Author Topic: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic  (Read 3706 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« on: July 22, 2011, 04:59:53 AM »
I'm thinking of spending the next six months or so trying to brew with only domestic malts.  The thought is to reduce the number of food miles from my ingredients.  Doesn't hurt that domestic malts are significantly cheaper as well.  Anyone else do this and how much am I giving up in the process?  I brew a little bit of everything, but my house beers are APA, best bitter and hefeweizen.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 05:08:39 AM »
I've been considering the same thing. Malteries Franco Belges is about 45 minutes from my house and it's a beautiful drive. Makes all sorts of sense (and cents!).
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 06:04:30 AM »
To get back some of the flavor that you get from Maris Otter, you can add in 10-20% of Munich or Vienna.

Some information that compares the malts from different areas in here.
http://brewingtechniques.com/bmg/noonan.html
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Offline denny

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 08:08:16 AM »
I'm thinking of spending the next six months or so trying to brew with only domestic malts.  The thought is to reduce the number of food miles from my ingredients.  Doesn't hurt that domestic malts are significantly cheaper as well.  Anyone else do this and how much am I giving up in the process?  I brew a little bit of everything, but my house beers are APA, best bitter and hefeweizen.

For those 3 styles, I think the difference will be minimal.  I've found that domestic pale ale malts can be a good sub for British malts, or you can just throw in a bit of Vienna or Munich like Jeff suggested.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 08:48:51 AM »
I guess the only thing that might trip me up are specialty grains, I'm not impressed with Briess and I love British crystals.

Of course I must confess I have a nice supply of imported grains of all types so really this is going to take some time for a transition.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline timberati

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 11:01:33 AM »
Make the change because you like local stuff. The science behind the "food miles" argument is not that good. Most energy is consumed in the production phase. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%.

Source: recent article in Environmental Science and Technology by Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews of Carnegie-Mellon:

"We find that although food is transported long distances in general (1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle supply chain on average) the GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%. Different food groups exhibit a large range in GHG-intensity; on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG-intensive than chicken or fish. Thus, we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average household’s food-related climate footprint than “buying local.” Shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food." http://pubs.acs.org/journals/esthag/index.html
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 11:07:59 AM »
Interesting, I had wondered if shipping across the big pond by ship might not be a pretty low energy endeavor.  I was thinking that some of the premium cost of the malts was paying for a significant amount of shipping but maybe its just the exchange rate and more middlemen getting paid.  I'm still going to do this experiment just for fun and to support domestic business, plus its about 40% cheaper so that supports my endeavors.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline gimmeales

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 11:13:36 AM »
What are people's experiences with GW's 'Pale Ale Malt' vs. 'Premium 2-row'?  I've only used the latter but have heard the formwe is kilned slightly darker (2-3l), and said to be more like your British Pale malt.  I may try a sack of this on my next malt order.

Offline timberati

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 11:45:22 AM »
I'm still going to do this experiment just for fun and to support domestic business, plus its about 40% cheaper so that supports my endeavors.
Makes sense to me. 40% less is a good reason to try the local stuff.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 12:20:43 PM »
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.
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Offline gimmeales

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 01:01:14 PM »
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

In which case the environmental impact of shipping would double, no?   ::)

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 10:14:54 PM »
I'm not impressed with Briess and I love British crystals.

That would be the sticking point for me too. I don't think I brew any ales without at least some UK crystal malt.

Come to think of it, aside from crystal malts, I *do* use all domestic.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2011, 03:08:58 AM »
Franco-Belge confirmed to me that their barley is sourced entirely from France, so they certainly don't import grain from the US.
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Offline denny

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2011, 08:28:20 AM »
Franco-Belge confirmed to me that their barley is sourced entirely from France, so they certainly don't import grain from the US.

AFAIK, most continental malt is made with continental barley.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 05:44:26 PM by denny »
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Offline chumley

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Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2011, 01:26:36 PM »
Can anyone verify that European malts are actually made with European barley? N. America grows more 2-row than anywhere else. I know Italian pasta is usually made from wheat from the Dakotas. I suspect the same thing happens with malts. Grown here, shipped there, malted there, shipped back here.

FWIW, here in Montana, two-row malt is grown on the Fairfield Bench, malted in Great Falls, Montana, then sold to us under the name, "Malteurop"......

http://www.fiftypoundsack.com/products/Malteurop-2-Row.html#reviews