Pints for Prostates

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beer #1 Costs

I will take time now to document the costs involved. This information might be helpful for anyone considering getting into the home brewing hobby.


First, I needed the basic equipment. As mentioned in another post, I was given the Basic Starter Kit from Northern Brewer for my birthday. That kit costs $79.99, and Northern Brewer charges a flat $7.99 for shipping. That's a total of $87.98.
Northern Brewer's Basic Starter Kit
I also needed a brew kettle and a thermometer. You may have these in your kitchen already. I purchased a Granite Ware 8 pc Canner Set from Target for $29.99. The set includes a black, 21.5 quart kettle.
Granite Ware 8 pc Canner Set
I bought a thermometer from Bed Bath & Beyond for $10.99.


I chose the Extra Pale Ale extract kit from Northern Brewer. That kit costs $22.50. I chose the Safale dry yeast for another $3.75. That's $26.99 total. With the $7.99 shipping and handling cost, the package cost me $34.24. Lesson: If you need to buy from Northern Brewer, buy a bunch of stuff all at once if you can.


I also bought 1 bag of ice and 3 gallons of water at the grocery store. That cost approximately $5.

Total Cost

+  $5.00

Because my Basic Starter Kit was a gift and I was given $20 in a birthday card, my total cost came to: $60.22.

Provided you have a brew kettle and thermometer, all one needs to start is the Basic Starter Kit and an extract kit. Using the costs above, that comes to $130.21 with a single order from Northern Brewer. Your local home brewing shop may be able to give you a deal. Also note that the cost of the extract kit will vary depending on the style and the amount of ingredients needed.

I will also mention that I purchased John Palmer's How To Brew book, which was $19.95 plus tax at the bricks & mortar Barnes & Noble store. It's the third edition of the book and comes highly recommended by many home brewers. A gift certificate from my sister allowed me to buy another recommended book: Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing. Neither of these books is necessary for your first brew day, but they don't hurt. 

Arguably, I could have borrowed a brew kettle and a thermometer. I could have also made my own ice and boiled the three gallons of water I needed prior to brew day. That would have saved me about $46.

Addendum: Due to interest by an...ahem..."anonymous" comment, I provide this additional information: Batch #1 will make 5 gallons of beer. That equates to two cases (48 bottles) of beer. This first batch required some upstart costs. But if you consider just the cost of ingredients alone, which was $34.24 total. The cost per bottle is about 71 cents. That's approximately $4.28 for a six pack.

1 comment:

  1. Ook, so you posted the cost to brew, but how much beer does this one "batch" make, and how does the cost break down bottle-for-bottle? Not that I'm interested in brewing OR drinking it, just curious. And you're welcome for that Barnes and Noble gift card! (Tehe!) Glad it was put to great use for you.