1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Great Fermentations

Not Rated.
   No picture uploaded.
   Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

23 Ratings
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 5.73%
[ Homebrew Store ]

5127 E 65th St
Indianapolis, Indiana, 46220-4816
United States
phone: (317) 257-9463

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @gr8fermentation

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Todd)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Philvillani
4.56/5  rDev +0.4%

Philvillani, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

ShadyRigglesbee, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

MSandahl23, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of Duce68
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Whether you're just getting into home brewing or have been around the block and back, this place has what you need. They have a great selection, everything from pre-assembled kits, to brew gadgets/odds and ends, to hard to find ingredients in-stock. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Open 7 days a week and stay open until 7 weeknights. They also offer classes for those looking to get into home brewing or learn advanced techniques. Would recommend to anyone who is a current brewer or looking to start.

Duce68, May 28, 2013
Photo of tsauce2
4.64/5  rDev +2.2%

A: Nice shop, everything is very clean and well lit. Shop has a nice set up and professional look.

Q: Everything that I have bought from this store is of excellent quality. Fresh grains (can be ground on site), fresh hops (both pellet and vaccum packed fresh), fresh yeast (Wyest & WL last time I went).

S: Owner is regarded as one of the local authorities in the craft beer community and is very friendly and knowledgable, willing and happy to talk with customers at legnth. All other staff is friendly and knowledgable as well.

S: Best homebrew supply selection in town. This place has just about everything that you could want for your homebrew setup. Books, ingredients, hardware, classes, etc.

F: Location does not serve food.

V: Everything was reasonably priced against my expectations. Location also offers educational brewing classes. Added bonus, just a shop or two down is Bierworks, one of the best breweries in the state.

tsauce2, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of baos
4.86/5  rDev +7%

This is my first visit to a brew shop. Well, my first visit to a place that is only a brew shop. The service here was exceptional, I can't remember the gentleman's name that helped me, but he came right over and started helping me. I was able to fairly quickly, get all of the items I needed and get back on the road home. I would recommend that if you need any brew stuff go here. I purchased their Nutcase Brown Ale ingredients kit and am in the process of brewing. The fermentation smells great!

baos, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of spointon
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%

Armed with a couple of gift certificates to Great Fermentations (prizes from home brew competitions) I finally made the pilgrimage to this fine store.

This place is located in an out of the way strip mall that also happens to be the home of Indy's "Bier" brewery. There was plenty of parking right in front of the store.

Upon entering, the wine making stuff all seemed to be clustered to the left, with the brewing supplies/equipment all to the right. This is a very well outfitted store, with an above average selection of gadgets and brewing aids. I was especially pleased to see the assortment of kegging stuff they carry in stock. The refurbed corny kegs looked like new, with all new seals, cleaned and flushed insides, and I swear the outsides looked polished. Easily the best looking used cornies I have ever seen in a home brew shop.

The grain room was to the rear and from the looks of things customers are allowed to buy both grain and hop pellets in odd quantities. They also had a good range of Wyeast smack packs and brewing literature at this store. Perhaps my favorite part of the store was the fact that I scored an over sized stainless steel hopper for my grain mill for a mere $30. Score!

Overall this is a great store with a very good selection and an exceptionally helpful staff. There were a LOT of employees there on the Saturday that I visited and each was friendly and helpful.

Great place and well worth traveling to visit.

spointon, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%

Visited Great Fermentations first-thing on the morning of a Saturday brewday.

When I entered, a lady (who I later learned is a local home brewing authority (and possible owner of Great Fermentations?)) was lecturing a group of around 30 people in a beginning home brewing class. The store also sells winemaking equipment and ingredients, which held ample floorspace to the left of the entrance.

Along the right wall is a wide selection of brewing equipment, tools, etc. A few multi-level shelves in the middle of the store hold a variety of malt extracts (dried and liquid). As I walked toward the back I noticed a large bookshelf, which held, basically, any home brewing book one might want to buy. In the middle of the floor in the back of the store is a measuring table with a scale, and various reference sheets regarding hop varietals. In the far back-right corner of the store are hop freezers, holding a wide variety of pellet and whole-cone hops. I was there to buy ingredients for a Three Floyds Alpha King clone, and one of the employees (I believe Bill) was extremely helpful. The clone recipe he found in their BYO clone edition described a complex grain bill/hop schedule, but he quickly determined what all needed to be used, and noted the timing of when to add on the bags.

As I mentioned, the grain bill I was using was also complex. Another employee took my list from me, went back into a room where they hold all of their grain bins, and put all of the grains I'd be using in a brown paper grocery bag. (He also offered to crush them, but I decided to do so once I got home.)

In addition to the store having anything I could possibly need for brewing, it smelled fantastic--as if they had a number of their own brews fermenting. (I'm sure they did.) I don't see any reason why I'll need to go anywhere else for my home brewing supplies.

Oh--one other important positive point! My favorite LHBS in my old locale (St. Louis) had fairly inconvenient hours. (Only open til 6 on weekday evenings, til 3 on Saturdays, and closed Sunday/Monday.) It's such a relief to see that Great Fermentations is open SEVEN days/wk, and stays open til 7 on weeknights!

mdvatab, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of ModemMisuser
4.36/5  rDev -4%

Not much to say about my LHBS (Local Homebrew Shop). They have everything you need, the prices are good, and the staff is very knowledgeable. Can get a bit rushed when it's busy, but, what else can you do - lots of customers! :)

They always have one or two beers on sample too, usually from their excellent in-house put together "kits."

Good selection of extracts, malts, hops, you name it. They also sell winemaking and cheese/yogurt making supplies, which is great for us, since we're into cheese/yogurt making as well, and might try making a wine or 2 someday.

Stock rotation seems pretty high (it's a busy shop, and one of the only HB shops around), which is nice (keeps ingredients fresh).

It's well worth the drive from Lafayette to Indy (vs. just mail-ordering the stuff). Though, it'd be awesome if we had a homebrew shop here in Laf.

ModemMisuser, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of adamb0719
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%

I stopped by at the advice of some friends to get all the needed equipment to finally start brewing on my own. I was not disappointed. Right when I walked in I was greeted and I explained what I was looking for.

Brian was the person who helped me and he took his time to explain everything that I would need and showed me how to use it all. He was also able to answer any question I threw at him. Ultimately I left with the middle of the road brewing kit, and an extract kit to get me going. He took apart the extract kit and showed how to do the entire brewing process with the provided ingredients.

I was even given 10% for being referred by a friend, and my friend was given a $10 credit.

I was very impressed with their knowledge of brewing and their willingness to help out beginners. I will definitely go back for any of my brewing needs, and will likely be taking them up on their offer to call them with any questions while I'm in the middle of brewing.

adamb0719, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of cnally
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%

The foray into homebrewing is a scary, menacing, potentially life-altering experience. Without the proper guidance, you will wind up crying late into Summer evenings, trying to guess why life made you so utterly worthless even within your passions. If you do have the right guidance, you will be a shining saint amongst your drunks for friends, shelling out buckets of money to make fantastic brew to support the suckers on their paths to destroyed livers. So you better do it right.

This is the place to get it right.

My experience was awesome all around, and I cannot recommend highly enough the expertise, supplies, and mood of this place.

It was a Friday. I decided I was going to take the plunge. On Saturday night, I had everything I would need in my first year, brewing my first Imperial IPA (which turned out seriously amazing). How did I get here? With the specially designed Deluxe Brewer's Kit ($174), it was a cinch. It included two glass carboys (5-gal and 6.5-gal), plastic 5-gal bottling bucket, auto-siphon, thermometer, hydrometer, 2 airlocks, 2 bungs, bottle capper and bottle filling wand, brushes, sanitizer and the Papazian book. Whoa. Only things you needed past that were bottles (~$30), the "Thief" device to swipe fermenting brew to test Specific Gravity, a big plastic stirrer, and a stainless steel stockpot. I grabbed a kit, which they have a TON of. Any style you want. Oh, you don't want a kit? Yeah, they have build your own, too. Tons of hops in stock, grains, malt extracts and yeasts. I am not an expert yet, so I don't know how well they would support a 1) larger home brewer or 2) more advanced chemist of a brewer. But as a beginner, this place is Brewing Mecca.

Oh, and the experts. Every person there is a professional amateur brewer. You got a question, ask 'em. You freaking out about your for-sure-to-be-screwed-up-brew? Talk to 'em, they'll settle you down. Looking for a style reco or a recipe? Yep, ask 'em.

I love one Bob Dylan song line more than any other, and I use it to strive for perfection: "There's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all." Go to Great Fermentations, and you won't have to worry about living your life in paradox. Or failure.

cnally, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of oracle
4.45/5  rDev -2%

I drove up from southern Indiana to find a temp controller for a fridge that was freezing my kegs of homebrew.

I found a well run shop with very good selection. It was well lit, clean, well laid out and staffed by two very knowledgeable and friendly folks (who I think owned the place, but I don't know that for sure).

I didn't buy any grains, hops or yeast, so I can't comment on the freshness of ingredients.

One of the local homebrewers was there with a bottle or two of Flemish sour ale he'd made, which was quite good. If he's any indication of the brewing culture up there in Indy, things must be going well.

oracle, May 27, 2009
Photo of cameraready
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%

Stopped by the store while visiting family in the area. They have a wide selection of equipment and ingredients as well as a decent library of books. They offer the standard malt extract and prepackaged ingredient kits as well as their own ingredient kits. Prices are quite reasonable and staff was helpful. Picked up a few items my local supply store didn't have in stock. Will need to consider attending one of the brewing classes they offer. Location is not far from any of the interstates surrounding Indy.

cameraready, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of FishHeadLover
5/5  rDev +10.1%

My wife and I get all of our beer making supplies here. The family that runs this place knows so much about beer and wine and how to make both its unbelievable. They are always eager to help and offer advice. The prices are reasonable from the little I have seen other places. They always seem to have what you are looking for even through the hop shortage. For the beginner brewer this place offers classes for wine and beer, tastings and other help. We are about to move and I just hope the next place we get our beer supplies is half as great as this place.

FishHeadLover, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of lightindarkness
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%

Took a beginning brewing class here, with tons of assistance, technique, and conversation offered by the staff. Anita and the rest of the staff are an inexhaustible wealth of beer knowledge. They offer endless personal service fueled by their passion for home brewing. Virtually everything you need to make what you would ever want to at home, including hop rhizomes and some really interesting modified gadgets to save time or effort. Willing to get you whatever they can if they don't carry it. An excellent place to take classes, shop, talk to experts, taste homebrew, or just get ideas.

lightindarkness, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of mcnut
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

These guys are great to get you started on your way to brewing. The only problem I have with this location is that stuff seems to jump off the walls into my hands - which is really a fault with me and not the supply shop. A trip for muslin bags turns into a $30 to $50 trip because they have so many gadgets that I "just have to have." Overall, a very friendly helpful staff that if you ask for help will be more than helpful in coming up with ideas or informing you of the best way to do something. Some things seem a little high priced: For instance a Gott cooler with the fittings to be a mash tun will run you almost 200 bucks, but those are typically things that brewers make themselves anyway.

mcnut, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of a10t2
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Great Fermentations is a great resource for anyone near Indianapolis. Anita and the other staff are very knowledgeable and willing to help, and there always seems to be something around to sample. They always have dozens of grain, hops, and yeast varieties on hand, in addition to a nice selection of equipment and pre-made kits. The equipment is generally geared toward beginning brewers, but with the move they've started stocking a lot more hardware (toys). Worth a stop as much for the company as the merchandise!

a10t2, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of Generik420
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

This is a great homebrew / winemaking store. They have everything you need to get started in the hobby of homebrewing, as well as plenty of things for the advanced brewer. The store recently moved to a new location that is much larger and has plenty of room to browse around. They have a wide variety of pre-made kits from various companies, as well as some kits that they package themselves. Not into kit-beer? No problem. Bins of pretty much any grain you can think of, coolers filled with dozens of varieties of hops and yeast.

The staff is very knowledgeable and has always been very helpful when I have had questions about a recipe I was thinking about brewing. Prices of items seems very much in line with online shops and other homebrew stores I have been to.

Generik420, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of BlackAngus
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Hands down the best homebrew store I've been in. Anita is a beer fanatic, and extremely knowledgeable about homebrewing. The nice thing about GFI is that they don't look down on you for being an extract brewer...they'll go out of their way to help you out, whether you're making a hopped kit or a 10-gallon all grain batch. Absolutely fantastic service.

NB: they have recently moved to the 65th and 37 area. As of a week ago (7/8/06) the new place was not set up yet, but they are doing business there.

BlackAngus, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.2/5  rDev -7.5%

My favorite homebrew supply store in Indy, and one of the best of the few I've been to anywhere. They have some winemaking supplies and gear by the entrance, but around the corner they have a larger area of grains, hops, and beer making gear. The staff has always been pretty friendly and helpful to me, and they definitely will spend some time and help you get what you need. Prices are decent, but they do always try and get me to buy empty bottles. Also, I got some hop rhizomes there. I certainly recommend them, and plan on continuing to get me supplies for them.

AaronHomoya, May 18, 2006
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Coming through the door and out of the driving rain, the shop is the home vintner's paradise. Corks, kits, corking machines, all in abundance. My uncle would have been in hog heaven here, but sadly, he didn't make this trip with me.

On the other side of the space, where the home brewers hang out, the left window-facing wall begins with gadgetry that I am unqualified to enumerate, then shifts to The Brewer's Garden, complete with brochures. Now, let me clue you in: I am not much for machines or pieces parts, but if you give me something to read, complete with pictures, I'm there like swimwear. To the left of the wall is the Brewer's Bookshelf (see above about reading material), as well as Cornelius kegs; Mr. Beer home systems; and extra cases of extract. The extracts follow the window until they give way to bottles, which line the right window-facing wall. In front of the window are several wire racks used for storage of additional extracts. Is anybody doing anything besides extracts that shops here? The answer in a moment.

All of the way aft, along the left wall and along the back wall are the grains. The center of the room is dominated by a mill and scales station. There is yet another wire rack for cleansers and closures. Finally, to the left of the doorway, is a cooler which houses both hops and yeast and yes, they get both WyEast and White Labs products here.

Thanks much to ownership here for letting me come in and poke around. I hope that the review garners you some business.

woodychandler, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of Indybeer
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

I agree that this is the best homebrew supply in Indy. They have always had everything I've needed, and then some. I only wish they had a larger grain selection. There is no high pressure selling to get you to buy something. They have quality equipment, and they have been able to answer any questions that I have had.

Another plus, if they are busy helping another customer they let you go ahead and get your own grain and run it throught the mill, instead of standing around and waiting. They have got my business permanently!

Indybeer, Mar 27, 2003
Photo of zerk
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%

I have to say this is probably the best homebrew supply in Indianapolis. The quantity and quality of brewing equipment and ingredients is excellent... unfortunately the staff aren't always the most knowledgeable people, which is their only negative. Prices are very good as well... it also helps that there is a brewpub across the street (Broadripple Brewpub) which makes it even more worth the trip.

zerk, Oct 16, 2002
Great Fermentations in Indianapolis, IN
97 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.