I'd just like to express my thanks for all of the fine information shared in this and the other threads on Ballantine.....I plan to brew a version of the IPA in the near future and they have been highly informative!
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As you do this keep in mind your LHBS, if you have one. You can definitely save money buying at wholesale, but there are a lot of ingredients that don't make sense to wholesale: yeast, many specialty malts, etc. Just consider whether that money is worth the loss of convenience where you now have to drive a long way or mail-order those other ingredients.
I'm not trying to judge you here; I've done this in the past with some other club members when we had no LBHS closer than an hour away. But since a new shop opened close by in the past year, I'm happy to pay his prices for the convenience of being able to pick up ingredients on a whim.
Just some food for thought...
I guess the need to make this more complicated/legally organized is somewhat lost on me....unless the big picture is to lay the groundwork for a co-op LHBS, why go to this level of expense and trouble for quarterly bulk grain & hop orders? What are the other products you expect to order from other wholesalers?
I think the point is that with enough people involved the cost pencils out pretty well for bulk ingredients. My friend's father-in-law is hooked up with a group in the Philly/SJ area that does group buys of grapes once a year. They go to the yards and load them right off the box cars. Seems to work out pretty well. Of course, these are the crazy old Sicilian guys that make 200 gallons at a time, so they're ordering a LOT of grapes.
Within 5 min. of opening the aforementioned Forschner chef's knife, I'd taken off the end of my left thumb with virtually no pressure on the knife. I'd never had a knife that sharp before.
What do you have? How about an ideal knife/brand? One that you'd leave to your kids in the will...
Winner of ATK tests and what their chefs use....Forschner/Victorinox Fibrox 8" Chef's knife. It's only $25 and it ROCKS! Same thing with their $6 6 inch paring knife!