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Homebrewing is already about 50 to 75 percent less expensive than buying beer at the store. In a previous article, we did the math and found out that brewing 20, 5-gallon batches of beer in 2018 only cost us $688 in raw materials. If we bought this much beer at the store, it would have cost us around $1,800. However, there are even more ways to save money while homebrewing by being smart with the ingredients every brewer uses - hops, grains, and yeast.
Here's a visual representation of the information in this article.
Here at Clawhammer, we buy all of our hops in bulk, freeze them, and then use them as needed.
The freezer in our office is filled with different hops
At our local homebrew shop the more hops you buy, the more you save. This is probably true for homebrew shops across the country.
You can also buy your hops in bulk online. We often buy hops from Yakima Valley when they do a sale, which happens frequently.
Click on the image to visit their website
Buy your grains in bulk as well. We buy 50-pound sacks of 2 Row Pale Malt and store it in a food-grade storage container that’s airtight.
A 50-pound sack of 2 Row Pale Malt from Riverbend Malt House
Click on the image to buy a food-grade storage container just like this
Whenever we want to use grain, we just scoop it out of the container
This will help preserve our malt much better than if we just kept it in the sack it came in.
Making yeast starters is a popular way to save money on yeast. A yeast starter allows you to make more yeast from one packet of liquid yeast. For many beers, especially high ABV ones, you’ll need multiple packets of liquid yeast which can cost $6 or more. The ingredients to create a yeast starter are super cheap, we recommend you get in the habit of making one for every brew day. Learn how to make one by reading this article or by watching the video below.
You can also save more money when making a yeast starter by making a bigger one than needed. Just add twice as much DME to your starter and save half of it for another brew day.
The final way to save money on yeast is to harvest and wash it from the bottom of a fermenter. This is also a good way to preserve and continue using special strains of yeast that you can’t buy at the store. Read this article or watch the video below to learn how to harvest and wash yeast.
Are there ways you save money on homebrewing that we didn't talk about? Comment below and let us know!