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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: gymrat on December 12, 2011, 05:17:46 AM

Title: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: gymrat on December 12, 2011, 05:17:46 AM
I just got 50 pounds of Rahr 2 row malted barley. Then I started looking at the cost of ordering various grains for different recipes. It is a lot cheaper just to buy the kits and modify from what I can see. How do you all buy your grains for different recipes?
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: tygo on December 12, 2011, 05:23:55 AM
I buy sacks of base malt, usually continental pilsner and marris otter, although I'm also working through a sack of 6-row I bought awhile back.  Then I just buy whatever quantity of other grains I need.  Buying the base by the sack definitely saves me money.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: morticaixavier on December 12, 2011, 07:57:03 AM
Yeah I buy base grain by the sack and everything else to order. I generally only buy organic ingredients so that limits my options as I have only found one place with a decent selection but I can get sacks of 2 row, american/canadian, british or german and all the basic specialty grains. I brew alot of partigyle brews so I am generally getting 20+ lbs of base grain for a recipe anyway and it's ussualy only 10 bucks or so more to get the whole sack.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: tschmidlin on December 12, 2011, 08:34:36 AM
I buy sacks of wheat malt, pils, Maris Otter, and pale, everything else is by the pound or five.

I'm confused how it could be cheaper to buy the kit and modify it, can you give us some numbers?
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: euge on December 12, 2011, 09:09:24 AM
For cost savings any sort of base malt is best bought in bulk. Buy a pound or so of various specialty grains per your usage if you brew alot. Best to keep buying grain all the time or the weevils will pay a visit. ::)

On the flipside I can see the advantage in just buying per a kit recipe from the LHBS who will weigh everything out. No odd amounts of grain left over.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: gymrat on December 12, 2011, 03:46:59 PM
I buy sacks of wheat malt, pils, Maris Otter, and pale, everything else is by the pound or five.

I'm confused how it could be cheaper to buy the kit and modify it, can you give us some numbers?

I got a 50 pound bag of 2 row for just under $50 after tax and shipping at Midwest Supplies. Ok that is a good price. But if I want to do any recipes, Octoberfest for example. I need 5 pounds of Munich $6,  4 pounds of dark Munich. $6 for a 5 pound bag, $2 for a pound of caramunich at $2. At best shipping will be $7.99 through NB. That is $14 plus 8 for $22. I can buy all that in a kit plus hops and yeast for $19. Add the shipping and I get $27 in rounded figures. Plus 5 pounds of my grain at $1.10 and it works out cheaper to buy the kit.

That is why I am asking how you all buy your grain.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: denny on December 12, 2011, 03:50:31 PM
I buy bags of Rahr pale, and Best pils and Munich.  I split bags of C60, Special B, rye  malt, and a couple others with another guy.  I buy dark malts and other specialties locally as needed.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: gymrat on December 12, 2011, 04:19:54 PM
It looks to me like my problem is not being able to buy locally. We do have a store but it is frequently not open during the hours posted. Then if by some stroke of luck I do catch them open they are sold out of almost everything because they rarely stock thier store. Instead of dealing with the frustration I do all of my business online.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: brewmichigan on December 12, 2011, 04:40:25 PM
I buy bags of Rahr pale, and Best pils and Munich.  I split bags of C60, Special B, rye  malt, and a couple others with another guy.  I buy dark malts and other specialties locally as needed.

you need to split bags of Rye Denny? thought you went through 50 pounds of that a month  ;D
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: denny on December 12, 2011, 04:45:55 PM
I buy bags of Rahr pale, and Best pils and Munich.  I split bags of C60, Special B, rye  malt, and a couple others with another guy.  I buy dark malts and other specialties locally as needed.

you need to split bags of Rye Denny? thought you went through 50 pounds of that a month  ;D

 :D
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: WDE97 on December 12, 2011, 04:52:19 PM
Like a lot of others here, I buy my base malt in bulk.  I actually buy mine through a local brew pub.  They allow members of our homebrew club to buy grain from them at cost, and will even order bags for us if it is something they normally don't carry.  It's so much cheaper ($25-35/bag) for me than even buying bulk grain on line.  I then buy all the rest of my grain online by the 1lb or 5lb. 
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: corkybstewart on December 12, 2011, 05:19:28 PM
Like a lot of others here, I buy my base malt in bulk.  I actually buy mine through a local brew pub.  They allow members of our homebrew club to buy grain from them at cost, and will even order bags for us if it is something they normally don't carry.  It's so much cheaper ($25-35/bag) for me than even buying bulk grain on line.  I then buy all the rest of my grain online by the 1lb or 5lb. 
That's pretty much exactly what I do except the local brewpub(40 miles away) has a new brewer and he won't sell to homebrewers.  There's a homebrew club in Midland/Odessa Texas that has connection at a brewpub 300 miles away, a couple of times a year somebody from the club will go down there and pick up a load of base malts for the club members.
I buy specialty malts by 5 or 10 pound bags because there is no local store within 250 miles and I never know what I'm brewing next in time to actually plan.  I buy specialty malt from morebeer.com because of their free shipping for orders over $60.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: bluesman on December 12, 2011, 05:27:07 PM
I but my base malts (Maris Otter, 2-row pale,Pils,Munich and Vienna) by the sack at my LHBS or through North Country Malt. Specialty malts are purchased as needed at my LHBS. I usually have at least one sack of each of the base malts listed and an assortment of specialty grains on hand at all times.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: tschmidlin on December 12, 2011, 05:45:32 PM
I buy sacks of wheat malt, pils, Maris Otter, and pale, everything else is by the pound or five.

I'm confused how it could be cheaper to buy the kit and modify it, can you give us some numbers?

I got a 50 pound bag of 2 row for just under $50 after tax and shipping at Midwest Supplies. Ok that is a good price. But if I want to do any recipes, Octoberfest for example. I need 5 pounds of Munich $6,  4 pounds of dark Munich. $6 for a 5 pound bag, $2 for a pound of caramunich at $2. At best shipping will be $7.99 through NB. That is $14 plus 8 for $22. I can buy all that in a kit plus hops and yeast for $19. Add the shipping and I get $27 in rounded figures. Plus 5 pounds of my grain at $1.10 and it works out cheaper to buy the kit.

That is why I am asking how you all buy your grain.
Where are you finding kits that include yeast and hops for $19?  The NB o-fest recipe I just looked up was $26+.

Anyway, I was going to suggest morebeer with their free shipping over $59 that corky mentioned above.  If you plan ahead a bit you can hit that number easily.  I usually don't have a problem getting there when I throw in a poppet here or a fitting there.

But if it still works out cheaper to buy the kits for you and modify them, then I might do that.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: Kit B on December 12, 2011, 06:18:57 PM
Where are you finding kits that include yeast and hops for $19?  The NB o-fest recipe I just looked up was $26+.

Not quite $19...But, close.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/all-grain-brewing/all-grain-recipe-kits.html
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: gymrat on December 12, 2011, 07:29:52 PM
This one is $20 http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/recipe-kits/all-grain-kits/all-grain-ale-kits/irish-red-ale-all-grain-kit.html
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: malzig on December 12, 2011, 08:28:35 PM
I got a 50 pound bag of 2 row for just under $50 after tax and shipping at Midwest Supplies. Ok that is a good price. But if I want to do any recipes, Octoberfest for example. I need 5 pounds of Munich $6,  4 pounds of dark Munich. $6 for a 5 pound bag, $2 for a pound of caramunich at $2. At best shipping will be $7.99 through NB. That is $14 plus 8 for $22. I can buy all that in a kit plus hops and yeast for $19. Add the shipping and I get $27 in rounded figures. Plus 5 pounds of my grain at $1.10 and it works out cheaper to buy the kit.
Some of the advantage for me is that I use a lot of Munich and Pilsner Malt, so I don't consider it a specialty grain and buy them by the sack.  I was lucky to get my last sack of Munich for $30 (though I might not see that price again), so $0.55/#. 

Another is that I must get higher efficiency than you, because my Octoberfest recipe calls for 9# of Munich and Pils, not the 14+# of base malt that you seem to be calculating, so the grain comes to ~$5.  Maybe another $1-2 for the hops and $2 for the yeast (amortized over a typical 3-4 batches of re-pitching), for a total of ~$9.

The final factor seems to be recipe formulation.  I rarely put any crystal malt in a lager, except maybe 1/8-1/4# of Carapils or perhaps some Caramunich in a Czech Dunkel, so, even though that costs me ~$2/#, like you, it only costs $0.25-50 per recipe.  I use about the same for most beers, so it is a minor additional cost, where you calculate specialty grains as the majority of your cost.

I rarely pass $10 for all the ingredients for a beer, unless it was heavily hopped, which my beers wouldn't usually be.  Even at $50/sack, that would only go up to ~$13-14.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: narvin on December 12, 2011, 08:58:04 PM
This one is $20 http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/recipe-kits/all-grain-kits/all-grain-ale-kits/irish-red-ale-all-grain-kit.html

This kit is $15.50 without the dry yeast. For 8.75 pounds of grain (7.5 lbs base, 1.25 specialty) and 1.5 oz of hops, you could do a lot better if you buy your base malt and hops in bulk, even if you still pay $2.50 / lb for the specialty grains.  I pay about $40 for a sack of domestic 2-row at the LHBS, and a little over $50 for 20kg bags of Maris Otter or Best Malz Pils.

Stock up on your hops every year:

http://www.hopsdirect.com/store/domestic-pellet-hops.html
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: rjharper on December 12, 2011, 09:06:21 PM
I buy my grain from Austin Homebrew.  Their website lets you assign a grain bill number, so one bag arrives milled, weighed, mixed and sealed.  All I have to do is open it and pour it in the mash tun.  Could I save a few bucks buying the base in bulk? Yes Could I gain a few points in efficiency milling it myself? Yes. But I don't have a mill, and I figure that a store their size probably has good turnover.  I also don't mind buying it milled, because it comes heat sealed and stays fresh long enough.

Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: euge on December 12, 2011, 09:36:43 PM
I buy my grain from Austin Homebrew.  There's website lets you assign a grain bill number, so one bag arrives milled, weighed, mixed and sealed.  All I have to do is open it and pour it in the mash tun.  Could I save a few bucks buying the base in bulk? Yes Could I gain a few points in efficiency milling it myself? Yes. But I don't have a mill, and I figure that a store their size probably has good turnover.  I also don't mind buying it milled, because it comes heat sealed and stays fresh long enough.



What is the hit in eff? I often no-sparge with a coarse grist and get 65-70%. I factor my time in as well. It isn't free even when no pay is involved. Anything to make the brewing process easier, faster and maintain quality is #1 in my philosophy.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: tschmidlin on December 12, 2011, 11:06:13 PM
Where are you finding kits that include yeast and hops for $19?  The NB o-fest recipe I just looked up was $26+.

Not quite $19...But, close.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/all-grain-brewing/all-grain-recipe-kits.html
Yeah, but the oktoberfest recipe is $26.  I'm just trying to  compare apple to apples.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/oktoberfest-lager-all-grain-kit.html
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: rjharper on December 12, 2011, 11:11:07 PM
I buy my grain from Austin Homebrew.  Their website lets you assign a grain bill number, so one bag arrives milled, weighed, mixed and sealed.  All I have to do is open it and pour it in the mash tun.  Could I save a few bucks buying the base in bulk? Yes Could I gain a few points in efficiency milling it myself? Yes. But I don't have a mill, and I figure that a store their size probably has good turnover.  I also don't mind buying it milled, because it comes heat sealed and stays fresh long enough.



What is the hit in eff? I often no-sparge with a coarse grist and get 65-70%. I factor my time in as well. It isn't free even when no pay is involved. Anything to make the brewing process easier, faster and maintain quality is #1 in my philosophy.

I'm running ~70% efficiency on my HERMS rig with their grind. I'm happy.  I love the ease of firing up the HLT, then simply cutting open a bag.  It's like buying kits, but they're my recipes.  They have free shipping on orders over $100, and since I'm in OK, that usually translates to 3rd business day.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 12, 2011, 11:25:44 PM
How do y'all buy grain?  Usually with my credit card.

OK, in fact I buy bags of grain from the local shops in my area.  Specialty grains I will get 4-5 lbs. at a go so I have it on hand.  Unusual stuff I will get 1 lb. at a time.  There is enough in the garage to do the lager blitz that I am on, plus some big and stong ales.

The freezer is full of hops.  All set there.



Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: DaveR on December 13, 2011, 07:12:09 PM
I buy Pilsner, American 2-row and Maris Otter by the sack. I'm going to add Munich to that list. I was buying Munich 5 lbs at a time. Then I went to 10 lbs. I'm using so much now that a full sack makes sense to buy.  It's not just that it saves money. Having it on hand at all times is handy.

I buy specialty malts one to five pounds at a time. I store them in two large Rubbermaid totes. Occasionally I'll spill something when taking it out of the tote, or when scrounging through the bags. All the little spills are building up on the bottom of the totes. Once I hit 3 lbs  I'm going to throw it in with 10 pounds of base malt and brew it. I'm a little afraid, though. What if it turns out great?  I'll never be able to replicate it.   :'(
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: morticaixavier on December 13, 2011, 07:24:02 PM
I buy Pilsner, American 2-row and Maris Otter by the sack. I'm going to add Munich to that list. I was buying Munich 5 lbs at a time. Then I went to 10 lbs. I'm using so much now that a full sack makes sense to buy.  It's not just that it saves money. Having it on hand at all times is handy.

I buy specialty malts one to five pounds at a time. I store them in two large Rubbermaid totes. Occasionally I'll spill something when taking it out of the tote, or when scrounging through the bags. All the little spills are building up on the bottom of the totes. Once I hit 3 lbs  I'm going to throw it in with 10 pounds of base malt and brew it. I'm a little afraid, though. What if it turns out great?  I'll never be able to replicate it.   :'(

When I worry about that I just make a super strong beer so I can horde it if it turns out really good. I may never be able to replicate it but I can enjoy drinking it for the next 10+ years!
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: bluesman on December 13, 2011, 08:24:10 PM
All the little spills are building up on the bottom of the totes. Once I hit 3 lbs  I'm going to throw it in with 10 pounds of base malt and brew it. I'm a little afraid, though. What if it turns out great?  I'll never be able to replicate it.   :'(

Yes...but you'll probably have 5 tasty gallons of mystery beer.  :)
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: weithman5 on December 13, 2011, 08:34:08 PM
i store a lot of my grains in those plastic barrels that bulk pretzels come in., i usually only buy 10 pounds of a variety at a time.
Title: Re: How do yall buy grain?
Post by: sharg54 on January 01, 2012, 12:02:07 AM
I have found buying in bulk saves a ton of money and if you start making some of your own specialty malts you can save even more and add that personal touch to your beer. Storage isn't a problem as I get 4.5 gallon buckets from walmart or safeway for free and they store and stack quite nicely. As it stands right now with buying in bulk and making a lot of my own specialty grains it costs me about $10 to make a five gallon batch of Imperial stout but if I buy it from the brew shop it costs around 30. But than I also grow my own hops as well so that cuts cost as well. Add yeast washing to the mix and you can take one yeast pack and turn it into about 18. All this costs one thing  TIME so it totally depends on what you are willing to put into it and how much space you have. If you want to save some money buy in bulk, if you want to save some more money do some research and spend some time with your craft.  ;D