Author Topic: Home Brewing.  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2013, 09:17:03 PM »


I did my own twist on a few things (like polishing the kegs and using them for brew kettles)


Qarl,

Did you polish the kegs yourself or have someone do that for you? I have never seen it before. They are beautiful! And using them as your mash tuns is very creative! I wonder if anyone at AB is aware of how beautiful one of their kegs can be, in the right hands!

Kudos and jealous thoughts.


John K


Offline Qarl

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »
I polished them myselves... Believe it or not, they were pretty scratched up and ratty looking.

I followed this method...

http://www.suebob.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2013, 09:28:46 PM »
Qarl,

Definitely Worth the effort IMO. How long for each keg?

John K

Offline David Deas

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2013, 10:23:52 PM »
Not sure if this belongs in the "Other Foods" section, but does anyone here home brew?  I am about to order a kit and try to get started with it.  Unlike Pizza, home brewing seems like it will actually be cheaper than buying stuff that someone else makes...  Also excited to try to mimic some of mine and my wife's favorite beers...  Mostly hers since I am not picky.

If you live in a place like NY it doesn't even make sense to learn how to make great pizza unless it's a passion.  Otherwise you can just buy it.  The only reason I learned to make pizza was because I was in Carolina, which has no pizza anywhere in either state.

Home brewing will not save you any money.  Just impress your friends.  It is always cheaper just to buy the beer, and mimicking something that you can literally just buy is a waste of time no matter what.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 10:31:06 PM by David Deas »

Offline Qarl

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2013, 10:30:03 PM »
I heartily disagree... Once you get past the equipment (and you can do it with $150 worth of equipment for all grain brewing) you can DEFINITELY save money.  $25 to $40 for 5 gallons of beer that's better than something sitting in a bottle for 2,3, or 6 months.

If you buy in bulk, it's even cheaper.  I'm not buying in bulk and my average batch of 6 gallons costs $35 in ingredients (including premium vials of yeast suspension and whole hops).  That's enough for 60+ 12 oz bottles.

My advanced system was VERY expensive, so I'm definitely not saving any money, but I'm not doing it for that. It's about the journey of building they system and making kick-ass beer.   I run at about 90% efficiency which also makes for better utilization of the ingredients and lowers the cost.  So I figure at the rate I drink beer, I can recoup my expenses in about 30 years. LOL  Kidding.





« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 10:32:49 PM by Qarl »

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2013, 10:40:00 PM »
It is always cheaper just to buy the beer, and mimicking something that you can literally just buy is a waste of time no matter what.



No no no no!!!!! A thousand times no!!!!! Chewing on the malt, sucking on the hops, sipping the mash before fermentation, watching the beer develop its color and clarity....... These things cannot be purchased! A surprising comment from a member of this "pizza homebrewing" forum! ???

John K

Offline David Deas

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2013, 10:54:13 PM »
I heartily disagree... Once you get past the equipment (and you can do it with $150 worth of equipment for all grain brewing) you can DEFINITELY save money.  $25 to $40 for 5 gallons of beer that's better than something sitting in a bottle for 2,3, or 6 months.

If you buy in bulk, it's even cheaper.  I'm not buying in bulk and my average batch of 6 gallons costs $35 in ingredients (including premium vials of yeast suspension and whole hops).  That's enough for 60+ 12 oz bottles.

My advanced system was VERY expensive, so I'm definitely not saving any money, but I'm not doing it for that. It's about the journey of building they system and making kick-ass beer.   I run at about 90% efficiency which also makes for better utilization of the ingredients and lowers the cost.  So I figure at the rate I drink beer, I can recoup my expenses in about 30 years. LOL  Kidding.







First off let me just say your set up is awesome.  Really really cool stuff.

Second off, in almost every case it's cheaper to buy.  The reason why I say that is, not always because of up front costs, but because one's time is worth a considerable amount of money.  It's just something you come to realize working in the fields that I do.  You purchase stuff that can be purchased, and make stuff that cannot be purchased.  That's just the cheapest way to operate.

I'm pretty good at making all types of pizza, but no matter what the cost of the ingredients it's always cheaper for me to purchase the pizza.  The time I spend making the pizza could have been spent doing something else.  As it turns out, I usually end up buying almost all my food (rather than cooking it) just for that reason.

That applies off the bat before we even digest the actual cost of brewing a worthwhile beer.  To my mind these types of things are only worth it if they are passions.  Otherwise you're getting into it for the wrong reasons.

Sure you can become cost effective.  That's how companies make and sell beer.  No doubt there.  But there is a cost associated with becoming cost effective.  That's all I'm saying.

Offline David Deas

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2013, 11:09:40 PM »
No no no no!!!!! A thousand times no!!!!! Chewing on the malt, sucking on the hops, sipping the mash before fermentation, watching the beer develop its color and clarity....... These things cannot be purchased! A surprising comment from a member of this "pizza homebrewing" forum! ???

John K

Not out of line with my general feelings about pizza making.  I would never talk about making a Papa John's or Pizza Hut or Dominos clone.  It just economically makes no sense to me.  There are people who do like to clone those types of pizzas, and that's fine.  To each their own.  But to me it's like spending the time and money learning how to clone a McDonalds hamburger at home.  McDonalds is everywhere.  I personally just cannot understand the investment.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 11:13:13 PM by David Deas »

Offline Qarl

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2013, 11:33:25 PM »
You should never factor your time into the cost of a hobby.  That what differentiates a hobby from a career.

In my case, if I did that, I'd lose money after making a coupe of ounces of beer.

If that's the case no hobbyist here should be building their own ovens, or making their own pizzas.

What's the cost of making a Neopolitan pizza with Caputo 00, San Marzano tomatoes and bufala mozzarela in your home built WFO versus flying to Naples to get a pie there?  Would it be just as good, better?  Cheaper?  It's all relative.

Often it isn't even about the end product, but the journey.

Offline David Deas

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2013, 11:55:14 PM »
You should never factor your time into the cost of a hobby.  That what differentiates a hobby from a career.

In my case, if I did that, I'd lose money after making a coupe of ounces of beer.

If that's the case no hobbyist here should be building their own ovens, or making their own pizzas.

What's the cost of making a Neopolitan pizza with Caputo 00, San Marzano tomatoes and bufala mozzarela in your home built WFO versus flying to Naples to get a pie there?  Would it be just as good, better?  Cheaper?  It's all relative.

Often it isn't even about the end product, but the journey.


I don't think we disagree on much.

As I have said, it's only worth it if it's a passion.  IOW, if it's a passion it's entirely worth it.  If its not, it isn't.  I just don't think you can look at these sorts of things as ways to save a bunch of money.

The cost of a Neapolitan pie is cheap if you're in mass production mode.  If you are firing up the dome for making a single pie then the cost is quite unacceptable.  In any case since I have access to good Naples style pizza I don't bother making it.  I can simply buy it.  Works out great because all I really want is just to enjoy great pizza.

Actual monetary cost of a pie is:

Dough: $1.00
Buffalo mozzarella:  $6.00
Basil:  $1.00
Tomatoes:  Negligible
Olive oil:  Negligible
Wood:  Variable.  Right now my oak is free.

As you can see, I do not save much money.  The few bucks I do save are not offset.  I learned to make pizza because I love pizza.  Not because I love *making* it.  So maybe in that aspect we are different.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 12:16:09 AM by David Deas »


Offline scott123

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2013, 01:22:54 AM »
I live in NY, and I make pizza for $1.70 a pie that's better than anything I can buy locally.  The cheapest pizza I can buy is $10 ($12 with a $2 off coupon). It's economically ridiculous for me to buy pizza (or any other restaurant food, including McDonalds).

If I could match that level of savings for homebrewed beer, even if it was just a mediocre macro knockoff, I'd be homebrewing in an instant. I've done the math, and no matter how I break it down, there's no way I'm ever paying  less than 1/5 the price for a homebrew than I would pay for it's retail equivalent.  I've even considered growing my own barley (because I am that cheap), but I have too many trees around me and don't have a sunny enough area to grow it.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 03:15:54 AM by scott123 »

Offline patnugent

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2013, 07:05:58 AM »
 You purchase stuff that can be purchased, and make stuff that cannot be purchased.

I think similarly, but I am not thinking it of good purchased but rather a craft.  I pay people to do things I don't want to do, but when I want to do something, I don't stress about the amount of time I would be "billing" for it.  If I spend 8 hours doing something on the weekend that I enjoy and break even on the costs, I can't complain.  You won't find me washing the car though because I would rather let someone else do that.

Offline JD

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2013, 07:57:55 AM »

As it turns out, I usually end up buying almost all my food (rather than cooking it) just for that reason.


I find it extremely hard to believe that buying food is cheaper than cooking it yourself. I think billions of people would disagree with that statement.

You are looking at life in a strange way, where you are basically "on the clock" from the moment you are awake, to the moment you go to sleep. Does this mean that instead of cooking your own dinner, you are in fact doing something in some way that actually makes you money?

As others have said, you can't account for labor costs while doing your hobbies (or even day-to-day things such as cooking or cleaning) unless doing these things prevent you from doing your 40hrs a week.




When someone get's to Qarl's level of dedication their cost/batch does become very cheap, but he would have to make beer for a few years to actually return on that investment. As he mentioned I made an all grain setup for around a $100 upgrade to my existing extract system, and I was getting in the high 80's efficiency. The difference between mine & Qarl's system is that his is nearly autonomous. One of the reasons I stopped brewing was because it became so tedious to brew all-grain. It slowly became less of a hobby and more of a chore.
Josh

Offline ForrestM

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2013, 10:25:21 AM »
I have been brewing for over 15 years.  It is a fantastic hobby and I highly recommend it.  With a little effort you can make beer that is far superior to most of the stuff sitting on the shelf at your local liqour store/ grocery/ whatever.

That being said, if you are just looking for a cheap way to get drunk, then don't bother.  By the time you factor equipment (even a small percentage of it over time), energy costs, ingredients, and chemicals you are already over the price of some of the cheap crap out there (think keystone, natty light, etc).  But if you are interested enough in beer you likely don't drink that swill anyway. 

I say go for it.  It is a fun process.  You can make great beers.  And great beer goes well with great pizza.

Offline patnugent

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2013, 06:48:13 AM »
Well, my Irish Red Ale is sitting in bottles getting conditioned.  The flat, warm cup of it I drank while bottling tasted pretty awesome so I have high hopes for the end product.  Next up is an American Wheat infused with Pineapple.  Gotta get ready for Spring, whenever the spring actually gets here.

Offline tombiasi

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2013, 10:45:36 AM »
Well, my Irish Red Ale is sitting in bottles getting conditioned.  The flat, warm cup of it I drank while bottling tasted pretty awesome so I have high hopes for the end product.  Next up is an American Wheat infused with Pineapple.  Gotta get ready for Spring, whenever the spring actually gets here.

You missed St. Paddy's day with your Irish Ale?

Offline patnugent

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2013, 11:43:55 AM »
You missed St. Paddy's day with your Irish Ale?

Ha yeah, I ordered the kit not realizing the beer would be sitting in a bucket for 3 weeks and then bottles for 1-2 more  :angel:  but regardless, good beer is good beer and we drank a ton of guinness on st paddys day instead.

Offline Ev

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2013, 01:20:26 PM »
I'm a long time homebrewer, though the last time I brewed was about a year ago.  ??? 
The theme for tonights brew-club meeting is "Vintage", meaning bring whatever you've had in your cellar for any length of time. Last year, someone brought in several different years worth of Westvleteren 12s, all at least 8 years old. Wow! Anyway, I think I've got some good old homebrews to share tonight. ;D

Offline Don K

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #38 on: March 27, 2013, 01:32:56 PM »
Not sure how I missed this thread. ???

I started homebrewing over 20 years ago (hard for me to believe), for the same reason that I make my own pizza...Because most of what's available sucks. Actually the similarity doesn't stop there...I have a lot of fun experimenting with different ingredients and methods when making beer, just like with pizza.

Things have changed quite a bit with beer since I started homebrewing. With the craft beer movement exploding, and me living close to several great breweries, I no longer have trouble finding good beer...in fact, the opposite is true...so many beers, so little time. This is why even though it's been well over a year since I've brewed any beer, I still have a cellar and a "beer fridge" full of beer. ;D I still would like to brew a batch soon, just for the fun of it. Not sure where I'm going to put it though. :-\

As far as saving money by making your own beer...maybe after the initial outlay for equipment costs is recouped...but for me, that's not my motivation. I do it because it's a fun hobby that produces a great product.

That is a sweet setup you got there Qarl! A friend of mine built a similar setup. His wasn't as pretty and shiny as yours though. The diamond plate on the walls is a nice touch. 8)

BTW, for those wanting to get into home brewing, a fancy setup like Qarl's isn't required. You can get started for as little as about $100 and make some great beer.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 01:34:49 PM by Don K »
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Offline kiwipete

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Re: Home Brewing.
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2013, 03:56:43 PM »
I'm a long time homebrewer, though the last time I brewed was about a year ago.  ??? 
The theme for tonights brew-club meeting is "Vintage", meaning bring whatever you've had in your cellar for any length of time. Last year, someone brought in several different years worth of Westvleteren 12s, all at least 8 years old. Wow! Anyway, I think I've got some good old homebrews to share tonight. ;D

Jeez, that stuff is worth gold...



 

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