This is the initial part of a series of posts on the financial implications of developing your own beer at home. This is the first post that presents our
assumptions and the basic data that needs to be addressed; later, short posts will likely examine the costs of developing various flavor designs for family members, all-grain vs. beer, and also examine whether it is feasible to produce high Brewing quality beer for $20 or less.
Whole Grain vs. Serum Development
The $20 beer barrier
Obviously, beer prices have actually been going up over the past few years: unless you’re drinking alcoholic
macrobrews or have a large microbrewery nearby, you’re likely to pay $7 to $12 for a six-pack, and may pay extra if the beer is more difficult to obtain or special in some way. (For example, many breweries, such as
Dogfish Head or Maui Developing, offer four-packs starting at $11 to $12.) .
The possibility of developing your own high-quality beer at a price well below retail has tremendous appeal, especially today. There has been some debate recently about whether developing your own beer is really more affordable (in the long run).
Let’s consider some numbers to get a gauge of how much you can spend on quality beer.
I’ve found that a 5 gallon set of homebrew usually returns about 48 12oz containers, or 2 cases of beer.
Right here in Oregon, craft beer sells for $8-$12 per six pack. At that rate, that’s about $64 to $96 in both cases.
For the really affordable big brew, Pabst Blue Bow State, I think you can buy it for about $14 per instance or $28 for $2 depending on sales.
Check out this breakdown and it Brewing quickly becomes clear that buying a six pack of beer is an incredibly expensive way to go if you want to cut back and save cash. To do this, you need to look at acquiring wholesale – simply put, by example.
(Of course, not every craft blend is conveniently available from instances, and Costco doesn’t offer it that way – i.e., warehouse – costs. For simplicity, I’ll use Brewing these numbers; typically, if beer prices are higher in your location, then you have more flexibility after that.) .
Based on these numbers, my estimate for the back of the napkin seems to
indicate that the “magic” cost of a micro-boiled premium beer (the value in 2 cases, which is the value that an average set of homebrewers would produce) is appropriate at around $50.
We have an “affordable cost factor”.
[adsense] Let’s determine the base cost of some of the active ingredients in the beer. Some assumptions:.
I’m completely ignoring the startup costs associated with home brewing (this may be a future post) and assuming we are working with a 5 gallon component cost.
I’m just analyzing extraction based development (at the same time). The numbers adjust as you get into mass grain costs (this is definitely a future post to summarize).
My quotes for homemade components are usually based on prices I’ve actually seen at a nearby homemade store, but definitely not available anywhere. If appropriate, I will likewise attempt to compare rates and online resources.
With these factors in mind, here is the basic Brewing rate table:.
Malt Flavor Syrup – 7 £18.00$ 20.00 – 24.00.
Malt Removal – Dry – 3 pounds 11.75$ 12.00- 14.50.
Removed malt – dry – 1 lb. $4.50 ~$ 5.00.
Grain – $1.90 to $1.50 per additional pound (average).
Specialty grains – $2.00 per pound added – $2.95-$2.00.
Jumps (whole fallen leaves) $3.00-$5.50 $4.00-$8.00.
Liquid yeast $6.75-$9.75$7.00-$10.00.
Yeast – completely dry$1.25–3.95$1.20–4.00.
Corn sugar – 1 lb $1.25$ 1.50- 3.00.
As we have seen, the costs are usually similar, so I will utilize my regional rate suggestions most of the time. When shopping online, you will certainly have additional considerations for delivery costs.
As a quick exercise, let’s determine the cost of a 5 gallon set of pale ales utilizing liquid yeast as well as 2 ounces of hopping. I will also include some Brewing grains to make it intriguing.
7 lbs. Pale Malt Syrup: $18.
0.5 lbs. 10°L crystalline malt: $1.
0.5 lbs. 40°L Crystal Malt: $1.
0.1 lb. Roasted barley: $0.25.
2 oz: $5.
Corn sugar (filled at bottling): $1.25.
Total: $33.25. Return: About 2 cases of medium hoppy pale ale at about 5 to 6% alcohol.
Remember the cost effective cost factor for our 2 microbrew instances $50. Currently, to produce a relatively standard beer, we Brewing pay $16.75 up front.
(Typically, that also
includes time – 4 to 6 weeks, state – and I don’t make up the price for the container and container lid.
Containers can naturally be reused from the beer you’re currently drinking; and container caps may cost you $3-$5 for 144 or 2 times.) .
Seems fairly simple? At first glance, developing your own beer may seem Brewing like a better deal than buying beer. Keep in mind that this is a fairly basic beer design, without a lot of whistles and bells.
I will address a question to keep in Brewing mind in the following installation: About how much do you expect to invest in different designs of beer?
And, a bonus query for later: how much cheaper can we get?
The possibility of developing your own premium beers at prices well below retail is hugely attractive, especially today. There has been some debate recently about whether
developing your own beer is definitely Brewing cheaper (in the long run).
Currently, to produce a fairly standard beer, we pay $16.75 up front.
At first glance, it may seem cheaper to develop your own beer than to buy it. Keep in mind that this is a fairly basic beer design without a lot of whistles and bells and whistles.