Saving money by brewing at home
You are wondering: is it cheaper to brew your own beer than to buy it from the retailer? Rest assure the answer is a resounding YES, ABSOLUTELY! A 6 pack is now pushing $12 for high end producers. Here’s how’s the cost is broken down.
The good news is, you can save 50% or more by brewing your own beer!
If you compare the cost of brewing a 5-Gallon batch with an average hops and grain bill, bottled conditioned, it would roughly cost you $35 to $40, compared to an average of $75 if you bought the same amount of a craft beer.
COST OF HOME BREWING A 5-GALLON BATCH OF BEER – INGREDIENTS & SUPPLIES
- Malt (all grain) — $15
- Hops (average IPA recipe) — $10 to $12
- Yeast — $5 to $8
- Water — pennies, although not getting cheaper
- Sanitation products — $2
- Crown caps — $1
- Priming sugar — $1
Yield — 50 bottles of 12 oz
This gives you the rounded up equivalent of $5 per six-pack
Assuming you have the equipment and that you recycle your empty beer bottles. I’m not taking into consideration your time, it takes all tasks together about 4 hours to mash, boil, rack and bottle.
RETAIL COST OF CRAFT BEER
On average, a six-pack of craft beer will cost you $10, this being a conservative estimate.
YOU SAVE 50%!
This quick analysis doesn’t reflect the cost of your home brewing equipment, the propane or natural gas, and of course, your time. You will find how much to budget to get started with your brewing equipment, giving you a simple comparative estimate of what to expect if you brew with all grain versus extract.
The conclusion is that your equipment will be paid off in only a few brewing sessions.
Strategies to save even more
This is where the sustainable home brewing approach comes into play. Think going green pays off! Some of the main easy strategies to save even more money brewing your own beer at home include:
1. GOING ALL GRAIN – Extract malt will cost you about 30% more.
2. BUYING LARGER QUANTITIES IN GROUP – Save on shipping and get a better deal on sharing larger quantities of malt especially
3. BREWING IN SMALLER BATCHES – Will allow you to brew with more simple, cheaper equipment, as well as reducing the amount of energy needed to heat large quantities of water at a time
5. HARVESTING AND REUSING YEAST – 4.2 Fl.oz of liquid yeast for 5 Gallons is around $8. Yeast reproduces itself, why not learn how to reuse it?
6. BUILDING OR MODIFYING YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT – New hardware can be expensive, buying second hand or being creative and resourceful will save you lots
7. GROWING YOUR OWN HOPS – The second most expensive ingredient in your typical home craft brew. Growing you own can be fun and rewarding.
What comes with the financial benefits of homebrewing
On top of the measurable savings, you will enjoy:
- The satisfaction and FREEDOM OF CREATING your own recipe
- Freshly home made beer offers INCOMPARABLE DRINKING PLEASURE, next to commercial beer
- Brewing your own beer, you can decide TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL PRODUCERS. Malt being by far the main ingredient in volume, it only makes sense to start knowing and working with quality local (i.e. regional) malt producers, with sustainable practices
- Brewing your own beer, you directly contribute the PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT by greatly reducing or eliminating altogether up to 75%-80% of unnecessary costs and materials attached to commercial production and distribution: packaging, brewery’s margin, shipping, state tax, distributor’s margin and retailer’s margin.
If you’s like to learn more about helping the environment while making delicious home brew, I recommend grabbing a copy of Sustainable Homebrewing – An All-Organic Approach to Crafting Great Beer by Amelia Slayton Loftus, this is a great resource at all levels, techniques, sustainable practices, you will love the reading!
Please let me know about your questions, or if you’d like to share your home brewing money saving tips. Use the comments field below.
Cheers, to our health!