Author Topic: Grain life/ crushing  (Read 1718 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Grain life/ crushing
« on: February 09, 2014, 11:12:46 PM »
Considering placing a larger order for Crystal 40 and curious about...

1) How long will crushed grain last?

2) Can I buy a good grain crusher for a reasonable price?


Offline Jeff M

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 11:23:11 PM »
Opinions vary on precrushed grain.  Some say 2-3 days others say a few months.  Id buy uncrushed and crush as needed myself

If you are doing small batches you can get away with a mill like this
http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Quality-Grinder-Wheat-Grains/dp/B000U5NZ4I/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391988116&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=victoorian+mill

Otherwise your spending 150+ on a good brewing mill
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 12:54:09 PM »
I've been told crushed grain is kind of like anything else perishable. As in if you let air get to it it will get stale. So as long as it's closed up tight to keep air out it should last for a month or two without getting stale. I've used crushed grain that was over 3 months old before with no ill effects, but YMMV.

If you're going to continue brewing for awhile I would go ahead and invest in a mill you don't have to turn by hand. I got a barley crusher with the 3 lb hopper for around $150. Worth every penny.
Trey W.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 03:05:51 PM »
I have a plate mill like the one linked above. Works fine. I don't think the crush is as good or as consistent as a roller mill but I'm still making good beer with it.

I brew a lot of small batches so it's not that big of a deal to hand-crank 2-4 pounds of grain but it's a whip to hand-turn the bill for a larger batch with 10+ pounds of grain. You can drive them with a drill but I haven't done that yet.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 03:19:50 PM »
I've read online that some plate mills will potentially throw metal shavings into the grain. Have you had that issue?


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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2014, 04:00:09 PM »
I've read online that some plate mills will potentially throw metal shavings into the grain. Have you had that issue?


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yes, during my plate mill days i kept a magnet inside a ziplock and ran it threw the crushed grain.  took about 5 seconds. I allgrained with it once, crushed 18lbs of grain, destroyed both shoulders and dropped 300$ on a 3roller all SS mill. havent looked back yet.  Gifted the plate mill to a freind who i got extract brewing.  He loves it;)
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Offline euge

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 05:57:14 PM »
I used to hand-grind with an ancient sausage grinder and a grain grinding plate. Just to do a pound was sheer torture. After buying a BC I graduated from "steeping". ;D
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 07:25:15 PM »
The people who say crushed malt is only good for a "couple of days" are flat out wrong. Keep it sealed and dry and it will last for months.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 08:15:25 PM »
The people who say crushed malt is only good for a "couple of days" are flat out wrong. Keep it sealed and dry and it will last for months.

+1.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 10:35:04 PM »
The people who say crushed malt is only good for a "couple of days" are flat out wrong. Keep it sealed and dry and it will last for months.

+1.

I agree.  It's all about oxygenation.  Keep as much air out as possible and it will last a long time. 

Think about the saltine crackers on the pantry shelf and how they seem to last "forever" until you open them and then go stale in a week if you can't seal them back up.  It's the same with grain.

Paul
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Offline euge

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 04:55:35 AM »
Invest in a vacuum sealer. I'm using hops bought back in 2008. Have some sealed roasted malt from back then too. Just found it in the freezer and it looks pristine.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 05:47:46 AM »
Given a choice, I would mill right before brewing. But, I would think it's a minor difference. For me it's the same work to mill my grain bill after measuring mash water than it is to mill it any other time. If I didn't have a mill I would vacuum pack. I actually vacuum pack most of my specialty grains anyway.

By the way, I just ordered a Cereal Killer, couldn't pass up the price. So my corona will be retired to the kitchen or used when I want to powder some carafa special
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 06:23:59 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline majorvices

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 01:49:26 PM »
Yes, given the choice I'd prefer to crush right before. And you might loose a little flavor and aroma over time. But I also think you'd be hard pressed to really tell the difference. I have some cara red that has sat crushed in the bag that sat through an unheated garage in the alabama summer that still tastes like it was crushed yesterday.

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2014, 02:29:07 PM »
Yes, given the choice I'd prefer to crush right before. And you might loose a little flavor and aroma over time. But I also think you'd be hard pressed to really tell the difference. I have some cara red that has sat crushed in the bag that sat through an unheated garage in the alabama summer that still tastes like it was crushed yesterday.

I wonder if a base malt(or a roasted malt even) would have a different reaction to this kind of treatment compared to the crystal malt that you have experienced it with.  Thoughts?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Grain life/ crushing
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2014, 02:56:23 PM »
Yes, given the choice I'd prefer to crush right before. And you might loose a little flavor and aroma over time. But I also think you'd be hard pressed to really tell the difference. I have some cara red that has sat crushed in the bag that sat through an unheated garage in the alabama summer that still tastes like it was crushed yesterday.

I wonder if a base malt(or a roasted malt even) would have a different reaction to this kind of treatment compared to the crystal malt that you have experienced it with.  Thoughts?

First off, Cara Red is not a crystal malt. All you have to do is crack it open and look at it. I guess every one thinks cara vienna and cara munich so they think cara red is a crystal-like malt as well. But it's not.

OTOH it's not a basemalt either. I was surprised at how well the Cara Red help up 'cause I thought it would be ruined (and I have half a pallet of it still) but to my surprise it doesn't taste old at all and has a lot of flavor. In fact, I brewed with it yesterday. if I didn't know it was cracked months ago I would not have guessed it.

But to try to answer your question, at my brewery we have to order our malt crushed because of logistics. I order pallets full of basemalt (and not cheap stuff, either: Thomas Faucett Maris Otter, Best Pils, Munich and Vienna) and I try to use them all within a month of ordering but sometimes a bag will sit (in the heat and humidity mind you) for a couple or three months and I can't really tell any major degradation.

So my thoughts are, as long as the bag is sealed, any malt will last for quite a while - especially if you keep it cool. If I can have 55 lb sacks of malt sitting on a pallet in the middle of 95-100 degree non-climate controlled warehouse and there is little drop in quality just think the wonders of zip lock bags, air conditioning and humidity control will do for the homebrewer.