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Author Topic: Making a bag of 2 row last longer  (Read 2217 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

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Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« on: August 21, 2023, 04:39:59 am »
I went down to my LHBS yesterday to get a sack of 2 row and price is up 20% since June :o

I've heard that if you're lucky enough to live near a brewery, sometimes you can buy grain cheaper through them since they get bulk pricing. Is that really the case? I'm considering checking into this as I do have one in town.

Any ways to make the grain last longer like crushing it finer or anything? I suppose brewing less too but not quite what I'm looking for.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2023, 04:41:30 am by Joe_Beer »

Offline 4dogbrewer

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2023, 04:55:12 am »
You can make something like a Cream Ale but you have to use adjuncts to your grain bill. It is the same every where it seems, grains, yeast, hops etc. It has all gone up. Make a stout with 20% flaked barley will help, but you still have to buy flaked barley. No way to get around it. I personally am brewing the styles I really like and just don't brew anything for the heck of just brewing beer.

Offline BrewBama

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Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2023, 06:11:07 am »
I agree prices have gone up.  To stretch a bag brew session beers.

I justify this hobby like any other: I can’t justify a financial ROI on enjoyment.

Likewise, an avid golfer doesn’t think twice about paying $30-50 each weekend for greens fees. It could be R/C airplanes, or wrenching on old cars, you name it.  $30-50 every three weeks for a batch of beer doesn’t seem out of the question because I enjoy brewing.

It’s a hobby. Hobbies aren’t meant to be economical.

Edit: Just to see what the cost would be, I threw together a 1.052 classic APA with 84% Pale, 9% Munich, 7% C60, 41 IBU Centennial (2 oz), and a pack of Cali yeast for $27.66+ shipping from MoreBeer.  ~$3 a 6 pack.

Crush finer, sparge more, squeeze out every efficiency point and it gets cheaper than on my no sparge, course crush, inefficient system.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2023, 10:06:43 pm by BrewBama »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2023, 06:18:07 am »
You can make something like a Cream Ale but you have to use adjuncts to your grain bill. It is the same every where it seems, grains, yeast, hops etc. It has all gone up. Make a stout with 20% flaked barley will help, but you still have to buy flaked barley. No way to get around it. I personally am brewing the styles I really like and just don't brew anything for the heck of just brewing beer.

Hop prices aren't up much if you're buying the classic American hops. The trademarked varieties are a little more, but those have a glut, and won't be increasing much until they work through the surplus. NZ and AU varieties are the trendy new hops and are expensive.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2023, 08:01:07 am »
The simplest approach would be to brew smaller batches, of course.  I went from 10 gallon typical batch size down to 5 or less and brew more often than I did in the distant past.  If you brew for fun, then you want to brew more often, which for me means smaller batches.  I can see going to 3 gallon batches as I get older - I don't have as many guzzler friends coming over as often now as we age into near retirement.  Oddly, now I celebrate a keg kicking, because it means I have an empty container to fill with new beer!
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Online Bob357

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2023, 09:14:03 am »
If you're driving to your LHBS primarily to avoid the high cost of shipping sacks of base malt, just buy more than one sack at a time and avoid costly extra trips. If you want to keep the overall cost of your brewing down, I'd suggest brewing beers that use less specialty malt, lower priced hops and dry yeasts. There are plenty of good options out there. Brewing smaller batches, maltier and/or lower alcohol beers and repitching can also help keep brewing cost down.


 
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Offline denny

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2023, 10:06:44 am »
Use 5-10% sugar
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2023, 10:27:01 am »
If your efficiency isn't great, you can certainly look at ways to improve efficiency which will allow you to use less grain. Otherwise, using alternative sugar sources or other grains can lower how much two row you use but maybe not making the beers you enjoy drinking the most.

Breweries get better pricing because they buy at volume through a distributor. You're getting retail marked up at the homebrew shop. It wouldn't hurt to ask local breweries if they can add a bag on their order, but don't count on a positive response. You're asking them to do extra work for you for free and keep track of your order for no benefit to them, unless you're a regular or connected to somebody at the brewery. Doesn't hurt to ask.
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Offline denny

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2023, 11:09:07 am »
If your efficiency isn't great, you can certainly look at ways to improve efficiency which will allow you to use less grain. Otherwise, using alternative sugar sources or other grains can lower how much two row you use but maybe not making the beers you enjoy drinking the most.

Breweries get better pricing because they buy at volume through a distributor. You're getting retail marked up at the homebrew shop. It wouldn't hurt to ask local breweries if they can add a bag on their order, but don't count on a positive response. You're asking them to do extra work for you for free and keep track of your order for no benefit to them, unless you're a regular or connected to somebody at the brewery. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Also, I'm told breweries have to account for their grain for tax purposes.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HopDen

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2023, 02:18:27 pm »
I went down to my LHBS yesterday to get a sack of 2 row and price is up 20% since June :o

I've heard that if you're lucky enough to live near a brewery, sometimes you can buy grain cheaper through them since they get bulk pricing. Is that really the case? I'm considering checking into this as I do have one in town.

Any ways to make the grain last longer like crushing it finer or anything? I suppose brewing less too but not quite what I'm looking for.

I purchase from a local brewery often. Of course that was after forging a friendship and handing over many $5 bills for their beer!! I will assume most local craft breweries would have no problem with an occasional purchase. Like denny said above they probably have to account for the grain for tax purposes but Im not certain, besides it would be a small amount. Ill have to ask next order.

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2023, 07:28:22 am »
I purchase from a local brewery often. Of course that was after forging a friendship and handing over many $5 bills for their beer!! I will assume most local craft breweries would have no problem with an occasional purchase. Like denny said above they probably have to account for the grain for tax purposes but Im not certain, besides it would be a small amount. Ill have to ask next order.

I would appreciate a follow-up on that. Next time I'm at the brew pub I'll ask about a tour. I've always wanted to see how a big op works anyway. Might be a chance to strike up a convo on ingredients. I've always wanted to discuss our municipal water supply with someone there anyway.

It’s a hobby. Hobbies aren’t meant to be economical.

This is a good reminder. There is an "entertainment budget" factor that I need to remember to factor in. I used to build up chevy and ford motors as a kid. The insane amount of money I spent on carbs, intakes and camshafts makes me nauseous to think about. It was so much fun though.

Use 5-10% sugar

I did this years ago and may give it a try again. Is it a pretty standard practice for commercial IPAs? I kind of wonder which ones I've had that were brewed with sucrose additions.




Offline chinaski

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2023, 07:46:57 am »
If it's saving $$$ rather than actual saving the amount of malt you are using, there are lots of (perhaps easier) ways to approach the problem like:
- using dry yeast rather than liquid
- substituting less expensive hops (think older, non-proprietary varieties or previous year harvest hops)
- re-using yeast
- organizing a bulk purchase of supplies with a homebrew club


Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2023, 08:29:42 am »
- organizing a bulk purchase of supplies with a homebrew club
👆
The club in Fort Wayne does this on a regular basis.
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Offline denny

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2023, 08:30:12 am »
I purchase from a local brewery often. Of course that was after forging a friendship and handing over many $5 bills for their beer!! I will assume most local craft breweries would have no problem with an occasional purchase. Like denny said above they probably have to account for the grain for tax purposes but Im not certain, besides it would be a small amount. Ill have to ask next order.

I would appreciate a follow-up on that. Next time I'm at the brew pub I'll ask about a tour. I've always wanted to see how a big op works anyway. Might be a chance to strike up a convo on ingredients. I've always wanted to discuss our municipal water supply with someone there anyway.

It’s a hobby. Hobbies aren’t meant to be economical.

This is a good reminder. There is an "entertainment budget" factor that I need to remember to factor in. I used to build up chevy and ford motors as a kid. The insane amount of money I spent on carbs, intakes and camshafts makes me nauseous to think about. It was so much fun though.

Use 5-10% sugar

I did this years ago and may give it a try again. Is it a pretty standard practice for commercial IPAs? I kind of wonder which ones I've had that were brewed with sucrose additions.

These days it seems to be a standard for San Diego style WCIPA. It could work for many styles, though. Even pils.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline denny

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Re: Making a bag of 2 row last longer
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2023, 08:31:48 am »
- organizing a bulk purchase of supplies with a homebrew club
👆
The club in Fort Wayne does this on a regular basis.

Our club does, too. But distributors hate it. They'd rather have you buy through your LHBS if you have one. Keep the shop in business.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell