Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Saving Money While Designing A Beer

Worth Noting: The screenshots are from a recipe that I am currently putting together. It isn't dialed in for brew day yet.

I am a big fan of cutting costs. I also welcome Google as my overlord. Not all of us are to the point where we are buying ingredients in bulk. Typically when I sit down to design a recipe I will start with a little research. Blah Blah...let me just make a basic list of the beginning or my process:

  1. Decide what kind of flavors I am after any apply it to a style
  2. Search out clone recipes for commercial beers that hit the notes that I want
    • Don't limit to one or two beer. This step is about comparison.
  3. Study the clone recipes that I found and pick out what they have in common.
  4. Design my beer in BeerSmith
My research pointed my to Founder's Centennial IPA, Sculpin, and some homebrew recipes on Reddit and After my research and BeerSmith work I have a basic ingredients ingredients list:
IPA List
Screenshot from BeerSmith

This is where Google becomes my friend. I see 2-row, Crystal 10, and Centennial so I search for "12lbs two row 1 lb crystal 10 centennial." The 8th result is a Bell's Two Hearted Clone Kit from AIH. For sake of simplicity I only linked the search that hit for me. I tried a "12lbs two row 1 lb crystal 10 ipa" first and then "12lbs two row 1 lb crystal 10 centennial amarillo" second. I got the linked result on my third search.

When I compare AIH's Two Hearted clone kit I see that my recipe and theirs is almost the same. I can purchase this kit and add my other ingredients to my cart. Kit prices are usually at least 15% less expensive than their individual ingredients combined. Kits are also on sale often or subject to free shipping deals. After adding the kit to my cart I just need to add an ounce of Amarillo hops, a pound of flaked oats, and some US-05 yeast. The total before shipping is $31.26.
Cart with the clone kit

Now let's put this same recipe together by selecting individual ingredients. The total comes to $37.20 before shipping. I will save 16% by choosing the kit that I found that works perfectly by spending 5 minutes searching on Google.

Cart without the clone kit

Sometimes this doesn't work out but it is certainly worth a shot to save some money. I got lucky that this kit matches my recipe closely. Sometimes you will find kits that need a few more additions or some ingredient substitution and subtraction. To confirm your savings use multiple browsers to build multiple carts. example: build one cart in Chrome and another in Firefox

Cheers and happy savings!

*Screenshots were taken on the evening 11-14-2016. Prices may change.