What do you keep on hand
I live about an hour away from any kind of grain supply and would like to start stocking up on some ingredients as I look forward to my first BIAB batch coming soon.I was wondering what you guys keep on hand in the way of hops grain and yeast to take care of those sudden or not so sudden urges to brew............. something....... anything.
Well, for sudden urges, I always have 4-5 packs each of US-05 and S-04. I usually use these yeasts anyways, but these two will cover most american or english beer styles you'd like to brew. It's great because you don't need a starter and they're excellent yeasts. I also have a yeast bank with a few strains. Belgian, irish, bavarian, and both wheat and wit.
As for hops...I've figured out over the years which types of hops I most frequently use. I grow a few of them, so I usually always have those, but for the few that don't grow well around me, I buy them by the pound online. I have a few american and few noble hop varieties.
I don't like to keep a whole lot of specialty grains on hand since I never know when I'll use them, but I always have 10-20lbs of pilsner, marris otter, and wheat. I keep 2-3lbs of chocolate, roasted barley, caramel 20, 60, and 120. These are malts that I use at least once every other brew....so I know I won't have them sitting around. Anything else...I drive to get.
You really just need to figure out what you like to brew, and base your inventory on that.
I live over an hour away from my LHBS as well, so I buy my base malt in bulk...50-55 lb. bags of pilsner and 2-row pale. Then I overbuy all my specialty malts/ grains for every recipe by .5 to 5 lbs. (depending on what it is) so I always have extra laying around to play with if I decide to brew on a whim. I also try to over buy hops and I vacuum seal any extras from open packages (will start bulk buying hops in bulk too as soon as I lock down a few recipes and quit fiddling :D). I wash my yeast and always keep a little DME around to build starters, though in a pinch I could just do a mini-mash or actually plan ahead enough to save some wort off a batch! Finally, I try to always make sure I have bottle caps and priming sugar, yeast nutrient, and irish moss on hand.
Good luck with the jump to BIAB, you won't regret it :mug:
Always on hand:
US-05 - I'd call this my house yeast. Good for pale ale, IPA, red, cream ale, etc.
US-04 - Good for most english styles
couple of washed yeasts, right now I'm coming off a long hiatus so I have to rebuild this. I have a brew shop within 5 minutes of my house, so I can buy any liquid yeast I may need the day I make my starter.
For Hops I keep about 1 or 2 lbs in my freezer of my commonly used varieties.
Centennial, Chinook, Amarillo, Mt. Hood (for those more mild beers), Sterling (like this in Belgians), and Goldings (out of these right now, need to restock)
2-row pale malt, Belgian Pils - can make almost anything with just the pale malt. I may pick up a bag of Vienna soon though as I'm thinking about making a few lagers once my pipeline is full.
A few lbs of specialty malts, not much though. Right now I have about 5 lbs of C60 because I use that in my pale ale and IPA. Other than that I usually just go to the LHBS and pick up my specialty grains before I brew. It's fun to go to the LHBS and buy the special grains for my next 4 brews and walk out for under $20 knowing I've got everything I need :)
I always keep the following on hand.
55lbs. German Pils (My LHBS sells a sack for $38)
10lbs. White Wheat
10lbs. 60L Crystal
1lb. Roasted Barley
1lb. Pale Chocolate
1lb. Special B.
1lb. Willamette (I use it in everything)
1lb. Target. It's moderate AA% and low Cohumulone levels make it a great all around bittering hop.
And then I have a few ounces of other varieties as well. Right now I've got some El Dorado, Amarillo, Simco, Nelson Sauvin and Brewers Gold.
I always keep some dry nottingham on hand. And I always have a few packs of various Belgian Strains. Right now I have some French Saison, Bier de Garde, Trappist Blend and Ardennes. I've also got a few Brett Strains and some Kolsch yeast on hand.
With these ingredients I can make just about anything I feel like brewing whenever I feel like brewing it.
Homebrew Party has awesome prices. If you want to grab some Nelson Sauvin hops do it soon. They're in short supply right now. And the saison with them is AWESOME.
Iv got about 6 pounds of various hops on hand. I can get 55lb sacks of base malts no problem, so ill buy a bag and use it as fast as i can. Speciality malts are another story, buying them 55lb at a time isnt feasible and the brew on premise shop only has carastan and the big 3 dark malts. So i get them where i can and as much as i can.
Buying 55lb sacks of grain is by far the best way to go, and my personal experience is it can stay fresh for a long time. I just brewed with grain almost a year old and it was some of my best beer yet.
Where are you at in Canada Gwitz?
for hops i have cascade, centennial, simcoe, hallertau and saaz on hand at all times. grains; american 2-row, blegian pils, maris, spec. b, wheat, rye, and honey malt... yeasts, etc; 04, 05, 33, all bretts, about 3 house yeasts and lacto.
covers most everything i make.
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