Author Topic: LHBS  (Read 2402 times)

Offline oscarvan

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 02:05:35 PM »
My LHBS (Keystone Home Brew Supply) in Bethlehem PA is staffed by knowledgeable and friendly people. They carry good stuff and it's always fresh. There is usually something to sample too.... 8)

If you want there to be a store where you can run to for an "Oh Shid! forgot to order XYZ moment" you need to buy everything there so they can stay in business, even when you know you're paying a few $$ more.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2013, 02:27:17 PM »
My LHBS is awesome.  They have better prices than online stores and will special order stuff for me.  Great people and this store has been selling grain and feed since the late 1800's.
Dan Chisholm

Offline Podo

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 03:09:44 AM »
I move around a lot, so if I live in an area where a LHBS is convenient to work or home, I try to use them, especially for yeast.  Mostly I'm an online guy though.  I went into a LHBS once and the guy seemed to think it was odd I wanted uncrushed grain, which didn't give me the best impression.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 03:16:38 AM by Podo »
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2013, 04:31:22 AM »
Side question...how can you tell if the liquid extract is a good brand/fresh, same goes for hop freshness?

Why not use DME? Its much more shelf-stable and is easier to dose out by weight. Keeps well in an air-tight container.

Smell hops and look at the color. They shouldn't smell "cheesy", but they should also have a pleasing hop aroma, especially American varieties. The color should be green. Any gray/brown should be a concern.

A good homebrew store will sell hops in 1 oz air-tight bags or dose from small, air-tight containers.

A good homebrew store is a busy one - I always know hops/malts from my LHBS are fresh because I see a LOT of it going out the door!
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2013, 06:41:03 AM »
My local store is awesome, great, service, always have what I need, fresh grain and most yeast. I always recommend supporting the locals!

Mine too!  Bulk grain buys save me money on shipping.  I do buy most of my hops online, but these guys have just started carrying pounds for reasonable prices.  I buy yeast there because I can see the production date before I buy, been disappointed by some of the online stuff before.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2013, 06:59:02 AM »
My local store is awesome, great, service, always have what I need, fresh grain and most yeast. I always recommend supporting the locals!
Mine too!  Bulk grain buys save me money on shipping.  I do buy most of my hops online, but these guys have just started carrying pounds for reasonable prices.  I buy yeast there because I can see the production date before I buy, been disappointed by some of the online stuff before.

+1.  I never buy yeast online.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 07:25:39 AM by dbeechum »
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Offline dordway29

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2013, 07:49:16 AM »
I think it depends greatly on your local shop. I currently work at one and am fortunate it's a good one. We have to do monster grain and supply orders every few weeks. Yeast is every week from both white labs and wyeast. Hops are only harvested once a year. So as long as the packaging is good you're fine. Heat, oxygen and light are what destroy your hops so eliminate those and you're fine. Ours are vacuum sealed in oxygen barrier bags and put in a freezer for storage. We currently carry 89 hops (pellet & leaf) and 110+ different grains/adjuncts. We could get more but we're running out of space.

You have to be careful with the online guys. There were a few months when wyeast wasn't offering any roeselare. But northern brewer and midwest both had it in stock. Which means they were at least 4 months old before they could order any more. The stuff you buy online isn't always fresh.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2013, 07:51:03 AM »
We got a small LHBS in a nearby town last fall.  I've been buying some stuff from them, making suggestions on what to stock, and recommending them to other brewers.  They are primarily supplying LDCarlson stuff so I still go elsewhere for certain malt brands and bulk hops.  Its nice having them as an option though and I hope they do well and expand.
Lennie
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2013, 08:21:56 AM »
My LHBS is very good. Adventures in Homebrewing. Great owners and staff.

They have fresh yeast. White Labs has the rewards program for returned empty vials. If you return 5000 vials Chris White will come and speak at your location. He has only done that twice, both times at AiH.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2013, 08:36:35 AM »
I'd rather buy local and do so whenever possible.  The good thing is that a "new" LHBS (Brew Camp in Chicago) opened up close by maybe two years or so ago.  20 minutes door to door, tops.  They have good stock, they're prices are good, I have no complaints.

Before them, I had to drive maybe 40 minutes (depending on traffic) which makes for a much longer trip.
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Offline micsager

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2013, 10:35:47 AM »
What's the consensus on buying brew ingredients from LHBS's? Price aside, do you use them? I imagine freshness would be a concern. Considering using one for hops and LME.

My LHBS does double duty as a wholesale supplier for my commercial brewery.  We group our orders together to save on shipping.  And when I need something quick, I always go to the LHBS.  Most staff at these stores are experienced brewers that are willing to help the newbie. 

(plus he hosts our club meeting, and gives paid members 10% discount after the meeting. 

Even before I got the Brewer's Notice, I shopped almost exlusively at the LHBS.  You don't always save money, but I don't mind spending a little more to keep my money circulating around town.  The only thing I really did mail order was hops, and that was direct from a farm in Yakima, not Morebeer, Midwest or such.  Although, for many folks, those places are their LHBS.

 

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2013, 10:53:45 AM »
The only thing I really did mail order was hops, and that was direct from a farm in Yakima, not Morebeer, Midwest or such.  Although, for many folks, those places are their LHBS.

Good point on the hops.  I try to stock up when Hops Direct has a "yard sale."

Unless there's a hop that I don't expect to use repeatedly, I'll buy a pound or two at a time.

If it's something I only need a couple ounces of, I'll get those at the LHBS.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Pinski

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2013, 11:29:09 AM »
I started buying my hops online after I bought a pound of very old hops from my LHBS in Denver. They were in a mylar bag, but they were turning brown on the edges, smelled cheesy. Not knowing any better at the time, I used them in a beer. It tasted like cheesy cardboard.

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Offline tcanova

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2013, 12:14:57 PM »
I use my LHBS whenever I can.  They give me a discount for being a member of the local brew club and they are very flexible when it comes to purchasing.  I can call and tell them what I want and they will put it outside their back door for me to pick up after hours. 

I did use an online site when I ordered my Blichmann but that was only because I was given 90 days same as cash credit and that helped with a major purchase.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: LHBS
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2013, 12:36:17 PM »
Freshness can be a concern with online companies too. Your just a name on a box there, not a face at the counter. Selection can be a bigger problem. Still, our LHBS owners do whatever they can to help our club and promote homebrewing locally. They give us prizes, ingredients for demo brews, etc. So I shop there to give back when I can.
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