Does anyone use a standard base malt to build your recipes from? What are the advantages?
A couple of obvious advantages would be having the ability to buy large bags of the base malt (and ensuring that it's still fresh when you use it) and having a consistent base to build from.
I've always built my recipes using different base malts for flavor. For example, if I want a malty British style beer, I tend to use Maris Otter as my base. If I brew a Belgian beer, I use a Belgian pale or pils as the base. Etc.
I've been thinking about trying to convert all of my recipes to use a readily-available pale malt (e.g. Briess), but trying to match the flavor profiles provided by the other base malts has prevented me from doing so thus far.
The thing that has stopped me is that I have dozens of recipes I've brewed multiple times and adjusted for taste and a good 5 or so that I'm already extremely satisfied with (I'd say that I've "perfected" them but that's not possible when you like experimenting as much as I do).