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Old 12-12-2012, 03:18 AM   #1
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Default When and how should I start buying grains in bulk?

I just brewed my second all grain batch. I have been buying grain for one recipe at a time, milling it at the LHBS, and brewing within a week or two.

I have one 16 gal barrel and 3 x 5gal buckets with airtight locking lids...all empty. I asked Santa for a grain mill so hopefully that Xmas miracle will come true. I'm thinking of swapping my 30gal mash tun barrel with the 16gal barrel, which would free up the 30gal barrel (minor patching to stop moisture/mice).

When and how should I start buying grains in bulk? Does it make sense if I brew 8-10 batches (10gal) per year? How much does it really save?


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Old 12-12-2012, 03:25 AM   #2
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I started buying base malt in bulk when I bought my grain mill. Actually, I used it as an excuse to buy the mill. My LHBS gives a substantial bulk discount and stacks my Military discount on top. So I'm saving a little over $1 per pound.

It's easy to buy in bulk if you have a local shop. Walk in and ask for a sack of ...........


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Old 12-12-2012, 03:27 AM   #3
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The answer is......it depends.

It depends on the pricing at your LHBS. One thing that makes grain difficulty to buy over the internet is the shipping costs. If you can buy your base malt in 50 lb sacks for $.75/lb then it pays to buy in bulk. You can still buy your specialty grain on a per recipe basis.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:39 AM   #4
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I think I pay 1.75 per pound for base and $2 per lb for specialty. If $.75/lb is realistic ($ 37.50 for 50 lbs if my math is right) thats pretty good.

I assume no one buys specialty malts in 50 lb bags?
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:49 AM   #5
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i have a lhbs that sells 2-row at $36 / 50 lbs. i buy it unmilled, and store it in a large (50 lb) dog food bin. it's food-grade, closes very well, and keeps grain fresh. that's 80 cents / lb. they sell by the lb at $1.19. that's over $4 savings for a 5 gallon brew, for me. i brew 11 at a time, so it's about $10 / brew saved (i brew big beers)
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:53 AM   #6
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I always buy 2-row in bulk. It saves money and time. As long as you have a decent place to store it you're all set. I store mine in a screw top industrial 50 gal plastic bin. You won't regret it, even if you brew once every 6 months.

I should point out that I brew on a 10gal system and I usually brew 3 10gal batches each brew day.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTuna View Post
I always buy 2-row in bulk. It saves money and time. As long as you have a decent place to store it you're all set. I store mine in a screw top industrial 50 gal plastic bin. You won't regret it, even if you brew once every 6 months.

I should point out that I brew on a 10gal system and I usually brew 3 10gal batches each brew day.
So, you use more than a sack per brew day! That is impresssive
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
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So, you use more than a sack per brew day! That is impresssive
Well,

Not all my beers call for 2-row, but when they do, Yes... it goes quick!
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:39 AM   #9
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I buy via a brew club and 2 row is $30 for 55lb bag. I get one for each month until the next buy. I store 300ish lbs in the bags they came in. I will do a "crazy mad 24hrs of brewing once a year" and I also do not brew for 4 months. The great part about grain, is each grain comes in it's own little package. I also buy hops in bulk and that is about 10$ per LB. So 27lbs of 2 row is $15,2lbs caramel is $4, Hops are $8, LP is $10, and I wash yeast. That's $37 per ten gallons..ish I could also do a small beer off the second running but I don't.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBrewB View Post
I assume no one buys specialty malts in 50 lb bags?
I do, for crystal/caramel and then split them with other brewer friends. Takes a little time to weigh and rebag but its not bad and certainly saves money.


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