Grain Collecting

Most micro breweries I’ve toured have at least 6 different selections of beer that they brew, but they often try to standardize on a few types of grain, then mix them together in different amounts to create the different beer selections. This makes economic sense, sure, but as a homebrewer, your grain requirements are so small that we have the good fortune to be able to collect many different grains to create whatever complex recipes we want. This struck me as I ordered two more type of grain today that I didn’t have in my stores in order to fill a grain bill for a new Robust Porter I’m working up. I now have, aside from my 55 lbs sack of 2-row, about 15 different types of grain that I buy in 5 lbs increments. I’ve found myself fond of using Munich, Victory, Aromatic, Biscuit, Roast (there’s a clever moniker), Chocolate, Black Patent, 40L, 60L, 75L and 120L Crystal, Flake Barley, Special B, Vienna, and CaraPils to create the different offerings I like to work up.  And that’s hardly scratching the surface of what’s available!  Now as time goes on, I’m wondering if I’ll eventually substitute some of the grains that are closer in flavor and thus begin to shrink the pool a bit, but as it stands, it’s really too interesting to fiddle with the different malts. Chances are, I’ll just keep going until I’ve brewed with them all. Too many fine combinations to be found and consumed. 🙂

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