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Save Money By Making Your Own Beer

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A couple of years ago, we started making our own beer. My brother was kind of enough to buy me this beer making kit as a present. My wife and I were eager to try our hand at making beer and gave it a shot soon after receiving it. It was a little work to learn and a bit of planning, but the first batch was surprisingly drinkable. We brought it to a party in hopes that others might agree, but we were still nervous that it might go over badly. Fortunately other's have agreed and one of my wife's picky friends even requested at the next party.

I did say you can save money making your own beer, but I wanted to stress that you wouldn't have to sacrifice quality. Let's get back to the economics of beer. The price per bottle of a medium quality beer at my local grocery store is around 75 cents (if bought in a 12 or 24 case) to $1 (if bought in a 6-pack). The price of a beer making kit is around $20 and it makes around 50 beers. That's a price of 40 cents a beer. If we apply a 35 cent a beer savings, we can determine that it takes about 200 bottles of beer, or 4 batches for the equipment to pay for itself. After that it's all savings, accolades from friends, and satisfaction of creating something great from scratch.

While you are enjoying your beer, remember that in moderation beer is healthy drink. You might want to check out this beer diet.

Last updated on August 1, 2011.

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18 Responses to “Save Money By Making Your Own Beer”

  1. TC says:

    Man did my eyes light up when I saw this come through my reader. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can easily assemble that kit on the cheap. I know a donut shop where they give those buckets away and the more obscure components–like airlocks and hydrometers–can be picked up from your local brewer’s supply store.

  2. Lazy Man says:

    It’s true, you can assemble your own kit relatively cheap and easy. For the beginner though, I think it’s best to start with something as ready out-of-the-box if possible. If your equipment is faulty it will ruin the whole experience.

  3. Toby says:

    When you said “beer diet” I thought you meant this:



  4. dong says:

    The only “problem” with homemade beer is that it doesn’t stop fermenting. It can get pretty strong in a few months. But hey that’s not a bad thing…

  5. David says:

    A friend of mine got very sick making his own beer…has that ever happened to you? Just curious if he is a screwup or it happens when people make their own alcohol…

  6. Lazy Man says:

    Toby: I enjoyed that video, thanks for sharing it.

    Dong: Good use of quotation marks there, I don’t see the see the problem ;-)

    David: Nope, it’s always been good. I have to admit that it doesn’t always look like something that you’d drink before the filtering process, but afterwards it was fine. Of course for every batch we make, we test ourselves first before we’d bring it outside the house or serve to other people.

  7. After Dong’s comment I am sold!!! Going to buy it right now.

  8. Kevin says:

    I do this too and it’s great, both in terms of the savings and the fun of putting your own touch on the recipes. My costs are about the same as yours, though I scavenge for used bottles to make that part free.

    If you’re getting started you might want to check out the Home Brew Talk forum ( http://www.homebrewtalk.com/ ), or John Palmer’s online brewing manual ( http://www.howtobrew.com/ ). Both are great free resources for beginners.

  9. Patrick says:

    I tried making beer (my brother gave me the Mr. Beer home brew kit). It didn’t turn out too good. (I don’t think Mr. Beer is the way to go!).

    I have a friend who is very serious about his home brewing and has quite a lot of money invested in brewing equipment. He makes excellent beers! He usually uses premium ingredients, so I think his costs are a little higher. But his beer is worth it!

  10. Laura says:

    Never tried, but now I’m curious!

  11. I have tried a few home brews and they are interesting. Since my neighbor works for Sam Adams, she has to brew her own beer every year. We tried it again this year, better than last. I think I’d rather drink her free beer from work.

  12. Pinyo says:

    My college friend made some apple cider in the dorm room and that was nasty. From you post, it seems that making beer is not too hard and taste quite good. How long before I’ll see Lazy Man Beers in the grocery store?

  13. guinness416 says:

    I had a boyfriend at college who made strong, strong beer in his airing cupboard. I’m from Ireland, I could drink your average US sailor under the table at that time, but god that stuff would knock me out. I’ve been quite leery of home brew since those days.

  14. Wow. That’s a beautiful way to save money! I had heard of the home kits but I didn’t think it would be easy. Maybe I can put this on a wish list with the holidays coming up? thanks for the article!

  15. BigSpenda says:

    Livingalmostlarge — Any houses for sale in your hood? haha.

    I’ve brewed my own at a place. Good stuff. Not for the weak of heart. I’m pretty sure that if you brew your own beer, there is no such term as ‘lite’ beer.


  16. TheYellowSeal says:

    Hi there,

    A while back I brought a home brewing kit and for a while now I have been brewing my own traditional ales, It has been a big hit with my friends and family who now actually pay for their bottle. I wanted to add that extra touch to my ale so I designed my own beer labels and had them printed by a British labels company who did a excellent job. It has made my beer bottles look really great!

  17. Alisa says:

    This is great… love it! Or you could just print a coupon to your local bar? StudentRate.com offers local and national discounts.

    Just a thought though I still love the creativity!

  18. JC says:

    Not only is it a great way to save money, bu it’s a great way to go “green”. Brewing your own organic beer is excellent for the environment.

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