Advertisement
Boards Golf Society are looking for new members for 2022...read about the society and their planned outings here!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

Advice please

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10,005 ✭✭✭✭ DARK-KNIGHT


    Hi folks looking at homebrewing as an option as find cost of craft beers is becoming expensive as such especially seeing the rise in popularity.

    So few questions if you would not mind answering

    If I invest how long does a run of beer last? how is the beer carbonated? is it worth the investment? is the beer better than what you would buy in a store if done right?

    and finally any advice on what equipment to look for and where to buy it?


Comments



  • I can answer some of your questions but I've just started out myself.
    I made some wine but that wont be ready for a good while so could be awful

    I decided to make some beer from a kit too,its almost ready to bottle.
    I got the Hopapocalypse kit from thehomebrewcompacy.ie
    Makes 40pints

    I picked up the gear from adverts inc 40 or so 500ml pop top glass bottles .
    Brew takes 2 weeks (in a 25L brewing bucket)before bottling and then another 2weeks to carbonate (i think,I havent gotten this far).
    Carbonation is done by adding sugar to the bottles as you fill.




  • Hi folks looking at homebrewing as an option as find cost of craft beers is becoming expensive as such especially seeing the rise in popularity.

    So few questions if you would not mind answering

    If I invest how long does a run of beer last? how is the beer carbonated? is it worth the investment? is the beer better than what you would buy in a store if done right?

    and finally any advice on what equipment to look for and where to buy it?

    If you’re anything like me, it will always be cheaper to buy pre-made beer off the shelf, home brewing is not cheaper than buying craft beer, but it is more enjoyable and you appreciate the finished product a lot more!




  • If I invest how long does a run of beer last?
    Depends how fast you drink it :pac: A typical homebrew batch is ~20L, but there are ways of making less or more if that's what you want to do.

    Regarding shelf-life, it depends on how you're packaging it, how you're storing it, and the style of beer. A freshly hop-forward beer will stay optimum for three to six months; dark and less hoppy beers will be grand for a year or two. Beer does not "go off", it just gets less fresh.
    how is the beer carbonated?
    Generally, you ferment it out and then when you're bottling it you add a tiny bit of extra sugar which re-starts fermentation just enough to generate CO2 which is trapped in the bottle or keg and becomes fizz when you pour it. This process is called "conditioning".
    is it worth the investment?
    If price is your only concern I would say no. Just buy cheaper beer in the shop. With home brewing you will also be investing your time, so you need to enjoy the process to some extent, not just the end result.
    is the beer better than what you would buy in a store if done right?
    Absolutely. Commercial brewers have to make all sorts of compromises on ingredient costs, tax implications, and what will sell. As a home brewer you get to make the exact beer you want to drink, once you have the skills to do it.
    and finally any advice on what equipment to look for and where to buy it?
    All of the online homebrew shops have sets of starter equipment that will allow you to start brewing with kits straight away. If you decide to graduate beyond kits, it's just a matter of adding more bits to your set-up, so nothing is wasted.




  • If you buy good equipment that is going to last then yes you will save money by home brewing. I don’t calculate my time cost as it’s a hobby not a job.

    Ingredient costs for me are about 30 cents a pint, equipment costs are about 7.5 cents a pint if I give them a 10 year life span. I expect my larger cost equipment (mash tun, boiler, fermenting fridge, kegs) to last longer than 10 years (some of it is there already) so the actual equipment cost may be lower.

    A 20 litre batch takes me about 4 1/2 hours of actual work but with working from home I’m doing it on workdays as my office is next to the kitchen where I’m brewing.

    As for the quality? I’m the first to admit that I’m quite a lazy brewer, I keep it simple enough but I’ll put my beer up against any equivalent you’ll buy in an off license and it will at least hold its own.




  • Hi folks looking at homebrewing as an option as find cost of craft beers is becoming expensive as such especially seeing the rise in popularity.

    I dont think the prices are rising - as the independent producers are getting more successful they can pass on cost/scale reductions into the retail channel. I have noticed that the prices of similar products from independent irish breweries are staying pretty consistent.

    You may be noticing that there are a lot more indulgent (more expensive to produce) beers being released (barrel aged/triple IPA etc.) and import beers. Which isnt the same thing.

    Also minimum unit pricing has done away with the 4 for 10€ deals. Which if you were a fan of McGargles export stout, was a huge saving.

    Wont repeat what BeerNut said but here is some extra feedback on your questions:
    If I invest how long does a run of beer last?

    As fast as you drink it. You may notice that your consumption of *home brew* can increase. 40 bottles of beer can disappear very fast if its good, and the right kind of beer. With social consumption where your guests are having some, it can go very fast indeed.

    On a 20-25L batch, the social consumption was enough to wipe out the good beers very quickly (6-8 weeks) so I switched up to making more in single batches (55L in one go). And those beers can last a long time in bottle form. I have good beers last 12-24 months before being consumed. Now that I keg, the good beer is consumed quite quickly, so I mix between kegging and bottling.
    is it worth the investment?

    I am biased, but yes. Its worth it when you make something really good, and manage to do it repeatably. Also your investment doesn't have to be big.

    Very expensive beer equipment is usually about saving time, not making better beer.
    is the beer better than what you would buy in a store if done right?

    Yes. There are things you can do as homebrewers that the professionals cant contemplate.

    I know a guy who wanted to blend his sour beers - he made 10 batches of beer with different and similar yeast cultures, let them mature over 2-3 years and picked the best 3 to make his epic blend. 3 decades of fermentation to make one batch.

    Even with increasing choice, it can be hard to get certain beer styles. Being able to make them at home, well, means that you can always get them, and get them cheaply.
    and finally any advice on what equipment to look for and where to buy it?

    Online are the only options now, but kit shows up on the National Homebrew Club, and local chapters of the above.

    If you are buying, I get all my stuff domestically from thehomebrewcompany.ie and geterbrewed.ie

    homebrewwest.ie is another provider, but in practice they specialise in kits and most of the equipment and ingredients for non-kit brewing is out of stock (I think they should really consider delisting them if they dont plan on restocking).

    I used to source from the UK a fair bit, but brexit has made that impractical/very costly now. I know some people have switched over to amazon.de for a lot of things.


  • Advertisement


  • sharingan wrote: »
    Also minimum unit pricing has done away with the 4 for 10€ deals.
    Apologies for going off topic, but it's the second time I've seen this on Boards recently: the multibuy ban is not minimum unit pricing. MUP still hasn't been activated.
    sharingan wrote: »
    Online are the only options now, but kit shows up on the National Homebrew Club, and local chapters of the above.
    And on Adverts and similar marketplaces too.




  • Yes of course, I was using my reference to Minimum Unit Pricing as a catchall for all the enacted / upcoming policy changes around alcohol sale and pricing.

    But I think I am right, and that prices are NOT getting more expensive.


Advertisement