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Old 07-20-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
richmke
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Let me start out by saying that I get it that some people brew beer and make wine for the fun of it.

I make wine because I like the wine, and I save a lot of money vs buying commercial wine.

I actually made a few batches of beer (Mr. Beer) prior to making wine. I didn't like it because I didn't know which beers to make. Now that I know what beer I like, I thought about going back to brewing beer.

Let's say that a kit wine is 1/2 the cost of an equivalent commercial wine. I can make a $20 bottle of wine for $10 (all-in), or save $300 per kit.

With beer, the "profit" of beer making is no so great. I like Blue Moon, and can buy an extract kit for about $35, or an all-grain kit for about $25. That makes 5 gallons, or 53 12oz bottles. I can buy Blue Moon for about $1 a bottle. That means I am saving $18 to $28 per 5 gallons. It is tough to justify all the work for that profit. It would also take me forever to drink 5 gallons.

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Old 07-20-2016, 05:49 PM   #2
ibglowin
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LOL

Me to. Every week there is another new "micro brew" operation opening here in NM. Our own local Coop which I am a member of opened a year ago and sold almost 2X what they thought they would sell in the first year so I started looking into making beer instead of wine and like you I found that it just didn't add up the way wine did. I like a nice IPA during the Summer and it is certainly easy enough to purchase a really good one locally or even a locally bottled one that is amazing as well for $1-2 a pint and all I have to do is pop a top or open my Growler...........
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:04 PM   #3
Spikedlemon
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Here I am reading your prices for beer and I couldn't even buy a bottle of swill in a 24pack for $1/bottle.

Decent beer is ~$2+/bttl in in case. (much more as a single)
Craft beer is closer to $3-5 / bottle.

I see the cost benefit in Canada. Too many sin taxes and gov't mandated minimum prices.

 
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #4
ibglowin
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You guys have Universal Health Care paid for (at least in part) by the taxes levied on all forms of alcohol, cigarettes etc. We don't so altho we have cheap booze we pay hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of $$$$ each month to insurance companies and hope we don't actually need any service.

Its a wash at worst and you actually might come out ahead depending on how much you sin! LOL

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I see the cost benefit in Canada. Too many sin taxes and gov't mandated minimum prices.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:04 AM   #5
ceeaton
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When I was making a lot of beer (more than I was allowed to per year legally), I bought 55 lb sacks of Maris Otter whole grain and used anywhere from 6-9 lbs per 5 gallon batch to whip up a good English Bitter. So I was paying less than $1 per lb of grain. I used liquid yeast and repitched for 5 or so batches, and ordered my hops from Freshops in bulk every November. I would keg and force carbonate, so I could be drinking it within two weeks of making the batch. I easily made a batch for under $15 whereas the beer I enjoyed was over $35 per case (usually more). I think if you do the math it is quite worth it. The time to make the initial wort is on the high side and if you knew how much weight I gained then you might second think drinking that much beer in a year. Wine is much healthier in my opinion.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:41 AM   #6
Elmer
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As Ceeaston noted the savings start with All grain.
When I was making extract recipe I was spending $50 to $60, 3/4 of the cost was for extract!
My last batch of AG was a blonde (a more hoppy tasting corrona) 44 bottles for less than $20.
Around here you buy a 12 pack of corrona for $14.

Craft beer around here is approx $14-$16 a 12 pack.

With all grain I am spending more money on hops than grain!
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:42 AM   #7
jswordy
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All grain is expensive when you start to become a gear-head and you need to have all that extra equipment. I am in the alcohol "hobby" first and foremost for cheap drinks, and I can't justify the equipment expense to really do all grain right. I may try brew in a bag sometime, though.

I am very satisfied using extracts as a base with steeped grains. Equipment needs are nil. Time demands are also much less for extract based brewing, and that is VERY important to me. Mostly I use my wine equipment double-duty. I had to buy an 8-gallon SS pot to boil a whole batch without adding water later.

I wait until I can get 6 extract jugs cheap with free shipping (a LOT of beer!) and then I order. Keep it in the fridge, it lasts forever. I'm a very good shopper for price on it.

Likewise, I buy yeast, grain and supplies on sale ONLY, free shipping ONLY. Yeast and grain go in the fridge, too. I bottle condition (saves equipment costs).

Currently, my beers are running me between 60 and 75 cents a bottle to produce, all done and ready to pour. For comparison, I can get 18-packs of Dos Equis for $18.99 here, so I am saving $5 at 75 cents a bottle. I can get Sam Adams for $15.99 a 12-pack, so I save about the same at 75 cents a bottle. The chief savings where I live comes from not paying the sin taxes on it.

But the flavor of the beer is much better. It matches what I like better, too. It is usually equivalent to beers that cost $10 a six-pack and up. So, at $39.95 a case for a "craft," "small batch" imported commercial beer, I am saving more than half.

As far as beer vs. wine, there are much greater savings in home wine production vs. extract brewing. I can produce a 750 ml bottle of lower-end wine for as little as $1, and even my higher-quality wines are never higher than $4 a bottle.

I chiefly got into beer to see if I could do it. Yup, I can. Now I am trying to use up supplies and cut back on beer, since the beer is expanding my waistline - a hidden drawback to all that extra estrogenic activity from consuming hops and grains. There is a huge winemaking week ahead for me in September.

So there ya go... Your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
wineforfun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibglowin View Post
You guys have Universal Health Care paid for
Yes they do, but they also may be waiting for months to get service, ie: MRI, specialist, etc. When I was competing on a regular basis, I had many Canadian friends complain of that system. We used to tear/strain numerous muscles, ligaments, etc. We would tell them to just go get an MRI and quit guessing what was wrong, they would tell us it was at least 3 months before they could get in.
You are correct, some of us pay dearly each month(I am fortunate to have low premiums with great coverage at my employer) but we are comparing apples to oranges..............or muscato to merlot.

My opinion on the original question is you have to calculate and put a dollar amount on your time too, if you really want to get down to it.
For me, I just enjoy creating things so as long as it isn't costing me anything (above what buying wine would cost) then I am ok with it. We all need hobbies.
Like others have said, I can also make a pretty decent wine compared to some I have bought.
On a side note, I also roast my own coffee beans, grind them and hand brew them. I do it for the same reason, just like to create things. It costs me approx. .30 - .50 per cup, depending on bean I use.
I think a lot of it just comes down to personal preference and what you like to do.
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:19 PM   #9
ceeaton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wineforfun View Post
Yes they do, but they also may be waiting for months to get service, ie: MRI, specialist, etc. When I was competing on a regular basis, I had many Canadian friends complain of that system. We used to tear/strain numerous muscles, ligaments, etc. We would tell them to just go get an MRI and quit guessing what was wrong, they would tell us it was at least 3 months before they could get in.
You are correct, some of us pay dearly each month(I am fortunate to have low premiums with great coverage at my employer) but we are comparing apples to oranges..............or muscato to merlot.
I have very affordable health care through my work. I'd be sunk if I lived in Canada, with two Type I diabetics. They average $11K per year for each of them, I might pay $2000 total of that in a bad year, so I'm sticking with what I've got. I've had Canadian acquaintances that told me if you are a healthy individual without any issues, it is a great system. If you have an issue, they go across the border and pay through the nose in the U.S system.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:42 PM   #10
BernardSmith
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Going back to the original issue - I think beer kits are not inexpensive but I make beer from whole grains and adjuncts and the cost is not nearly as high. But that said, home brewing allows us to make the beers we want to make and want to drink.

 
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