Does Homebrewing Save Money?
Some people ask whether or not it is profitable to make your own beer, versus buying it in the local supermarket. This blog post will help you understand how the cost structure of homebrew works.
Does Homebrewing Save Money? If you want to save money making your own beer, rather than buying it in a store, you can, but it is not the main reason people do it in general. The quality and price of your homebrewed beer depend on the investments and time you put towards it.
The overall answer to the main question is simple: yes. You can definitely save money making your own beer, but it is not the main reason behind brewing your own beer in general.
Continue reading this post to understand why the cheapest method doesn't always provide the best results.
So, Does Homebrewing Save Money?
Most beer brewers get into this hobby because of the fun in doing something yourself and reaping the rewards of your own work.
If you go into beer brewing with the only goal of saving money, you might get a little disappointed.
Homebrewing to save money on beer is a bit like buying a fishing boat to save money on fish.
Don’t expect to save money for a while after starting up your home brewery. If your aim is to save money you need to acquire expensive equipment for large batches, to save money by making large batches at a time.
As you master the process over time you will save more and more money and time as you continue on.
The cost and potential saved money depends entirely on your investments.
Both your economic investment and time invested in understanding the processes will determine your success in creating quality batches in bulk.
Being a homebrew endeavor you may want to make sure you have the actual space to set up a brewery on a larger scale than most small hobby breweries. If you want to save money you have to invest a lot of time, money and space and focus on the long run.
Buying quality brewing kits and ingredients in bulk can give you a better product and save you money.
The costs of starting up vary depending on the kit you acquire and the ingredients you choose. The bigger batches you can create the more money you save. The better your equipment, the less spillage you’ll have and the more money you’ll save in the longer run.
The Varying Costs of Homebrewing
#Low-budget Starter kit
Home Brew Ingredient Kit
Here is an example of a normal low-budget starter kit.
This kit crafts 1 gallon of beer for 18 USD. The good thing about these types of kits is that they contain all the ingredients you need.
However, in the long run, they won’t save you much money if any at all, granted the small size.
After startup, you can make beer for half the price of what they charge in stores.
Some sites state that homebrewed beer costs half as much as store-bought beer. This is very true, but you have to remember since there normally is quite a few costs in the startup process as well as the upkeep of equipment.
What they mean here is that you can procure ingredients for a price that in the end ends up being half price per bottle or lower compared to cheap store-bought beer.
TIP: The bigger batches you choose to make at a time, the more time and money you will save.
#5 Gallons Complete Kit
Northern Brewer 5 Gallons Homemade Beer Kit
This kit provides you with a volume of up to 5 gallons. Making 5 gallons at a time compared to 1 will save you money since you can now buy your ingredients in bulk and you use fewer resources overall in terms of water, energy etc. compared to making a lot of 1-gallon batches.
#+20 Gallons Complete Kit
Northern Brewer Megapot 1.2 All Grain Beer
If you really want to step it up a notch, you can acquire 20+ gallon kits like this. This kit is made for expert homebrewers and is made for all-grain type beer brewery. These types of huge batches are where you can really get some value for your money.
How Much Money Can You Save?
Using 5-gallon batches or more you can save a lot of money compared to drinking store-bought beer.
Numbeo states that the average price for 0,5 liters which is 0,13 gallons is 2.08$. This means the price per gallon of beer in the US is approx 16$. An average cost of making a low-budget 5 gallon batch of beer is approx 25$. This means that you can save a whopping 11$ per gallon when crafting 5-gallon batches.
NOTE: The numbers from Numbeo are the absolute lowest cost of domestic beer, so savings may vary depending on what beer you would normally buy from the store.
So if you are just in it for the money, then crafting your own beer is worth it, but it’s important to understand that this is first and foremost a hobby and requires dedicated time and research to do successfully.
If you ask most homebrewers they would probably won’t tell you they are in it for the money, but rather the personal experience and gain they get out of it.
Crafting cheap beer you can drink and save some money, in the long run, is alright. Crafting something you can call your own and sharing it with your friends and family is priceless.
Why do People Brew Their Own Beer?
Not many homebrewers are in it for the money. Homebrewing can save you money as stated earlier in this blog post but is not at all the reason why people do it.
Homebrewing is a hobby that people adapt to have a craft they can develop and get a good feeling in the end in terms of both having done something yourself, but also having a beer you can call your own.
Whether you just need a small hobby or you are aiming to become an expert, homebrewing can be for everyone.
We made an article about whether brewing your own beer was worth the time or not. Take a look at it by clicking here.
You don’t have to be a beer connoisseur to enjoy making your own beer on a small scale. All the different ways to change and adjust your beer-making process is a bit like being an inventor trying to invent something new.
Homebrewers find it fun and enjoyable to do something yourself and enjoy the fruit of their labors afterward.
Having the only goal of saving money with homebrewing will most likely ruin the experience.
Most homebrewers will tell you that the feeling of doing something yourself can be ruined by limiting yourself to cheap methods to save the most money.
Many end up spending a lot more money than anticipated, simply because it gives them a good feeling in return because their end product is now more advanced and personal than a simple formula.
If you really wanna get good self-fulfillment feeling from homebrewing, don’t limit yourself to the cheapest methods and ingredients, explore the vast world of home-brewery and find the perfect personal recipe that fits you personally.
If you want to challenge yourself then the all-grain method might be what you are looking for.
If you want to really evolve your hobby into something a bit more time consuming but fun, you can switch to the all-grain brewing method. The all-grain brewing method requires you to do a lot more manual labor compared to the extract method which is pretty straight forward. The all-grain method is where you will really feel that you are making this beer from scratch.