Quantcast

Shopping Around

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Terry the Tightarse

New Member
Joined
29/8/05
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Maybe I should have posted this in Retail but anyway,
Since this website seems to have no affiliations with retail outlets, I'd really like to share knowledge about the cheapest places to buy stuff and compare prices.

I have found from experience that a plastic brew paddle sells at the local food warehouse place for about $2-3 but some brewshops try to slug me for about $6-7 for exactly the same article. In my opinion this goes against the whole vibe of homebrewing and get's my back up.

My ideal brewshop would be like a Elders or a Landmark store, where there's pallets of cheap stuff everywhere ready to chuck on the ute. Not tiny little bags of stuff at inflated prices. My local HBS has a vast range of stuff but I'm buying wheat malt by the kilo for $$$$ and it's imported from England!!?? I thought we grew some pretty decent grain over here?

So a friend has started with another thread titled "Grain in Adelaide", but don't let that limit the tight-arseness to SA.
I just don't want to see people paying megabucks for a measily kilo of malt or 100 crownseals or a tiny bottle of sanitiser when they can generally go to the source and buy x100 the quantity and save $$$ (to spend on malt).

One example is sanitiser. I like it! So a friend that worked at a pie factory and I went halves in a 25L drum of it. I'm hoping to find cheap bulk malt extracts and grains as well and I already have some good leads.

SA has a booming home made wine thing happening and I'm not just talking about canned concentrates. Because of a state of oversupply of certain varietys in certain regions, in some cases wine grapes are free to those who are willing to pick them. Small to medium equipment suppliers to the wine industry have been targeting the small wine maker and home hobbyist. In turn there's a lot of interesting equipment out there available to anyone interested but you need to look a little wider than the home-brew shops.

I'd suggest:
Winetech 259 Sturt St Adelaide 5000
(08) 8211 6302 is a good start for a look around.

WINEQUIP PRODUCTS
117 Sydney Rd Coburg 3058
(03) 9383 4033
Fax Coburg 3058
(03) 9386 0466
Internet www.winequip.com.au
Were recommended to me by a professional brewer. Check out the variable capacity tanks in the winemaking section!

GAGANIS BROS IMPORTED FOOD WHOLESALERS PTY LTD
9 -13 Bacon St Hindmarsh 5007
(08) 8346 5766
OR...
(08) 8346 1223
Fax
(08) 8340 0916
These guys are a must, especially during weekdays instead of weekends when it's too busy.
I've found cracked wheat, roasted barley, crown seals, cappers, minerals, pots, cheap weird grog, as well as all the cool food.

There's my tips. There will be more on the way.

If you're not from SA, post your tip anyhow, there's always frieght!
 

big d

Hopaholic
Joined
3/6/03
Messages
3,449
Reaction score
3
the best tip i can give anyone is dont live remote unless you have deep pockets lined with cash.freight is a killer.

cheers
big d
 

tangent

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/1/04
Messages
3,826
Reaction score
1
chances are you have trucks that go somewhere near where you live, from somewhere near where supplies come from
now those trucks have drivers that are partial to a beer after work
the rest is up to your beer and your social skills
 

Malnourished

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/3/05
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
Personally I am very happy to pay a few extra dollars to support my LHBS. It's hardly the most lucrative of businesses, and if they decided to chuck it in I'd be a whole lot worse off. Think of all the man hours they spend giving out free brewing advice... and if they go out of business shipping's gonna cost a whole lot more than whatever you can save by shopping elsewhere.

I recall reading about a guy who was disgusted at the 100g price of gypsum at his LHBS (something ~$2) so went out and bought a 5kg bag from a hardware supplier! I'm certainly not opposed to saving money but you do get what you pay for with home brew shops.

That said, I do shop at one of the best HBSs in the nation, it might be harder to justify supporting some of the crappier ones.

Edit - sorry if I sound like a smug, condescending bastard but I definitely think home brew shops are worth supporting.
 

Ross

CraftBrewer
Joined
14/1/05
Messages
9,262
Reaction score
370
Malnourished said:
Personally I am very happy to pay a few extra dollars to support my LHBS. It's hardly the most lucrative of businesses, and if they decided to chuck it in I'd be a whole lot worse off. Think of all the man hours they spend giving out free brewing advice... and if they go out of business shipping's gonna cost a whole lot more than whatever you can save by shopping elsewhere.

Edit - sorry if I sound like a smug, condescending bastard but I definitely think home brew shops are worth supporting.
[post="74375"][/post]​
Have to agree malnourished - building up a good relationship & educating your local hbs to cater for your needs can be far more beneficial/rewarding in the long term as well.
i get my choice of grain, as i need it, in the quantities i want, at prices below what most pay wholesale; plus a fabulous range of hops. I even do yeast swaps with the shop & as an example of just 1 recent deal, got my soda stream setup - including bottle, adaptor, regulator, new s/s tap for a total of $100.
Above all this, I can now count the owners amongst my closest friends...

So nothing wrong with looking for a good deal & i love the ahb bulk buys - but remember we need the local hbs as much as they need us :beer:
 

tangent

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/1/04
Messages
3,826
Reaction score
1
You do have a strong case for supporting your local HBS, IF IT'S GOOD. You guys sound like you're lucky and gave a good local, and I'm not saying stay away from your HBS, just to compare prices. If you're willing to fork over cash willy nilly because you like the people then that's fair enough, but I really hate being ripped off.
 

Joel

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/6/05
Messages
163
Reaction score
1
I've been in both boats over the years.

I have been willing to spend a little extra when;
1. the guy knew what he was talking about
2. was willing to do a bit of leg work to get something special for me
3. didn't mind having a chat about various aspects of brewing
4. had beer on tap for customers to try.

I have walked out of HBS's when;
1. Prices for plastic fermenters approached the ridiculous
2. the guy patently had no idea about brewing (or anything else for that matter)
3. made me feel like I should be greatful for buying things off him.

Incidently, two of the best people I have dealt with, and went back to, were actually the wives of the HBS owner. These ladies (two different stores, one was The Homebrew Shop in Burpengary QLD) went out of there way to help me, and I repeatedly patronised those stores simple because of the quality of customer service.

Down here in Adelaide I walked out of a Brewcraft when they wanted $50 for a 30L fermenter. I went to Silverlock Packaging (they're in the book), who made them. Go a 30L and a 60L for approx $60 (the 60L is now my plastic electric kettle!). They also do glass bottles, tallies etc. And I've been back to Grumpy's several times due to their great customer service.

I'm not affiliated with any of these companies/stores. I'm merely willing to let others know of my experiences.
 

Gough

Maintain the Rage!
Joined
12/5/03
Messages
1,370
Reaction score
2
Yep, I'm with Malnourished and Ross on this one. I'm lucky enough to have developed a really good relationship with my HBS and am happy to support him and his business. No-one likes getting ripped off, but we would be a lot poorer as a hobby/craft if we ended up focussing on saving every last cent to the destruction of the HBS industry.

My $0.02...

Shawn.
 

Steve

On the back bloody porch!
Joined
10/6/05
Messages
4,656
Reaction score
100
I support my local HBS. Great service, advice, product range, great for a chat and beer on a Saturday arvo, freebies thrown in every now and then (dry yeast, hops, hop plant).
I also support an interstate company that provides excellent products, great online shop, excellent interstate delivery, advice and they also throw in freebies without even asking (i.e. bags of hops, fermenters etc).
Best of both worlds I guess and I do consider myself very lucky. They look after me and I look after them.
Cheers
Steve

P.S. I do go to Woolies though to get my bottle caps :blink:
 

archimedes24

Active Member
Joined
15/8/05
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
I sort of see it both ways.

Typically, a chain store is going to be able to offer extract kits cheaper b/c they're (typically) moving so much more of the stuff. The above applies to freshness as well. Faster out the door, the faster a fresh can comes in.

OTOH, my first trip to my now favorite HBS (I visited about 4 before hitting this one) they gave me a discount, good advice, AND freebies (2 extra anti-sediment inserts I needed on my 10L 2ndry fermenters). My first trip to the local Brewcraft for bits had me gasping at their prices for bags of LME, yeast & hops. They didn't really seem interested in anything other than getting me out the door either. So, I don't go there anymore...

Clearly, Big W, Kmart, etc. aren't going to have ANY hops, decent yeasts, malt extract, or anything beyond 3 brands of kits, some dextrose, caps and maybe a few other extras if you're lucky.

So each batch I brew typically supports both camps. If you're doing AG's and you don't have a good LHBS, I hope you've got internet access or a green thumb & a hops friendly growing environment... :D
 

shmick

Well-Known Member
Joined
15/3/05
Messages
433
Reaction score
0
Gough said:
Yep, I'm with Malnourished and Ross on this one. I'm lucky enough to have developed a really good relationship with my HBS and am happy to support him and his business. No-one likes getting ripped off, but we would be a lot poorer as a hobby/craft if we ended up focussing on saving every last cent to the destruction of the HBS industry.

My $0.02...

Shawn.
[post="74436"][/post]​
I'd have to agree with you there Shawn.
I was on the verge of giving up - mainly due to the LHBS lack of ingrediants, cost and very little advice/experience re all-grain brewing.

I found this site and a good HBS and have never looked back. :D
 

buddingbrewmaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/8/05
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
archimedes i'm also from melbourne, i'm still an extract brewer and am yet to find a good HBS. Which is the one that you like so much, i am looking for a place that has good variety and good price. Is grain and grape any good?
 

tangent

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/1/04
Messages
3,826
Reaction score
1
The first time I walked into the local HBS the bloke looked at me like I was wearing no pants <quick look down, ok cool, pants> but I've got to admit after forcing him to take 2 or 3 hundred dollars he began to smile once in a while when I walked in.

I'll still buy my tins of extract from cheapy joints, HBS seem to be the worst place price-wise to buy them, unless you're after a fancy porter or something. But if you're into extract brewing, I reckon you're better off with a massive tin of malt extract and hops then a upmarket tin.
 

troywhite

Well-Known Member
Joined
31/5/05
Messages
252
Reaction score
0
I disagree with supporting LHBS.
It is a free market economy and if they don't want to price competitively and match the market then I am happy to spend my money elsewhere.

Simple.

Mind you Northside Canberra is the pits for HBS. There is a severe lack of choice. Luckily for kit brewers Coles Belconnen has a fairly decent range of tins.
 

warrenlw63

Just a Hoe
Joined
4/5/04
Messages
7,202
Reaction score
11
Troywhite.

So you've never rang or visited a HB store for advice? I find prices at my LHBS to be more than competitive with the supermarket.

How many checkout chicks do you know that can tell you what's wrong with your brew?

Support your LHBS! Most of them are there for your benefit. :beerbang:

Warren -
 

BRAD T

Well-Known Member
Joined
15/1/05
Messages
183
Reaction score
0
Warren,
You just hit the nail on the head.

Advice!!
I don't like to pay more than I have to, but I certainly couldn't do without the help and advice from Colin at my LHBS. I would like to see someone who has a bad brew take a bottle to the supermarket checkout, let them try it and then get the advice on what went wrong. O rfor that matter when you are unsure about something giving them a quick call for some information.
You may have to pay a small premium for stuff that is available from the supermarket, but what about all the things that the supermarket doesn't stock, ie. liquid yeasts, unhopped malt extract, grain, and of course experience!!

If more people support local HBS's then we might see better prices due to their increased turnover?? What would happen if they all closed down? The supermarkets would have a monopoly then see what happens!!!

Troywhite, come on its only 15 minutes on the Tuggers Parkway to Colins shop at Kambah!!
 

tangent

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/1/04
Messages
3,826
Reaction score
1
For advice I go here, for free. You guys have done so much more and know so much more than my local.
We did have a localish store with Goliath brewing here in the burbs but I'm not sure what's happening there? Anyone know?
My liquid yeasts generally come from bottles, my extract from the supermarket, supermarkets also sell hop pellets, some grain from farmers (free or for beer), more hops from my dead hop plant, and soon to be bulk malted grains and bulk extract in cheap massive drums :)
In a free-market economy, I'm willing to shop around rather than pledge loyalty.
 

pint of lager

brewing on the verandah
Joined
9/5/04
Messages
2,287
Reaction score
11
In search of tight arse brewing, make sure it doesn't come back and bite you in the taste buds.

Stale extract is nasty stuff. If you buy a 28kg tub of it, make sure you use it up, six months would probably be the most you want to keep it. That represents about 8-9 extract brews at 3kg a brew. A suggestion, would be to fit a tyre valve to the malt bucket, fit a tyre chuck filler to your CO2 gas line, flush the headspace with CO2 and use this to push the malt out of a honeygate valve.

Hops, those little 12 gm packs that tangent mentioned form the supermarket. How long have they been hanging on that hook? Hops need proper storage to mainatin fresh flavours and bitterness levels. If there is an AA rating prinetd on the bag, chances are it is wrong due to long term storage.

Even buying hops in bulk. If they have been sitting in your freezer for 2 years, how good are they and what AA rating are they? It is like rolling a dice and brewing, working out the AA on old hops.

Extract from the supermarket, check the label, does it have sucrose or glucose in the ingredients? These cheapen the brew. Even buying a cheap tin that is made to a price can be false economy. Watch the dates on the tins. And who knows how the tins have been stored in shipping or the wharehouse. If it has been exposed to heat while sitting on a truck, the yeast may be stuffed. Your cheap brew all of a sudden gets poured down the drain.

Bulk grain. Base uncrushed grain will store for up to two years. The specialty grains last a lot less.

Malt extract purchased from sources for baking is unsuitable for home brewing. The profile of the sachaarides is wrong. Your brews will not attenuate. 25kg of baking malt would be an expensive mistake.

Make sure your search for tight arse brewing is not holding your brewing back in flavour.

Keep up the search for alternatives such as posted at the very start of the thread. They are certainly worthwhile following through on.
 

Kai

Fermentation Assistant
Joined
1/4/04
Messages
3,734
Reaction score
17
I support my HBS, especially the bar.
 

Latest posts

Top