How to make cheap beer at home?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Homebrewing beer can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it can also be expensive if you’re not careful. However, there are several ways to make great beer on a budget. Here are five ideas to help you make cheap beer at home:

1. Reuse your yeast: Yeast is an essential ingredient in beer brewing, and it can be quite costly to buy new yeast for every batch. Instead, consider reusing the yeast from your previous brews. After fermenting your beer, carefully collect the yeast sediment from the bottom of the fermenter and store it in a sanitized jar in the refrigerator. When it’s time to brew again, you can pitch this yeast into your new batch. Reusing yeast not only saves money but can also add character to your beer as the yeast evolves over multiple generations.

2. Brew all-grain: Brewing with extract kits is a popular and convenient way to make beer, but it can be more expensive than brewing with all-grain. All-grain brewing involves mashing grains to extract fermentable sugars, which gives you more control over the flavor and body of your beer. By investing in a simple all-grain setup, such as a cooler mash tun, you can save money in the long run by buying grains in bulk and crushing them yourself. This allows you to tailor your recipes and experiment with different grains, resulting in more affordable and personalized beer.

3. Buy grain in bulk: Buying grains in bulk can significantly reduce the cost of your homebrew. Many homebrew supply stores offer discounts for purchasing grains in larger quantities, such as 50-pound sacks. By buying in bulk, you not only save money but also have a constant supply of grains for multiple brews. Properly stored grains can last for months without losing their freshness, so it’s a cost-effective investment for your homebrewing endeavors.

4. Buy last year’s hops in bulk: Hops are another key ingredient in beer, and they can be expensive, especially if you’re using popular and trendy varieties. However, hops can be stored in a freezer for up to a year without significant degradation in quality. Consider buying last year’s hops in bulk during hop harvest season when they are usually available at reduced prices. These hops can still contribute excellent flavor and aroma to your beer, and you’ll be able to brew multiple batches without breaking the bank.

5. Make session beer: Session beer refers to beers with lower alcohol content, typically around 4-5% ABV. These beers are flavorful and enjoyable to drink without packing a punch. By brewing session beers, you can save money on ingredients, especially malt and hops, as they are used in smaller quantities compared to higher gravity beers. Additionally, session beers tend to have a shorter fermentation time, allowing you to brew more frequently and enjoy your creations sooner.

Making cheap beer at home is possible with a few cost-saving strategies. By reusing yeast, brewing all-grain, buying grain and hops in bulk, and making session beer, you can significantly reduce your brewing expenses while still enjoying delicious and affordable homebrew. Happy brewing!