Cheap recipes

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    This subject is being touched on in another thread, but let's discuss it from another angle. I've often wondered if I could put together a $20 beer. My last few brews have been extracts, and when he rang up my BIAB grains, hops and yeast for my Nut Brown, it was $25 and change. So the brew store and I looked into brewing my cheapest batch possible. They have a price cut at 10 lbs of grain, and I buy hops and yeast for every batch. I don't buy anything in bulk. We put together a recipe that only costs $18.10 for 5 gallons. That's 10 lbs of 2 row and 1 ounce of Nugget, two additions. The yeast is S-05.

    I brew 5 gallon batches, and as I said earlier, I buy hops and yeast every recipe. I don't buy 50 lb grain bags either.
     
  2. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    Reusing yeast IMO is the best way to cut prices.
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    And growing your own hops. And barley. I get that. I don't.
     
  4. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    And most people can't do that for various reasons. Everyone can reuse yeast. Cutting out yeast costs could net you more hops or grains.
     
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  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Not the point of my thread. But if you'd like to contribute, what's your cheapest recipe, considering the way you brew? Mine is $18.10, grain, hops, and yeast included for a 5 gallon batch.
     
  6. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    How so? You are trying to put together a $20 beer. If you are trying to cut costs of a recipe then reusing yeast is an easy way to do that.
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Considering the way that I currently brew. I don't know why that's so difficult for you to understand.
     
  8. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    I don't really understand why you are being a dick about it. I was just trying to point out how you could save money. Continue to waste it on yeast. I don't care. Of course a smash beer with us05 is a cheap beer. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.
     
  9. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Cheapest beer for me was a SMaSH beer with Maris Otter and Citra. Ironically, it was/is a great beer. In fact, we will be brewing again with 1/2 the dry hops and adding a lb of lacose.

    Sorry Jeff, but I have to go down a small rabbit hole with Brian. Have you split from a starter or just from the trub? I've been reading up a bit and see where folks are splitting their Yeast packet starter. The theory being rather obvious, but I like the idea of 'virgin' yeast.

    Sorry Jeff... back on topic, I think my grain and hop bill was around $20, but the yeast added another $7. So ~$27 with Grain, Hops and Yeast.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Best ways to cut costs I've found are to harvest yeast (saves around $8.50 per brew) and to buy hops in bulk (I haven't calculated the savings there). Buying base grain in bulk is another good way of saving a few pence per brew. Using the more common grains like Weyermann or Briess as opposed to some of the boutique malts available (Root Shoot, Colorado Malting) saves some green as well. About the best I've done for a six-gallon batch is $32 but I haven't considered cost control an important part of my brewing.

    And gentlemen, the lack of ad-hominem attacks is one of the very appealing things about Brewer's Friend. Let's try to keep them out of these threads.
     
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  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Likewise, BB, if you must reduce yourself to high school insults. I'm not interested in changing my brewing methods. Obviously the less I buy, the less I'll spend. I knew that before you told me. I'm just wondering how much people spend on their cheapest beers, considering the method they use. Thanks for your valuable input. Less purchased ingredients = cheaper beers. Written down now. I won't forget it.
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Again, in this thread I'm not looking for ways to cut costs. I'm only wondering what the cheapest beers are that we make, making allowances for the method that we make them.
     
  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #13 J A, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
    I think the intent of the thread is a little vague given that you didn't actually ask a question in the OP. It's possible that one could infer either "how do/would you brew a $20 batch?" or "what are other ways that I can brew a $20 batch?"
    Going by your following comments, it's clear that your intention skews toward the former question.

    My answer is that I routinely brew $20 or less 5 gallon batches because I spend, on average, around $1/lb for malt and about 50 cents to $1 per ounce on hops. Though I very often re-use yeast one way or another, I could pop for a $3.50 dry yeast or $6 liquid vial and still be well within the $20 price.

    If for some reason I wanted to use stuff I don't have in stock, I could, as an example, go to my local LHBS and buy 7lbs of 2-row, 2 oz of East Kent Golding hops and 1 packet of S-04 and walk out with the makings of a dandy little Ordinary Bitter for $20.32, tax included. (P.S. - that same little beer would cost me $8 per 5 gallons using my bulk-bought malt and hops and yeast saved from another brew)
     
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  14. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    Your post wasn't clear. I was just generating dialogue and you became hostile and sarcastic. I figured somebody bragging about brewing a cheap beer was looking for ways to cut cost. Not just buy the cheapest ingredients.

    Seems others thought the same as me. Waiting for you to jump on them as well.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I guess I never did get around to asking a question. My apologies.

    Here goes. What's your cheapest beer? Brewing methods of course vary. I'm not trying to figure out how to make a cheaper beer. Obviously growing my own hops, even grains, and reusing yeast results in a cheaper beer. State your cheapest recipe and any relevant brewing details like batch size and ingredients purchased or not purchased for that batch that affect the bottom line.
     
  16. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    My average cost for a batch ordering everything is around 35$
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    That's about my average, as well it seems. Just over $30. I've got a couple recipes that are more than twice my $18 batch.
     
  18. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Since I've already stated my cheapest 5 gallon brew (posted above: Maris Otter/Citra SMaSH), I will add that by the time I buy ice (2-22lb bags) for chilling, and a dozen 3/4 gallon bottles of bottled spring water (to much iron in my well water) I am usually well up into around $70 bucks per batch or more. That being said. I tend to brew the hoppy'er beers (as much as a lb of hops :eek:) and that runs the cost up as well.
     
  19. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That's pricey! I used to buy ice for my chilling a long time ago. Then there was a time when I could hit the company ice machine. Now I use an immersion chiller. I run water for 5 1/2 minutes through it to get to 72-74°F. I wonder how many gallons that is?
     
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  20. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    An immersion chiller is on the list, but it comes after the stir plate, the refractometer and something else.... hmmm. Can't recall right now. But we just brewed our 13th batch, so still slowly easing into things to make life simpler.

    And at 5.5 minutes at around 5 gallons a minute, you are only using less then 30 gallons.
     
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