Is bulk grain cheaper?

I have been considering buying a mill so I could buy bulk malt. Then I priced out buying it. If I buy a 50# sack of 2 row from NB it’s 37 for the malt, and 36 for shipping. That actually makes buying bulk more expensive. Unless I can buy a lot of bulk grains from the brew shop I think it does not make sense. Am I wrong? Has anyone figured out how to overcome this? Or am I just looking in the wrong places?

I just go here

I get grain through a local brewery with their orders. Less than $1.00 per pound for premium grains, $0.50 per pound for domestic 2-row. If you can’t make that work, your LHBS can probably get sacks of grain for much much less on a bulk order than you could get ordering individual sacks from a website. Once you fill most of the truck, shipping is basically free.

If you buy when they have a 20 percent off sale then check with the shipping rates through out the day you can get it cheaper. For some reason the shipping will say 36 dollars then if you check it later in the day it’ll be around 15 dollars. I can get 2 row delivered to my door for about 50 dollars from n.b. My local shop sells the exact same thing for 75 dollars.

Yes, at our brewery up nort the price has gone up to 40. Of course I do help them by embibing in their brews too! Sneezles61

Yeah, I gotta find a better way to get grains as well… The more I have to spend on ingredients, the less I have to spend on equipment that will help produce a better product.
My LHBS sux. They sell 1lb bags of grain for $ 9 bucks… And they are specialty grains.
Apparently I’m the only homebrewer in town that makes beer. Very wine heavy store.
I’m thinking I may have to road trip to one of the craft breweries and see if I can get get them to sell to me.
Good people brewery is less than an hour away. I may try them first… Plus they have great craft beers. Maybe I can get some samples why I’m there…

$9 a lb for grain ? No wonder your the only home Brewer who frequents that store.

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You really need to have a LHBS to get a decent savings on bulk malt. My LHBS buys pallet loads so their cost for shipping to them is low. NB is cheaper but after shipping is usually higher.

If you don’t have a LHBS nearby then waiting for a sale is the way to go.


I agree. It also helps to be a member of a homebrew club that gets a discount at LHBS’s or that is able to arrange bulk buys.

Search to find if there is a local maltster near you; the price will be so low that it will be worth driving an hour just to get a few sacks. I go to this place. Sometimes I need to wait for the trains or tractor trailors getting loaded to finish before someone is free to get my few sacks, but I’m paying only about 30 cents per pound for very fresh good quality base malt.

Those concrete towers in the back are silos for the malt…

And all that white stuff on the ground? :confused: Sneezles61

Do the math for me. My home brew store would mix me anything I wanted for $1.69/lb base and specialty. Now I buy bulk $1/lb and specialty grains $1.99. So maybe a little bit not that much considering the cost of the mill. I save going to the store but spend time milling. The main benefit for me is I am not stuck to a timeline can brew in the spur of a moment.

As others have said, wait for the deals like 15-20% off a single item here at NB and order a sack then. Shipping for me is usually around $25 but is still cheaper than my LHBS sells bulk sacks for and I don’t have to leave my house.

Having a mill has other advantages in addition to savings (which will take a couple years to realize after the cost of the mill). You can control the crush of your grain which is big when trying to get a consistent efficiency and accurately predict your pre-boil gravity.

It is also nice to have your own mill to insure freshly crushed grist. I mill mine while the water is heating up or the day before brewing.

I also never figure in the cost of equipment. Like any hobby you will be spending money you can’t really get back but that is part of it. Besides how many hobbys end up with beer?

Lactose powder. We have a big diary industry here.