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Old 03-17-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
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I needed to make a batch of IPA and did not have time to order a kit so I took my recipe to the local beer hobby store and got all the ingredients there. I've been making this kit for 2 years with no modifications. They crushed the grains on the spot and all of the hops came from the refrigerator.

I made the batch as usual but when I was drinking it I kept commenting that it was the best ever. As clear as any store bought beer, PERFECT color and outstanding flavor.

It is only after I made this same recipe again the next time from a kit and just started drinking it last week that I realized what a huge difference the previous "fresh" batch had been. I had really wanted to bottle some and enter it in a contest. The beer was exactly perfect and there was absolutely nothing that I wanted to change with it. I had achieved perfection!

The locally aquired ingredients were about $10 more than the kit, but what a no brainer, I will now buy everything from my local store!

Has anyone else experience this??

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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What makes you think the ingredients at your LHBS are any fresher than mail order places? I think it would exactly the opposite. Places like AHS, Northernbrewer, B3, Midwest, Williams etc more inventory at 10x the rate of a local store. Your guy may have pulled hops out of the fridge but they were probably in there for 3 months.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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If you're making better beer then congrats on having a nice HBS, but like Bobby_M said, the big online guys have such a high turn around rate that their ingredients are fresh.
And as far as hops go, they're a plant, They're picked once a year and stored and sold. You're HBS is selling the same hops the online guys are selling.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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It really depends on your shop, and I guess your geographic region, there's a huge amount of homebrewers in Michigan, and at least 10 places in metro detroit that carries stuff..Heck I've got three places within 5 miles of me as it is...if it is a high volume shop with high turnover of ingredients, then you are going to get the freshest ingredients. If it a low volume store, the stuff is going to sit for awhile. Especially kits. I'm lucky in the Detroit area we have a couple stores that are high traffic/high volume (like Cap N Corks)

It also depends on how they store stuff as well, some places don't keep their yeast and hops cold either.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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+1 REV. No offense to any of the online buyers here, but there is no way in hell I will ever trust any of you to shipp me your freshest grains. My local guy supplies only the highest end grains has a great storage facility/system, great hop selection at good prices, super fresh everything and I look him in the eye every time I buy. I most definitely count him as a major source for the enduring quality of my beer.

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
+1 REV. No offense to any of the online buyers here, but there is no way in hell I will ever trust any of you to shipp me your freshest grains. My local guy supplies only the highest end grains has a great storage facility/system, great hop selection at good prices, super fresh everything and I look him in the eye every time I buy. I most definitely count him as a major source for the enduring quality of my beer.
Well, the LHBS can be the most honest stand up guy in the world, but if he doesn't have high product turnover...

Heck the OLDEST stock in a high traffic online store may be newer than the freshest stuff at a really knowledgeable LHBS that doesn't see a lot of volume.

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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+1 to Revvy. It really is a case by case basis with your LHBS. I have 2 or 3 close by to me and one has a great reputation and a ton of turnover while some of the other ones have dust sitting on their ingredient kits and brown hops in the freezer. I think you are pretty lucky though. A lot of folks in this group don't have access to a good LHBS and have to solely rely on the mail order folks, which may not be bad, but they just don't ahve the option.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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If you like the results, stick with it. I've never had a problem with an online kit. I buy local for my own recipes. As it's a 90 minute drive each way to a good shop, I tend to buy for 2-3 batches at once.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
If you like the results, stick with it. I've never had a problem with an online kit. I buy local for my own recipes. As it's a 90 minute drive each way to a good shop, I tend to buy for 2-3 batches at once.
This is the crux. I have 5 shops within 30 minutes of my house. 2 of them are incredibly good with high turnover, knowledgeable staff, and a personal touch within 20 minutes. Yes we in Wisconsin are lucky brewers.

 
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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I don't have an LHBS. My closest one is 6 hours away, and they focus on wine. I like to think I get pretty fresh ingredients from Midwest and AHS, because my beer comes out pretty tasty. Maybe it's just ignorance on my part though, because I don't have an LHBS next door like you guys do.

/jealous
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