Saving on Homebrew Flavors?

I always liked beer. I like the taste and the smell. When I drink a beer is usual to combine the food taste with the flavors of beer, but I do have an occasional one when relaxing or spending time with family and friends.

In the past, I found interesting the process of making beer and became a bit enthusiastic about the Abbey beers from Belgium, during my short stay there. One of my favorite beers has a drop of honey in it, giving it a particular flavor. Not to mention that I saw some movies and a series on Netflix about this process, which just made me want to experiment more.

With the help of my wife, I followed recently a brewing beer course. Don’t imagine it was a complex course or even a long term. No, it was more like….you know how wine tasting get-together usually goes? It was exactly like that. I went to the local and the owner did a walkthrough of different types of beers, explaining some small differences between them and the process of making.

Then the fun part began, as we started to brew our own beer, following his recipe. In the delay times, when everything was brewing, we had the chance to test multiple craft beers, distinguishing the different smells and tastes. In the end, we just took our brewed beer home, having the follow the fermentation and bottling process with the goal to obtain a good drink to brag to our friends. My beer Is still brewing, at the moment in the bottles.

This was one of the most tasteful experiences I had in the last year, and now, I have a new hobby, that is not that hard to maintain, that is fun, give you a feeling of achievement and you can do a sensation at “home parties” (if your guests will trust you with their life).

Also, this made me think that you can do some “savings” doing your own brew, not to mention you get to “cook” in the kitchen and do a mess that your wife can’t yell at you, because she will, eventually, have a sip of your new Home Brew Best Brand Beer.

Just to explain the possibilities of doing your own beer, there are two of them:

  • the easy way: where you buy the “beer extract” from the market, add water, add yeast, left to ferment for some days (maybe add some hops also), bottle it, and eventually drink it. The whole process is about 1 month long and you get to check your beer each day to see if the valve is still letting CO2 exit.
  • the long way: where you take your grains, boil them, do your own recipes (don’t worry there are plenty on the internet – I just found a site with more than 30K recipes), add hopes, yeast, let to ferment, bottle it, and eventually drink it. The whole process is about 1 month long + some hours spent on the 1st day to create your recipe

You do need some equipment, but it is not that expensive and easy to procure. I have to mention that is not the best quality, but now it matters a lot how “dependent” you become.

Cost Breakdown

I did however experimented with both processes before writing this article, but I will focus my expense list on the “Beer Extract” kit.

With this kind of kit, you usually need a big dispenser, a big spoon, some hydrometer to read the beer density, and additional tools like a bottle cap to seal the beer in the bottles or the solution to sterilize the bottles and tools before starting the process. Besides the kit, you will need the “beer extract” and the needed number of bottles.

I have bought a kit that cost me 81$ and contains everything I need for a batch of 23L of beer. In addition to this, I have to buy an additional 46-50 beer bottles at 0.5L. I did find on the market 4 bottles for 1$, but I preferred to buy some commercial beer and save the bottle.

To have a better overview, we can consider the following: a bottle of craft beer, of 0.5L, is around 3$ on the market, so that is a cost of 138$ for 23L of beer. My current cost considering the investment in the KIT of 81$ and the fact that I bought commercial beer for about 33$ is 114$, which is less than what I would have spent to buy beer from the market.

But this is not all, now that I do have the bottles and the kit, I would need only to buy the beer extract for a second batch, which is around 20$ for a 23L batch ( you can find one at this link). This will get me a homemade craft beer bottle for around 0,43$ a bottle.

I will leave here a table, with the costs, to have a better more visual impact

Batch 1
Beer Kit -23L81$
Bottles33$
Total114$
Result for bottle2.48
Commercial Price3$
Batch 2
Beer Extract20$
Cleaning Solution5$
Result for bottle0.54
Commercial Price3$
Batch 1+2
Result for bottle1.51
Commercial Price3$

Don’t get me wrong, I do not suggest that you should stop buying commercial beer and just do your own, because is cheaper, but if you do your own, even if the initial costs seem to be high, the amortization is quite fast and you could find yourself with a new hobby.

Brewing process
Homebrewing in process

I do feel this article is incomplete, as I would like to do the whole process, not just buying a beer extract every time. But as I lack the needed tools, I will update it later. What can I say, that doing the process from the start, could lead to a much higher price for a bottle of beer (still a lot under the commercial price) just because of the cost of the ingredients and the fact that you would like to use more and diverse flavors (which some are expensive).

Even so, we could do an approximation, 1.5$ the needed hops, maybe like 10-12$ for the grains, and maybe like 5$ for the yeast. All together we reach the same 20$ for the beer extract. But I did make an approximation with some quantities that may not be exact and I did not put into consideration the water and electricity/gas you will consume for the brewing. To be honest, let’s say a bottle will be around 1$ instead of 3$.

Until the update of the article, I will wait for my beer to be ready!

Homebrew

If any of you would like to start in this journey or are already advanced, do send a shout to me. I appreciate all the experiences!

Disclaimer: I am not a financial consultant! All the information you find here are my decision, I have taken at that moment, on my own analysis. I am open to any type of discussion about money. If you want to replicate my portfolio take into consideration that it is your money and you can have losses.

Leave a Reply