30 gallon batch logistics
Ok so new to the site and this is a two part question. A friend and I have just gone a little over board and moved up to a 30 gallon all grain system (30 gallon HLT, 30 gallon Mash, 55 gallon Boil Kettle all electric). I am just wondering how other 30 galloners have gone about getting all their grains, hops, yeast, etc.? As I don't believe my local homebrew store will have that much grain consistently in stock.
Also, for 30 gallon batches, any tricks on how much yeast to use? Or just 6 pouches?
To start off, you're cutting it a bit close on the MLT for 30 gallon batches. 40 gallon would be better (that's what I have) and 55 would be ideal. You're going to have a hard time brewing beers over 1.060 unless you mash thick and fly sparge or do multiple batch sparges. Anyway, as for ingredients, I get my grain once a year when my LHBS has it's grain sale in the fall. I usally get between 2-300 lbs. You shouldn't have as much trouble as you think finding bulk grain. You can get bulk hops online from several places. Hops Direct and Freshhops are probably the best for cheap, bulk purchases but you have to act fast when the fall crop becomes available because they sell out of popular varieties pretty fast. If you have some land or know someone that does it's a good idea to grow a few plants of varieties that you use a lot. I have 5 plants and normally don't have to buy much on the side. For yeast, that's kind of up to you and how you want to go about it. You can brew up a 5 gallon session beer and use the yeast cake or you can use 6 smack packs (not advised for cost reasons). I take it you plan to use 6 fermenters? I ferment in buckets. I have 6 stir plates and make an individual starter for each bucket. What I do is buy one smack pack of each yeast strain I want to use for the year and then grow up a bunch of it and freeze it. There's a link in my sig for the freezing method. Saves a ton of cash, and the shelf life is much longer. This way you never have to worry about it. Just pop some yeast out of the freezer and get to it.
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