How many of you buy your ingredients in bulk amount so you can brew when the moment strikes you?
I have been thinking about getting bulk DME as well as ordering up on some of the specialty grains and hops I frequently use and I have a few generic questions:
1) how long do uncracked grains last? I am thinking about going through and seeing which grains I plan to use in the next several months and just stocking up, will this work?
2) same question regarding hops and, to a lesser extent, yeast.
3) I tend to use crystal 55 and 60 frequently, can i switch to just using 55 and adjust recipes accordingly or will it make a big difference?
4) What are the main concerns around buying bulk DME? Will my Escali scale be able to handle measuring the quantities?
Basically I want to be able to put in large orders every few months that take into account what I think I might want to brew but be flexible for random flights of fancy. (This has all come about b/c I can't get to my LHBS on account of snow so I can't brew this weekend ).
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.