Author Topic: How long is it advisable to store grains?  (Read 613 times)

Offline dls5492

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How long is it advisable to store grains?
« on: March 02, 2019, 03:55:28 PM »
I have some pilsner malt and maris otter malt that is about a year old (both uncrushed). There is about 15 lbs. of each left. I have them in a sealed container and is in my basement. The humidity in the basement is between 25% to 40%.  The temperature is between 58 and 65. Is it still good? Any test I can run to determine if they are still feasible?
Thank you in advance.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
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Offline Robert

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 04:31:20 PM »
Most of the maltsters give 18 months from manufacture date as the shelf life.  If you know that date from the bag or a lot analysis,  there you go.  If not, I'd sniff, chew, visually inspect for mold or other off signs before deciding whether to use.   I admit to being over paranoid about freshness, but I'm sure others will tell you it's fine.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline denny

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 04:45:44 PM »
Briess says 2 years after crushing.   My own experience is that 7 year old sealed bags are fine.
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Offline Robert

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 05:05:18 PM »
Briess says 2 years after crushing.   My own experience is that 7 year old sealed bags are fine.
Looked at the  COAs from the last couple bags I had them.  The date 18 months out is "best before," I notice.  Probably like all food products,  they're obliged to put some date on the package.   But like other products, unless it's an actual expiration date based on safety (like meat or something) it usually doesn't mean a lot.  It does get people like me to buy new malt regularly.   ;)
Rob Stein
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Offline charlie

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2019, 03:19:15 AM »
I crush my own grain, and I try to use all of my grain within a year. That means that I have sometimes had to make a "Clean Up" brew using whatever was getting old, but all of them have been "interesting" (lol).

The only grain I bought that could truly have been said to go bad was a sack of Great Western malt that started growing grain weevils. Man, those things get everywhere pretty damn quick! I asked my friends on the brew forum if I could use it and just do a "Chitin Rest", but nobody got the joke. :-)

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Offline Robert

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2019, 03:27:33 AM »
I crush my own grain, and I try to use all of my grain within a year. That means that I have sometimes had to make a "Clean Up" brew using whatever was getting old, but all of them have been "interesting" (lol).

The only grain I bought that could truly have been said to go bad was a sack of Great Western malt that started growing grain weevils. Man, those things get everywhere pretty damn quick! I asked my friends on the brew forum if I could use it and just do a "Chitin Rest", but nobody got the joke. :-)

Charlie
Must have been another forum.   Smart people (a$$e$?) around here would have got it.  ;D
Rob Stein
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 12:46:20 PM »
I have some pilsner malt and maris otter malt that is about a year old (both uncrushed). There is about 15 lbs. of each left. I have them in a sealed container and is in my basement. The humidity in the basement is between 25% to 40%.  The temperature is between 58 and 65. Is it still good? Any test I can run to determine if they are still feasible?
Thank you in advance.

You could use the Hot Steep Method to evaluate the quality:

50 g of base malt (100%)

(or 50% (25g) base - 50% (25g) specialty malt, or 15% (7.5g) dark roast - 85% (42.5g) base malt)

Grind malt in spice grinder 10 sec

Add malt and 400 ml 149*F water to thermos

Shake 20 sec

Rest for 15 min

Shake for 20 sec

Filter malt from wort (Hario v60 coffee filter recommended)

Add wort back to thermos and filter thru grain again (vorlauf)

Taste test


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Offline goose

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 02:32:52 PM »
Most of the maltsters give 18 months from manufacture date as the shelf life.  If you know that date from the bag or a lot analysis,  there you go.  If not, I'd sniff, chew, visually inspect for mold or other off signs before deciding whether to use.   I admit to being over paranoid about freshness, but I'm sure others will tell you it's fine.

+1

You can tell pretty quickly if the malt has gone slack.  It will be pasty when you chew it rather than crunchy.  Rob's other points should be evaluated as well.  I have had some uncrushed Simpsons malt that was a couple years old which was still fine.  However, if humidity penetrates the bag, you will notice it when you chew it.  If the bags are sealed like you mentioned, you can reduce that problem

I too have had weevil problems in the past but now my sealed vittles vaults have pretty much take care of that.  The chitin rest had me laughing out loud, Charlie!
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Offline dls5492

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 04:16:10 PM »
Thanks everybody! Your advice is very much appreciated.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline brewinhard

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 04:44:42 PM »
Briess says 2 years after crushing.   

2 years AFTER crushing?  Yikes...

Offline Robert

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 05:00:05 PM »
Briess says 2 years after crushing.   

2 years AFTER crushing?  Yikes...
Their website says 18 months for sealed, factory-crushed bags.  But I'm still on Team Yikes!
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline Visor

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 05:12:38 PM »
   I had some milled Paul's chocolate that was a bit over 3 years old when I finished it off. It was still fine, but not being a base malt makes a huge difference, and the extremely dry climate here makes an even bigger difference. I haven't notice any degradation of unmilled stuff until well over 2 or 3 years. When I got back into brewing a few years ago I still had some umilled pale, crystal and chocolate malt left from my previous foray in the mid eighties, the pale was okay but less than ideal, the crystal and choc, were fine.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2019, 08:27:08 PM »
Briess says 2 years after crushing.   

2 years AFTER crushing?  Yikes...
Their website says 18 months for sealed, factory-crushed bags.  But I'm still on Team Yikes!

Mecca Grade advertises “Please use whole-kernel malts within 18 months of the “freshly-malted” date.”  They don’t list a recommendation for crushed grains.


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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: How long is it advisable to store grains?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 04:01:40 PM »
I just found some grain I bought in 2014 for a small batch of beer. It was definitely slack but didn't have any mold or off aromas. I brewed with it to see how it turns out. The wort definitely had an old taste to it. I intend to sour it anyway so who knows.

Worst that happens is I dump it.
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