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As the Aroma Hops Price Changes, so Does the Home Brew Costs

Jul 5, 2008
The demand for aroma hops is growing every day, but the production of this very important beer ingredient is not growing at the same rate, this is the reason that the home brew costs are getting out of hand.

Keep your eye on the hidden costs

It all depends on what is already there when it comes to the initial home brew costs, this can make it a very cheap hobby or a money sucker. Another factor is what the quality of the bought equipment is. The ballpark figure you should think of is around $150. Keep in mind though that this is only for the equipment and does not include all the ingredients that you will need for a batch of beer. When it comes to ingredients and the costs an easy way of calculating is that it will cost you about $3 per six pack if you are going to make a five gallon batch of light body ale.

It is a bit problematic to do a good estimate on home brew costs because the price for the ingredients are not stable. A good example of this is the price for aroma hops, one of the main ingredients for beer, which has gone sky high because of a world wide shortage. A little while back, up to the year 2000 the price for hops was around $2 for every pound. These days, in 2007, the price for a pound was more in the region of $26 if you can get your hands on it. This fact is threatening to put a halt to home brewing.

Most of the big commercial brewers will have the price for their hops locked down in a contract with the supplier but in a few years they will see an increase as well. There needs to be a big increase in supply of aroma hops so the demand for commercial and home brewers are met and the price will again drop to a more normal one.

The stable factor

Lucky for us there are a lot of stable factors in home brew costs which is the equipment such as:

. a five gallon pot

. a hydrometer

. bottle sanitizer and topper

These have been very constant in price. When you start our with this hobby you should reserve about $150 for the initial hardware but that's a minimum, you can, if you go wild, spend as much as $300 or more.

Keep watching your wallet

When you haven't got that much money to spend then you should make a real afford to find the less expensive equipment. If you really think this will be a hobby that will last a long time then it would be wiser to save some more money first so you can buy the best hardware the first time round. When we take the rest of the needed items, like yeast, malt and bottle caps (not the hops), in account we are talking somewhere in the region of about $20 per five gallon batch. You could even reduce some of the returning home brew costs by putting the finished product in a keg and not use bottles. This way you don't have to buy bottles and caps.

Remember why you do it

As you see you can keep the costs low by doing some smart buying or by leaving things out. Just remember that it's a hobby that can be a lot of fun to do, alone but also with some of you friends. It doesn't matter what hobby you have, they all cost money and if you save up you don't have to miss out. When your friends like helping out with producing and drinking the beer then why not ask them to chip in?

The most important thing to remember is to have fun.
About the Author
Drew Brown has one hobby, home made beer brewing and he loves to share it with the world. He just loves to brew his own beverages. On his website he tells you all about home brew recipes or wine making supplies.
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