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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Questions for extract brewers doing repeats of recipes...
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
jrodskreet
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Default Questions for extract brewers doing repeats of recipes...

1. Do you buy ingredients in bulk? why or why not?

2. If bulk ingredients how do you store them?

3. Do you use strictly kits that you like? Do you pay a little more and do your own recipe? Or both?

4. If you do kits how many do you buy at a time? why or why not?


Just trying to get a feel of what others do. I want to do my own recipes but I feel it's easier and cheaper to just keep buying kits i enjoy.

Any other discussion want to be brought up on this subject?

Thanks

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodskreet
1. Do you buy ingredients in bulk? why or why not?

2. If bulk ingredients how do you store them?

3. Do you use strictly kits that you like? Do you pay a little more and do your own recipe? Or both?

4. If you do kits how many do you buy at a time? why or why not?

Just trying to get a feel of what others do. I want to do my own recipes but I feel it's easier and cheaper to just keep buying kits i enjoy.

Any other discussion want to be brought up on this subject?

Thanks
I do not buy in bulk, I buy what I need when I need it. This isn't the cheapest route to go, but I don't feel wasteful. I do buy things like Irish moss and other add ons in "bulk".

I also buy pre made kits and my own, and by my own I mean I take other people recipes and butcher them.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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1. Do you buy ingredients in bulk? why or why not?
Back when I did mostly extract, I purchased as needed because i din't have the space for more.

2. If bulk ingredients how do you store them? Now I buy bulk and have a room to properly store things.

3. Do you use strictly kits that you like? Do you pay a little more and do your own recipe? Or both? I still buy extract kits for the simple speed of getting them into the fermentor quicker.

4. If you do kits how many do you buy at a time? why or why not?
I have purchased as many as 4 at a time because i got very good shipping rates.


Just trying to get a feel of what others do. I want to do my own recipes but I feel it's easier and cheaper to just keep buying kits i enjoy.

Any other discussion want to be brought up on this subject?

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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I usually by cooper's OS cans & add things to them to change'em into a beer I like. I buy what I need when I need it. I can't afford to brew once a week. More like once a month. I really should get a second one going soon to fill the empty pipeline up. I got enough bottles for some 6 batches at least.
I just did my first partial mash kit 2 days ago. Next time,I'll buy grains myself & use some of the NZ hops I got socked away. I'll buy a bunch of hops (about a pound worth) & stor'em in zip lock freezer bags in the freezer burped of air. Yeast packets in the butter cubby on the fridge door. LME on the fridge shelf. Grains as well. They'll keep for quite some time this way.
So some things I buy a bunch of,others are best bought fresh.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jrodskreet View Post
I want to do my own recipes but I feel it's easier and cheaper to just keep buying kits i enjoy.
this is the crux of your question - what is more important, brewing your own recipes or making easy & cheaper beer? btw you can do both: buy some kits and switch it up sometimes with your own recipe.

and buying your own ingredients should be cheaper than kits - where are you looking? have you shopped around?

(edit: when i say "kits", i mean those put together by online LHBS like northern brewer, austin homebrew supply, etc. i don't mean coopers or mr. beer kits... those are indeed cheaper - but not really comparable to the aforementioned kits or putting together your own recipe based on individual ingredients).
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell
this is the crux of your question - what is more important, brewing your own recipes or making easy & cheaper beer? btw you can do both: buy some kits and switch it up sometimes with your own recipe.

and buying your own ingredients should be cheaper than kits - where are you looking? have you shopped around?

(edit: when i say "kits", i mean those put together by online LHBS like northern brewer, austin homebrew supply, etc. i don't mean coopers or mr. beer kits... those are indeed cheaper - but not really comparable to the aforementioned kits of putting together your own recipe based on individual ingredients).
What's truly important to me is good beer. If I came up with the recipe or whoever. I've only been brewing going on a year, so I want to try my own being as I've never brewed my own, but I am... extremely frugal. So I guess I was actually looking for someone to say something like "NO! don't buy a big a bigass box of one type of extract" or "yeah buy a 5 lb bag of one type of specialty grain." I guess yeah if I just had a house beer I brewed constantly bulk seems ok, but I like to surprise myself when I open the fridge.

Clear as mud?
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:26 AM   #7
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you're saying you want to eat a variety of steaks but only want to pay for hamburger... tough to have it both ways.

there are sites like brewmasterswarehouse.com and austinhomebrew.com that allow you to buy ingredients by the ounce. build a recipe or two and price them out that way, might not be as bad as you think.

buying in bulk will indeed save you money, but it's an investment. price can easily be half of what you'll pay in the store but you need to pay $50-$60 for that whole sack of grain (or $100 for that sack of DME). if you buy grains in bulk you'll need a mill. splitting with a friend can ease the burden.

in terms of "the one thing" you should or shouldn't buy, it's tough to pinpoint something for extract brewers. ideally you should buy in bulk whatever you use the most of, but storing & using large quantites of extract can be a royal pain. keeping bugs out is a concern, you'll need to store it in an air-tight containers, and transferring extract is a pain). i believe that with the right care DME lasts longer than LME, but DME is sensitive to humidity. looks like you're in MS, aka a huge swamp. DME, if not stored air-tight, will suck humidity out of the air and turn itself into a giant brick. chipping away at a 55-pound hunk of solid DME with a chisel is no fun. buying specialty grains in bulk doesn't make a whole lot of sense a recipe uses so little. a 55-pound bag will last a long time if you only use a pound per batch.

if you want to save money, you might want to look into all-grain brewing. AG is definitely cheaper than extract. with extract, you're paying someone to mash the grains for you and remove the water. cut out the middle man and do it yourself. also, grains are easier to store.

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Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:42 AM   #8
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1. Do you buy ingredients in bulk? why or why not?
Some things yes, just ordered 4lbs of hops (4 varieties) because it was just too good a deal to pass up. Haven't done it with grain or extract yet and don't see myself doing that quite yet.

2. If bulk ingredients how do you store them?

I will repack the hops in vaccum bags and store in the freezer. Use and combine as needed.

3. Do you use strictly kits that you like? Do you pay a little more and do your own recipe? Or both?
little bit of both. Right now I am still using kits (till the hops order comes in) to sample different style and find ones I like. the ones I like I will make again and maybe adjust. There have been some kits that have been good, but not curl my toes good. I figure with as many choices as there is out there, the ones I repeat are the ones that curl my toes.

4. If you do kits how many do you buy at a time? why or why not?
I buy 2-4 depending on deals to take advantage of shipping costs.

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodskreet View Post
1. Do you buy ingredients in bulk? why or why not?

2. If bulk ingredients how do you store them?

3. Do you use strictly kits that you like? Do you pay a little more and do your own recipe? Or both?

4. If you do kits how many do you buy at a time? why or why not?


Just trying to get a feel of what others do. I want to do my own recipes but I feel it's easier and cheaper to just keep buying kits i enjoy.

Any other discussion want to be brought up on this subject?


Thanks
1) Not for extract batches
2) Grains, DME/LME, yeast in the fridge. Hops in the freezer.
3) Midwest's Ale of the Month Kits, my recipes in that order.
4) None, it was a gift. One a month.

(~50% of my brews are extract kits. Most of the others are all grain recipes of my own. I'll occasionally come up with an extract recipe to dump ingredients that I have on hand from kits I don't brew)

No other input, I think people should brew what they like to brew.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell
there are sites like brewmasterswarehouse.com and austinhomebrew.com that allow you to buy ingredients by the ounce. build a recipe or two and price them out that way, might not be as bad as you think.
thanks. I never knew about these sights where you can build your own kits. Every where I've looked it's a pound of grains and 1oz and 1lb of hops. This is kinda why I ask as well. Some recipes call for like .75 oz. of hops or 6 oz. of specialty grains. I like dealing in wholes, too lazy to try to store extra until next brew day, and try not to be wasteful.
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