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Old 05-16-2007, 01:46 AM   #1
Jul 2005
Poo-Poo Land
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What's everyone's feeling on which base grain is the best? I'm thinking of making a bulk purchase and I'm not sure if 2-row is the way to go. Pale Ale? Marris? Munich? Vienna? 6-row? Pilsner?

What's everyone's take on which is the best all-purpose base grain?
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:49 AM   #2
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May 2006
Adams, MA
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Maris Otter.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:51 AM   #3
Sir Humpsalot
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Nov 2006
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Have just received my crankandstein TODAY, I'm facing the same dilemma.

My first unsolicited piece of advice is that at least for me, the extra $5 it costs at the LHBS for a sack of grain is offset by the price of gas or shipping to buy it ANYWHERE else. So I'm buying locally. $55 for a sack of Maris Otter available immediately without any wait, just 2 miles from my house is a pretty good deal, IMHO.

As for which is the best if you're only getting one sack? I wanted to say Maris Otter, but then that precludes the really light beers. So then I thought maybe a German or Belgian Pils.

I guess I'm leaning toward my first purchase being a sack of German Pils.
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Old 05-16-2007, 01:53 AM   #4
Mar 2006
The Command Center
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I bought a 55 lb. sack of 2-row a few months ago, so I'll tell you my feelings. I wish I would of gotten pale ale malt, or even Maris Otter. I realized, kind of too late, that I almost always make pale ales, bitters, IPAs, amber ales, etc. All of those are in the Pale Ale family and would have been great with MO. However, the British types (bitters, esp) don't work as well if the base malt is american 2-row. (Of course, others might have a different opinion.)
My advice would be to think about what you'll probably make and which base malts could work for it. Pick the one that's most universal. Unless you make lots of Lagers, I bet Pale ale malt or MO would be your best bet.
Good luck.


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Old 05-16-2007, 01:58 AM   #5
Jun 2006
Ajax, Upper Canada (Toronto)
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I vote for 2-row...can be used for almost anything.

Or Sinimar....but I would lean towards 2-row.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:00 AM   #6
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Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
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I like Marris Otter. I also get a Canadian barley from Gambrinus which is good.

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Old 05-16-2007, 02:04 AM   #7
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Jan 2005
Knob Noster, Missouri
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I'd say Optic. It is slightly cheaper than MO and very nice. It is a real crisp, malty base malt.

FWIW, Fuller's brewery uses Optic in the classic Fuller's ESB and London Pride.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:08 AM   #8
The Pol
Feb 2007
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Depends on what you like to brew... Id buy Maris and Pilsner... but that is me

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Old 05-16-2007, 02:24 AM   #9
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Mar 2007
Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,152

Definitely look at what your next few brews are going to be. I've gone through 2 bags of Briess 2-row Pale in the last month or so and I think its a decent 2 row malt. I brew mainly Ales and Wits so this has worked out well. Makes for a good base malt. I do plan on buying both a bag of the 2-row Pale and Maris Otter next time I go to the store though. I plan on doing a couple of English type beers (a Porter and perhaps a milk stout) in the next couple of months. I picked up an extra storage bin today, so I have plenty of room in my beer cabinet for supplies.

I need to find someone locally that will go in with me on a large freight order. I could save some serious money. The 2-row is $47 and the MO is $56 at my LHBS.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:26 AM   #10
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Feb 2006
Denver, Colorado
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I've been getting plain ol 2 row because it is less than $30 a sack but I might buy Maris Otter next time.

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