Author Topic: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact  (Read 2894 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« on: January 12, 2015, 10:33:20 PM »
How much of an impact in the taste of your home brew would be impacted by buying bulk 2 row and crushing at home vs. buying at a local store that does the same?

Is it only an issue when it's 6 months old, a year?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 10:42:24 PM »
do you mean crushed for 6 months? or whole and the ground to 'order'?

if it's stored correctly malt is stable for a couple years without too much degredation. But think about this, you seem to be getting in here pretty deep  ;) so a sack of grain isn't going to last all that long anyway. it will stay plenty fresh, just keep it cool (not cold) and dry. And sealed away from the critters of course.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 10:47:56 PM »
A buddy of mine who makes the best beer of anyone I know and wins tons of awards and Best of Shows swears that the only thing he really does different compared to other brewers is that he buys all his ingredients fresh for every batch.  When he's ready to brew, he runs to the store and buys the exact ingredients.  He uses every ounce of it.  He doesn't have a stockpile of extra stuff in his house.

Conclusion: Freshness makes a big difference.  It really does.

I've got much to learn from my buddy, as my house is full of a half ounce of this and that.  I've got a 3-page long inventory that others might be envious of.... but none of it is really very fresh, and I do believe it is to my own detriment.  Might be time to make a kitchen sink beer..... and then oak it or bourbon it or sour it to cover up all the old weirdness.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2015, 11:02:54 PM »
do you mean crushed for 6 months? or whole and the ground to 'order'?

if it's stored correctly malt is stable for a couple years without too much degredation. But think about this, you seem to be getting in here pretty deep  ;) so a sack of grain isn't going to last all that long anyway. it will stay plenty fresh, just keep it cool (not cold) and dry. And sealed away from the critters of course.

Whole for 6 months.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 11:04:50 PM »
do you mean crushed for 6 months? or whole and the ground to 'order'?

if it's stored correctly malt is stable for a couple years without too much degredation. But think about this, you seem to be getting in here pretty deep  ;) so a sack of grain isn't going to last all that long anyway. it will stay plenty fresh, just keep it cool (not cold) and dry. And sealed away from the critters of course.

Yeah, I think ordering 50 lbs. of 2 row may be getting ahead of myself, plus the shipping is killer. I guess it's somewhat of a crap shoot when you buy whole grains or even order them crushed if you're getting new stuff. Like you said, unless you store crushed grain for a while you're good.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 11:30:42 PM »
Where in Florida are you that you have to have the malt shipped?
Seems there should be local places.....
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 12:15:41 AM »
At Yellowhammer we buy all our basemalt crushed and I am amazed at how well it keeps. If you keep it closed up and dry and keep the critters out of it it will stay fresh for at least 6 months. I've had sealed crushed malt that tasted fine over a year later, crushed and sitting at temps anywhere from 10 degrees to 110 degrees.

Offline denny

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2015, 12:18:23 AM »
A buddy of mine who makes the best beer of anyone I know and wins tons of awards and Best of Shows swears that the only thing he really does different compared to other brewers is that he buys all his ingredients fresh for every batch.  When he's ready to brew, he runs to the store and buys the exact ingredients.  He uses every ounce of it.  He doesn't have a stockpile of extra stuff in his house.

Conclusion: Freshness makes a big difference.  It really does.

I've got much to learn from my buddy, as my house is full of a half ounce of this and that.  I've got a 3-page long inventory that others might be envious of.... but none of it is really very fresh, and I do believe it is to my own detriment.  Might be time to make a kitchen sink beer..... and then oak it or bourbon it or sour it to cover up all the old weirdness.

My guess is that's not the inly difference.  No two brewers do things exactly the same.  Maybe in general terms, but there are differences.  Sure, fresher is better, but there's a range that includes "fresher".
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Offline denny

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2015, 12:19:25 AM »
do you mean crushed for 6 months? or whole and the ground to 'order'?

if it's stored correctly malt is stable for a couple years without too much degredation. But think about this, you seem to be getting in here pretty deep  ;) so a sack of grain isn't going to last all that long anyway. it will stay plenty fresh, just keep it cool (not cold) and dry. And sealed away from the critters of course.

Whole for 6 months.

Not a problem.  Not even for 2 years if properly stored.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2015, 12:30:38 AM »
Where in Florida are you that you have to have the malt shipped?
Seems there should be local places.....

I'm in Jacksonville. There are a few home-brew shops where I can buy. I was mentioning 50lb. bags shipped.

Offline coolman26

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2015, 02:38:59 PM »
While brewing my ipa this past weekend, I noticed the spec tag was illegible.  It was a sack of Rahr Pale Ale malt.  I sent an email to Rahr and the next day I have that lots spec sheet.  The funny thing is that it was a blend of 2 different years.  50% blend of Metcalfe and Harrington from 13 and 50% of the same from 14.  So how fresh are grains when you buy them anyway?  I'm getting ready to run some test batches, side by side, with fresh and 3 year old sacks.  I want to see if there really is a big difference in extract and flavor.  I would have no problem buying a sack, storing air tight, and using it over the course of the year.  Especially if it is uncrushed base malt.     
Jeff B

Offline micsager

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2015, 07:26:41 PM »
In our little brewery, we brew about 5bbls a month. (a little more in summer)  I buy a pallet of base malt on each order.  (40 sacks)

Like someone mentioned above, most grain has been in storage for quite a while before the end user ever gets it.  I'm in the camp that uncrushed base malt will last a couple years.  Although I've never really tested that. 

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2015, 05:04:32 PM »
Where in Florida are you that you have to have the malt shipped?
Seems there should be local places.....
I'm in Jacksonville. There are a few home-brew shops where I can buy. I was mentioning 50lb. bags shipped.

What's the price for a bag at your local shop(s) compared to the price plus shipping from somewhere else?
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2015, 05:16:39 AM »
Some stores at least around here will cut you a pretty good deal if you pre-pay and wait for their delivery to arrive. Doesn't help a spur of the moment brew day, but it's hard to pass up a 30% savings off of in stock sack prices, and even more so than per pound price.
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Offline waltsmalt

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Re: Freshness of Grain Bill Impact
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2015, 08:03:06 PM »
Thanks to the replies here, I'll hang on to my grain that I had before a 1+ year hiatus from brewering.  Last batch was about November of '13.  I have all my grain, uncrashed, in five gallong home depot buckets with covers and/or gamma seals.  Sounds like it should be good when I get back to brewing later this spring.