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bufbandit

Just curious about the cost

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Do you all think it is cheaper to brew our own brew? For example, a premium refill is $20. The Mr. Beer keg gets you what, about a case of 24 beers, correct? A decent micro brewed 12 pack is about $20. In my eyes that's much cheaper but, can you compare these "premium" refills to a decent tasting micro brewed beer? Your thoughts?

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Basically in my opinion the 2 gallon Mr.Beer kits are a little over priced. If you compare the price of making a premium Mr.Beer refill to the cost of buying some micro or macro brews it is cheaper to just buy beer. Where you really start to save money is when you switch to 5 gallon kits. For the price of a Mr.Beer 2 gallon kit you can buy a 5 gallon extract kit. And if you really want to save money in the long run then switch to partial mash or even all grain. I only do partial mash brews now and I can definitely tell the difference between all extract and using freshly cracked grains. No more "Mr.Beer" taste either. I have always noticed a special taste in my Mr.Beer batches that I cant quite put my finger on. I dont know if its from the yeast or the HME's or what. But I have also noticed a different but distinct taste in other 5 gallon Extract brews as well.

Im my opinion using more grains than extract and using fresh hops to boil is the way to go. It tastes fresher and better at the end of the day and is cheaper as well.

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If your looking to make a cheaper beer - that is not going to be the case. Making MB or any type of brewing is all about the satisfaction of making your "own stuff". This, as in most hobbies cost money and and I have yet to figure how much I actually spend on a fermenting keg. I do it because after I drank my first beer from a MB kit, I was hooked. The guys here on this forum helped alot. Cheers!

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one thing to remember is that Mr. Beer kits go on HUGH discounts after the holidays at local retailers.

I got 3pack of kits for about $24 (includes tax) which is $8 a refill, but these are standard refills so going to LHBS to get add-ons.

I got 6 three packs so set for the year, I hope

One guy here found the 3 pack kit for $9 or $3 per batch! :ohmy:

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smokediverxxx wrote:

If your looking to make a cheaper beer - that is not going to be the case. Making MB or any type of brewing is all about the satisfaction of making your "own stuff". This, as in most hobbies cost money and and I have yet to figure how much I actually spend on a fermenting keg. I do it because after I drank my first beer from a MB kit, I was hooked. The guys here on this forum helped alot. Cheers!


I have to respectfully disagree. My beer averages 60 to 70 cents a bottle, for beer that would cost me at least twice that much at the store. I'm well ahead of the game even with the equipment I've bought. Putting a price on one's time though is another matter.....

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What's the saying? 'Getting into home breweing to save money on beer, is like buying a boat to save money on fish...'

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I dunno..I happen to be on the other side here. after your initial cost of keg(s) and equiptment, i think Mr. beer is cheaper. you cant get good microbrew for less than 8 bucks a sixer. your not going to get rich with the savings but approximately 2 cases for 20 bucks is cheaper than 24. i think like someone stated earlier though, there is the satisfaction of your own brew. i have three kegs going at a time...so, i have options galore without going to the store. But I didnt get into this hobby to save money, rather to have great beer on hand and avoid the mgd's and coors and buds for around the same price. Ill take a 15$ west coast pale ale over those any day!

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The stuff I make with Mr. Beer is comparable in quality to what I can buy at $10.00 for a 6-pack (or even a 4-pack) from my local liquor store. That equates to roughly $1.66 a beer.

I can make a case of beer per batch with a Mr. B keg. Let's say the average recipe from the Mr. B costs $20.00, plus $5.00 home brew club shipping.
That equates to roughly $1.04 a beer.

Once you start really looking into how to cut costs without looking at a 5 gallon setup, the savings increase from there.

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cavalrymsh wrote:

What's the saying? 'Getting into home breweing to save money on beer, is like buying a boat to save money on fish...'

I like that :)

There is an investment made to get proper equipment to make the job easier but after that, the cost of goods does drop compared to commercial.

But the big thing for me, I love the hobby!! It brings friends and family together to enjoy a good home brew.

to ILoveLamp - I have yet to notice a Mr Beer taste..maybe yor noticing the ILoveLamp taste???

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I started brewing because it was something I always wanted to do. MB is a great entry into the hobby, and you can certainly make great beer with MB. Cost was not the deciding factor whether or not to do it.

Now that I have a handful of batches, including one BIAB, I can certainly see the economy of brewing your own. The equipment costs will be further diluted the more batches you make (but you can also spend a lot of coin upgrading your equipment). I plan to keep it simple for now with MB and BIAB with the equipment I have. My BIAB batch cost about $12.50, and I will get about 20-12oz bottles from it, or about $0.63 per bottle.

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I'll agree with whoever said that Mr B is more expensive. I just made my first 5 gallon batch the other day. It was a partial mash with a total ingredient cost of about $30. You can't pay that little for 5 gallons of beer anywhere, thats cheaper than a bud light keg if you scale down the cost (15gal keg @~$95/3=5gal for little over $30). Im pretty confident I'm making better stuff than bud light. Mr B size extract recipe using their HMEs costs about the same and you only make about a case.

But in the end, its for the love of the game.

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I didnt get into this hobby to save money either. I got into it to make beer. I was never too worried about the price but once I discovered Home brew stores I started reading up and comparing prices. I just dont like paying the same price for 2 gallons when I could be making 5 gallons. I still drink my Rainier. I hardly ever buy Micro Brews. Im not much of a beer snob. No offense to anyone who is but I never got the whole only drinking micros and stuff. Beer is beer to me. I drink it because I like it and I make it because I enjoy making it. Of course its going to cost some money to get in to depending on what you choose to do. fermenters kegs a fridge bottles and what not. But after the initial cost what it comes down to for me is having fun. I could make the best beer in the world but if I didnt have fun doing it I probably wouldnt do it any more. I dont want this hobby to turn into a chore. If thats the case i'll just spend money on fancy beers whenever I want to drink one.

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These are all awesome responses. I was just curious is all. I am really excited about my new found hobby and quite frank I am very obsessed with it just like all of you. I really don't care about the cost. The satisfaction that I brewed this is enough. I eventually want to make my own beer without Mr. Beer but I have to start somewhere. My goal is to brew 5 gallons some day but I will stick to Mr. Beer for a bit to learn the ropes.

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my favorite Trappist Ale used to cost me about 6-9 bucks a bottle(750ml)...after several attempts I finally got something myself a recipe that hit that spot for me...high ABV and super flavor...


a two gallon batch of a dbl HME/ single UNE with extra hops,yeast,spice and honey cost me about 35dollars...I get about 10 750 bottles from 2 gal batch...so thats half price...and its something I am proud of too...

on the micro level its about even I guess...but I am not really doing this to save money...actually drinking my own brews is so much more fun...

the challenge for me now is to make super brews and enjoy them!

totally possible w/ all the help available here!

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She won't let me buy a boat, so I homebrew instead...

But the science and art of homebrewing is interesting to me, and the end product provides possible variations that are endless. Like Dude says, 'Its for the love of the game...'

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I find the cost to be a little less to pretty much the same when brewing Mr. Beer deluxe or premium refills. You get a little less than a case of quality beer that you could buy for around $25/case in a PA distributor. I would even say some are as good as a $30 case.

This is why I like to brew higher gravity brews. Quality high ABV brews start around $35-40/case and go upwards of $60+/case. I think this is where savings can be realized. My IPA is around 8% and Trippel around 9%. Each cost about $25/case to brew. It's hard to find a good IPA or Trippel with that ABV for less than $40/case.


If you're looking to save money on alcoholic beverages, make wine. The cheaper kits are around $60 and produce 30 bottles, that's $2/per. These are comparable to Yellow tail and other decent wines less than $10.

The better wine kits are $150+ and produce great wines. I've had $20+ bottles that weren't as good as the wine produced from the premium wine kits.

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As I've switched to AG, I've noted quite a savings. Here's my case in point, and my most extreme example. I am brewing my Two Dogs this weekend in a 5 gallon batch. It uses the recipe for Dos Perros. I paid $13.67 for the ingredients (pre-tax), which should net me around 46-50 bottles (lets say 48 for simplicity of the math).

Dos Perros is $8.99 per sixer, which puts me at $35.96 (pre tax) for 48 bottles. I'm paying $13.67, and thus, I'm realizing a 62% savings, minus whatever you want to figure in for my water, a smidge of Oxy and StarSan and labor.

Now, realize that Dos Perros (and thus Two Dogs) is a 3.5% brew, and that Dos Perros costs the same as Yazoo's Pale even with the fact that it costs them less to make. But, even with the Pale, I'm making it for $11/case, while it would cost me $18/case to buy it in the store, which is a 39% savings.

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I think as long as you doing some batches with supplements from the LHBS and/or getting some refills from amazon or on sale there will be a cost savings vs buying equivalent beer. Sure, some batches may cost $20 or more but if some batches are costing closer to $10 you'll come out cheaper.

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Another way I try to cut costs is to have your family/friends that don't make their own beer save their bottles. I re-use them as long they're brown and not twist offs. I've only been brewing since November, but I have a few cases of cleaned, unused bottles that would cost me $14/case at my LHBS.

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the MrB refills are a little pricey, but remember, like someone said, your time is worth something, and you can brew killer beers with these refills. They do run sales on the site, too.

You can do better with LME's sometimes at an LHBS if you're not particular ... but MrB has a better selection of extracts, hopped and unhopped, IMO.

I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to reduce ingredients costs on some brews, but don't make it an overall ongoing objective. Brew what you want and enjoy it, it's beer, the most important thing in the universe. And don't limit yourself to a few styles or methods if you don't want to. I do allgrains (that's where your ingredients costs plummet, but it costs you more time), partials, etc., yet my last two brews were MrB standard refills my wife got me for Christmas, and I added MrB UME to them for some killer brews.

But, back to the point, my record low cost brew is a 4.4 gal double batch (I only use MrB fermenters) that was, if I remember correctly, 6.5 lbs of grain and a pound of cane sugar ... that's pushing the Mash in bag to the limit for me, though. Let's see, that would make a great ale for about $0.25 a bottle including yeast and hops .... the MrB refills come out to a dollar something a bottle, but I won't stop doing them, because I just plain like good beer. And like folks have said, craft ain't cheap either. A single all grain batch with no adjuncts cost me about $.40 a bottle, but it takes about 4 hours, so unless you're retired, it's not what you're gonna crank out all the time.

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after you have all of your equipment in place you can make beer for between $10 and $15 a case depending upon your ingredients.

You can buy MB 3 packs online @ Amazon for under $30 with free shipping and you can buy extra ingredients at a LHBS.

Or you can say awfawgeddabouodit and just go buy 2 sixes of Bud for $12.

Personally, I'll stick with the home brew...

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Cheers Beer Brothers :cheers:
I used to pick up 2 to 4 growlers a week at 9.50/Ea :silly:
Now I brew 4 growlers for avg of 20.00 or 5.00/ea & with Amazon sales, DME etc it's even cheaper. Plus I tailor the beer to my taste. :gulp:
Finally I can't get a beer with this label. :laugh: Belgian_Trippel_Gorgeous_Blonde_Ale-2011

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Ehhh, throw me into the camp of not really caring how much it costs.

If you really analyze it, you'll probably find Mr. Beer is a bit overpriced compared to other forms of extract brewing. Then you'll find extract brewing to be a bit more expensive than all grain brewing. But, I put as much emphasis on how much I spend as I do on the ABV of my next brew (which is to say I don't). Any hobby will ultimately be a money sink, but I got into this because I enjoy doing it and because I wanted to make really good beer.

Of course, that argument goes out the window if what you enjoy is chasing pennies. :)

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I can brew a beer a lot cheaper than even the cheap beer here. I buy Mr Beer refills (usually at BBBY after Xmas sales and Amazon to get the 4 for 3 discount) and I supplement them with LME that I get in bulk at the LHBS for $1.80/lb and with grains. I also get hops in bulk, so those cost very little.

As a side benefit, my beers tend to be higher ABV than the watery 3.2% ABW (4% ABV) that is sold here.

I can brew a Mr Beer based batch for around $10 (probably less, depending on what I add to it) and I can brew an extract + partial mash batch for about $6.50-$7. If I make a "big beer" using LME and grains, I can still come in under $10. So it's not only less expensive, it's better beer with more "kick" to it.

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I sat down with a calculator one night while drinking some beer & divided the cost down to the oz. (128 oz. in a gal). I can't find the paper I scribbled on but it come to something like cheap beer like the beast or busch light was around .06 or .07 per oz - MB around .09 oz. and Saranac & Southern Tier brewing Co. around .14 per oz. I guess I'll figure it again when sometime.

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If we're going by ounce...

My cheapest AG (Two Dogs): $0.02/oz
My cheapest extract (Int'l Market): $0.03/oz
My normal AG (Pale Ale/Smoked Porter): $0.04/oz
Big Flats (cheap-o Walgreen's beer): $0.04/oz
Basic extract/steep (red ale): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Standard (retail): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Deluxe (retail): $0.065/oz
Mr. B Premium (retail): $0.07/oz
Busch: $0.07/oz
Mr. B Seasonal (retail): $0.08/oz
Bud: $0.10/oz
A higher priced extract (Noble Ale): $0.11/oz
Yazoo (and similar premiums): $0.12/oz
My most expensive extract brew (wee heavy): $0.12/oz
Stone Pale: $0.16/oz
DFH 90: $0.21/oz
DFH 120: $1.00/oz

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swenocha wrote:

If we're going by ounce...

My cheapest AG (Two Dogs): $0.02/oz
My cheapest extract (Int'l Market): $0.03/oz
My normal AG (Pale Ale/Smoked Porter): $0.04/oz
Big Flats (cheap-o Walgreen's beer): $0.04/oz
Basic extract/steep (red ale): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Standard (retail): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Deluxe (retail): $0.065/oz
Mr. B Premium (retail): $0.07/oz
Mr. B Seasonal (retail): $0.08/oz
Busch: $0.07/oz
Bud: $0.10/oz
A higher priced extract (Noble Ale): $0.11/oz
Yazoo (and similar premiums): $0.12/oz
My most expensive extract brew (wee heavy): $0.12/oz
Stone Pale: $0.16/oz
DFH 90: $0.21/oz
DFH 120: $1.00/oz

One of the best damn $0.21 an ounce I will ever spend. ;)

Is anyone else surprised to see that a Mr. Beer Premium refill is just as much as a watery Busch? I know I was. For some reason I was under the impression the Mr. B stuff was more costly then the cheap stuff but less than the micro and craft brews. Thanks for breaking that down Swenocha.

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swenocha wrote:

If we're going by ounce...

My cheapest AG (Two Dogs): $0.02/oz
My cheapest extract (Int'l Market): $0.03/oz
My normal AG (Pale Ale/Smoked Porter): $0.04/oz
Big Flats (cheap-o Walgreen's beer): $0.04/oz
Basic extract/steep (red ale): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Standard (retail): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Deluxe (retail): $0.065/oz
Mr. B Premium (retail): $0.07/oz
Mr. B Seasonal (retail): $0.08/oz
Busch: $0.07/oz
Bud: $0.10/oz
A higher priced extract (Noble Ale): $0.11/oz
Yazoo (and similar premiums): $0.12/oz
My most expensive extract brew (wee heavy): $0.12/oz
Stone Pale: $0.16/oz
DFH 90: $0.21/oz
DFH 120: $1.00/oz


Swenocha - have you factored in a new conical fermentor and Top Tier system into this table yet?

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cavalrymsh wrote:


Swenocha - have you factored in a new conical fermentor and Top Tier system into this table yet?

Of course, you are exactly correct that your up-front costs should be considered. But mine have been pretty low (though I would like to sink a bit more into the hobby this spring... I see a turkey fryer and some kegging equipment in my one year plan). Got all of my Mr. B fermenters on sale or clearance, paid $15 for my ale pail, got two free fridges for fermenting and/or beer storage, and bought a cheap-o Homer Bucket for my bottling bucket.

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bhowie4 wrote:

swenocha wrote:

If we're going by ounce...

My cheapest AG (Two Dogs): $0.02/oz
My cheapest extract (Int'l Market): $0.03/oz
My normal AG (Pale Ale/Smoked Porter): $0.04/oz
Big Flats (cheap-o Walgreen's beer): $0.04/oz
Basic extract/steep (red ale): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Standard (retail): $0.06/oz
Mr. B Deluxe (retail): $0.065/oz
Mr. B Premium (retail): $0.07/oz
Mr. B Seasonal (retail): $0.08/oz
Busch: $0.07/oz
Bud: $0.10/oz
A higher priced extract (Noble Ale): $0.11/oz
Yazoo (and similar premiums): $0.12/oz
My most expensive extract brew (wee heavy): $0.12/oz
Stone Pale: $0.16/oz
DFH 90: $0.21/oz
DFH 120: $1.00/oz

One of the best damn $0.21 an ounce I will ever spend. ;)

Is anyone else surprised to see that a Mr. Beer Premium refill is just as much as a watery Busch? I know I was. For some reason I was under the impression the Mr. B stuff was more costly then the cheap stuff but less than the micro and craft brews. Thanks for breaking that down Swenocha.

Someone please check my math, but I based the above on normal retail costs at the local Kroger (or wine store in the case of the DFH). And, of course, the homebrews don't include water, cleaner, sanitizer and labor costs. I use water from my refrigerator filtration system, so I can't really base it on a price per gallon easily. I guess I could go figure it out from a water bill or something, but I'm really feeling kinda lazy... ;)

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silvertip8k wrote:

little late on this...but thats one beautiful Belgian Blonde label!!!


OK lets turn this into a label thread :laugh:
Swen you are unbelievable - You should be in charge of the USA - You'd have the budget balanced in no time at all!
And I still say you must make your own labels because it makes your beer taste better & it's so much fun. So that even adds more cost, but can you beat the fun a label like this adds. :laugh: Shoo_Fly_Pale_Ale.JPG

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Mr.B ADIPA = 19.95
Non brew club
shipping = 7.95
------
27.90
27.90/256oz.= .1089 oz.

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Right... tax and shipping certainly affect things... It's hard to figure things like that in, because that's a flat ship rate, so if I buy, say, 8 refills, it is more like $1 per refill. And, if you go through Amazon or Overstock or some other site, your shipping could be less (or free).

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OH!.....that is just wrong!!!! Funny label, but OH MAN, she has a serious medical/hygeine issue! :X

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Austin Homebrew is having a 20th anniversary sale. 5 gallon kits for $20, not including yeast. Coupon: CA10Percent311 will save you an additional 10%. Free shipping over $100. I now have enough supply to last through the summer!

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Guest System Admin

here is a crazy number:

Buy Mr. Beer kit during Holiday sales and to get started brewing it cost you $0.16/oz first batch

$42.19 (cost +tax at Shopko last December)
WCPA in kit.

so after that the price per beer drops


Buying one six-pack (72oz) of premium beer $9.42 (After tax)

9.42/72= $0.13 per oz

But look at 3pack kits on-sale:

21.10/768 = $0.03/oz

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Trollby wrote:

But look at 3pack kits on-sale:

21.10/768 = $0.03/oz

+ 1

My buddy and split four 3 packs on Amazon. $30 each, plus the 4 for 3 promotion.

That comes out to $7.50 a batch. So if you add some DME to that you still have really inexpensive beer.

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cheep but high quality beer as it should be. life is too short to drink low quality beer have a homebrew :cheers:

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Beerlabelman wrote:

silvertip8k wrote:

little late on this...but thats one beautiful Belgian Blonde label!!!


OK lets turn this into a label thread :laugh:
Swen you are unbelievable - You should be in charge of the USA - You'd have the budget balanced in no time at all!
And I still say you must make your own labels because it makes your beer taste better & it's so much fun. So that even adds more cost, but can you beat the fun a label like this adds. :laugh: Shoo_Fly_Pale_Ale.JPG

You've outdone yourself BLM. That is frightening. Do NOT allow that woman in your car.

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To paraphrase Charles Foster Kane, there's no trick to saving money - if all you care about is saving money.

For me, this is a hobby that has a real payoff. I get beer, and damn good beer. Let's look at other hobbies (all of which cost money, let's face it).

Stamp collecting? Model trains? Commemorative plates?

Frankly, I don't see the appeal. But these are very popular hobbies. What's the payoff? The satisfaction of getting a desirable or rare stamp. The delight in watching your choo-choos travel around the miniature village you painstakingly built. Getting to look at that neat-o Elvis plate you got when you went to Graceland. Okay.

But I still get to drink beer I made myself, and have the satisfaction of designing recipes, refining them, and making a recipe even better.

I don't even think about the cost relative to running down to the Kwik-E-Mart and picking up a sixer of even a really good microbrew. As with any hobby, a lot of it is a labor of love.

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I like Beer. More specifically, I like the Beer I make. As Dave pointed out, I didn't start this as a Money Saving Venture. (even though, in the long term it has been). I do this because I like to FIND that particular flavor I'm looking for. I can easily drink someone elses Beer, but it's still a Beer THAT THEY made to their liking. So, I'm not interested in the actual savings over commercial beer, even though I know I can make it cheaper. I am not paying the salaries of all the employees involved from "conception to my hand". To me, it's something I like doing.
Cost of commercial brews.. a bunch
Cost of making my brews.. some
Pleasure of drinking my brews.. priceless.

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Buy in volume when Mr Beer has a sale (often). The payoff for me has been trying a ton of styles of beer new to me, finding out what I like, and now making/ tweaking recipes to my liking. The day will come when you crack open a new brew, taste it, and sit there shaking your head with a grin on your face, thinking "I can't believe I made this friggin awesome beer!", and the cost won't even enter your mind.

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I*'m still thinking that we got into this hobby for the taste and quality of the brew, if you actually want to go into the economics of the thing, after the initial investment of the equipment, I think that if you shop around and really get some cheap stuff, you could be looking at a good savings, but as I have always believed. for the DIY stuff usually in the ingredients you pay for quality.

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A hobby is not generally seen as an economical use of money in any case.
It looks like cost vs. product return varies but when I figure in the value added from learning something new each brew, the fun of an adult Christmas every time I open a bottle of my own and the pleasure of the whole process it comes out a big win on the ledger.

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hobbies should be fun for the person doing them, and all my hobbies are just that fun. Ham radio, electronics, coins and of corse the best of all brewing beer :laugh:

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Guest System Admin

Most hobbies worth pursuing are not free or even cheap. Ask anyone who rides a Harley. That said +1 to all who have said you can find efficiencies particularly by buying bulk DME, hops, etc. and brewing larger batches.

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Hurst/Olds wrote:

Buy in volume when Mr Beer has a sale (often). The payoff for me has been trying a ton of styles of beer new to me, finding out what I like, and now making/ tweaking recipes to my liking. The day will come when you crack open a new brew, taste it, and sit there shaking your head with a grin on your face, thinking "I can't believe I made this friggin awesome beer!", and the cost won't even enter your mind.

This. This in spades. Excellent assessment, Hurst/Olds. Drinking a beer you made yourself and saying, "Day-UMM!" makes the price insignificant.

You're right, too, about the Mr. Beer sales and such. Me, I select three recipes for my Brew Club order; a hoppy, a malty, and a balanced. A different trio every two months. I've never been disappointed, and I've gotten to try styles I might not have tried otherwise.

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Ihave never really been a "hobby" person...not that I dont espect anyone that calls whatever a hobby...its more like just a life thing...

that said I have many pursuits racked over my life...and I tend to really dive in whenever I get inspired...this HB thing is really much more than I anticipated. The quality achievable is nothing short of amazing...my friends that have tried my batches are totally shocked that a mere mortal can make something so good!

saving a little dough is always good...especially when evry time I fill my tank up now I feel like someone w/ a ski mask on just hit me up...so saving on some brews is beautiful...and not having to buy something less desirable because its all I can afford ...those days are over...

after following you folks here I realize its time for me to move onto the 5 gal level...it appears that is where you can really save...and also guarantee that you dont run out of your favorite...something that w/ 2 gallon batches has happened...even w/ a pipeline... :chug:

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I have to agree with a lot of the others. When it comes to quality, you are paying 50 cents a beer for beer that would cost you $1.00. However, there is more to this than the money. You will spend a bit getting set up, the initial investment will pay for itself. This hobby is about making your own quality beer. It is cheaper than going to the store, and eventually you will be able to make almost exactly what you're thirsty for...

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This has been a really great discussion. To add my two cents:

I also did not start home brewing to save money. I did it because I love good beer and wanted to see if I could make it myself. After 15 months of brewing I have made some great beer and have had a ball doing it.

I think the Mr B extracts are a bit pricey, but as others have said, you can get them on sale if you look around at the right times. In Mr Beer's favor is that they offer a wide variety of different HME, many more than most other extract makers. I have had a great time mixing and matching with DME, extra hops, steeping grains etc. Plus you can brew a straight up Mr Beer recipe in less than an hour.

I have just started doing all grain, BIAB, and while the ingredient costs are WAY lower, the time cost is much higher at a minimum of 3 hours a batch.

I continue to use Mr Beer extracts as a base for most of my brews and likely will do so for the convenience and variety they offer.

Brew On, everyone!!

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Everybody else offered a mathematical solution, so I will too.

WCPA (previously mentioned) and my recent Belgian with 2 HMEs can both be bought for approx $14-15 bucks. Our 8 litter batches are equivilent to 18.5 12oz beers. So, $15 divided by 18.5= 81 cents per beer for these two brews. Some are more, sure.

My local grocery store has good microbrews for $15 per 12 pack (12 oz). The math there is $15 divided by 12 = $1.25 per beer.

I don't do it for the money. But it is nice to know the facts for the next time I make an order or go to the store and buy a refill.

BTW, i saw a 3 pack premium kit for $29. That is $9.66/batch. About 52 cents per 12 oz beer. Sweeeet!

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Beer Daddy wrote:

BTW, i saw a 3 pack premium kit for $29. That is $9.66/batch. About 52 cents per 12 oz beer. Sweeeet!

Premium??? I have only see standard 3 packs. $30 would be a steal for premiums.

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I love wheat beers, and unfortunately really good imported wheat beers are expensive, require a trip to a specialty store and can have seasonal restrictions. A 2.5 gal batch of all grain for a typical wheat beer (hefe or the like) runs maybe 8-10 bucks in grain, 6-8 bucks for the yeast, 2 bucks in hops and 3-4 bucks for water. So ~25 bucks for ~18 0.5 liter bottles (or 1.40 a bottle). And thats not doing anything to really cut costs like buying grain in bulk and harvesting trub to repropogate yeast, etc. If you wanted to I am sure you could get it down to around a buck a bottle. Anyway AG homebrew definitely is economical compared to 3 or 4 buck imports, plus I can guarantee my supply. Anyway, the savings at the very least will end up paying for your equipment making it a hobby that pays for itself. And (to kick the dead horse a few more times out of pure malice) it is fun to brew and satisfying to drink your own beer.

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A 1.5 gallon mini-keg of Newcastle Brown Ale is 20 bucks plus tax where I live, and with Mr. Beer I get 2 gallons of fresh beer for about the same price. When you compare Mr Beer refills to bottled beer in my area (anything worth drinking to me is pushing $10 for a 6 pack) it gets even better. As I joined the 'beer club' I get a monthly order shipped for 5 bucks, and I am discounting the cost of plastic kegs and bottles as a one-time 'start up' cost, and am collecting Grolsch flip top bottles for gifting beer to friends. I do my own labels with photoshop, an inkjet printer, and clear packing tape, and am eagerly anticipating brewing up some of the Christmas Ale this year.

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there are a lot of things that probably come out cheaper buying in the store. it might be cheaper to go out for dinner, rather than buy the ingredients and making a specialty dish for yourself. however, get the satisfaction of making it at home. this is what i see homebrewing as.

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