Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

Author Topic: First bulk grain purchase  (Read 538 times)

Offline Ol’ Mr Catfish

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
First bulk grain purchase
« on: April 26, 2023, 03:44:16 pm »
Hi all, I’m returning to home brewing after twenty years and jumping into all grain brewing for the first time and need help with a bulk buy.  We have pretty broad beer interests and would like to make pale ales, ipas, stouts and porters, reds and ambers, saisons and other Belgians, and German lagers.  Could someone help me put together a general shopping list to get started?  I’ve been studying recipes to get an idea, but I’m flummoxed.

Offline chinaski

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 578
Re: First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2023, 04:11:41 pm »
I'm curious what you mean by bulk purchase?  If you are talkin' whole sacks of grain, my advice is to hold off on that and start with a kit or two to see how it goes.  You should find out if you really enjoy it before pouring a bunch of resources into large quantities of malt.

Buy a copy of "How to Brew" by John Palmer and read what interests you.  Then buy an all-grain recipe or two and go to town.

Offline Ol’ Mr Catfish

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2023, 04:39:52 pm »
Sorry forgot to mention that. We’ve brewed several kits and both my wife and I really enjoy the all grain process. We both work from home, so have had several brew days while working, which works out really well.  We’ve actually discussed turning our garage into a permanent brewery Thor brewing and housing all the gear and grain, fermenters etc. 

I’m ready to have a grain collection on hand to brew whatever, whenever, I’m just not yet to the point where I know recipes yet, and have a grasp on how much of each thing I’d need to order to hold us for 6-12 months.

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 6097
First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2023, 04:43:02 pm »
Its remarkably easy to get from one shade of beer to the next. Add in a bit of specialty malt or an adjunct and you can brew a range of beers with very few grains. However, hops and yeast seem to multiply like rabbits around here.

In the example below to move from Blonde to Pale Ale replace the lighter C malt in the Blonde (if you even want C malt in your Blonde) with darker C malt in the Pale (if you even want C malt in your Pale).

Once you get the basic ingredients and a cpl beers in the pipeline you can add a bit of je ne sais quoi to the basics to make it your own and give it depth. That’s where the art comes in.  Rigid frameworks are made to be broken.

For example, add a half pound of flaked barley to the Black basic below and you’ll end up with a fairly nice Stout.

The examples below are for low ABV beers using a wide mill gap based on Baird Choc and Roast. If you want higher ABV beers close the gap and/or add a pound or two more Base.

YMMV

« Last Edit: April 26, 2023, 05:46:21 pm by BrewBama »

Offline Ol’ Mr Catfish

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2023, 05:02:13 pm »
Cool!  So maybe I won’t need a 2nd mortgage after all! ;D

Offline BrewnWKopperKat

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 90
Re: First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2023, 06:26:42 pm »
I’m ready to have a grain collection on hand to brew whatever, whenever, I’m just not yet to the point where I know recipes yet, and have a grasp on how much of each thing I’d need to order to hold us for 6-12 months.
Josh Weikert's idea of building an "Ingredient Library" may help define what you want to keep in stock.
Simple Homebrewing has a chapter on recipe templates that pairs nicely with the idea of an "Ingredient Library".

Without going into details (at the moment), I use these ideas to stock a "basement home brew store" so that I can generally brew "what I want when I want".










Offline Ol’ Mr Catfish

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2023, 08:41:47 am »
Great articles, thanks!  I have a better idea of what I’m looking for now.

Offline erockrph

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7810
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: First bulk grain purchase
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2023, 09:29:31 am »
I guess it depends on what styles you are planning on brewing. I tend to buy in bulk when I can and depending on how much you brew and batch sizes, here's my suggestions for a good start to a basic "home homebrew shop":

Base malt: 20-55 pounds of
Pilsner malt
Pale Ale malt

Base malt: 10-20 pounds of
Vienna malt
Light Munich malt

Caramel/Crystal malt: 2-5 pounds of
C-20 or CaraAmber
C-60 or Caramunich III

Caramel/Crystal malt: 1-2 pounds of
C-120 or English Extra Dark Crystal or Special B or DRC

Roast malt: 1-2 pounds of
Black Malt (aka Black Patent)
Roast Barley
Chocolate malt
Midnight wheat or Blackprinz or Carafa Special 3

Adjuncts: 2-5 pounds of
Flaked Barley
Flaked Corn
Flaked Wheat

From this selection you can brew 99% of the recipes out there with some simple substitutions. I also tend to buy extra when i'm trying out new ingredients, and that slowly grows my inventory.

Others may have different suggestions, but this list would keep me brewing for quite a while with no worries of running out. But take a look at some recipes you're planning on brewing and add or subtract as needed. If you use Carapils, get a few pounds of that. Same goes for Flaked Rye. Cut out the adjuncts if you don't plan on using them. Etc.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer