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what grains should I stock in my grain room?

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dawn_kiebawls

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Hey guys and gals,

I'm getting tired of driving to and from my LHBS for any batch I brew and for some reason don't want to order my grainbills online. So, I would like to start stocking up on grain and buying in bulk.

Lately I'm brewing a lot of sours and filling that pipeline, but quick turnaround beers I brew Ambers, Saisons and I'm getting set up to start working on NEIPAs.

I'm thinking a sack of:

2 row
Maris Otter
Pils
White Wheat?

These base malts seem like they can cover a wide range or styles/recipes, but I'm not sure what to get as far as specialty/flaked malts. What do you guys keep stocked in your grain rooms? Cheers!
 

bracconiere

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i keep 5lb's of whatever i feel like, or think i will. i have 3 lb's left of my 60L crystal, probably 2lb's chocolate left, 2lb's roast barley.

i figure i can make just about anything i feel like with a stock like that. i haven't had special b in a while was going to pick up 5lb's of it next order. maybe 5lb's of a lighter crystal to go with it.
 

AzOr

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biscuit
vienna
Munich
C-40
Flaked corn
This in addition to what you have, you can brew a whole bunch of good beer.
 

day_trippr

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Being fortunate to still have a couple of home brew stores within 20 minutes I don't go too large in my grain collection, aside from base malts. I do tend to keep frequently used specialty grains and adjuncts on hand in enough volume to knock out a couple of batches, but beyond that if I need a specialty grain I don't mind the drive.

For base malts I keep at least a bag of each of Golden Promise, Weyermann Pilsner, and Breiss 2-Row. My last bulk buy from BSG was two bags of each.
For adjuncts I try to have 5-10 pounds each of malted oats, malted white wheat, flaked oats, and flaked wheat.
For specialty grains I have a couple of pounds each of black patent, roasted barley, and C40 for my stout, then 5 pounds of so of Carapils, a couple of pounds of Carafoam, and a pound of honey malt.

That's pretty much it. I do have leftovers of various crystals and caramels but eventually find ways to use them (you can dump all kinds of leftovers in an 11+% imperial stout and nobody will ever be the wiser if you mash low and long ;))

Cheers!
 

jrgtr42

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Sounds good for your bas malts - having a selection isn't a bad thing.
What I would keep stocked may be different from you, depending on what I want to brew.
|What I'd suggest is to take a look at your recipes, and see what grains show up in there. Keep in mind that if you have one that has, say Crystal 40, and others with 30, you can use one for the other, just adjust the percentage slightly to make up the difference. THis will keep the different types to a minimum, and allow you to save by buying in larger bulk.
 

kman6234

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When the COVID lock downs started I decided to beef up my grain inventory. I use to keep some grains on hand but relied on doing a dedicated morebeer order for each brew.

Now I’ve been keeping a minimum of 20#s of briess 2 row, Weyerman Pils, crisp or muntons MO and 5#s of weyerman vienna / munich and Briess red wheat on hand. I brew 10 gallon batches so this lets me brew a good amount of styles. I also keep some misc crystal and roasted malts handy
 

FromZwolle

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Hey guys and gals,

I'm getting tired of driving to and from my LHBS for any batch I brew and for some reason don't want to order my grainbills online. So, I would like to start stocking up on grain and buying in bulk.

Lately I'm brewing a lot of sours and filling that pipeline, but quick turnaround beers I brew Ambers, Saisons and I'm getting set up to start working on NEIPAs.

I'm thinking a sack of:

2 row
Maris Otter
Pils
White Wheat?

These base malts seem like they can cover a wide range or styles/recipes, but I'm not sure what to get as far as specialty/flaked malts. What do you guys keep stocked in your grain rooms? Cheers!
skip the 2 row and go ahead and cheap out on the british base malt.
unless you're going to brew a lot of wheats, you can get 10 pound sacks online for reasonable shipping.
add vienna malt and light munich and you're good for just about anything.

So:
english pale malt
pils
vienna
munich

i also like to have a variety of specialty malts in small quantities, but those are very specific to individual tastes.
 

Bramling Cross

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Like you, I decided it made a lot more sense to stock a selection of primary colors from which I could blend most beers, rather than focus on specific quantities of each malt for each brew. Although I've never really thought about it this way, I suppose you could divide my malt stocks into four tiers: 1) 50lb sack purchases; 2) 10lb bag purchases; 3) stuff that it makes sense to buy by the 5lb or 1lb bag; 4) stuff, typically adjuncts, that I can buy at the grocery store for far less than LHBS prices.

You're brewing very different stuff than I am, so you'll quickly lock in what your primary colors happen to be. I write the following about my brewery in the hope that it will assist you in organizing your own thoughts.

Much like yourself, I settled on 50lb sacks of Otter and German pils as my tier one malts. At a dollar/pound basis, these are easily the cheapest malts in my brewery--which allows me to splurge on some excellent examples of Otter and German pils. I am certain that I'll reliably plow through these grains in a timely fashion, so they're well worth buying by the 50lb sack. I've learned to blend these to approximate other base malts, but there's no ratio of Otter and pils that will be a dead ringer for Great Western two row, Golden Promise, Rahr pale malt, etc...so what? It's part of the house flavor of my brewery and I'm cool with that. I suppose I could reasonably also run a bag of domestic two row, but... I don't see the point. I'm happy with my ratios and the result doesn't seem to justify the bother. Hint: sometimes a bit of boring old table sugar is helpful to dilute the characteristic flavors of German pils and Otter when you're aiming for a very neutral base grain.

Tier two is the tricky one! These are malts that I use with a very high frequency, but I've learned that I don't reliably use them frequently enough to justify the 50lb sack. Vienna, Munich, malted and torrified wheat, and patent malt all live here. I tend to brew for the seasons, so mid-winter and mid-summer, I sit down and write a big order to an online shop based upon what I know I reliably enjoy for the coming two seasons and what I'm interested in researching/mucking around with. Sometimes I'll guess right, sometimes I'll have to put in a smaller supplementary order, or, like this year, I'll end up with 20lbs of unused wheat malt because I went on a colossal CAP kick this spring and summer when I'm normally going nuts for hefes and American wheats. Fortunately, I've found that year-old malt, when stored correctly, is just as good as any other, so you don't have to stress about over-ordering. My options next spring will be constricted a bit. I like wheat beers in the spring, so it's no biggie.

Tier three is pretty easy: These are your character malts that define certain beers that you brew seasonally, or use in small quantities. For me, it's UK C-60 and 80, Carastan, US C20, C40, and 150, Melanoidan, Biscuit/Victory, brown, and the chocolates. Based upon their velocity, I buy some of these by the pound, others I'll get two pounds.

Tier four is simple: Flaked wheat, oats, rice and corn are cheaper at the grocery store than their identical counterparts at the LHBS or online. Rather than waste storage space, save a few bucks and let the local super market store them for you.

As a final note, and certainly the most important note, get proper storage vessels for your grain. My initial attempt at establishing a grain library was undone by weevils (idiot West Coaster living on the East Coast mistake). Get proper storage vessels with gasketed, air tight lids. Yeah, they're expensive, but they'll save you money over the years.
 
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