Do I understand this bulk grain thing correctly?

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Wables

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I am now buying all of my grains at my LHBS. I have bought online before, but LHBS's need the business and I no longer pinch pennies. I usually buy my yeast there, too. Hops I order in bulk online because while I'm not cheap, I'm not stupid enough to pay $3 per oz. My LHBS carries Briess 2-row for $50/sack. I'm not sure what the price on Simpson's Golden Promise is, but one of the employees gives it to me at the same price as Briess because she doesn't know the difference. They will order me MO or anything else that I want with a week notice and Thursday delivery. I usually burn through 50# of base malt on a brew day, so I haven't had the need to get too advanced in storage. I just swing by the store a few days before brew day and buy what I need. If they are missing an ingredient I improvise with what they have and roll with it. I am switching to inside brew days with 5 or 10 gallon batches so I'm interested in all of these ideas!
 

WNGU

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Just wondering, I see that many here recommended getting Pilsner, Pale Ale and Marris otter as base malts in bulk. Is there a major difference between M.O. and Pale ale? I am really limited on space where I am. If I will only get one, which one would make more sense to get?

Thanks
 

Wayne1

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Will you want to brew American IPA or English bitters? Go with the Pale ale. As your tastes change, tray a bag a Maris Otter. The English grain is fuller in body.
 

Toxxyc

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I buy pilsner malt in bulk, as most my beers I like have it as a base. If I'm "active" I even let the store mill it for me, directly into my own 25l HDPE2 buckets.

Specialties I buy in smaller amounts, depending on the type. Malts I use often like Dextrin I buy in 5kg bags, and stuff like roasted barley in 1kg bags. Specialties are always unmilled.
 

WNGU

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Will you want to brew American IPA or English bitters? Go with the Pale ale. As your tastes change, tray a bag a Maris Otter. The English grain is fuller in body.
I currently have a Red ale, American Amber and Porter in the plans but I do brew American IPA's fairly often.

I am asking because I see a lot of recipes here that call for Marris Otter and that using pale ale won't be the same but I never saw anywhere not to use Marris otter instead of pale ale.

I am new to all grain brewing so I am just asking, if I am looking for a lighter crisp beer, wouldn't I want to use Pilsner?

Thanks
 

Golddiggie

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Just wondering, I see that many here recommended getting Pilsner, Pale Ale and Marris otter as base malts in bulk. Is there a major difference between M.O. and Pale ale? I am really limited on space where I am. If I will only get one, which one would make more sense to get?

Thanks
Maris Otter has a different flavor contribution than regular 2 row malt. I brew a SMaSH with Maris Otter and it's always a crowd pleaser. I was getting Golden Promise as well, but have switched recipes over to just use MO. Makes it easier keeping just one base malt in stock. I have some GP left that will be used up within the next two recipes (one this weekend).

Gimme some MO!!!
 

sicktght311

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My usual rule of thumb is the following

Stout, or anything that needs a toasty bready character = Maris Otter
Standard IPAs, American Ales, Lagers = 2 Row
NEIPAs, Ultra Light lagers and ales = Pilsner/Pilsen

Most of my recipes other than NEIPAs use 2 row. I'll use Maris Otter on some stout recipes, but others i use 2 row, and get more of the toasty/bready flavor from specialty additions like Biscuit Malt or Victory Malt
 

Golddiggie

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The pale ales I'm brewing benefit from the flavors from Maris Otter. One I also add victory malt to (20% of the grist) to get a more dominant 'biscuit' flavor profile. As I mentioned, for me, going to a single base malt makes things easier. No more worrying that I'm not going to have enough for the coming recipe. ;)
 

porterguy

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I use MO for anything I make calling for 2-row (storage space issue, plus I really like English styles and MO in general). I also store Pilsen (for Belgian styles) and wheat in bulk.
 

Tim K

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I just got 125 lbs of grains yesterday, 2 row, pilsener, wheat and Munich. I store it in buckets and vittle vaults in my fermentation chamber. I've heard if you put hand warmers in the sealed buckets it sucks all of the O2 out and suffocates the critters.
 

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IslandLizard

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I just got 125 lbs of grains yesterday, 2 row, pilsener, wheat and Munich. I store it in buckets and vittle vaults in my fermentation chamber. I've heard if you put hand warmers in the sealed buckets it sucks all of the O2 out and suffocates the critters.
I would be very concerned about the humidity in that freezer. Please store those grains dry, or if you need to, deep frozen.

Deep freezing definitely kills the critters, their larvae, and probably their eggs too.
 

porterguy

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Never heard that, but I've never had a critter problem, so haven't searched for solutions. I just use food grade 5 gallon buckets with lids. 2 for 50 lb. bags. Two plus Quick make a beer using all the 5 lb. leftovers from European malts (55 lbs. per bag) or find a smaller container for the extra 5 lbs.
 

Tim K

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I would be very concerned about the humidity in that freezer. Please store those grains dry, or if you need to, deep frozen.

Deep freezing definitely kills the critters, their larvae, and probably their eggs too.
There's a 5000k btu A/C unit in the other end so no humidity and I keep it around 68F. I got the freezer for free and had it working and painted when the compressor quit, not to be deterred I gutted it and mounted a free a/c unit. I can get it down into the low 50 before it starts freezing up.
 

burtom

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Just wondering, I see that many here recommended getting Pilsner, Pale Ale and Marris otter as base malts in bulk. Is there a major difference between M.O. and Pale ale? I am really limited on space where I am. If I will only get one, which one would make more sense to get?

Thanks

I am going to take a shot at this question because the nomenclature used is confusing as "insert cuss here".
I believe that Maris Otter is a varietal of Pale Ale Malt as is Golden Promise these are used for most English style ales. Pale Malt I believe is equivalent to generic 2 row malt used for most American ales, but many American maltsters label there Pale Malt as Pale Ale Malt. So if someone says they keep Pilsner, Pale Ale Malt and Maris Otter on hand this would translate to "Pilsner Malt", normally used in lagers, Pale Ale Malt, mostly used in English ales and Pale Malt, mostly used in American ales.

If anyone has actual knowledge about this please correct me!
 

Golddiggie

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I am going to take a shot at this question because the nomenclature used is confusing as "insert cuss here".
I believe that Maris Otter is a varietal of Pale Ale Malt as is Golden Promise these are used for most English style ales. Pale Malt I believe is equivalent to generic 2 row malt used for most American ales, but many American maltsters label there Pale Malt as Pale Ale Malt. So if someone says they keep Pilsner, Pale Ale Malt and Maris Otter on hand this would translate to "Pilsner Malt", normally used in lagers, Pale Ale Malt, mostly used in English ales and Pale Malt, mostly used in American ales.

If anyone has actual knowledge about this please correct me!
Pale ale malt, aka UK 2-row, is NOT the same as Maris Otter malt. Maris Otter is a different variant with a lower crop yield per acre. It offers different flavors than generic UK 2-row malt. Information is easy to locate online as well to pick out the differences.
 

IslandLizard

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There's a 5000k btu A/C unit in the other end so no humidity and I keep it around 68F. I got the freezer for free and had it working and painted when the compressor quit, not to be deterred I gutted it and mounted a free a/c unit. I can get it down into the low 50 before it starts freezing up.
My upright freezer, used as a kegerator, gets quite a bit of condensate in it, dripping off the kegs during the idle part of the cycles. Indeed, I don't have large puddles on the kegerator's floor, so during the on-cycle much of that moisture must be drawn off, freezing onto the evaporator that gets rid of the ice/water during the defrost cycles. It all seems to work out.

But it's quite damp in there between on-cycles, drips and drops everywhere. If yours is dry, then moisture is not an issue.
 

bwible

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I am going to take a shot at this question because the nomenclature used is confusing as "insert cuss here".
I believe that Maris Otter is a varietal of Pale Ale Malt as is Golden Promise these are used for most English style ales. Pale Malt I believe is equivalent to generic 2 row malt used for most American ales, but many American maltsters label there Pale Malt as Pale Ale Malt. So if someone says they keep Pilsner, Pale Ale Malt and Maris Otter on hand this would translate to "Pilsner Malt", normally used in lagers, Pale Ale Malt, mostly used in English ales and Pale Malt, mostly used in American ales.

If anyone has actual knowledge about this please correct me!
It is confusing.
Start with the generic term “2-row”. That just refers to how the barley plant grows. If it grows with 2 rows of seeds they call it 2 row. If it grows with 6 rows of seeds they call it 6 row.

6 row has a higher diastatic power, meaning it has extra enzymes that can break down a larger percentage of adjuncts that don’t have enzymes, like corn and rice. It used to be used for adjunct beers but I’m not sure how true that is today. Many of the big companies advertise 2 row barley now. 6 row is available, but its a bit of a dinosaur. It would be my first choice for brewing a pre-prohibition lager.

In a sense most barley used for brewing falls under 2 row. Then there are differences by where it is grown. The US, The UK, Germany, Belgium and Canada all grow 2 row barley. From there, its how the malt is processed. Lighter and darker kilning, etc. Crystal malt can even be 2 row.

When trying to reproduce a beer, you can’t go wrong by using the ingredients they use where the beer is brewed. British Bitters = Maris Otter or Golden Promise. For Belgians you can use Belgian Pale malt. Etc.

Same with hops. All different varieties that are all different due to where they grow and how they are bred.
 
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TestTickle

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The malts that come from overseas (to the US) usually are 55 lbs because they do this silly thing with kilograms instead of pounds like we do. 😄

(edit) 55 lbs just happens to be 25 kg
True. I can only assume that Rahr made the move from 50 to 55 to keep things consistent between their U.S. and Canada facilities.
 

jim_CdY

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I've read each post with a great deal of interest, hopefully my question will fit along the same lines without to much thread drift.

I'm fairly new to home brewing, around 2 years but in excess of 30 brews, I have a Grainfather G30 plus a Blichmann 20 gal. Breweasy, 3 fermenters, blah, blah, blah..... To date I have been buying mostly kits but I'm now ready ~ to start creating my own recipes and grinding my on grains. My question relates to base malts, what are the 6-8 most used base malts? Like many of you I will purchase my speciality malts in smaller sizes than full sacks.

My brews are all ales, especially IPA's, a few Porters and along with a few other odd balls just to try something different. Like Spivey24 posted above I have settled on a 3 roller type mill, the Monster is close to the top on my list, however I'm open to other suggestions.
 

marc1

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I've read each post with a great deal of interest, hopefully my question will fit along the same lines without to much thread drift.

I'm fairly new to home brewing, around 2 years but in excess of 30 brews, I have a Grainfather G30 plus a Blichmann 20 gal. Breweasy, 3 fermenters, blah, blah, blah..... To date I have been buying mostly kits but I'm now ready ~ to start creating my own recipes and grinding my on grains. My question relates to base malts, what are the 6-8 most used base malts? Like many of you I will purchase my speciality malts in smaller sizes than full sacks.

My brews are all ales, especially IPA's, a few Porters and along with a few other odd balls just to try something different. Like Spivey24 posted above I have settled on a 3 roller type mill, the Monster is close to the top on my list, however I'm open to other suggestions.

If it's just IPAish things for ales and then some porters, I'd do a cheap US 2-row brewer's malt and then a more flavorful malt like Golden Promise (or Maris Otter).

55 pound sacks of Montana 2 row are mid-$40s price around me and work great:

Golden Promise is going to be pricier.
 

Brewdog80

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I just bought and received a 25kg bag of MO and a 25kg bag of Maltz Pilsner. I had previous employer almost 20 years ago. dang long time ago. that injection molded restaurant food storage containers. from 2qt to 15 gallon.I still have a bunch of 24 quart, 6 gallon containers. Not as complete air tight as screw on lids, but fine for grain. 2 per 25kg bag. I'd check with a restaurant supplier as there are several manufacturers still in. US making similar items and they would be about as much as just the gamma lid itself.
 

madscientist451

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You don't need to get fancy with the grain storage. Food grade buckets are like $2-3n at Walmart and work fine. But is you have the extra cash, the $25 "prepper" containers are pretty nice. Malt doesn't go bad a quick as you would think, putting the grain in ziplock bags and then in the bucket helps.
 

deVeer

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For storage i use Behrens metal trash cans with lids. Available at the big box stores and made in the US !
Both the 6 gallon and 31 gallon size are useful and the lids fit tight. Made of steel so rodent proof.
I leave the grains in their original packaging then place inside the cans.
I use the 31 gallon for 55 lb sacks and the 6 gallon buckets for smaller quantities of adjuncts and carmel malts .
 
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