Break Even Cost of Home BrewingSaturday, June 7th, 2008
The economics of home brewing are almost as pleasing as drinking the final product.
If you just want to make ales, you can break even after only four batches. Some starter kits are so cheap, you can break even after less, but the more ‘tools’ the more fun and the easier the job becomes. For a full kegging, lagering, and all-grain setup, it can take up to 34 batches to re-coup equipment costs, but that is fairly high estimate. Over a lifetime of 50 years of brewing, one thousand batches are within reach, and most of the equipment doesn’t wear out ever (like glass carboys and pots).
The underlying assumptions used:
Your average cost per batch is $40, you brew 15 times a year, and if you had to buy store bought beer *shudder* you would get a mix of micro, USA craft, and Euro import beer. Each batch you brew pays you profits, which add up and quickly overtake your equipment investment. You will feel this after looking over the results your first bottling session. Your next trip to the grocery store will be lighter because you made your own beer.
|Average Cost Per 5 gallon batch||$40.00|
|Average Price of 5 gal, retail||$100.00|
|Savings / batch (profit)||$60.00|
|Batches / Year||15|
|Minimum Setup Costs:||$225.00|
|Batches to Recoup Cost:||3.75|
|Time to recoup (months):||3|
Basic equipment only.
|Setup Costs for lagers, kegs, fridge, capacity:||$1,500.00|
|Batches to Recoup Cost:||25|
|Time to recoup (years):||1.67|
The extra cost here translates into more flexibility, less bottling time, and the ability to make lagers and drink draft beer at home.
|Full setup for all grain, 10 gallon batches||$2,000.00|
|Batches to Recoup Cost:||33.33|
|Time to recoup (years):||2.22|
All grain beer is better quality, and 10 gallon batches are 2x time efficient.