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Old 06-25-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
mysteryberto
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So after a few extract batches I'm ready to step up to all grain brewing. It seems the real savings are when you buy grains in bulk. I plan on buying a fifty pound sack of two row. Anyone in Oregon know the cheapest place to buy grain in bulk locally?

Specialty grains are 24 cents cheaper a pound from my LHBS if you buy 10+ pounds at a time. I'd like to minimize trips to the LHBS store with the price of gas. What specialty grains is it worth stocking up on and how best to store 10lbs at a time. Also how long does the grain store if stored properly?

Living in Oregon there are a lot of hops growing. A local supplier sells hops for only $2 an oz of very fresh hops. How long can hops last if vacum sealed and stored in a freezer?

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Old 06-25-2008, 09:26 PM   #2
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I could probably make beer with just Maris Otter and Cascade for the rest of my life and not worry too much about it.

Where are you in Oregon? In the Portland area there are two main spots to go. It's unlikely a distributor would sell you a single 50# sack, but you might be able to get in on a group buy if you join a local brew club.

 
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:37 PM   #3
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Someone recently posted http://brewbrothers.biz/ on a post here somewhere. I bookmarked it for the next time I know I'm going to be in the area.

Prices are pretty good, but not good enough for me to drive over there just for grain

 
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:06 PM   #4
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I don't load up on specialty grains too much, but I brew a variety of styles.

If you always planned to have a 'house beer' on hand, stock up on those specialty grains.

I would not stock up too much on stuff like black patent, or roasted barley, since it only takes a pinch of those, even for stouts and porters..2 lbs would last a long time.

ideally get all your grain un-crushed and then get a grain mill so you can crush at home.
keep hops cool, in the dark, and air-tight...they'll keep for quite some time.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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I bought a cheap sealer through Reynolds wrap near all the plastic bags at target. I then vacuum seal in the individual baggies and stick them in my fridge. I would guess the hops could last quite a long time and even longer in the freezer with this method. I can't, however, comment on the exact length of time. The sealer was only around $6 and the baggies were about $3.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:27 PM   #6

This is a very timely thread for me, as I've been thinking about this very subject for a few days- what sort of 'standard' ingredients to always have on hand and storage of those ingredients.

I'd be very interested in hearing what sort of base malts/hops people are keeping regularly on hand, or is it more style-specific?

 
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:52 PM   #7
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I just did a big stock up last weekend. For me it was all about what I had planned to brew. 50 lb of Pale Malt was a given, and I just store that in a plastic food-grade storage container from Wal-Mart (uncrushed, everything should be uncrushed). I bulked up on Crystal 60L, Victory, and Munic. Again, knowing that I would need those. I keep them in zip-lock bags, vacuum sealed.
As for hops, vacuumed and frozen, they'll last you quite a while, you just might lose a couple tenths of a percent of Alpha Acids going over 6 months or so (so a 5.6%AA in 10 months might end up being a 5.2%). As long as you don't wait 6 to 12 to 24 months on using either your grain or hops, you'll be fine.

 
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab View Post
I could probably make beer with just Maris Otter and Cascade for the rest of my life and not worry too much about it.

Where are you in Oregon? In the Portland area there are two main spots to go. It's unlikely a distributor would sell you a single 50# sack, but you might be able to get in on a group buy if you join a local brew club.
I'm in Portland for the summer but normally live in Salem. Steinbart's has 50# sacks for $42.50 although it might be worthwhile driving to brew brothers for only $33.

What shop in the Portland area has the best prices for hops?

 
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:33 PM   #9
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Uncrushed grain which is stored dry and as sealed as possible will easily last for a year. For hops, it's deffinately ideal to use them within 6 months, but a year or even two is no problem if they are dry and vacum sealed in the freezer, especially aroma hops since you aren't relying on the diminishing AA content.

Get a lot of pale 2-row.

The rest depends on the style you like to brew. For me it would be a few pounds of varying types of crystal, victory, munich, Vienna, and Dextrine.

Get whatever hops you like, and are available. For me it would generally be as many "C" hops as I could get my hands on, as well as some Gelena, Willamette, sazz, and a few others. I brew mostly pales and IPAs though.
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