Save Big Bucks Brewing Your Own Beer
Lately we’ve been really into a supper hoppy Sasion brewed by Prairie Ales, called Prairie Hop. The beer is fantastic, but also costs about $13 for a 25 ounce corked bottle. Luckily we have an all grain home-brewing set-up. We’re going to show you a cost comparison for brewing a clone of this beer, using ingredients from a local homebrew store. As you progress in brewing, you can bring these costs even lower by doing bulk hop and grain buys with local groups.
A typical homebrew batch produces 5 gallons of beer, or 640 ounces, which is equivalent to 40 pints. To purchase this same amount of the Saison we really like would cost a whopping $333. The recipe and prices follow:
Malts (Cost $24.70)
11.5 lbs 2-Row Pale Malt
3 lbs White Wheat Malt
1 lb Rye Malt
1 lb Flaked Oats
Hops (pellets): (Cost $12.55)
1 oz. Simcoe 13%a, 60 minutes
1/2 oz Simcoe 13%a, 30 minutes
1/2 oz. Citra 11%a, 30 minutes
1/2 oz. Citra 11%a, 15 minutes
1/2 oz. Simcoe 13%a, at flameout
Dry Hop: 1 oz Citra whole leaf, 1 oz. Simcoe whole leaf
Total Cost: $44.24, or $1.11 per pint
Cost Savings from Retail: 87%
For the cost savings of ($289) on just one batch you could be well on your way towards paying off an all-grain home-brewing system which would include a mash tun, brew kettle, wort chiller, fermentation vessel, and other accessories.
This example is for a fairly big beer (8% ABV) with a lot of hops. If you were to brew a 5.5% American Pale Ale, you could get your cost down to about .80 cents per pint, going to your local homebrew store.
As you advance and learn to re-pitch yeast, which can be done 3-4 times when carefully handled, you can save another $5 per batch.