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Old 12-08-2008, 02:38 AM   #1
Cpt_Kirks
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Default Making about any beer

So, you take 5 to 7 lbs of extra light DME, a couple of pounds of two or six row, a few specialty grains, the right hops and yeast.

With those basic ingredients, you can make about any style of beer, right?

I need to buy some bulk ingredients.

(Edit: I meant DME, not LME. Damn you, Amber Bock!)

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Old 12-08-2008, 04:44 AM   #2
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Well, it might take more than a "few" specialty grains to make "any" style of beer. Theres an incredible variety of grains, specialty or base.

Brewing extract limits you to specialty grains that only have to be steeped and not actually mashed though.

With that said.... yes, buying ingredients in bulk saves money if it makes sense to actually buy that much. I would NOT buy 50 pounds of wheat malt if I only made 10 gallons of wheat beer a year. I woud not buy a pound of hops unless it is a variety you favor in multiple beers.

And yeast.... buy a variety, and then wash and re-use. Thast a great way to save money, especially with more "style-specific" liquid yeasts.

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Old 12-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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It would be wise to decide which styles you want to make and look up the recipe. Then purchase bulk of whatever the base malts are. Certainly you can make most beer with those basics, but you'd still need to purchase a few specialty grains depending on exactly the style you are shooting for.

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Old 12-08-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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I'd like to point out that LME would probably be a messy ingredient to handle when purchased in bulk (40+ pounds) if you can't brew really large batches and quickly. I mean think about having to 'scoop' up the LME from its bulk container just to take out a small amount for a 5 gal batch. Lets not forget the storage of such a large amount of LME.


While DME still has its issues with regards to storage (clumping and such) I suspect it would be easier to deal with in bulk for the homebrewer than LME would.

Outside of the bulk LME/DME issue I would think that you're on the right track with buying in bulk. Once you decide what your most likely to be brewing over the next few weeks/months you might find you can buy that ~50# bag of DME and ~35# bag of grain. Personally I am not sure I would buy specialty grains in too much bulk. Not sure about hops. I suppose if you generally like really hoppy beers than hops in bulk make a lot of sense. But if you're a fan of brewing wheat beers then you don't need much (of course wheat beers would require more than just a specialty grain switch).

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Old 12-08-2008, 01:42 PM   #5
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I meant DME when I typed LME, sorry.

Since most specialty grains are used in 1/8 to 1/2 pound amounts, a pound or two will do for several batches.

I toasted a pound of 2 row malt Sunday and divided it into four 1/4lb baggies. Now, I can add a little color and flavor to four batches.

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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Depending on what styles you want to make, sure. You may not have the best representation of any one style if you only buy one or two specialty grains, but you'll have a "beer in the style of" situation.

For how cheap specialty grains actually are, when I order/pick some up I get 20 pounds or so and that lasts me for quite a while. Bulk DME/base malts and dry yeast packets would make up the rest of your inventory.

Get ye' a brewin'!

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