Author Topic: Base grain quality and price question  (Read 5557 times)

Offline Imperial Stout

  • BeerSmith Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Base grain quality and price question
« on: January 04, 2013, 04:58:26 PM »
Have just started brewing once a month and am thinking of buying base malt in bulk. Can get 55 pounds of Muntons pale for $50, Weyermanns for $71 and Crisp Maris Otter for $77. I live in Maine so getting grain cheaper on-line doesn't work for me as most places charge $30 for shipping.

The Muntons comes from a health food store that knows nothing about brewing. The others come from a new LHBS with answers to my brewing questions. Leaning towards either the $77 Crisp Maris Otter or the $71 Weyermanns pale ale malt despite the expense because it is in my interest to help keep the new LHBS in business.

What do you like / don't like about the above grains? What similar quality domestic grains are available? Thinking the domestic grain may be cheaper.

KernelCrush

  • Guest
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 05:17:06 PM »
Depends.  What beers do you have planned and what specialty grains will you be using.

Offline Rusty Nails

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 141
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 05:27:36 PM »
What base grain are you used to? I use Great Western, and when I change to a different base malt, it changes my eff% and temperature. Malts from other countries are modified differently, and you have to take that into account.
I would go with what you are comfortable in using.
Also, most malsters (including Munton's) make malt not only for brewing, but for food service. Make sure the malt from the health food store is brewing malt.

Ed

Offline alcaponejunior

  • Having a homebrewed IPA
  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 69
  • Up next: ESB
    • Beer And Stuff
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 06:45:20 PM »
I think you are wise in wanting to keep the LHBS in business, and thus buying malt from them.  I like my LHBS and patronize them in part just because they exist and save me money on shipping, plus increase my choices/freshness etc.  They happen to provide good products too, BTW. You can be sure your LHBS will have proper brewer's malt, and they will probably have several choices as well. 

As for which grain you choose, that's more about what you brew than a pure price optimization problem.  Personally, I'd buy two-row pale malt, but maris otter or something else might suit you better.   I guess you can ask your LHBS and see what they think too.  8)


Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 07:04:36 PM »
While I really like Ed at the Hop Shop, I get most of my ingredients from Axis in Auburn.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline merfizle

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 485
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 08:37:14 PM »
Are there any clubs in your area or anybody that does a bulk grain buy?  We have them twice a year and usually get Rahr 2-row for $30 and Maris Otter for $36.

Mark
Primary: Lambic base for solera barrel
Kegged: Bavarian Weissbier, N. English brown, Roggenbier

Offline Imperial Stout

  • BeerSmith Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 10:35:42 PM »
Lots to consider. I thought Maris Otter was 2 row but will check. I buy from Maniac Brewing in Gardiner, Maine but will check out the new LHBS in Richmond and Axis in Auburn. Didn't know they existed. Where are they located? A phone number would help. Am a member of a beer club in central Maine called MAINE ALE & LIBATION TASTERS (MALT). They are a part of AHA. It's a new club and have not gone to any meetings yet. Hopefully the members are open to buying grain in bulk and saving everyone money.  Maine Homebrewer, are you a member? Have bought from Ed at the Hop Shop but it's a long way from Litchfield. With his crush I hit 75% but as it is a long trip bought a grain mill.

I am not used to any particular grain, just bought whatever the LHBS had in stock. Have been brewing about 1 year and 8 months now but have only been AG brewing for maybe a year. Now that my process is more or less under control and am starting to brew on a monthly basis I am paying more attention to the ingredients, hence the base malt questions. Also want to make sure the yeast can handle the 8% to 10% ABV brews I make.

As for style, I brew one style until I get it right, then try another. So far have made an Imperial IPA and a Russian Imperial Stout, hence my screen name. Would like to try a Wee Heavy and a Barleywine next.  After I get those right want to try wet hopping an Imperial IPA. All very different brews so one base malt may not fill the bill.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: Base grain quality and price question
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 07:07:03 AM »
I'm not a member of any clubs. I get my grain in bulk from Axis. They don't keep big bags in stock, but they will tack it onto their order if you ask. The price was I think ten dollars or so cheaper than the Hop Shop.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

 

modification