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TBaGZ 07-21-2012 01:51 AM

LHBS Prices... First time not buying a kit.
 
I am getting ready to step into a/g and I have a recipe I want to try instead of buying a kit. I have done a couple extract kits and they have turned out decent, but I want to get away from. Not that I have anything against it. I just want to try the other methods. So, I emailed my lhbs which is about 20-30 minutes away to see if he had what I need in stock and to get prices. He emails m e back and says he has eveerything. No prices. I email back and ask for prices again (I don't want to drive down there and find that the prices are way out of wack). He emails me back and says 2 row is 1.95 a pound or 16.00 for a 10 pound bag, specialty grains are 2.95 a pound and hops are 2.50 an ounce. Does it seem odd that all hops and spec grain would be the same price no matter what kind?? I guess I don't have a problem with him only selling full pounds of grain, just stinks I have to buy two pounds to get 1 pound 3oz. Here is what I need for this recipe.

Hops
2oz Cascade
1oz Nugget

Grain
1/2lb chocolate malt
1lb 3oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine
1lb 7oz Caramel/Crystal Malt 40L
8lbs 14oz 2-Row

At his price I am at like 38.00 with all 4 grains having some left over. Or I could get exactly the amounts I need from Brewmasters for 32.00 shipped.

There is one other local place I want to check, but it is more of a wine place with SOME beer stuff, and I don't think they stock much.

What are your thoughts on those prices? I have only purchased online so those are the only prices I have to compare to.

Thanks

mike20793 07-21-2012 02:19 AM

Yea that's pretty steep. Check out Rebel Brewer. They have the best grain selection of any store in the world. Literally. Not sure their prices on shipping though since they are my LHBS. They have 2-row at $1.04 per pound, chocolate malt at $0.12 per ounce, carapils for $1.50 per pound, and C-40 at $1.35 per pound. Cascades are $1.49 per ounce and Nuggets are $1.79 per ounce (I would go to another site and buy hops in bulk for much cheaper, like Hops Direct). They also have good connections with the folks at White labs so they have specialty yeasts like Rebel Brewer American Pub and Pacman available pretty frequently. Plus their customer service is absolutely incredible and their prices on other equipment are some of the cheapest around. I highly recommend them for anything homebrew related.

Edit: Also, you can buy in bulk and save on grains. For example, for 2-row, 10-205 lbs gets a 10% discount.

Silverbullet 07-21-2012 02:30 AM

One note on the extra grains you may end up with if having to purchase by the pound; since going to AG, it will be nice to have some extra grains (base anyway) on hand to compensate for potential efficiency issues or bumping bigger beers down the road. Can also sub with LME/DME but the point is you should be able to find a use for your extra grains.
I wish I had a LHBS. Stupid MS.....

TBaGZ 07-21-2012 02:37 AM

I agree about the extra grain not going to waste, but I still don't want to over pay for it. I was really hoping to be able to save by buying local, but at this rate I might just break even after shipping. Only advantage would be not having to wait for it.

jmtwo 07-21-2012 02:39 AM

My LHBS charges $2.95/lb for all grains regardless. Hops are $2-4/oz. They are a last resort emergency stop only.

Check around online, you can find much better places that are cheaper with the shipping. Probably more selection too.

At the place I use now, I can typically fill two recipes and have it shipped for less than what my LHBS charges for one recipe. It takes a bit more planning, but definitely worth it.

Silverbullet 07-21-2012 02:41 AM

I don't suppose the LHBS would price match your order online?

mike20793 07-21-2012 02:43 AM

Yea you're right about the shipping. For 10 lbs of 2-row, it's like 15 bucks to your zip code from Rebel (most of that is initial shipping cost so anything else won't add too much to the price). Maybe you can find a better homebrew store that's within 2 hours or so and drive and buy bulk. That's what I did before I moved right down the road from Rebel Brewer. I drove and bought 250 lbs at once. I saved a lot of money, but I had to put out the money up front, so that's the trade off. Good luck searching. Let us know what works out best for you. Cheers. :tank:

gsanstra 07-21-2012 02:44 AM

Ask, if you don't ask you'll never know. I had my lhbs price match on some stuff....

Qhrumphf 07-21-2012 02:48 AM

My normal LHBS usually sells in 1#, 10# or 55# with a few sporadic malts being available in 5# bags. A few others in the area (a bit more of a drive) do bulk grain, which is cool and all, but I find that having those extra bits of grains around give me an incentive to brew more. Has also had me making a couple kitchen sink beers to use up the scraps that ended up being really good.

The pricing seems a little on the steep side. I don't know what the normal going rate is in your area though. My LHBS prices seem to be pretty close to the online prices, usually close enough that unless I'm placing a huge order, it works out to be cheaper with the shipping removed. Plus I like the idea of keeping the local shop in business.

One thing I would recommend is only buying liquid yeast locally, regardless of price. I bought a couple packs from Northern Brewer last summer in the middle of a heat wave, and after making starters one was really low viability, the other was completely dead.

mike20793 07-21-2012 02:52 AM

+1 to asking for price match. Just tell them you will buy elsewhere if they don't (which is probably true).


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