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Old 02-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
jp27300
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Default Grains to buy

My brew club does a bulk buy and I'm new to brewing, but I'd like to get in on it, as its once a year. I'm looking to buy a bunch of base grains, likely to use for BIAB method for now. Beers I'm interested in brewing are ales, porters, stouts, lagers, Ipa. I typically don't care for lighter colored beers, like pilsners, heff,s or wheat type beers.

So I'm looking for a recommendation for what to bulk buy.
My thoughts are buying a larger amount of either 2 row or Marris otter, but I have no clue as to what other base type grains I should look at and how much. JP

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Old 02-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
novahokie09
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I brew 5 gallon batches and keep a sack of 2-row, light munich and pilsner on hand. I'll generally just buy the crystal/specialty grains from my LHBS when I pick up yeast/hops.

The biggest factors to consider when determing how much grain to buy are batch size, frequency and beer gravity. You might only need to keep one sack of 2-row/pilsner if you're only brewing once a month. If you're brewing once a week, you'll fly through your grains, especially if you're brewing 1.050+.

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
jp27300
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I probably plan to brew every other month or so. You think just one sack would do?

Should I have it crushed (I have no way to currently) Also how do i store it?

Lastly, I know 2 row is kinda the standard, but is Marris Otter similar and can be substituted (in bulk it is similarly priced.)

Marris Otter is a bit richer, yes?
TY

JP

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Old 02-01-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
Xpertskir
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If you are going to buy malt in bulk(and you should) you will need a grain mill. There are ways to go about it cheaply that can be found on here such as ugly junk ect. Otherwise there are many good options around 130 dollars, such as the barley crusher which is what i personally use. Either option will pay for itself rather quickly considrering the bulk malt savings.

I would not advise buying a sack of milled grain unless you plan on using it in a couple months, and generally I just dont think its a good idea to have so much grain around with a short shelf life. Unmilled grain stored in appropriate conditions(dry and cool) will last for a couple years.

As for what types of malt to buy and how much, that is a little trickier.

If you are brewing once a month, average gravity, 5 gallon batches then expect to use 2-2.5 sacks of base malt in a year.

Maris Otter and all of the Thomas Fawcett malts are more expensive than 2 row. They floor malt their barley which is a more involved proccess and IMO lends to much better flavor. I currently have golden promise and pearl malt and plan on a sack of MO next time.

For your experience level and the styles you want to brew I think a sack of 2 row is a no brainer and probably a sack of something more interesting like Maris Otter, Golden Promise, or maybe even a continental malt(pilsner, munich, ect) if those styles are of interest to you.

The first thing you need to worry about is milling.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp27300 View Post
I probably plan to brew every other month or so. You think just one sack would do?

Should I have it crushed (I have no way to currently) Also how do i store it?

Lastly, I know 2 row is kinda the standard, but is Marris Otter similar and can be substituted (in bulk it is similarly priced.)

Marris Otter is a bit richer, yes?
TY

JP
Yes, one sack is plenty to get started for brewing once a month. It will last you around 6-7 months, maybe 5 if you brew big beers.

No, do not get it precrushed. When I first started buying in bulk, I didn't have a mill. I would get my LHBS to mill it for me. I'd bring it in a 5 gallon bucket, and they'd have no issues doing it. I'd ask your LHBS or one of your brew club buddies to mill it for you. At least until you buy your own mill, which you will end up doing if you buy in bulk. I just purchased an MM-2, but you can get a cheaper mill, hopper and base assembly between $120-$130 dollars.

I store grain in my shed in 20 gallon Rubbermaid trash cans. You can get them from Home Depot for ~$13. I double bag the grain in trash bags and then put the lid on tight to keep the grain secured. I'm probably over doing it.

Marris Otter is fine for any ale base malt. It's typically a darker color than a standard american 2 row, 3L instead of 2L. I've used Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter and CMC Superior Pale Ale malt as 2 row. I prefer CMC pale ale malt because I can get it at $0.57/# compared to TF MO at $0.82/#, and I find it to be maltier than regular domestic 2-row at comparable prices.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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You can buy a corona mill for around $30. If you only brew once a month, that would probably be the best option. If you brew a 15-gallon batch every other week, then spend the extra $100 for a fancier model. Here's a pretty good write-up on using a corona http://homebrewingfun.blogspot.com/2...rain-mill.html

I store my grains in the bags they came in. I keep them in a closet in my house. I'm probably underdoing it, but if you keep them dry and uncrushed at room temps, they'll last a long time. Once you have 2-row, you can make a variety of specialty grains at home, as detailed here: http://barleypopmaker.info/2009/12/0...ng-your-malts/ It's not as consistent/predictable as the professionally done stuff, but it's much more fun.

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