Purchasing Bulk Grains for Multiple Recipes

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I am about to start my first AG batch. I am planning to brew a variety of types and the two on my upcoming list are this pumpkin ale and most likely an oatmeal stout. I was looking at buying something in bulk and was wondering if this domestic 2-row was okay. If not, what would be a good base malt to start with? Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated, thanks!
 

Tech211

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No one has ever complained about Great Western as far as I know. Regardless, if you are buying a sack and live in upstate NY, look at North Country. It's cheaper and close to you.
 

jdinger29

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The only thing I would say is the Oatmeal Stout is typically made with a British Base malt. If you aren't entering in competition than I say go for the domestic base, otherwise call your pumpkin ale an English Style Pumpkin Ale and buy a British Malt. I really like the Brewmaster's Warehouse, they put everything together for you, very handy!
 

The Pol

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Yeah, unless you are entering a comp. the domestic 2-row will do nearly anything you need for a base malt. I typically use 2-Row as my #1 base, Maris Otter as my #2, and Pilsner as my #3.

This year I actually planned out all of the major brews that I wanted to accomplish in the coming 12 months. Give or take. I input all of the recipes into a spreadhseet, all of the ingredients, then placed an order at Brewmasters Warehouse for ALL of it at one time.

Planning helps reduce cost, so if you can think that far ahead, you may be able to come up with some bulk quantities.
 

KayaBrew

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I can't say enough about Brewmaster's Warehouse. They are by far the cheapest, and you get PERSONAL service from Ed. That being said, I'd go with American 2-Row. BTW, where in NY are you?
 

ajf

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I'd agree that 2 row is the way to go for a bulk purchase. The only problem is the shipping cost.
Some places give you a discount for the sack, but charge exorbitant amounts for shipping. Other places charge more for the sack, but give you flat rate shipping.
The closer you are to the distributor, the less the shipping costs should be.
You may also be able to buy from a local brew pub or your LHBS. I bought 2 sacks of Maris Otter last month from my LHBS. It cost me $106.00. It would cost me $177.53 from Brewmasters Warehouse.
I'd definitely check out The Country Malt Group where you may get some good shipping rates.

-a.
 

The Pol

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If you can find a HBS within 100 miles that sells sacks of grain, which most do for 38-42 bucks per 50lb sack, you are golden.
 

Rick500

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Shipping cost is an issue, but not with brewmasterswarehouse.com and austinhomebrew.com ... It's $6.99 or $7.99 flat-rate shipping even for 50 pound bags of grain.
 

jdinger29

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When you buy in bulk, what do you store the grain in? The Pol, I would love to buy a years worth of base malt (especially considering how far I live from "Local" home brew shop.) I would have no idea how to store it though... Any tips?
 

Synovia

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Shipping cost is an issue, but not with brewmasterswarehouse.com and austinhomebrew.com ... It's $6.99 or $7.99 flat-rate shipping even for 50 pound bags of grain.
Both of those places just build the price of shipping into every product. Their bulk grain is $30+ more than everyone elses because of that.


Find it local, and you should be able to get a bag of 2-row for right around $40. I just bought a 55lb bag of 2 row from my local place, which charges $3 a pound for small bags of grain, for $39.95.
 

DBbrewing

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I buy in bulk from North County and they where the cheapest even with shipping. I love Maris Otter for my base grain. I just made 11 gallons of Oatmeal stout and always use Maris Otter.
 

Rick500

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I guess my LHBS has higher prices than average... it's still cheaper for me to buy a 50 pound bag of 2-row from brewmasterswarehouse.com than to buy it here. (I actually don't buy that much at once, but I have priced it.)
 

Baja_Brewer

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I just made Thunderstruck today and it smells awesome!! a 50 lb bag will actually go quite quickly, usually in 4 or 5 brews tops, especially if you do a few high gravity batches. I see you're from NY, try checking out North Country Malt as they have some excellent prices and decent shipping rates. Give them a call and they can quote you shipping due to weight, without even specifying which pieces you want.

Good luck!! (And welcome)
 
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I buy in bulk from North County and they where the cheapest even with shipping. I love Maris Otter for my base grain. I just made 11 gallons of Oatmeal stout and always use Maris Otter.
I can't say enough about Brewmaster's Warehouse. They are by far the cheapest, and you get PERSONAL service from Ed. That being said, I'd go with American 2-Row. BTW, where in NY are you?

I'm upstate NY in Brockport, near Rochester.

Unfortunately my LHBS is way overpriced, which sucks cos I'd love to support it, however I'm just a poor wee college student after all. But Brewmaster's Warehouse sounds great and I'll prob check out North Country as well. I think I'm actually going to forgo the domestic 2-row and go with Maris Otter.

Thanks for all the input. I truly appreciate it! ^_^
 
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I just made Thunderstruck today and it smells awesome!! a 50 lb bag will actually go quite quickly, usually in 4 or 5 brews tops, especially if you do a few high gravity batches. I see you're from NY, try checking out North Country Malt as they have some excellent prices and decent shipping rates. Give them a call and they can quote you shipping due to weight, without even specifying which pieces you want.

Good luck!! (And welcome)
Thanks! I am so psyched to make it!! I wanted to make this as my first AG brew, but I was nervous it would be too complex and "sticky" with the pumpkin, and perhaps waiting until closer to Autumn would be best anyhow. Would you recommend it for a first AG brew or save it for a later one?
 

Baja_Brewer

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Thanks! I am so psyched to make it!! I wanted to make this as my first AG brew, but I was nervous it would be too complex and "sticky" with the pumpkin, and perhaps waiting until closer to Autumn would be best anyhow. Would you recommend it for a first AG brew or save it for a later one?
Well, this was probably my 15th AG, but only my 6th 10 gallon batch in my mashtun. Previously I used a brew in bag variation which probably wouldnt have worked for this beer. Due to the pumpkin in the mash, however, I had my first stuck mash/sparge !! (even with the pound of rice hulls I added.) To get out of this I turned off my ball valve and did my best to clear all the grain away from the braid, the grains I was pulling up through the rest of the mash were very very dry, so I could tell what was wrong. I ended up adding extra sparge water until I reached my pre-boil volume and dumped the rest.

If you're going to do this as your first AG brew, I would NOT pump the pumpkin in the mash. Pump most of the pumpkin in the beginning of the boil and save a can for the last 10 min or so, it doesn't really matter, but if you put it in the mash you're probably in for a major learning curve.

Also, if patience is not a virtue, try something with a quicker turn around time for your first AG, you could be sampling it within 5 or so weeks instead of waiting for the spices to mellow in this. Good luck, let us know how it goes!
 

golfguy819

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you could also try using real pumpkin (not the stuff from a can) and throw that into the mash. i did a pm version last year and used real pumpkin. picked up a couple of pie (smaller pumpkins), cut them into chunks, seasoned w/ allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, roasted in the oven to soften them up and threw half into the boil at the beginning, then the rest half way through. if i would have been home in time this year to do a pumpkin ale, i would have thrown it into my mlt since i'm AG now. maybe i'll do it anyway and have it ready for thanksgiving.
 
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Well, this was probably my 15th AG, but only my 6th 10 gallon batch in my mashtun. Previously I used a brew in bag variation which probably wouldnt have worked for this beer. Due to the pumpkin in the mash, however, I had my first stuck mash/sparge !! (even with the pound of rice hulls I added.) To get out of this I turned off my ball valve and did my best to clear all the grain away from the braid, the grains I was pulling up through the rest of the mash were very very dry, so I could tell what was wrong. I ended up adding extra sparge water until I reached my pre-boil volume and dumped the rest.

If you're going to do this as your first AG brew, I would NOT pump the pumpkin in the mash. Pump most of the pumpkin in the beginning of the boil and save a can for the last 10 min or so, it doesn't really matter, but if you put it in the mash you're probably in for a major learning curve.

Also, if patience is not a virtue, try something with a quicker turn around time for your first AG, you could be sampling it within 5 or so weeks instead of waiting for the spices to mellow in this. Good luck, let us know how it goes!
you could also try using real pumpkin (not the stuff from a can) and throw that into the mash. i did a pm version last year and used real pumpkin. picked up a couple of pie (smaller pumpkins), cut them into chunks, seasoned w/ allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, roasted in the oven to soften them up and threw half into the boil at the beginning, then the rest half way through. if i would have been home in time this year to do a pumpkin ale, i would have thrown it into my mlt since i'm AG now. maybe i'll do it anyway and have it ready for thanksgiving.
Yeah I'm definitely not going to add the pumpkin to the mash haha. I'll try to keep it as simple as I can. I am going to hopefully make this after my first AG which I've decided will be an oatmeal stout. That way it'll be ready for the Autumn season. Thanks for the advice, khuygie!

In regards to using real pumpkin, Golfguy, it definitely sounds better than using canned, but I don't want to have to wait until pumpkin season to start the brew. Most likely, if the first batch comes out good, I'll make a second during the season and use fresh pumpkin.
 

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