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Old 05-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default Prices for grains

I have two LHBS's near me.

The first one is close to my house but only sells pre-crushed grain at a flat $2.20/lb for all types. They also measure and bag it for you. They sell hops at a flat $3.75/oz for all types (pellets).

The second is 25-30 min away but sells grain at around $1.20-2.00/lb but you have to measure and crush it yourself in store. The hops go for $1.75-2.50/oz depending upon variety.

Now I now the one I'm going to choose, but I'm curious if this kind of variation is normal? Which would you choose?

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Old 05-07-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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Yeah, that kind of variation is pretty normal. I hear guys saying how they can get bulk grain at their LHBS for ~$1.00 a pound...but I know my LHBS charges $65 (at least) for a sack of Briess 2-row, let alone Maris Otter. But LHBS has no local competition, just online sales or 'group buys' that get organized.

Depending on the one that's closer, if his crush is real good and they mill it right there for you, that might not be a bad deal.
The other place might be a better hop source though.

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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The price variation is pretty typical, My LHBS sells most grains for $1.65-1.85 per pound and charges $0.20 per pound to mill, hops are typically $2.00 per ounce across the board for pellets, $4.00 per 2 ounce whole leaf.

My only concern would be the freshness of the pre-crushed product. If they are moving a lot of product then its not a worry.The other concern would be the quality of the crush, if you mill it yourself you know what you are getting. Just my point .02

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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Yeah, I wouldn't buy pre-crushed. Freshness is one thing, but they may also be using different mills, so the crush could be different each time. The first store's pricing is borderline highway robbery. I'm all for supporting LHBS but that's a bit over the top.

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattmcl
Yeah, I wouldn't buy pre-crushed. Freshness is one thing, but they may also be using different mills, so the crush could be different each time. The first store's pricing is borderline highway robbery. I'm all for supporting LHBS but that's a bit over the top.
I agree, that's pretty damn pricy, especially for those hops. I mean that is the high end for hard to get hops. Regular hops can go for 1/3 of that at "normal" pricing.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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I agree, that's pretty damn pricy, especially for those hops. I mean that is the high end for hard to get hops. Regular hops can go for 1/3 of that at "normal" pricing.
That's what I was thinking too. As convenient as it is to just go in there, hand them a grain bill and wait 5 minutes for them to pack up the grain and hops, I'm not sure it's worth the premium. For a big beer I could save $20 easy going to the other place.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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The second store further away would be my choice. No brainer. There's no way I'm buying pre-crushed grain. Who knows how long it's been there. Sure the turnover for 2-row is probably pretty quick, but that's about it. The difference in prices helps offset the extra gas.

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Old 05-08-2012, 12:49 AM   #8
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On 20 lbs you will save $6.00 on the grains, but you will break even on gas to get there.

So here is my two cents.

1. I like to crush my own grains, and at my specification.
2. Go with the store that treats you personally better, ie. do you like the people, do they like you.
3. Your time is valuable, is that worth the hour of drive time.
4. Make a point that prices matter, maybe the other guy will lower his prices by the lack of business.

The only LHBS near me is 40 minutes away.

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Old 05-08-2012, 01:16 AM   #9
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Wow. My LHBS is charging around 3.50 a lb for base malts. Milled fresh but man. I ordered mostly from Austin but in a pinch I pay.

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Old 05-08-2012, 01:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk0 View Post
I have two LHBS's near me.

The first one is close to my house but only sells pre-crushed grain at a flat $2.20/lb for all types. They also measure and bag it for you. They sell hops at a flat $3.75/oz for all types (pellets).

The second is 25-30 min away but sells grain at around $1.20-2.00/lb but you have to measure and crush it yourself in store. The hops go for $1.75-2.50/oz depending upon variety.

Now I now the one I'm going to choose, but I'm curious if this kind of variation is normal? Which would you choose?
Two Words: "Group Buy".
For example, Syracuse area group buy:
55# 2-row: < $35 SHIPPED
55# TF-Maris Otter: < $48 shipped
Hops:
Columbus < $6/# shipped
Cascade < $7/# shipped

You can also buy certain varieties of hops pretty inexpensively from places like hopshack: Columbus $7/#, Cascade $11/#.

Hops for $3.75/oz is outrageous unless it is something in VERY SHORT supply (e.g. Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial), and even for these you can find them considerably cheaper. For example, Farmhouse Brewing has Centennial for $1.25/oz (in 4 ounce increments, limit 4 packages = 1#), Amarillo for $1.99/oz (limit 6 ounces), and Simcoe for $1.99/oz (limit 6 ounces).

If your only buying a couple of ounces, it doesn't pay to have it shipped...but plan ahead a bit or think about re-brews a bit down the road.
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