Everyone’s looking to save a few bucks these days. Many of us have no alternative but to reduce luxuries and unfortunately, a case of beer often falls under that category. One option many beer drinkers are starting to consider is brewing their own homebrew beer as a new hobby. This way, they’re saving money as well as learning a fun new skill. Besides, the end result is homebrew beer, so this puts it above many hobbies right there.
There is some initial and expense you will encounter getting started making homebrew beer, but it’s not that much, and will pay for itself quickly. Brewing your own beer at home will save you money. How much? Well, let’s break it down. To start with absolutely nothing, and not go the homebrew kit route, you’re going to need some basic supplies to start:
A stainless steel pot that holds at minimum 4 gallons (16 quarts) - average cost around $40.
A recipe kit. This will contain all your ingredients (hops barley, malt extract) - average cost is $40 per kit.
An equipment kit. This will have sanitizer, airlock, bottling valve, siphon, etc. You need this stuff, no way around it. On average they cost around $60-$85, and generally better than buying each component of the kit separately. Also saves the frustration of finding out you need something you don’t have.
Bottles… If you buy them new, between $15 and $30 depending upon the size and quantity. Or you could just save the retunables from a few cases, clean them up and use them.
So to start from nothing is going to run you around $170. You can also go a different route and get a homebrew kit, and these come in a wide range, but you can expect to spend anywhere from around $50 for a good entry level kit all the way up to over $250 for a really nice one with bottles and everything. There’s really no bad choice here, and many people chose the homebrew kit as a great way to get started for a minimal cost.
Seems like a kind of a commitment just to make a few cold ones, right? Well, look at it this way. You will probably make more than one batch of homebrew beer. So, using a little math, if the average bottle of store bought beer is around $2.00, you’ll start to get ahead after 4 or five batches of home brew, figuring the cost of ingredients and spreading out the initial start up expense across all the batches. Five batches of fifty bottles may seem like a lot of beer, but if you drink 3-4 bottles of beer a day (hey, it’s good for you!) that’s only a little over two months, and then you start to save over 30% over the store bought stuff per batch. Not bad.
Once you buy the home brew kit, the only recurring expense will be ingredients to make additional batches. The ingredients will vary if you choose to make different recipes often, but if you plan on brewing your own homebrew beer long term, then you can buy ingredients in bulk at a discount and save even more money. There are many seasonal homebrew recipes you can try, and what beer lover do you know that wouldn’t like to receive a six pack of seasonal homebrew beer as a gift? Make a batch and give it away at the holidays, your friends will thank you sincerely for it.
Aside from ingredients, you will also need bottles and caps on a regular basis. Bottles are available to purchase, but some people get empties from friends, or you could just keep reusing the ones you already have. You’ll have to clean and sterilize them well, but a bottle brush and a good sterilizing agent is all you need. If you really want your homebrew beer to stand out, make your own labels. Check out this free label maker – Beer Laberlizer.
So as you can see, once you get going the more you make, the more money you’ll save, which is a pretty good argument for learning how to brew beer at home. So give it a try and start saving money brewing beer at home.