I buy bulk grain like many homebrewers. Why? In the long run it’s cheaper.
Take this for example, buying grain by the pound at my local home brew shop is $1.60 and that’s a good price.
I bought a 55 lbs. bag of Best malz (German) for $65. Let’s break down the math. 65/55 = $1.18 a pound That’s $0.42 a pound cheaper. For one pound… so what, but for all 55 pounds that’s a savings of $23.10.
When I order a bag of grain from my local home brew shop keep in mind they have to order the grain then. So don’t expect to pick up the grain when you decide to get it. I usually order when I’m a month or more out from needing it.
Buying grain in bulk to to save money is great, but there is a things to watch out for. Mainly Weevils.
Weevils eggs are on most any grain you buy in bulk, rice, wheat, barley, or even flour.
Weevils will destroy and eat your barley, but there is an easy way to kill them.
In a home brew club meeting a member spoke and said “I just brew the weevils, it provides extra protein.” Everyone laughed, but later on I was curious if he was joking or not.
How I deal with weevils is a bit of work, but it solves the problem. I use a food processor I bought at a local big box store. I make my own 2 pound bags of grain and use the food processor to suck all of the air out of the bags. On top of that I put the bags in my freezer for at least a month. Freezing the grains kills any eggs. The freezing method works for rice as well. I buy rice at an international grocery store for around a quarter a pound.
After I take the barley out of the freezer I put the grain in a large cooler in my basement. Anytime I need grain, I open the cooler and grind up the malt.
I know other guys that just separate their grain into multiple garbage bags and keep everything at room temperature. The multiple garbage bags is for if one bag gets infected with weevils, you still have more grain hopefully not infected. This is an option for people that are not as lucky as me to have a stand alone freezer.