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Old 11-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #21
Fizzycist
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I brew a 5 gallon partial grain batch once a month or so, which is a lot less than most people. I buy all my ingredients from my LHBS and take the time while weighing stuff out to shoot the breeze, taste his beer, share mine etc. It works out to be about 5 lbs grain, 3 lbs dry malt extract, couple oz hops and 1 pack (dry or wet) of yeast. Once in a while I restock on things like whirlfloc, yeast nutrient, bottling sugar, caps, etc. And a little more rarely I buy a new piece of gear. I probably average about 30-35 bucks a month.



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Old 11-21-2012, 09:20 PM   #22
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I should also add, this LHBS is very much a side business for the guy. He has a day job and basically only runs it on weekends, and yes, it's out of his garage. Clean, well organized, website and business cards, but it's his garage.



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Old 11-21-2012, 09:25 PM   #23
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Have free or super cheap classes on homebrew basics. You'll be suprised what people will buy when they get something (info) for free.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:31 PM   #24
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Hardware for kegs and all grain setups i.e. ball lock valves, brewmometers, sight glasses, false bottoms, sparge arms, quick disconnects and replacement poppets and o rings.
Knowledgeable staff, knowledgeable staff, knowledgeable staff.
Good luck and have fun

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:14 PM   #25
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I'd say bulk base grains for sub $50 per sack for the basic stuff like Briess, and anything under $70 for a sack of Euro grain is reasonable. While not always practical, having a wide selection of specialty grains is an awesome thing for a LHBS to carry in stock. Also, something rather new my LHBS has started, a big chalkboard of all the hop varieties they carry, and next to each breed a demarcation if they have it in stock in pellet, leaf, or not at all. Also, a wide variety of yeast strains, relatively fresh if possible.

That's what I primarily use my LHBS for, and I'd have to say I'm extremely happy with them.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #26
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Location: I live in the middle of nowhere, and as if it wasn't annoying enough to have to go to the next town over, it was in a really bad location.

Hours: The store I mentioned previously was really bad and went bankrupt, but it had really good hours. Another store is way better on all fronts - except the hours. Open three days a week, for an hour or two per day.

Storage: This I can't stress enough. The bad LHSB stored dry yeast in a basket, right next to a hot lightbulb. They were all mixed in that basket, too. It was generally hard to find anything in that store. No fridge for the hops, either. One 1kg bag of uncrushed base malt... no milling provided...

Ingredients: This is hard, you gotta cater to a lot of different needs.

Equipment: Neither of the stores sold any brewpots, mostly fermentation stuff, mills, capping. No kegging stuff either, and here that'd be a real plus since the internet stores are over charging for that.

Get a good mill, some stores provide substandard milling which hurts the brewers. They get lower efficiency, and have to buy more grain - that's the plan anyway. I'd rather just take my business elswhere.

Try and get on a good foot with a brew club, if you have the space let them use it for meetings. Classes, as someone mentioned, is a good idea. Others might be doing that too, but yours can be better.

And also mentioned by someone else, your own brand of AG kits. Although personally I'm not interested in them in general, I'd might pick 'em up anyway if I'm already there

And it's great for those who can't, or won't, make their own recipes. In the case of my father - both.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #27
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Fresh yeast and a good selection of it. Or at least the ability, or want, to get me the yeast I'm looking for. I hate when I'm looking for, say 3711, and the LHBS owner tells me that 3787, is 'basically the same thing'.



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