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Maris Otter "Hard to get"?

So I went to my usually reliably well-stocked LHBS yesterday and asked for a few pounds of Maris Otter (as I have done many times in the past) and they told me that they didn’t have any and that they weren’t likely to have any in the near future because it’s “hard to get”. Now, I’d normally assume that a comment like that is not to be trusted, but it came from a couple of guys at the shop who have always been very helpful and appeared to really know what they were talking about.

Anyone have any trouble getting MO lately?

Even more disturbing was the comment that there wasn’t much demand for it and that “everybody” just uses “British pale malt” or makes a substitute using some combination of US 2-row, one of the specialty malts and sugar…or something like that. I didn’t really get what the guy said because I still was in shock that there was no demand for MO. I was also wondering what “British pale malt” is…

Anyone know about this substitute grain combo?

Anyway, I’m relieved to see that MO is available online, though I am distressed that I can’t just zip over to my previously well-stocked LHBS and get it anymore.

where are you located? I am near Tampa, Fl and can always get it.

Just asked Fri. how much a 55 lb. sack cost at my LHBS. He didn’t mention anything about a shortage. Maybe shipping’s gone up and they’re not willing to pay it.

I can’t get MO (or any other Brittish malt) where I am, so I’ve gotten good at mixing up a substitute. Replacing 5% of the pale malt with biscuit gets you in the ball park, even if it probably isn’t exactly the same. I suspect that % should get adjusted depending on you pale malt, but that is what works for me.

Haven’t had any issues here.

Its been available everytime I’ve needed it.

Never had a problem either.

Did a quick Google search and found that the British winter barley crop was poor due to weather conditions (dry I think), that may explain it.

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