, I see williams brewing sell 50lb bags for $36, but shipping is $70:S I'll have to see how much my local store charge for a bag. Hopefully it's less than their per pound price.

That cooler looks good, especially for only $20. Might have to pick that up and do my first all grain once the weather gets warmer.

markstache

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2014, 08:56:01 AM »

Friend of mine did all grain in the pot on the stove like that I think. But he said he had issues getting got utilization and getting the gravity high enough, and he wasn't doing crazy high gravity beers either. Not sure if it's a big issue.

Hasn't been an issue for me. I do have to reduce volume (I usually shoot for 5.5gal in the fermenter) when I get above 1.070 OG.

Quote
I've been looking to get a cheap cooler and some parts from home depot and get set up.

Cool. Sounds like you are well on your way.

Quote
Made an awesome smoked porter by putting some malt in a friends smoker. If you're into smoky beers.. (which most people aren't)

I am. I want to do this!

Quote
Those are good prices you get on malts and hops. My local brew store list $2/lb for malt, not sure the price for 50 lb bags. And pellet hops go for $16-20 per lb. Might be seasonal.

You could get a bag of 2-row shipped for $60 from NorthernBrewer.com. You would need a grain mill, but perhaps you have a friend with one (or could justify the purchase yourself). I purchased hops from this ebay seller and also NikoBrew.com during one of his frequent sales.

Quote
Maybe we need a thread for homebrew savings tips and deals;)

Why? We've already hijacked this one completely (sorry!). For other deals I follow homebrrewfinds.com in my RSS reader. I ignore most of it, but that is where I found the ebay hops seller, so it is worth keeping an eye on.

greaper007

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Re: HELP! I want to buy beer.
« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2014, 09:40:44 AM »
I figure I save about $50 on each batch of beer that I make.   Just roll this price into the price of supplies, figure about 4 batches and you're ahead of the game for a good, basic all grain setup.   I use a 10 gallon round cooler from the depot along with a stainless steel toilet supply line in the bottom to filter the grain.   I can easily do 10 gallon batches with this setup.   I don't fly sparge, batch sparging is a lot easier and requires less equipment.

A turkey fryer works pretty well for a brew stand, but get ready to upgrade the pot as the one that comes with it just isn't big enough.    The cheapest pot you'll be able to find is an old keg.   Just cut the top off and you have a 15.5 gallon brew pot.   It's possible to find legal used kegs, but I was never successful going that route.    Instead, I just scoured craigslist and eventually found one for $35.     The owner waited too long to take it back to the liquor store and forfeited his deposit, it didn't sound like Coors wanted their keg back that much so I felt comfortable buying it off of him.

Add this to your extract setup and you're good to go for all grain.   You'll find that you slowly upgrade your equipment over time though just so the process can get easier.   I just use the philosophy that as long as I'm rolling in my money savings with the purchase, it's justifiable.