Author Topic: Location of Grain Storage  (Read 895 times)

Offline blatz

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Location of Grain Storage
« on: August 04, 2016, 01:56:17 PM »
Hello all - been a while - been busy with work and getting ready to move to a different house.

In the new house, I'm fortunate enough to have a workshop room dedicated to brewing, ie an in house brewery.  demo is all done, and am now remodeling.

Anyhow, my question is about grain storage.  my vision would be to have my buckets and vittles vaults of grain on a rack in the brewery, but I seem to recall a rule of thumb that you shouldn't store your grain where you brew and ferment or something like that? I would certainly crush my grain elsewhere like in the garage, but I'm talking about storage.

I *could* put the grain in a closet elsewhere in my house, but it kind of defeats the purpose in a way.

Thoughts/advice?
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 02:11:15 PM »
I've never heard of storing the grain or even milling in a different location before.  I store mine in vittle vaults that fit under my brewing table (the big ones) and on a shelf (smaller tupperware cereal containers) in my basement...um...I mean brewhouse.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 02:11:39 PM »
The main concern is the dust. That's why many breweries keep their mills in separate rooms and auger it over to the mashtun. How big of a concern can it really be at our scale? We still need to pour the grain into the tun which throws up dust.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 02:15:18 PM »
The only thing I ever heard was about the grain having lacto naturally residing on it, and that fermenting in a different area was a good idea. But with a fermenter in a fridge with an airlock on, I never took it very seriously.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 02:30:30 PM »
I store my grain in the same room that I do yeast work and ferment in, and haven't had any issues. Common sense cleanliness and good sanitization practices seem to make it a non-issue.

I do still mill in the garage, but that's just because I store my mill there. Honestly measuring out the grain seems to stir up more dust than milling it. (The dust is confined to a bucket when milling.)
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 02:41:39 PM »
If you're concerned, plan to mill and ferment in two different places, and you should be safe.  I think these rules of thumb apply more to commercial breweries anyway, or folks who crush hundreds or thousands of pounds of grain all the time, not homebrewers who wouldn't typically have pounds of malt dust clinging to the walls and ceilings and everything in the room.  I mill in my basement, which might not pass a white glove test but it's not SO horribly full of dust to where I'm afraid to take advantage of Wisconsin basement temperatures and ferment down there as well.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 03:42:38 PM »
I have heard of this but think it is mostly a non issue from an infection standpoint at homebrew scale but I would not want that dust getting into the HVAC system which then takes us to needing to vent brewing moisture from the home.  If you really deck the brewhouse out with a good vent I would say go ahead and mill and brew away but I think most guys seriously underestimate the vent requirement and just run to Home Despot for something in stainless.  Now I am friends with some HVAC guys that would love to design a hood but I bet a good setup is not easy or cheap.  Most pro installs recommend roof exhaust and not just popping out of a sidewall.  You will likely need to a pro to run numbers and properly design but I think it would very worthwhile if brewing in the house is your dream.     

Unless properly vented, I think brewing is best out of the house.  Kinda the same like deep frying stuff/pan searing meats/canning.  Kinda funny since my house has an indoor grill.  My Dad s*** a brick when he saw it.  I told him he can have it once I get new counters...  If at all possible I would also say a floor drain would be a good idea too... 
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 03:43:16 PM »
I mill, brew, and package all in the same area with zero issues.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 04:08:34 PM »
The main concern is the dust. That's why many breweries keep their mills in separate rooms and auger it over to the mashtun. How big of a concern can it really be at our scale? We still need to pour the grain into the tun which throws up dust.

I believe that commercial breweries are required to separate their mills from the rest of the operation as the airborne grain dust has a low flashpoint and is a theoretical explosion risk.  One local brewery that I've toured here was required to install blast proof doors on their milling room.  I know Chicago has a particularly stringent fire code, but blast doors aren't typically required just cuz their cool.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 04:23:47 PM »
The main concern is the dust. That's why many breweries keep their mills in separate rooms and auger it over to the mashtun. How big of a concern can it really be at our scale? We still need to pour the grain into the tun which throws up dust.

I believe that commercial breweries are required to separate their mills from the rest of the operation as the airborne grain dust has a low flashpoint and is a theoretical explosion risk.  One local brewery that I've toured here was required to install blast proof doors on their milling room.  I know Chicago has a particularly stringent fire code, but blast doors aren't typically required just cuz their cool.

The same is true here in Dallas. Large cities with large bakeries or milling facilities are likely to have these kinds of rules because producing flour creates a higher risk of grain dust-induced fires. The same rules are applied to breweries because the local regulators do not see a difference between one type of milling and the other.

Grain is often stored in a different area from fermentation vessels in commercial breweries but that's not due to any explosive concerns. More likely because it's easier to clean that area with liquids without the fear of ruining bags of grain with water, beer, or cleaners.

On a homebrew scale I don't see a problem unless you have post-boil wort/beer exposed in the same place where milling is going on where grain dust is actively kicked up and will fall into the exposed wort/beer.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 04:25:52 PM »
I agree that storage near where you ferment shouldn't be a problem.

I try to mill outside just because the dust gets everywhere and one of my kids has asthma.  Don't need more dust in the house.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2016, 04:53:19 PM »
I have heard of this but think it is mostly a non issue from an infection standpoint at homebrew scale but I would not want that dust getting into the HVAC system which then takes us to needing to vent brewing moisture from the home.  If you really deck the brewhouse out with a good vent I would say go ahead and mill and brew away but I think most guys seriously underestimate the vent requirement and just run to Home Despot for something in stainless.  Now I am friends with some HVAC guys that would love to design a hood but I bet a good setup is not easy or cheap.  Most pro installs recommend roof exhaust and not just popping out of a sidewall.  You will likely need to a pro to run numbers and properly design but I think it would very worthwhile if brewing in the house is your dream.     

Unless properly vented, I think brewing is best out of the house.  Kinda the same like deep frying stuff/pan searing meats/canning.  Kinda funny since my house has an indoor grill.  My Dad s*** a brick when he saw it.  I told him he can have it once I get new counters...  If at all possible I would also say a floor drain would be a good idea too...

I am having the same venting setup that theelectricbrewery.com has, approximately.

6' x 2.5' condensate hood with a  450CFM variable fan, ducting through the attic and slopping down to vent out the soffit. I've not heard many complaints about the setup, hopefully that holds true for me.

couldn't do a floor drain - had to work with the slab as is.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2016, 04:55:12 PM »
I am having the same venting setup that theelectricbrewery.com has, approximately.

6' x 2.5' condensate hood with a  450CFM variable fan, ducting through the attic and slopping down to vent out the soffit. I've not heard many complaints about the setup, hopefully that holds true for me.


Wow, very nice, Paul.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 04:55:54 PM »
thanks all - seems like I will be okay storing grain on racks in the brewhouse.  I can mill pretty easily in the garage as the brewhouse is directly adjacent to it, so it is not that far.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Location of Grain Storage
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 05:08:09 PM »

On a homebrew scale I don't see a problem unless you have post-boil wort/beer exposed in the same place where milling is going on where grain dust is actively kicked up and will fall into the exposed wort/beer.

yeah that is a good point.
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