Save on home beer brewing supplies

7 GREAT WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON HOME BEER BREWING SUPPLIES

One great benefits of home brewing is that you will drink better while saving 50% or more compared to what you would spend on craft beer, as shown in my previous post, explaining the itemized cost of making your own at home. Here we’ll review seven further ways to save money on home beer brewing supplies.

1. Use simple gear you already own and upgrade only when necessary

If you already own cooking equipment you can use for brewing purposes, you can save yourself the cost of several items.

My first brew kit came with a plastic fermenter, which I used a couple of times, but soon I realized that I preferred to actually see what was going on in the container during fermentation and also, I admit I don’t care for plastic too much as it gets scratched and become hard to sanitize. So I looked for a glass carboy, when I remembered we owned a 2.5 gallon glass beverage dispenser with spigot. That was perfect and I claimed that container to ferment my one gallon batches, . I just modified my glass beverage dispenser to accommodate the airlock, all I needed to do is drill a whole in the lid.

SAVING $27 for a similar size (3 Gallon) carboy

save money on beer home supplies with fermenting in a beverage dispenserbrewing
The size is of this glass 2 Gallon beverage dispenser is perfect to brew small 1 Gallon batches

I also own a large (13″), stainless steel slotted spoon that I now use whenever I mash to make my wort.

SAVING $10

2. Be creative with your equipment and with your set up

For those, like me, who like the BIAB (brew in a bag) method, instead of mashing in a cooler type container, such as a Rubbermaid 10-Gallon mash tun with thermometer,  I use my 7.5 Gallon stainless kettle with a thermal blanket to keep the temperature for up to an hour.

SAVING: $200

save money on beer home brewing with a thermal blanket at mashing
This is my 7.5 Gal. Kettle wrapped with a thermal sheet that will keep the temperature for an hour

In this picture I actually use a recycle thermal sheet from a wine container.  I realize not everybody has access to items like this, unless you are in the wine business.  However, quality Home Depot sell thermal blankets that are large will work perfectly for $18.

3. Go easy on the hops or grow them at home

Hops are not cheap. As you can see from the break down of the costs of home brewing ingredients and supplies in my recent post, hops accounts for 30% OF YOUR TOTAL COST TO MAKE AN IPA. Of course, if hop driven styles of beer is what you enjoy the most, you will need to use a fair amount. In the end, it will still save you money compared to buying your craft beer.

You will find the BEST ONLINE DEALS ON HOPS HERE.  They have weekly specials.

save money on beer home brewing by buying hops on deal

 

Another solution is to start GROWING YOUR OWN HOPS. If you have the space (you actually don’t need a lot, since hops are a climbing species), and the time to garden a bit. There is a very satisfying feeling about using your homegrown plants.

>>>  Learn how to grow hops <<<

save money on beer home brewing by growing hops
A hop rhizome ready to be planted. Available in the Spring from MoreBeer!

The best way to store hops for an extended period of time is to freeze them, packed – to get rid of as much oxygen as you can, in an airtight packaging. Resealable Mylar pouches are great for that. The higher Alpha-acid the hop variety contains, the more antioxidant and the longer the hop can be kept without losing too much of its qualities.

4. Save 50% on yeast using dry instead of liquid

Yeast is the third most expensive ingredient for brewing, after the malt and the hops. It may account for up to 20% OF YOUR TOTAL COST.

A solution to save money on yeast is to USE DRY YEAST, can be HALF AS MUCH as LIQUID YEAST. About $5 compared to $9 for a 5-Gallon batch.

SAVING $5 PER 5-GALLON BATCH

The advantages of using dry yeast are

  • It’s easier to use. You don’t need to prepare a starter, but you can if you wish to
  • Dry yeast has a longer shelf life, up to 3 years when stored in the refrigerator
  • The package can be kept safely at room temperature before opening
  • Economical
  • It also “works” just as well as using liquid yeast to produce a great quality beer

Safale is the leading brand of dry yeast, and Lallemand, a close second.

On the downside, keep in mind

save money on beer home brewing supplies by using dry yeast
Liquid vs dry yeast – Imperial organic yeast is liquid only.

5. Can sodium percarbonate clean and sanitize at the same time?

Some brewers will argue with me and state that percarbonate is a cleaner and not a sanitizer. However, this eco-friendly chemical is a combination of sodium carbonate, which is soda ash and hydrogen peroxide. When mixed with water, the product breaks down into its constituent ingredients, the hydrogen peroxide acting as a powerful disinfectant, by bleaching or oxidizing germs and bacteria, and the sodium carbonate as a descaling or cleaning agent. When used at the correct concentration, SODIUM PERCARBONATE is actually, if used properly A DUAL PURPOSE, CLEANER AND A SANITIZER. Two products in one. One of the indispensable home beer brewing supplies. For more complete information on sanitation for home brewing, refer to this previous article.

Sodium percarbonate has become a very popular commercial cleaning and disinfecting product lately because of its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, non-toxic and environmentally-friendly. You will find it in brands such as Oxi-Clean and One Step Cleaner.

save money on beer home brewing by using sodium percarbonate
For the same price as Oxi-Clean, the commercial brand, Sodium Percarbonate sold by MoreBeer! is 3 times more powerful

PBW – a powerful sodium percarbonate product, specially formulated for the home brewing market. Will leave no residue, even after an extended soak. $9 per Lb or $6.25 per Lb on 8 Lb.

Cost per 5-Gallon batch: $2

OXICLEAN – some swear by this option, because it is very inexpensive and widely available at any store. Choose the scent-free, because its purer, and safe to use for brewing. $2.65 per Lb on 3 Lb.

Cost per 5-Gallon batch: $0.85

Straight SODIUM PERCARBONATE – the real deal, 3 times more concentrated than OxiClean for $2.80 per Lb on 5 Lb. Note that the recommended time of contact to sanitize is 10 minutes or more in warm or cold water.  I

Cost per 5-Gallon batch: $0.90

If you use a sanitizier such as STAR-SAN, one of the home brewers’ most popular choice, this will cost you $18 for 16 Fl.oz.

Cost per 5-Gallon batch: $1.12

Use SODIUM PERCARBONATE only instead of PBW + Star-San

YOU WILL SAVE $2.50 per 5-Gallon batch.

6. Enjoy the benefits of joining a brewing club and rent for free

My local brewing club, Club Wort in Palatine, IL offers FREE ACCESS TO EQUIPMENT for members to use.

Another perk of being a member is to GET DISCOUNTS AT HOME BREW SUPPLY SHOPS.

On top of the financial benefit, being able to borrow for free, you will have access to the knowledge of brewers with lots of experience, and other resources such as a book library.

As far as I am concerned I joined the club for the monthly meeting at the pub. LOL.

save money on beer home brewing by joining a brew club
Besides allowing you to use the club’s equipment, you will enjoy its social life

The official American Home Brewer Association’s list of registered clubs is available here.

7. Shop for bargains online and save

Every online home brew supply retailer will have pages of items on sale. MoreBeer! always have GREAT DEALS ON EVERYTHING, ingredients and equipment too.  You will find hundred of items at deeply discounted prices.

There are many more green ways to save money …

These are easy tips to save you money quickly on your next batch or beer.  More ways include building your own equipment which will be discussed in this blog, or strategies to buy ingredients in group … a few of which were listed in this article.

I hope you find these 7 tips useful.

Feel free to also leave any comments you may have below.

Cheers, and to our health!

Vincent

 

6 thoughts on “7 GREAT WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON HOME BEER BREWING SUPPLIES”

  1. Dear Vincent,

    I am not going to lie, I absolutely LOVE beer.  I have, however, never considered making it myself – Until now! I will have to do a lot more research on your website regarding where to start, but I think it is a great idea.

    I used to live in Edinburgh, and the city has a distinct aroma of hops in the air – everyday – no surprise given all of the breweries (beer and whiskey) they have there of course.  Would love to have that smell in my own home!

    I will certainly be back for more tips and research.

    Thanks again,

    Renée

    Reply
    • Hello Renée,

      It sounds like you are ready to start brewing at home!  This is wonderful.  I recommended you start with a one-gallon kit and malt extract beer kits. You will find the review for the starter kit in my product reviews, under the save money menu. 

      I agree with you, the smell of fresh hop and warm malt is unique.  

      Thanks for visiting my site.  Let me know if you need help with anything.

      Cheers,

      Vincent

      Reply
  2. I have a friend who grows hops and sells them, it was nice to get fresh hops, I never thought to grow my own.  I’m going to look into that.  I don’t think I currently have the space but I think I may be able to borrow some space from a co-op group I’m in.  Bribe them with some free beer and everything should be good.  Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    • Hi Rob,  

      Offer your co-op friends some beer if you’d like – who would turn that down? 😉 – or even better, give them a small share of the hops you will be producing for them to brew their own beer.  Actually start a beer brewing co-op!  It’s all about sharing resources and the end product.

      I am just starting a cooperative project myself with a local brewery.  You’re giving me ideas about contributing to community production.  Thank you for that.  

      Please let me know how your hop growing activity is going.

      Cheers,

      Vincent

      Reply
  3. Great and comprehensive article.  I must say your method is cost effective, best way to avoid additives that may have side effects.  Drinking home brewed beer can really save money, the benefits outweighs the cost of equipment.  You can even brew and sell, and make money instead of spending it.  I like the details in your post, you have made it easier to follow. 

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Sandikazi, I am glad you see that home brewing is a great way to produce and enjoy healthier beer, while saving money at the same time.

      If you have any questions about sourcing organic or sustainable ingredients and eco-friendly equipment, let me know.

      Cheers!

      Vincent

      Reply

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