Saving money on home brew

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Cloud Surfer

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I know it’s a bit of a joke about saving money by brewing at home. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of spending several thousand dollars on gear. But I’m at the stage where I’m struggling to find anything left to spend money on. So I’m feeling good that I have a nice little brewery setup.

I’ve only been brewing a year, and figure I’ve made 300L of beer in that time. So a quick calculation comes up at about $17 per litre of beer to this point. Obviously that’s hideously expensive, but that number will keep dropping rapidly as I brew more beer without spending any more money.

I went to a nice bar here in Newcastle today which put everything into perspective. Currently I have 3 kegs of RIS, Barley Wine and Belgian Quad conditioning that will bottle soon. Based on what I spent in the bar today, my 3 kegs of beer once bottled will be valued at just over $2000. So I’m feeling really good about my home brew journey. When it comes to big beers there’s a ton of money to be saved by making your own.
20 litres a week on average?
That's over 7 schooners each day.
My liver and general body health would give out before I'd even get close!
I consume 2 schooners max per day.
One of my longnecks costs about $1.50 each.
I reckon my brew gear costs me nothing these days, as I've been using it for close to 15 years, and I have no plans to upgrade it beyond what it is.

Still, the reality is that over time you will amortise your costs, and you will be well ahead of paying for commercial beer.
I amortised the cost of the brewery against the first keg, now my beer costs $1.00 per litre! and it tastes SO much better than mega-swill; Happy Days…..
Labor: forget about it. You're paying yourself Third World sweathshop wages. Call the work 'entertainment.'

Stick with a domestic base malt bought by the bag and milled at home, use sugar in moderation as an adjunct, reuse yeast 2 or 3 times and use high-alpha hops mostly for bittering, add in a little cost for brewing salts sanitiser, yeast nutrient, etc., and the cost c omes in under O.75/L. Okay, it's home megaswill, but costs way less than Rivet @ $27 for 24 x330, $3.37/L, and might be better.

Brewing a quad using Belgian malts and candi sugar will cost several dollars/L, but still come in way under buying the imports. NEIPAs eat up money for hops, but still come in under buying commercial versions. My all-malt APAs and English pale ales generally come in at about $2/L.

So, yes, it's about amortising the cost of equipment. BIAB, kettles, mill, reclaimed fermentation fridge, basic temp control, easy. Takes maybe a year or two, months if you go through 20L in a week.

Get a Braufuhrer, Fermentamastodon, temp control with remote, and you won't amortise the cost within the time that your liver lasts.
20 litres a week on average?
That's over 7 schooners each day.
My liver and general body health would give out before I'd even get close!
I consume 2 schooners max per day.
It blows my mind when there's blokes on the facebook groups bragging about knocking over kegs in under a week, all I can think about is their poor livers (and their poor wives with all that brewers droop...)
while I won't talk about my drinking quantities (it's higher than I tell my doctor) when it comes to saving money, homebrewing is a great way to reduce spend. a pint where I live can go between 10 +tax - 18 +tax. I buy bulk grains and have an average cost for homebrew of about $2 - $3 per litre

however, I was a revelation in my brewing journey that I realised, it's not about saving money, I am making beer at home that is better than a lot I pay for in bars.

now, to clarify, I primarily like weizens and a lot of other german beers and they are not available on tap and the bottled version are past their good quality window where I live. and to make a nice fresh, great tasting beer for me and my friends is a real treat, the money savings is just icing on the cake.

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