Author Topic: How long will my grain last?  (Read 7000 times)

Offline weazletoe

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How long will my grain last?
« on: August 26, 2010, 12:45:57 PM »
  Well, look who just finally posted in a beer thread again! And, not because i'm brewing.  :'(  Appears I won't be able to brew for a while now. I had all the grain for 12 gal of wheat. I bought it back in Ohio, around April or so. It's been kept, unmilled, in a grain sack, inside my mash tun. been sitting in a storage shed for a couple months in Ohio, now it's in a shed here in Idaho. Will it still be good for a while, or should I count it a loss? Way thongs are going, I won't be brewing for awhile. The movers left my kegs, and CO2 bottles in Ohio. So, I have no way to keg, and no place rally to store bottles, even I did buy some.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 01:01:52 PM »
If stored cool, dry and air tight it should last for at least a year maybe two before it starts to go south.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 03:02:00 PM »
Incorrect - if store as described it will last at least a decade and perhaps more without any notable degradation in your final product.
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Offline treaves

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 05:33:32 PM »
Last time I checked, a decade would match 'at least a year'.  So on what grounds is he incorrect?


Offline weazletoe

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 05:55:59 PM »
Sweet! I appreciate it. I was sure I  ::)would last a good while, but the way things have been going for me lately, who knows.  :-\
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 06:04:33 PM »
Incorrect - if store as described it will last at least a decade and perhaps more without any notable degradation in your final product.

Sorry MDixon but you are incorrect. 

I certainly wouldn't even consider using grains that are ten years old.

Weaz....Here's a link showing some sound advice in regards to malted barley shelf life that I basically stated in my initial post.

http://www.byo.com/stories/recipes/article/indices/38-ingredients/1394-shelf-life-storing-your-ingredients
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Offline thcipriani

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 07:16:48 PM »
I think these stackable vittle vaults would be the ideal way to store grain over long periods:

http://www.chicompany.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=297&products_id=1658

I'm thinking one of these should hold 50lbs. - plus they would make the grain storage look more organized than a few half empty 50lb sacks in a Rubbermaid trash can (which is what I'm currently using).
Tyler Cipriani
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Offline sbc

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 06:10:00 AM »
I would go with the stackable 60 rather than the 40. I have the regular 50's that I keep base grains in and love them. The 50 holds a whole bag of grain. Got mine thru walmart. Price is about the same but walmart does not carry the stackables. Prices a little higher at US Plastics

Offline MDixon

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 06:30:54 AM »
So the incorrect part was "before it starts to go south" as far as me being incorrect, the article really proves (and almost says) nothing with just a single comment and zero cited references (FWIW the comment was Uncrushed grain will store for a year in these conditions)

The second post said the proper way to store - cool, dry and air tight - IME uncrushed and properly stored grains will last more than a decade without degradation in the final product (seems like a repeat, don't it).

Let's look at what could go wrong. Of course there's all the free radical ideology, but I've really only heard issues associated with 60L Crystal and then only with regard to shelf stability in the finished product and not due to the age of the Crystal 60, only due to the crystal itself. So moisture - where can moisture enter from? The air, so airtight and dry eliminates that issue. The second issue would be larvae hatching and cool will take care of that. Otherwise there are not too many items with base and specialty malted/roasted grains to have happen.

Use this as an example. I purchase Protein Powder in bulk. I asked the manufacturer why only a 2 year shelf life. He indicated it was for FDA reasons and if the powder remained at it's dry moisture content it would be at least 2 decades before the protein would even begin to degrade and it could be longer.

So blue - if ya got some cited peer reviewed references which aren't just magazine bylines, lemme know... ;)

FWIW - those interested in technical information regarding brewing might enjoy perusing/downloading papers from this site
http://www.scientificsocieties.org/jib/contents/pastissues.htm
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 06:40:02 AM by MDixon »
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 06:49:35 AM »
I'm not sure if Weaz was looking to research the shelf life of grain so much as he was just wanting to know if his grain will be good to use once he gets his brewery up and running within the next several months....at least that's the hope. 

So using grain that has been stored for a decade is not only out of the relm of what he was really asking but also rediculous to even consider using IMHO.  I have never brewed beer with ten year old grain nor do I have the desire to do so but I would definitely not recommend using grain that old.

Freshness of all ingredients is key to brewing quality beer.  I try to keep my inventory such that I turnover all of my ingredients within a year maybe two.  ;)
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Offline MDixon

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 07:00:42 AM »
Certainly that's your prerogative to not use grain which has been properly stored for that length of time, but to recommend against something without valid proof of why just doesn't make sense. I've used grains that old (and older) and have given them away to be used by others and no one has noticed any issues with flavor components nor shelf stability.

My MO is to keep beers around far longer than they should be, so if an issue were to arise I'd certainly know.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 07:14:28 AM »
Certainly that's your prerogative to not use grain which has been properly stored for that length of time, but to recommend against something without valid proof of why just doesn't make sense. I've used grains that old (and older) and have given them away to be used by others and no one has noticed any issues with flavor components nor shelf stability.

My MO is to keep beers around far longer than they should be, so if an issue were to arise I'd certainly know.


It's a two way street.  I certainly can't show valid proof that ten year old grain will produce good or bad beer nor do I desire to but neither can you.  Let's not go down this road.  You and I disagree.  Let's just leave it at that.

Weaz can use his better judgement.
Ron Price

Offline MDixon

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2010, 10:45:10 AM »
As far as fresh grain, what is fresh?  When was it malted and when does the 1 year clock start to tick? Assuming it was harvested in August it then has to reach the maltster and be dried down, then stored for a month and a half, then soaked for a few days, germinated for 5 days or so, then kilned and processed some more before being shipped. So let's say it's out the door in November from overseas (pure conjecture - if anyone really knows when, let me know). If you want a sack next October it's already a year old...

- -

Ahh, but I can show some proof...box of ribbons in the garage...but I'm fine to agree to disagree.

When your properly stored grain hits two years in age send it to me and I'll add it to my collection...  ;)


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Offline bluesman

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 10:53:49 AM »

When your properly stored grain hits two years in age send it to me and I'll add it to my collection...  ;)


I would if I had any that ever lasted that long... I turnover my inventory annually in the worst case.   ;)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 10:56:12 AM by bluesman »
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Offline euge

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Re: How long will my grain last?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2010, 11:07:00 AM »
Regardless you'll probably have an army of weevils propagating in there. ;D I hate them with a passion but they don't affect the finished product.
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