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Old 05-14-2010, 09:10 PM   #1
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Default How do you buy grain in bulk?

Just for grins and giggle I did a shopping cart in BeerSmith on my last 5 all grain batches. In those 5 batches was no less than 17 different types of grain. Now if you made the same beer every time I can see how buying in bulk would be a great idea. But there is no way that I could stock up on 17 different grains. Heck, I would need to build a silo to store it all in.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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Most people just purchase bulk 50lb sacks of base grain only (uncrushed). If you get in on a group purchase (through a home brew club or other) it's pretty easy and you can possibly do a group specialty grain purchase that way. Usually makes it alot cheaper.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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I participate in a bulk grain buy 2x a yr or so. I rarely buy specialty malts in bulk but did manage to partake in a Cl score when my friend and I split #200 of wheat and some specialty malts. I try to have at least #55 of Vienna, Pilsner, Maris Otter, and 2 row on hand. I also have #50 of Brown Malt...OOPS!!!. All my base malts are in homer buckets (stacks easily) all they rest are on the brew shelf.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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It's base malts that most buy in bulk. When you use 10 - 15lbs or more per patch a 50# sack doesn't really last all that long. As the others mentioned, I too don't really stock up on specialty malts. I may round up and hold on to stuff for a little while. But that usually doesn't happen.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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I burn through a ton of grains brewing 10 gallons a week. I always have 55lb sacks of American 2-row, Pilsner, and Pale Ale Malt (english base malt). Most people can burn through these in a few months, but if you store malt properly it'll last a year or more. I brew enough that I also have honey, vienna, munich on hand in 55lb bags.

I did buy a 55lb bag of chocolate and caramel 60. That was a mistake. I haven't used hardly any of those yet. I'm sure they'll go stale before I use them. I give that stuff to anyone that wants it.

In short buy the sacks of your base malts, maybe some higher volume specialty malts like munich, but never buy sacks of black patent or anything like that.

As for how to go about doing this, I live close to a malter so I just drive down there and he loads me up with whatever I want. Not many of these guys around anymore with the big malting companies buying everyone up. Your local brew pub might consider tossing a couple extra sacks on their pallet if you ask nicely. Otherwise you need to go through one of the big malting companies and you'll probably need to pay for a pallet and delivery. If you live close to a warehouse you may be able to avoid this. Homebrew shops also will sell you bags of malt sometimes.

Buy all your specialty malts at your homebrew shop though, and support those LHBS.

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Old 05-14-2010, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathani View Post
I burn through a ton of grains brewing 10 gallons a week. I always have 55lb sacks of American 2-row, Pilsner, and Pale Ale Malt (english base malt). Most people can burn through these in a few months, but if you store malt properly it'll last a year or more. I brew enough that I also have honey, vienna, munich on hand in 55lb bags.

I did buy a 55lb bag of chocolate and caramel 60. That was a mistake. I haven't used hardly any of those yet. I'm sure they'll go stale before I use them. I give that stuff to anyone that wants it.

In short buy the sacks of your base malts, maybe some higher volume specialty malts like munich, but never buy sacks of black patent or anything like that.

As for how to go about doing this, I live close to a malter so I just drive down there and he loads me up with whatever I want. Not many of these guys around anymore with the big malting companies buying everyone up. Your local brew pub might consider tossing a couple extra sacks on their pallet if you ask nicely. Otherwise you need to go through one of the big malting companies and you'll probably need to pay for a pallet and delivery. If you live close to a warehouse you may be able to avoid this. Homebrew shops also will sell you bags of malt sometimes.

Buy all your specialty malts at your homebrew shop though, and support those LHBS.
You can go through a sack of honey malt?

Damn.

Eric
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:50 PM   #7
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I added up the grains I used in the last 5 batches:
Maris Otter - 37 lb
Pilsen - 8 lb 8 oz
Crystal 55 - 2 lb
Munich - 1 lb
Cara Pils - 8 oz
Crystal 150 - 6 oz
Roasted Barley - 1 oz

I buy the Maris Otter in bulk, and the Pilsen in 10 lb bags. The rest I buy by the lb.

-a.

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Old 05-15-2010, 02:58 AM   #8
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I'm debating buying a bag of Crystal 60. It's the middle of the road as far as specialty malts go and I use a lot of it. It's probably the only speciality malt I'd ever buy.

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Old 05-15-2010, 03:20 AM   #9
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In addition to buying base grains through a group bulk buy, sometimes I go to the LHBS and just buy 10 or 20 pound of different specialty malt uncrushed and store it in 2.5 or 5 gal buckets. No price break, but the convenience of having a variety of ingredients on hand so I can brew whenever I have the spare time is well worth it to me. This probably wouldn't work as well if I didn't have a little store of washed yeast in the fridge, but since I do I can usually get away with brewing interesting recipes without taking an extra trip to the LHBS.

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Old 05-15-2010, 05:12 AM   #10
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I purchased 50lbs of 2 row and get specialty grains as I need them... I am lucky the homebrew store is 5 miles from me.

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