Author Topic: How do yall buy grain?  (Read 5437 times)

Offline gymrat

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Offline malzig

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2011, 01:28:35 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.

Offline narvin

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2011, 01:58:04 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
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 02:03:17 PM by narvin »
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Offline rjharper

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 02:06:21 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.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 04:39:20 PM by rjharper »

Offline euge

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2011, 02:36:43 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.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2011, 04:06:13 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
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Offline rjharper

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2011, 04:11:07 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.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 04:39:35 PM by rjharper »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2011, 04:25:44 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.



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Offline DaveR

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2011, 12:12:09 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.   :'(

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2011, 12:24:02 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!
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2011, 01:24:10 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.  :)
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Offline weithman5

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2011, 01:34:08 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.
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Offline sharg54

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Re: How do yall buy grain?
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2011, 05:02:07 PM »
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
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