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Old 03-30-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
jalgayer
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Default Tips on Buying in Bulk - What are the "Staples"?

All -

While I am new to this I am NOT going anywhere soon. I was wondering what to do as far as buying in bulk.

(1) How well do different ingredients keep and How do I "keep" them?
(2) If you were to advise an extract brewer that has been brewing 5 gallons a week of a variety of beers what to get... what would it be?

Basically looking for what hops, malts and yeasts to get? I know that there will be times where I need to get some other stuff...

But what would be a good set of 'staples' for me to get?

Thanks for any tips/advice!

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Old 03-30-2010, 01:09 AM   #2
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Yeast: US-05
Base grains: 2 Row
Specialty grain: Crystal 40-60
Hops: Pretty much any bittering hop.

There are quite a few others I could list, but they depend on personal preference. The items listed above can be used for most recipes. If you post a few styles you like to brew the list can be expanded.

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Old 03-30-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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2 Row even as an extract brewer?

What about the DMEs?

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Old 03-30-2010, 01:38 AM   #4
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If you track all of your recipes using something like BeerSmith, you can select them all and create a shopping list. From that, you can identify what you use most. Those are the things to stock up on in bulk.

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Old 03-30-2010, 01:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalgayer View Post
2 Row even as an extract brewer?

What about the DMEs?
If your not all grain than keep Light DME instead of 2 row stock up on dry yeast like notti 05 get some hops depending on what styles you brew most The c hops for american styles and Willamette and EK goldings for british keep a log of the stuff you use most and pick that up in bulk.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalgayer View Post
2 Row even as an extract brewer?

What about the DMEs?
Oops, I read threw too fast and missed that. Light DME or Extra light DME will work. If you don't have a mill I would suggest buying specialty grains only as needed.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:54 AM   #7
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I was in your spot awhile back and not to start an all grain vs extract discussion, look into all grain brewing though before you load up on a bunch of extract.

Don't get me wrong you can make some excellent extract beers I still make a few myself. I went to load up on some DME, and compared the price of 2row grain, and it was not a tough decision. A little extra equipment to start mini-mashing, and I was golden. Making extract is such a labor intensive process and so heavy shipping not just to you but to your LHBS as well, costs get pretty high and not necessarily lower the more you get. Plus you will lose some from storage, air loss and it has pretty short shelf life, shorter when you open it.

A 55 pound bag of grain is pretty cheap and easy to keep for a year if needed. Befriend a farmer and even better yet!

+1 to stocking up on hops. Start buying by the pound and costs get pretty low. You got some brews under your belt. Figuring out what you use most
has a little trick though, quite a few can be swapped for each other. I will edt
with the link I have when I get home. If you have a green thumb now is a good time to plant, I grow three kinds and trade for the rest I need.

Stocking up on yeast can get tricky. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-ranching-169346/ has been a productive addition to the hobby for me, you need to have space for a few bottles but it has helped me keep a supply of yeast on hand, haven't bought yeast in 3 years!

Corn sugar or Malt - whatever you use for priming.
Caps - don't learn the hard way and run out halfway through bottling.

SANITIZER - you can never be too clean.

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Old 03-30-2010, 04:59 AM   #8
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The only DME to stock up on is the lightest possible--you can layer specialty grains or stovetop partial mashes on top of that, but you can't back off from darker grains. Even if you switch to all-grain, you'll eventually use it making starters, topping up gravity, etc.

Hops by the pound are a huge money savings--but which ones to buy depends heavily on what you brew. OTOH, if you brew anything that needs 5 oz, consider buying a pound instead. I keep fuggles, northern brewer, cascade, saaz, and centennial around. If I did a lot of big American IPAs, I'd certainly want a bittering hop like Magnum or Galena on hand.

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Old 03-30-2010, 05:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OsbornBrewing View Post
A 55 pound bag of grain is pretty cheap and easy to keep for a year if needed. Befriend a farmer and even better yet!
home malting?
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:10 PM   #10
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home malting?
Yeah, it's pretty fun. The SWMBO thought she'd like home coffee roasting, so I got all the hand-me downs!
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