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Cheapest adjunct

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Lord Raja Goomba I

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Given, as homebrewers, we are either cheap, were cheap (and that's why we got into this hobby), or are assumed to be cheap, I thought I'd see how cheap we can be.

Rice is a great adjunct. I actually like it in some commercial varieties (Tsingtao white from Asian countries I love), and obviously they are used to cut costs (Japan's weird excise laws mean it's cheaper to use rice).

Some varieties even use it as mandatory, given the protein levels of American grains, for example.

I have used rice to dilute flavour wise, some Ale malts. I made a Saison with 20% rice to mimic pilsener and loved the beer. I have limited space and having a sack of rarely used pils malt is an impost on said space.

All this leads to my topic, what is your cheapest adjunct?

I paid $2.79 for 2kg of standard white rice. At $1.40 per kg, that's almost half the price of bulk Bb grain.
 

MHB

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So your contention is that, if you are making a 25L batch using around 5kg of malt and use 20% adjunct (1kg of rice) at a saving of $1.40, that saving of $1.40 is more important than the quality of the beer and that's why we brew.

Sorry price has nothing to do with what and how I brew, the commercial beers I buy commonly start around $10/330mL bottle, call it $30/L, some are a lot more expensive than that, if I make a no holds bared clone of one of the top Belgian beers I might spend $45 on a batch ($1.8/L) or the equivalent of $750 worth of beer for $45
Brew for quality first, last and always - price is irrelevant.
Mark
 

scomet

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Home made Invert Sugar costs less than $1/Kg, get your brewing process right and no one will know its in there....
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Grammar Nazi alert and OT alert:

Yourself is one word.

This is a topic on cheapest adjunct. In some beers adjuncts are a necessary part of the process, not a price driven thing. A number of American beers being the obvious example, as well as some Belgians viz invert sugar.

I thought I'd made that clear, my apologies if not.

I'll make the best beer possible of course. And quality is tantamount. But if you have to use adjuncts, how cheap can it be? Bribie and I briefly discussed this regards polenta from supermarkets vs ethnic shops.
 

Stouter

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Grammar Nazi alert and OT alert:

Yourself is one word.
I think the space between was just a pause so you'd get the full dramatic effect of the delivery.o_O
Bit strong, but he's obviously passionate about his brewing. This might be more "purist vs experimentalist" argument than anything?
Whenever money's mentioned people tend to get emotional, having said that I do enjoy a nice cold Tsingtao(*if that's all there is on offer).
If I had to go the cheap I would but for me ATM there's no reason to with all the variations available to me. Fortunately I'm not on the bones of my arse enough to consider rice.
 

Danscraftbeer

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Cheapest and easiest would be cheap sugar wouldn't it? Rice still takes up as much space as grain and you still have to mash using $$$'s worth of energy etc.
I'm a little confused, never tried rice. Does it get similar extract efficiency by weight? or more? :what:
 

earle

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Shouting works best one syllable at a time.

Anyway, on topic

White sugaz - can be as low as 90c/kg - can be used in some Belgian styles but invert or candi syrup may result in a better outcome
Weet Bix - about $2.80/kg - used some in an english ale once

Rice is not a bad adjunct in the right styles - it's not just about cheaper or lower quality
 

Dae Tripper

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Speaking of rice and lagers, I am going to do mine again soon, as it was so yum and pleasing for myself and others.
Currently in the fermenter is an Oktoberfest using Oktoberfest blend yeast and I plan to put a Munich Dunkel on that cake. Would it be worth putting the rice lager on that yeast or should I start again?
 

Phoney

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Brew for quality first, last and always - price is irrelevant.
Mark
OK Mr Moneybags, what's the most expensive ajunct you've ever used? :p Black truffles?

For me it's probably some of the fruit / berry beers I've made. A Pecan Porter used $40 worth of pecan nuts for a 20L brew.

As for cheapest; rolled oats. $1.20 for a 1kg pack. I regularly use up to 8% in porters and stouts.
 

Stouter

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Tears of virgin mermaids?
Cheapest I've put in was raw sugar cane sugar from Coles for an Extra Stout.
 

technobabble66

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So your contention is that, if you are making a 25L batch using around 5kg of malt and use 20% adjunct (1kg of rice) at a saving of $1.40, that saving of $1.40 is more important than the quality of the beer and that's why we brew.

Sorry price has nothing to do with what and how I brew, the commercial beers I buy commonly start around $10/330mL bottle, call it $30/L, some are a lot more expensive than that, if I make a no holds bared clone of one of the top Belgian beers I might spend $45 on a batch ($1.8/L) or the equivalent of $750 worth of beer for $45
Brew for quality first, last and always - price is irrelevant.
Mark
Agree with your sentiments, Mark.

Fwiw, i'd be much the same as you, i certainly aren't trying to make cheap booze just to save cash on getting drunk.
However, (as per you) i'd definitely say i'm trying to be cheap in attempting to produce beers that commercially/normally cost ridiculous amounts, such as a Westy12 clone or a DIPA. Or pretty much every beer i make, in the sense that the retail equivalent is similarly ~$8-10/330mL. IMO, you virtually can't make decent attempts at particularly those former types of beers with cheap-arse ingredients, so you've got to spend a bit on ingredients. But i'm still trying to be cheap in a sense.
I'd also point out the LRG has done quite a few threads/posts for those of us trying to save cash at every turn. I've definitely benefitted from many of these. I prefer to save cash on gear where possible so long as i can do everything i need. To a lesser extent i'd use a few cheap ingredients if i think it's not going to compromise quality - like trying Viking Pale Ale malt for APAs, generic brand oats, etc. So i'd say there's definitely value in discussing any way to save cash, even if its just a few dollars at a time. And there's still quite a few brewers out there who are still keen to turn out at least an occasional cheap beer.

Back to topic,
Oats, FTW!

Oats are cheap.
Oats add great flavour.
Oats add great silky mouthfeel.
Oats improve head retention and help produce that tight creamy head.

So you should be asking yourself, "Why am i not using oats?"
:cool:

EDIT: hey LRG, have you tried a Rice + Oats ale/lager?
 
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mtb

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Damnit techno, now I'm gonna have to use oats.
 

Camo6

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So your contention is that, if you are making a 25L batch using around 5kg of malt and use 20% adjunct (1kg of rice) at a saving of $1.40, that saving of $1.40 is more important than the quality of the beer and that's why we brew.

Sorry price has nothing to do with what and how I brew, the commercial beers I buy commonly start around $10/330mL bottle, call it $30/L, some are a lot more expensive than that, if I make a no holds bared clone of one of the top Belgian beers I might spend $45 on a batch ($1.8/L) or the equivalent of $750 worth of beer for $45
Brew for quality first, last and always - price is irrelevant.
Mark
Thank God for your extensive brewing knowledge mate.
Can't say I have much experience with adjuncts. Most of my brewing is pretty rudimentary. Keen to pick up some ideas though.
 
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Lord Raja Goomba I

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I'm not so skint to need rice from a $$ POV. But I do like a rager (I prefer Tsingtao draft white label over the green label we get here) on the odd occasion, some British beers and Irish Reds use some adjunct per BJCP guidelines, so I thought why not ask the question.

There are some beers that it absolutely brings to the table what is mandatory to said style. Why pay $8 a kg for niigata rice when aldi brand does exactly the same thing style wise.

It wasn't a topic about how to make cheap booze, as IMO, when you get to that stage, you likely have a problem. Though I have seen alcoholics that only drink lagavulin too.

Good to see how much debate this has raised, there isn't too many stones left unturned on here anymore.

Having said that, maybe Mhb thinks I've sowed enough oats, hence his preference that I do it to myself. :fallingoffchair:
 

MHB

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Actually I have nothing at all against the appropriate use of adjuncts, one of the best home brews I have had in recent times (last couple of months) is Steve's version of a Pacific Ale, made with, both flaked Oats and Wheat. Close runner up would be another local brewers Saison with a fair wack of Flaked Barley.
What I object to is someone deciding that I am either tight, was tight or am perceived as tight. Not a decision someone else gets to make for me.
Couple of replies to above.
Yes if you were forced to use 6-row malt, you would want to dilute it, you cant to the best of my knowledge even buy it in Australia, no one imports it cos its crap.
Belgian Candi is an integral part of the flavour many Belgian beers and I believe necessary, you don't get the same effect from home made invert or cane sugar white or otherwise.
Mr Moneybags? at present I am unemployed (well highly underemployed) and living in poverty (technical term), doesn't mean I'm going to compromise on the quality of the beer I either drink or make. I don't need a beer (there is a technical term for those that do). Most expensive adjunct, well probably Dark Candi Syrup, in a Westy 12 clone, mind you I haven't seen Westy 12 retail cheaper than $45/330 ml so $135/L, makes a 25L batch $3,375, so I wasn't really to excited about the $20-30 worth of sugar syrup.
People skills - well ask me in a couple of days if I care, right now I'm culturing a fine little crop of viruses (complements of a house mate too sick to go to work on Friday) and don't give a rats what you think (subject to change).

Have a look at the threads running on AHB, compare the number that look at making better beer, verses the number on how tight you can pucker.
Tight arse brewers tend to stop brewing, brewers who brew for love of good beer and the brewing craft tend to keep brewing, its a shame that so many of the best, have given up posting or even moved to other fora. I have talked to a couple, consensus was they were just sick of the level of crap on AHB, an opinion I have quite a lot of sympathy with.
Mark
 

GrumpyPaul

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Thank God for your extensive brewing knowledge mate.
.
Not the first time Ive thought that too....

But I do love the tech knowledge....
 
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Bribie G

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I regularly brew two types of beer that are poles apart - 5.2% UK All malt biscuity and caramel UK Extra Special Bitter with the usual suspects such as Challenger and Styrians.

Or a light refreshing low hopped lager (or fake lager now that I've got San Diego Super Yeast back in store) done on domestic BB pale, about a quarter Vienna by gravity and a quarter white sugaz.
Glorious. Nothing to do with price, I just love the way it actually tones down the malt to subtle as opposed to screaming "here's malt, woohoo" and allows the hops to really shine.

Sort of like the difference between a freshly bathed gentleman wearing a subtle fragrance like Aramis as opposed to a sweaty teen who has just doused himself with Lynx.
biofine 3.jpg


As for cheapest adjunct, I use Polenta or rice for the occasional cream ale and yes you can get it for about half base malt price.
 

Randai

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I guess white sugar where appropriate has been my cheapest. I used it to up the gravity of a old ale I was making and wasn't keen on a thick beer, and not enough confidence that my system would mash fermentable enough to get a lower gravity. Since I don't actually brew too much that is higher gravity.

Which actually did exactly as I intended, it bumped the OG some what and also helped lower the gravity with the yeast I was using.

Though given Bribies and others comments on using rice or corn in a lager I am actually really tempted to give it a shot in the near future to have just a crisp clean beer on tap, sounds good for summer :D
 
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