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I dont like one of my LHBS

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natural

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Okay,

So I have yet to get an accurate piece of inforamtion out of this store. Initially I went in there without a clue in the world. But I knew I wanted to brew beer from grains and extracts. Not from pre-boxed kits.

Immediatly the guy begins telling me this is next to impossible to brew beer outside of boxed kits. That brewing is a dying art and to expect to spend upwards of $1000. So far i'm $70 in and only need a mill and a mash tun. I dont see that costing me $930.

Second he gave me a bag of corn sugar when I first got the pre-boxed kit. Doing so he highlights the ammount it recommends and says put the entire package in. This package is easily almost 10 ounces. All I can picture is a giant mess of beer and broken bottles in my spare bedroom had I used it all.

But this just sealed the deal for me. Yesterday I went to get a bottle filler from there. He shows me the bottle filler and says in order to get the suction going to siphon. Put it in your mouth and suck on it. But assured me not to worry the alcohol in the beer will sanitize the siphon.

This just doesn't make sense. Maybe if I were to be the only person drinking it. That's like me spitting in your beer saying dont worry. The alcohol is killing the bacteria as we speak. THink of it as extra head.
 

MBasile

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Do you always talk to the same guy? And is he the owner? Maybe a quick phone call or email to the owner explaining that you're unhappy with the misinformation and will be shopping elsewhere. Not as a scolding to them, but just a heads up.
 

iparks81

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Wow...unfortunatly theres guys out there that are just looking for a buck rather than having some good knowledge to pass on...
 

Fantastical

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I've had the same experience with 90% of the LHBS in my area. They all brew with extracts and kits and give you a funny look when you say grain malt...
 

509inc

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I feel for you.

I have a great LHBS. So good I stopped buying online.

They have a self service grain station.
 

boo boo

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I've had the same experience with 90% of the LHBS in my area. They all brew with extracts and kits and give you a funny look when you say grain malt...
Well I've been blessed with an understanding LHBS that generally gives
great advise to noobs starting AG.
Most of that advise was told to them by me :D

All kidding aside, my LHBS will support AG brewers, but also sells a lot of
wort kits where you just add a bit of water to the packaged ingredients.
I do buy things on-line that I can't source locally, but I try to support my LHBS.
 

chicagobrew

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I, too, am fortunate to have a great LHBS. They have some kits, but are definitely catering to the AG crowd. I can get just about every grain, hop, or Wyeast imaginable and most base grains are in stock in 55lb bags. Their knowledgeable staff even teaches AG lessons in the store on a Sabco and they give beer samples away while you're shopping. Prices are pretty reasonable and usually cheaper than what's online.

Sorry about your luck, man. I say start looking for another shop.
 

zanemoseley

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I feel fortunate we're in the internet age where I have access to many wonderful online alternatives. The closest good LHBS is over an hour away in Nashville (Rebel Brewer). I get 90% of my stuff from Brewmaster's Warehouse, hell most of the time their $7 shipping is cheaper than the 9.75% state sales tax I'd pay in town and it delivers in two days.

Our hobby isn't unlike others where people are used to selling what 95% of the population are willing to buy. It's not necessarily due to their budget only but also the learning curve they're interested in going through. I used to be big into saltwater reef aquariums and the local fish shop didn't know a fraction of what I did when it came to the hobby. Not necessarily that they didn't care but just because the clientele didn't demand it..
 

albannach

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My LHBS is the same way, I don't know why they sell kegging equipment (they never know what I'm referring to when I ask if they carry keg posts or corny lids). Luckily I've been able to order from online suppliers (most of the time, the price was better even when you include shipping)

Now that it looks like Brewmaster's Warehouse if finally selling to locals and I now pass through Marietta on my way back from my new job, I might have to check them out and see if they are better than my previous LHBS.
 

tunoffun

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I was actually rather shocked the first (and 2nd, and third) time I went into a particular LHBS at the lack of knowledge the employees / owner demonstrated. They knew some things - sure - but really not enough considering their profession.

Then I found another shop locally that kicks ass.
Lesson learned. Shop around.
 

JDennis

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Both of my LHBS's are attached to actual breweries ( Bell's and Darkhorse ) so i usually get good info when I need it. I'm in there often enough to know which employees know their stuff and which are just there for the job. Even so, I rarely have questions any way. Not that I know everything of course, but I usually have a very good idea of what I'm after and possible substitutions in the event something isn't available. I've caught enough people at all kinds of stores BS'ing me when they don't really know the answer that I try not to put myself at their mercy.
 

AviatorTroy

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Ive seen it all... I travel for a living so I usually check out a LHBS when Im in a city, and let me tell you.....wow. In Cincy, we have 2 great stores, one caters to experts and professionals, and the other to newer guys, but they both have everything you need and very helpful.

I think the worst one I ever saw was in Las Vegas, the place was so cluttered you couldn't even walk to the counter and they didn't even have grain in bulk, NONE. Just extracts. I thought I'd be polite and buy a couple of packs of Fermentis yeast, when I got home, none of them took off. How do you mishandle dry yeast enough to kill it?
 

Hannable1975

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Let me tell you the tale of 2 LHBS....
LHBS # 1 is awesome. So good in fact I'll drop them a shout out - American Brewmaster in Raleigh. Great folks, good selection, always plenty of selection, knowledgeable folks, a mammoth yeast selection - just all out awesome.

LHBS #2 I will not name, but will say is in Fayetteville. Bear in mind they are the ONLY LHBS in town I can find - and their supply is basically some Brewers Best kits, and carboys. In fairness they are a beer and wine shop, and this is a sideline. In reality these are actual exchanges I have had there upon a few visits, the first time from a person claiming to be the owner, the second from an employee :

First time I went: " SO, do you have any liquid yeasts? I do not see any." Response " Liquid yeasts are not reliable. We do ont recommend them."

Same visit " I see your kits - do you have grain in the back or upstairs?" " For what?" " For all grain brewing of course" response that floored me " No, fermenting with grain is illegal - that is making moonshine" I try again " Not fermenting the grain - fermenting the wort - you know - all grain brewing" Final response " Sir, I am going to have to ask you not to ask me for any moonshining equipment again, or I will have to ask you to leave."

Upon a visit another time ( to buy beer - they do have an awesome selection of ready made beer ):

" I am thinking of doing a recipe and thought I would drop in and see if you have any dry malt" response " Yes, over here" Me again "That's corn sugar" response " Yeah, but you can use it too, it makes alcohol when the yeasts eat it."

I admit if I go there now for some Anchor Liberty or Sweetwater Blue I do not even go to the brew supply area - it just makes me sad...



( Oh, and I did visit one in Wilmington that is part of a Winery - Nona Blanca I think - they were cool folks - very helpful too. )
 

Duckfoot

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Now that it looks like Brewmaster's Warehouse if finally selling to locals and I now pass through Marietta on my way back from my new job, I might have to check them out and see if they are better than my previous LHBS.
DON'T DO IT!!! THEY ARE HORRIBLE!!! :cross:

Just kidding of course....

I am fortunate to live about 5 minutes from there... Really helpful, easy to work with and knowledgeable...

Not to mention, Ed is a damned nice guy...

FYI : The store is moving right down the street... Details can be found here....

:mug:
 

japhroaig

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to be fair, if long term stability isn't an issue then starting a suction 'the old fashioned way' will be sanitary in the sense it won't make anyone sick. but if you are a germ-a-phobe that freaks out about double-dipping, then that is a completely different issue.

but mostly the old fashioned method sucks cause it's slow and unreliable.
 

Pierce

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I am fortunate to live about 5 minutes from there... Really helpful, easy to work with and knowledgeable...

Not to mention, Ed is a damned nice guy...

FYI : The store is moving right down the street... Details can be found here....

:mug:
I second this. I love Brewmasters Warehouse. Awesome selction and incredibly fast shipping. I just wish I was 1.5 hours away so I could shop there in person.
 
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natural

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Yeah luckily there are some awesome places in my city they are just absolutely no where near where I live but have learned it's far worth the trip. I've gotten more informationt hrough this site in 5 minutes then I could spending a lifetime in that persons store. Saying home brewing is a dying art made absolutely no sense. I honestly thought the guy was just trying to F With me.

My biggest problem has been finding a bottling bucket online or at a store. There's one place online that sells one for $14 but charges $30 to ship to canada haha. I think i'll just make one.
 
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