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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: boapiu on January 06, 2014, 12:16:00 PM

Title: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: boapiu on January 06, 2014, 12:16:00 PM
will it damage unmilled grain if stored in a freezer?
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: klickitat jim on January 06, 2014, 12:30:51 PM
I suppose you could, but I wouldn't bother. From an energy point, your paying for the grain again. In a year it's a year old and you paid twice as much.

I store my base malt in a 20 gallon (new) garbage can with a snap on lid. Nice ones, but not totally air tight. It works just fine. The fancier stuff I seal in food saver bags, mainly cuz I can and because it's harder to spill it.

I personally think grain will go a long long time with minimal deterioration. Just don't get it wet cuz all grain is covered in bacteria and whatnot. One of the prime reasons we boil it is to kill those...

So, out of curiosity, why freeze it?
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: fmader on January 06, 2014, 03:07:48 PM
I wouldn't freeze. Any moisture left in packaging would freeze and would damage the grains... At least I think it would. I store in large Tupperware container. Inside the Tupperware, I have the grains in a giant ziplock bag (25 lbs in each). It's stored in the basement where it runs about 60-65 degrees year round.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: jeffy on January 06, 2014, 03:36:48 PM
All grain has bugs.  Freezing the grain keeps them dormant if not dead.  I seriously doubt that it will hurt the grain.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 06, 2014, 03:40:43 PM
I wouldn't keep it in the freezer out of concern that the defrost cycle, if used in a regular freezer, would get more moisture into the grain and mess with the moisture content.

Grain should be fine at room temperature for a long time, especially if you can reduce oxygen exposure.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: morticaixavier on January 06, 2014, 03:47:19 PM
I wouldn't keep it in the freezer out of concern that the defrost cycle, if used in a regular freezer, would get more moisture into the grain and mess with the moisture content.

Grain should be fine at room temperature for a long time, especially if you can reduce oxygen exposure.

this.

The problem is moisture melting when exposed to warmer temps, either in the defrost cycle or when you open the door, or worst of all when you open the bag of grain to take some out and then put it back.

This will cause the grains to absorb a little moisture and go 'slack'. they can be dried in an warm oven or food dehydrator if that happens but they won't be as good.

As seeds, grain is 'designed' to be 'stored' so long as there is not sufficient moisture for it to sprout. so cool and dry is better than cold and a tiny bit moist.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: cornershot on January 06, 2014, 04:28:34 PM
I suppose you could, but I wouldn't bother. From an energy point, your paying for the grain again. In a year it's a year old and you paid twice as much.

I store my base malt in a 20 gallon (new) garbage can with a snap on lid. Nice ones, but not totally air tight. It works just fine. The fancier stuff I seal in food saver bags, mainly cuz I can and because it's harder to spill it.

I personally think grain will go a long long time with minimal deterioration. Just don't get it wet cuz all grain is covered in bacteria and whatnot. One of the prime reasons we boil it is to kill those...

So, out of curiosity, why freeze it?
If storage cost is a concern, Foodsaver bags probably aren't the best option for specialty grains. They work great but a 50ยข bag to store $1.50 worth of grain isn't very economical. I store my grains in their original packaging, rolled up and taped shut if opened, in a big trashcan lined with a heavy trash bag. The trash bag is tied shut and stored in a cool part of my basement. I tend to stock less grains in summer due to humidity concerns, but in winter I usually have over 100# on hand.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: Jeff M on January 07, 2014, 01:50:25 AM
I use those big Dog food storage cases.  they are air tight and run about 25 bucks for a 50lb bin
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: el_capitan on January 09, 2014, 03:49:06 AM
All grain has bugs.  Freezing the grain keeps them dormant if not dead.  I seriously doubt that it will hurt the grain.

If I was concerned about pests, I'd flood the storage container with CO2 and suffocate the little buggers.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: klickitat jim on January 09, 2014, 04:54:15 AM
By bugs I meant bacteria but ya that works.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: Slowbrew on January 09, 2014, 12:57:22 PM
By bugs I meant bacteria but ya that works.

There are bacteria and such but there are actual insect issues too.  All grains of any type can have insect eggs/larvae in them too.  These little bugs are affected by moisture content and age too.  I've heard stories of people opening bags of grain and seeing the surface moving all by itself.  Freezing will do a good job of killing most of them.  The old rule of thumb I learned is store long term in the freezer but once you open the bag, use it up.

Paul
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: factory on January 09, 2014, 04:27:55 PM
For long term storage, I use 5 gallon Home Depot buckets with "Gamma" lids.  Keeps the grains nice and air tight.  I store them in a dark corner of the garage.  Cool and dry.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: el_capitan on January 09, 2014, 11:51:01 PM
I've only had insects in my grain once time, thank God.  I bought some wheat malt from a new LHBS, and noticed a couple weeks later that it was moving.  Yuck.  Luckily the little buggers stayed inside that single bag and didn't infest the rest of my grain supply.  That shop ended up replacing their entire grain supply though.  Ouch!  I wonder if the owner just threw down a mega bug batch of beer to use it up? 
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 10, 2014, 01:23:23 AM
I have the opinion that grain will last most of a year, as it has to, to propagate the species.

I have used malts that were stored well, long after I bought them.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: 69franx on January 10, 2014, 06:47:25 PM
Just an FYI for those of you storing in garbage bags, they are not food safe and usually have a powder coating inside for ease of opening. In my restaurant experience of over 20 years, I made sure that my cooks did not use garbage bags for covering or storing work surfaces, utensils, ingredients, etc. Not sure how much of an effect the bags would have on a product that we will be boiling anyways, but why risk it?
Edit: you can buy food grade plastic bags as a substitute but not sure where on a retail level, and I am now out of restaurant business so good leads there either.
Title: Re: long term storage of ingrdients
Post by: morticaixavier on January 10, 2014, 07:46:15 PM
I've only had insects in my grain once time, thank God.  I bought some wheat malt from a new LHBS, and noticed a couple weeks later that it was moving.  Yuck.  Luckily the little buggers stayed inside that single bag and didn't infest the rest of my grain supply.  That shop ended up replacing their entire grain supply though.  Ouch!  I wonder if the owner just threw down a mega bug batch of beer to use it up?

you can also add about a cup of FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth to the bucket/bag/bin of grain and shake it around really well to control macro bugs. livestock farmers often do this with animal feed to prevent infestation and it's somewhere between neutral and good for the animals to eat it. no idea if it would cause issues in the mash though. probably just add calcium