What hops / specialty malts to have in your inventory

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Basquebrewing, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Basquebrewing

    Basquebrewing New Member

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    So here´s the problem. There isn't a home brew store within driving distance so all ingredients have to be shipped which is fairly expensive. A solution I am thinking of is buying specialty grains and hops in bulk. Now I know it depends on taste and what you are brew, but what specialty grains and hops would you always want to have on hand for your brew sessions?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    What do you want to brew? You'll have to have base malt and bittering hops. Beyond that, it's pretty much up to the styles you want.
     
  3. Basquebrewing

    Basquebrewing New Member

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    Yeah base malt was a given...i know it depends on what you brew, just want to canvas opinions on what people would consider essential for themselves. At the moment I suppose I am brewing British style ales but would like to move on the Bavarian and Czech lagers in future.
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    would it be too obvious to say you should load up on Fuggles / EKG and some Saaz?
    Maybe some of a lighter crystal malt?
    Personnally, i'm a fan using some degree of honey malt in a lot of my beers
     
  5. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I'm 100 miles from LHBS so have been dealing with this all along. I keep Carapils, Honeymalt, Munich light and dark, Vienna, C40, C60, C120, Chocolate, Black Patent, Roasted Barley, a sack of 2row, a sack of White wheat, and just started keeping a sack of Belgian Pils, on hand in the fall for trappist's and seasonal's(I really like working with this malt). I keep them all in large totes in a storage room built just for brewing stuff. The quantities vary from 2# purchases to 5#'s in all but the base malts. Yes this seems excessive, but if you want a special recipe on a whim ya got it. In the frig there is almost always Hallertau, Fuggles, Magnum, Northern brewer, Nugget, Cascade, and now that I grow my own lots of Centennial in the freezer. Hops are kind of different though because they don't keep well once opened, so I try buy them in smaller packages(really should have a vacuum sealer for these). There is always some specialty malt or hop you won't have though so planning ahead is essential.
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Always keep some dry yeast on hand just in case. It keeps very well in the frig. I have been using dry yeast a little more all the time as more varieties become available.
     
  7. Basquebrewing

    Basquebrewing New Member

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    Thanks Head First. Sounds like a pretty good selection. My nearest store is over 500km away and even then have to go to UK or Belgium stores for a lot of things. In terms of yeast, until I have the facilities to harvest my own I stock up on dried British and US ale yeast from fermentis they seem to work well.

    I currently order base malt extract (for now) in 25 kg bags and three brews specialty grains and hops in one go as I am still experimenting and want to taste different types but can see it hurting the wallet in the long term to keep going as is.

    In regards to hop aging, listening to Jamil and John Palmer on Brew Strong they seemed to imply it is ok to store hops frozen in airtight bags for up to a year. Have you noticed different?
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Dry yeast is also good when you don't have time for a starter - two packs of it are still cheaper than a vial or smack pack of liquid yeast and provide more viable cells when properly rehydrated.
     
  9. Basquebrewing

    Basquebrewing New Member

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    Maybe it is a different topic but do you always go for two packs of dry yeast? I only heard this recently as necessary for higher gravity beers. What would you consider high enough gravity to warrent two packets. I used one one on a 6 gallon 6.5 abv and it attenuated fine but have a 7.05ish one fermenting.
     
  10. Basquebrewing

    Basquebrewing New Member

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    Or is it more og I should consider both were aroun 1.067 but the first with a british ale yeast and the second with a us ale yeast
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I'm not going to be specific and I have to admit I have way too much right now and haven't taken inventory in a while but off hand 4 kinds of crystal, 3 types of Belgian grains, 3 types of chocolate, lots of rice, all of the current flaked grains, 4 varieties of American specialties... I keep 5 pounds of each full mostly then 3 types of base grain in 50lb bags, and then comes hops, did I say I love hops, I have 15 different varieties and started at a pound each but some have dwindled a bit and other have doubled, this allows me to brew any stile of beer I want without running to the store the day before which i have done repeatedly for forgotten yeast, Ive been in this craze lately of fresh dry yeast and liking the results :D
     
  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    As a rule of thumb anything over 1.050 in a 5 gallon batch could use 2 packs, but I have used 1 pack in 1.060 batches in a pinch and been ok. For the price of dry yeast, there is no reason to chance under attenuation.
     
  13. Basquebrewing

    Basquebrewing New Member

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    Thanks Ozarks a very comprehensive selection and has given me much to think about. Cheers
     

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