How to Make the Best Beer in the World for Under a Buck a Bottle

make your own beer

By Keith Brainard from Brainard Brewing

Editor’s Note: This guest post came about from discussion of the article Life Is Far Too Short To Drink Cheap Beer – 10 Ways To Maximize Your Beer Value where several readers commented that brewing your own beer gives the best value for your money

I have to admit, I have a problem. Whenever I go to the liquor store, I just can’t resist the most expensive beers in the case. In fact, if a place doesn’t have beers with corks or beers with vintages, I won’t really go there. I find myself walking out of a good beer store with an armful of beers and down a hundred bucks.

Fortunately, I have a solution to my problem. I am versed


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16 Responses to How to Make the Best Beer in the World for Under a Buck a Bottle

  1. micks says:

    This is great. I will definitely be trying this out.

  2. Robb says:

    Thank you. As a seasoned home brewer, I appreciate seeing the opportunity to get more people involved in the hobby. Another great resource is It’s a great forum and place to learn and ask questions.

    Good luck to everyone who decides to try, and give it a couple of chances. Finally, don’t use Mr.Beer. For the same amount of money and time, you can make a better brew with the kit mentioned in the article.

  3. How much chance is there of ruining the first few batches?

  4. dan says:

    I would also be interested in knowing how many times it takes to get the hang of making beer. Can I assume the first few batches are going to taste pretty bad?

  5. Mike D says:

    If you follow instructions carefully and keep everything clean (Bottles, equipment, etc) so your beer does not get “infected” your first few batches will be perfect.

  6. Orfy says:

    This step 2 in 1 of 4 ways to make beer

    1. Extract only
    2. Extract and steep
    3. Partial Mash and extract
    4. All grain.

    I would say level 2 is the minimum level for really good beer.

    For all of those attempting it good luck, do a little reading, follow the instructions and have good beer.

    I agree with comments above. is a good place to learn along with

  7. ksbrainard says:

    I’m glad that I have inspired people to take up brewing beer at home!

    My first several batches came out great! I was very careful about sanitation, and following procedures, and everything worked out really well, even though I had some procedural bumps the first few times (like I ran out of propane my first brew session).

    I didn’t make a really bad batch until later, when I started experimenting. My first bad batch was my first “big beer” (high alcohol), which was an all-grain Imperial IPA I made. It had “cooked corn” DMS flavor, came out under-powered (in terms of alcohol content), and wouldn’t carbonate for the longest time. But in the end, even this one is drinkable.

    So in the words of the great Charlie Papazian “Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew”

  8. ksbrainard says:

    It takes time on two different days.

    First is brew day. This will take around six hours the first time, but you can get it down to around four hours if you really work to maximize your working efficiency. A lot of this time is waiting for water to heat up or come to a boil, and the hour it takes to boil the wort during hops additions. You can do other things during this down time.

    Second is bottling day. This takes about two hours. You can make this quicker if you do kegging, but that’s another equipment cost.

    If you time it, you might be able to bottle your previous batch during down time on brew day.

    So, the most time it should take is eight hours total.

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  11. It is possible to save money brewing your own beer. You do have a startup cost in addition to an investment of your time, but, these should not be considered problems when trying to save money.

    Cooking requires pots and pans as does brewing. You’ll have them for years and pay for them many times over in the cost savings.

    Anything will cost you more if you want instant gratification. If you are willing to invest some time you will reap the benefits of saving money and enjoying high quality beer.

  12. kevin says:

    Forgot to mention that anyone that lives in a city that uses chloramine in their water supply really needs to use bottled water, otherwise all the time, money and effort goes down the drain with a beer that ends up tasting like plastic. Chloramine doesn’t boil off like regular chlorine. Crappy lesson to learn.

  13. I like to use the rule of thumb that if your water is good enough to drink, it is good enough to brew with. I use a Pur filter off my tap. I have used bottled water in the past. Both came out pretty much the same as far as I could tell (since the recipes were different). Don’t use distilled water – it lacks needed minerals.

    If you get really advanced, you may add minerals and buffers and things to your water to make it the perfect composition for the style you’re making.

  14. Bellthazar says:

    Great article. This has got me really interested in home brewing.

  15. joos says:

    Great article.I am a homebrewer.Wish I had seen something like this before i started.Would have saved m many headaches.Like trying to do a small all grain batch with nothing but crystal and black patent :).Brew,drink,and be merry.

  16. Home Brew Neil says:

    Once you have a few brews under your belt then the cost of equipment pays for itself. You gotta be carful though with a hobby like home brewing you always want bigger and better equippment

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