Moving out of the country... shopping list?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Chap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
394
Reaction score
17
Location
Kailua, Hawaii
Moving in Sept to Okinawa, Japan and have been told that ingredients are hard to come by, everything needs to be shipped. My plan is to by a couple extract kits from AHS and have them shipped with my household goods (to start my pipeline asap), except for the dry yeast which will go in my suitcase. I also plan on buying some bulk grain and throwing it in with the house stuff as well. My questions are:

- will un-milled grain be ok for a couple of months in its bag in a non temp controlled environment?

- what grains would you buy as a new all grain brewer who mainly drinks Amber Ales and some IPA's? 50lbs of 2-Row? Maris Otter? What else? Specialy grains will have to be bought and shipped.

- what about hops? Will they last or should I just buy online and have them shipped?

I guess I will be doing a lot of dry yeast brews or saving/ making yeast banks.

Open to suggestions and ideas.

Thanks,
 

Mischief_Brewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
1,258
Reaction score
17
Location
Montpelier
I'd look into 7-10 gallon plastic buckets for bulk grain storage. It'll provide a better barrier against the elements and will slow down a mouse infestation...
 

Mateo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
234
Reaction score
1
Location
Cooper City
I wonder if the grain would be better in plastic buckets???

Are you going to be on base? If not I wonder how much room you will have to brew.

If you are short on room there is nothing wrong with doing a lot of extract or 50/50 brews to account for tight living conditions.

m.
 

ghpeel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
30
Location
Gainesville, FL
Ambers and IPAs call out Marris Otter to me, if you need to stock up. Maybe get a ton of Crystal 40 & Crystal 120 as well. You can also learn to toast your own Marris Otter in the oven to re-create Biscuit or Victory malts. A few pounds of Chocolate Malt should last you forever if you are just coloring ales with it. Buy 20 packs of US-05. Hops are going to be the trickiest part, I would think. Can you grow hops in Okinawa??

I'm no expert but I'd be shocked if un-milled grain went "bad" in a bag anytime soon. Seems like it should last months, if not longer.
 

robertbartsch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
202
Reaction score
3
Location
usa
I don't beleive it is legal to ship argicultural goods (plants, food, seeds, grain, yeast, etc.) to any foreign location. At least on a US Customs form, you must declair all this stuff at which point it is confiscated by customs immediately. Dido for any other foreign location I have visited or lived.

The treat is that you could contaminate a country's plants, water, fish, pets, if you brought this stuff in.

I have lived in Japan. The take their laws VERY seriously. I would not ship any of this stuff unless you declair it and get their approval. Some countries do not allow home brewing so you should check if this is OK also.

The Japanese drink like fish - mostly rice wine and hard alcohal.
 

SumnerH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
2,057
Reaction score
44
Location
Alexandria, VA, USA
Hitachino makes some great beers over there.

There are some home brewers in Japan who've posted here; hopefully they'll chime in. I certainly wouldn't try to ship in a lot of grain without approval. This place:
http://www.sakeland.net/?mode=cate&cbid=113284&csid=16
sells grain, if you can figure out how to negotiate the Japanese site.

http://beerinjapan.com/bij/486/homebrewing-in-japan/ has more info (e.g. that hopsdirect and freshops both ship to Japan!) and links to that store and another that both ship around Japan; there's apparently a LHBS in Tokyo, too.

I would bring or munge up plenty of mason jars to wash and reuse yeast with, and bring a few smack packs of any unusual yeasts you might want. If at all possible, try to contact other brewers over there--if you can do that before you go, you might be able to pick up something they need from the states, which could net you something in trade or at least a brew buddy!
 

Got Trub?

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
12
Location
Washington State
I saw kits and supplies at Tokyu Hands in Tokyo when I was there earlier this month so presumably it is legal, the variety was very limited - reminded me of those old days 25-30 years ago. Cans of extract with old packages of dried yeast taped on top. I second the thing about agricultural products. We got asked both entering Japan and entering back into the US. Fortunately they gave us a pass on the ~$30 piece of dried bonito my wife wanted to bring back (she loves her miso soup base).

GT
 

bad coffee

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
5,150
Reaction score
498
Location
NYC
Malted barley is considered food, not agriculture, AFAIK. You can't plant it and have it grow.

They might be concerned with bugs though.


I'd get together with whoever you can and get a bunch of yeast slants/distilled water cultures. Throw those in the suitcase and culture them as needed over there.

B
 

pd230soi

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
172
Reaction score
1
Location
Sofia, Bulgaria
Chap,

Not knowing what your living conditions will be (yard for burner, stovetop, etc) I might focus on finding a supplier in the States that can ship APO/FPO. At least until you find local sources.

I am having the same problem in another part of the world, but I think I can get it sorted out eventually. Often the biggest challenge with using US suppliers is their automated order forms can not understand APO addresses.

I would reach out to any Japan based brewers, contact some suppliers in the US to determine if they can ship APO, and also look at your equipment - is there something you are going to want that will not fit in APO restrictions or your can not make in the hobby shop.

Also check the local laws to stay out of trouble and then see if you can get tours of the local breweries and make friends.

Good Luck!
 
OP
Chap

Chap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
394
Reaction score
17
Location
Kailua, Hawaii
Thanks for most of the replies, I really do appreciate all the input. I don't believe shipping via our household goods is an issue (customs wise). Their are several home brewers on this site that live in Oki. My main concern was what type of grain I should buy prior to leaving and if it would still be good after sitting in a warehouse for a couple of months.

Thanks again,
 

MattHollingsworth

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
1,609
Reaction score
53
Location
Samobor, Croatia
I'd make a list of equipment, make sure you have everything you need and ship that with the freight, for sure. It's pretty cheap that way. I moved much of my equipment to Croatia that way from SoCal.

As for grain, if I were you, I would map out your basic brewing plan for a bit, do rough formulations of the recipes (using software like Beersmith or something) and plan accordingly, adding a safe amount to each of the grains you use for a cushion. And, if you don't already, start using pellet hops. I would bring pellets in your checked bag.

I can't say if it's this way in Japan, but living in Croatia, I order ingredients from Belgium, the UK and the US pretty regularly. Sometimes it comes right through without any problem and sometimes the customs people are a pain in the ass. But so far, I've managed to get every package through, and that's maybe 8-10 times and it's included hops, grain, yeast, lactic acid, salts etc etc. The thing I've found is that for me here, a package is much, much more likely to come straight through without any troubles if it's not too big. When I've ordered hops from Freshops and Maryland Homebrew (who ship overseas), both came right through with no troubles. Dave Wills at Freshops wrote "cooking ingredients" on the customs forms. Here in Croatia, customs sometimes opens the packages. And for pellet hops, they see that silver foil pack and they just have no idea what it is. They don't tend to investigate further, they just reseal the package and then want me to pay some bull**** fee.

Also, you might be able to find extract for starters in a local health food store. I've found it here. It's used to baking.

Order liquid yeast when it's a bit colder but not freezing. Say, November or March. Then rinse and reuse your yeast. You'll build up a library in no time.

Also, in addition to Freshops and Maryland Homebrew, Steinbart's in Portland ships overseas.

And here's the postage shipping calculator:

http://ircalc.usps.gov/

In my experience, the USPS is much cheaper. And for things like hops, it's good.

best of luck!
 

Kunkemonster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
45
Reaction score
3
Location
South Korea
I live in South Korea and started brewing about 6 months ago. Luckily I have access to APO mail, so I can get stuff from the states relatively cheaply and easily. If you have access to APO, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I order from williamsbrewing and morebeer. They ship to APO addresses without a problem. I would bring a few pounds of hops from hops direct. My friend orders 55lb bags of malt from williamsbrewing. It costs $50 in shipping and they put it on the slow boat, but it's better than the 260% malt tax the Korean government levies.

I am on homebrewkorea - http://www.homebrewkorea.com/forums/ Which is a great site for sourcing local ingredients and hardware and the difficulties of brewing overseas.

Checkout beerinjapan for more specific Japan info. -
http://beerinjapan.com/bij/486/homebrewing-in-japan/
 

EoinMag

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,169
Reaction score
69
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Buy the stuff from Australia, shipping won't be huge from there they are neighbours, it's not like you're moving to the moon.
 

studmonk3y

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
151
Reaction score
15
Location
Sacramento
Still might be cheaper to ship from the states...with the markups we have over here.
 
Top