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Old 01-06-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
MedicMang
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Default First bulk buy of grain suggestions.

Hey everyone. I love the forum. Almost every question i have had thus far, i am able to search previous threads and find the answer very quickly. This though is a but more open ended of a question.

I am just starting out brewing all-grain and wanted to ask suggestions on what grains to buy in bulk vs. what to just buy per recipe. I will be very diverse with my recipes from time to time but my house beers will be an IPA of some kind, a stout or porter, and a holiday beer of that time of year. Any suggestions on grains that i can reuse for these recipes? I understand that a lot of people buy 2-row as a base grain. Is there a difference between the different kinds of 2-row or can i just buy any old 2 row grain? What other base grains do people suggest to buy in bulk? Any specialty grains used often?

Thank you for helping out a newbie! This is quite an exciting step to brewing!


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Old 01-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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Regular US/Canadian 2-row is a good base malt, as you can add to it to mimic other malts.

I like to keep the following 3 base malts on hand: US 2-row, US/German pilsner, and an English Pale malt (Marris Otter, Optic, etc). It really depends how much you brew, and what you brew.

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Old 01-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Welcome!

I buy quite a bit of grain in bulk...mostly my base grains, though. for me, I brew a lot of Belgian style beers, so they use pilsner malt as the base, so I mostly buy that. Make sure you have a way to mill the grain before going bulk, or order it pre-milled. Some will argue about the lifespan of milled grain, but I have had milled grain stored (cool, dry, dark place in a sealed container) a LONG time without adverse effects.

As for specialty grains, unless you are brewing A LOT or are brewing recipes that use a lot of specialty grains per batch I would not get those in bulk. I typically either get specialty grains from my LHBS or order online.

The key is knowing what you like to brew, or what you plan on brewing for the next few batches then seeing what grains they require. 2-row (generic) is most common typically, but some like to use Marris Otter, Vienna, Munich, or Pilsner malts as the base for their beers. To complicate things further there is a difference between domestic (North America produced) and continential (European produced) malts. If you are just starting out brewing AG, I'd suggest just getting inexpensive domestic 2 row (Breiss, Canada Maltings, etc) and getting to know your equipment and process before branching out. Just my $0.02
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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My bulk list is:

2 row
Pilsner
Vienna
Munich
MO
wheat

(notice that all of these can be used as base malts)
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
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I have 2-row and Maris Otter.

Pilsner would be my third choice.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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I read through Brewing Classic Styles, and ear-marked every recipe I wanted to try. I then plugged all of those recipes into Excel and then looked at the total amount of base malt required to brew them - then just picked which base malt I wanted to start with.

tl;dr - plan out your recipes and then pick accordingly - really helps when you reference something like BCS
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedicMang View Post
Hey everyone. I love the forum. Almost every question i have had thus far, i am able to search previous threads and find the answer very quickly. This though is a but more open ended of a question.

I am just starting out brewing all-grain and wanted to ask suggestions on what grains to buy in bulk vs. what to just buy per recipe. I will be very diverse with my recipes from time to time but my house beers will be an IPA of some kind, a stout or porter, and a holiday beer of that time of year. Any suggestions on grains that i can reuse for these recipes? I understand that a lot of people buy 2-row as a base grain. Is there a difference between the different kinds of 2-row or can i just buy any old 2 row grain? What other base grains do people suggest to buy in bulk? Any specialty grains used often?

Thank you for helping out a newbie! This is quite an exciting step to brewing!
Thank you for posting this, I too am just starting my all-grain career. Much appreciated!
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jholen View Post
I read through Brewing Classic Styles, and ear-marked every recipe I wanted to try. I then plugged all of those recipes into Excel and then looked at the total amount of base malt required to brew them - then just picked which base malt I wanted to start with.

tl;dr - plan out your recipes and then pick accordingly - really helps when you reference something like BCS
+1 to THIS

I just bought #50 of 2 row, and added up all the specialty grains I needed for my next 4 recipes. Made to whole, "what do I buy" question very easy to answer.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Mursed View Post
+1 to THIS

I just bought #50 of 2 row, and added up all the specialty grains I needed for my next 4 recipes. Made to whole, "what do I buy" question very easy to answer.
Yeah it was pretty awesome!

I found SIX recipes that require a total of 54.25 lbs of English Pale Malt (LHBS sells 55lbs backs), and all can use EKG hops - so bulk base malt and bulk hops. Win, win!

I admit I almost posted a, "What bulk grain to buy" thread, but had some time at work and sat down and plugged everything in. Worked out well.

I suppose if you didn't have Brewing Classic Styles you could compose a list of recipes from HBT.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jholen View Post
Yeah it was pretty awesome!

I found SIX recipes that require a total of 54.25 lbs of English Pale Malt (LHBS sells 55lbs backs), and all can use EKG hops - so bulk base malt and bulk hops. Win, win!
Heh, I looked at my two upcoming recipes at the end of last year and realized that combined they used nearly 30 lbs of Maris Otter. So, I just bought a sack...


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