What ingredients do you keep on hand?

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HerotBrewer

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I am just getting started, and already have found great advice here.

I am getting into partial mash kits. I usually buy my kits from Midwest.

Next time I place an order I want to be able to add a few things to the order to have "on hand" so to speak. Would one of the experienced brewers like to give me a few tips on what it would be wise to have around?

I'm thinking specifically like a couple pounds of DME, extra packets of yeast, gelatin for fining, etc. I keep adding to my equipment collection, what are the ingredient "staples" so to speak of homebrewing? My last order I ordered some yeast nutrient.

I know many people use LME or DME to make starters, so I know I should have some of that on hand. Other suggestions that I might not be thinking of?

Also, a related question: I know the ingredient kits I am buying use different yeasts. If I want to keep a few packets of say Ale yeast around in case of emergencies, is there a standard yeast I should buy?
 

sportscrazed2

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I don't I order them when I know I will brew within a week or two. I want them as fresh as possible when I use them. Been thinking of buying a bunch of kits though to take advantage of some of those free shipping on orders of $100 though
 

Yooper

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I keep lots of stuff on hand. Some good items- S04 and S05 yeast. If you ever have to repitch an ale, one of those two yeast strains should work. I have about 6 packages of each.

I keep a three pound bag of DME on hand for yeast starters. You can close it with a twisty tie and store it in a ziploc bag, and it'll keep a long time in a cool dry place.

I always have whirlfloc on hand. I don't use other finings, like gelatin, since my beer is "vegetarian". No animal products go in my beers, for my friends who may stop over and have a beer. But lots of people use gelatin with good results.

An extra autosiphon can be a lifesaver! If you've ever been midway through racking, and the little tip of the siphon broke, you'd appreciate an extra. Extra tubing, extra airlocks, extra bungs, etc, are all handy.

I did the same as you're doing- each order I'd add a little something like a couple of airlocks. That way I'd have things on hand when I needed them.
 
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HerotBrewer

HerotBrewer

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Thanks Yooper, that's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for.

Damn, sounds like I need to buy some whirlfloc. Maybe my local LHBS has some, though he's only open 2 hrs. a day.
 

Hang Glider

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you can certainly order extra ingredients, too. I bought a food saver vacuum, and I buy the specialty malts by the pound (or two or three). I use what I need, and store the rest, uncrushed, under vacuum and in the freezer.


Extra autosiphon? Hmmm. great idea, Lorena!
 

azscoob

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Like Yooper, I keep 6 packets of S04 and S05 on hand, I keep a spare hydrometer, several spare airlocks, 5 lb of DME for making starters, I also have Gelatin and Irish moss on hand.

I keep at least 4 cheap dial thermometers on hand, two of them calibrated in ice water and marked with a blue dot, and two calibrated in boiling water and marked with a red dot. if I am doubting my digital one I can verify with them.

I always keep spare hose on hand for siphoning, blow-off tubes, or whatever.

I hit the dollar store and picked up a few gallon size pitchers for vorlaufing, holding sanitizer, as well as some small Tupperware containers for the measured out hop additions while brewing.
 

HexKrak

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Ingredient wise I keep some extra yeast and dextrose around. For equip I keep extra stoppers, airlocks, and tubing.
 

92greenyj

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I try to keep:
Irish Moss
Burton Salts
PBW
Yeast Nutrient

I also usually have a fair variety of hops on hand leftover from various batches. And when I can get a good deal I'll buy extra hops in varieties I use often (like Cascade for example)
I do All grain but I have a bag of DME on hand in case I ever need it for something.

Equipment wise, an Extra Hydrometer or two for sure as I seem to break them regularly. Extra Air Locks as again, I seem to crack them pretty regularly.
 

nilo

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It would depend on the styles of beer you brew more often.
I like Amber, browns, wit and light ales, so this is what I keep:
50# begs of:
2 row, White wheat and pilsen malts
3 to 5# of:
Crystal, 10, 40 and 120L
Carapils, Vienna, Munich, Aromatic and special B
Chocolate 350 and Carafa2 550L
5 to 8# of:
Rice Hulls, Rice flakes

Dry yeast S04, Irish moss, priming sugar.
StarSan and O2 bottle.
 

drycreek

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I'm thinking about picking up some extra dry yeast in case I ever need to re-pitch. How long does dry yeast last? Is it best to store it in the fridge or just at room temp?
 

sportscrazed2

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question can you repitch with dry yeast in a beer that calls for liquid yeast and still have it come out halfway decent?
 

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I'm thinking about picking up some extra dry yeast in case I ever need to re-pitch. How long does dry yeast last? Is it best to store it in the fridge or just at room temp?
Dry yeast will last for years in the fridge, as long as the package is unopened.

And yes, dry yeast for repitching is fine. If you have a special yeast strain, like a hefeweizen yeast, it won't be the same. But for most ales, either S05 or S04 can cover you when you have a fermentation that doesn't take off and you need to repitch.

I like having a lot of stuff on hand (you should see my house- it's FULL of brewing stuff) so I can brew at a moment's notice. I have just about everything for most brews on hand. It's definitely overkill, but it sure is nice!
 

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I am just getting started, and already have found great advice here.

I am getting into partial mash kits. I usually buy my kits from Midwest.

Next time I place an order I want to be able to add a few things to the order to have "on hand" so to speak. Would one of the experienced brewers like to give me a few tips on what it would be wise to have around?

I'm thinking specifically like a couple pounds of DME, extra packets of yeast, gelatin for fining, etc. I keep adding to my equipment collection, what are the ingredient "staples" so to speak of homebrewing? My last order I ordered some yeast nutrient.

I know many people use LME or DME to make starters, so I know I should have some of that on hand. Other suggestions that I might not be thinking of?

Also, a related question: I know the ingredient kits I am buying use different yeasts. If I want to keep a few packets of say Ale yeast around in case of emergencies, is there a standard yeast I should buy?

Another tip- if you're really into brewing, you may want to consider looking at some of the recipes you want to do and then buy a whole pound of hops from hopsdirect.com or freshops.com. Hops run $8-$12/pound, and can save you a ton of money in the long run IF you actually use them eventually. I use 4 ounces of northern brewer hops in a batch of California common, so I can make 4 batches with one pound of hops. The hops can be vacuum sealed if you have a Foodsaver, and kept in the freezer for a couple of years.
 

sportscrazed2

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Allright cool but what about beers that have a distinct flavor profile due to the yeast? If you get stuck fermentation and repitch with s-05 will you lose out on some of the flavors? if not i'm definitely going to pick up a few packs to have in the fridge just in case. also if your local homebrew shop sells dry yeast but keeps it at room temperature what are the chances it's no good?
 

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Allright cool but what about beers that have a distinct flavor profile due to the yeast? If you get stuck fermentation and repitch with s-05 will you lose out on some of the flavors? if not i'm definitely going to pick up a few packs to have in the fridge just in case. also if your local homebrew shop sells dry yeast but keeps it at room temperature what are the chances it's no good?
Well, of course. You simply CAN'T make a hefeweizen with S05, or a Belgian. You can make other beers, though, and you can "save" a batch if you don't have access to the liquid or enough time to make a new starter.

Most of the ales I make aren't yeast driven in the flavor. I make mostly IPAs, APAs, American ambers, and a few English styles. I don't make any hefeweizen (HATE wheat beers), and few Belgians (don't like the yeast character). For all of my lagers, and my California common, I buy the appropriate liquid strain.

I wouldn't buy dry yeast at a homebrew shop that kept it at room temperature. I told the owner that one time, and he told me I was crazy and that "it's always been that way". The next time I went in that particular store, the yeast was in the fridge. :D
 

sportscrazed2

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Also would you recommend I buy the beer smith software? can you use it on multiple computers with same liscense?
 

Yooper

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Also would you recommend I buy the beer smith software? can you use it on multiple computers with same liscense?
Yes. I love Beersmith. I think you can use it on up to three computers, but I haven't done that. I have it on my network, so I can use it from my laptop, but that's not another install.
 

sportscrazed2

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Allright cool think I will get it. Anyone with experience getting it to run perfectly on linux? the demo crashed once in the 15 minutes or so I played around with the demo
 
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