Author Topic: Storing Grain?  (Read 7584 times)

Offline neilrobinson

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Storing Grain?
« on: November 24, 2009, 09:08:53 AM »
I am making the leap into all grain brewing. The problem I have is that in order for me to do that I would need to store grain. I live to far away from a homebrew shop to make a trip whenever I need grain, but close enough to make a trip two or three times a year. Getting the grain shipped would mean quite a large shipping bill and would be cheaper for me just to drive to pick it up. So does anyone have a similar problem that could offer advice on storing large amounts of grain will little spoilage as possible?


Thank you,
Neil Robinson

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1848
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 09:17:55 AM »
When you buy grain in 50/55 lb bags they already have moisture barrier.
Make sure that mice will not get to it and you should be O.K.
I have about 150 lb of base grain in my basement in original bags and it seams to be working fine.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline akr71

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
  • Beer Ain't Drinkin' - Mojo Nixon
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 10:26:53 AM »
I definitely have the same problem.  The closest brew shop that sells grain is a 2.5 hour drive away.  They've sent my order by regular mail before and its arrived the next day, but $25 of grain ends up costing closer to $40 that way.  When I get the chance to drive that way, I pick up enough grain for a couple batches.

It really puts a damper on spontaneous brewing, but unfortunatley, thats the way it going to remain until I get myself a grain mill.  At that point I will start buying in bulk and storing in airtight storage bins.  At the moment, I store the milled grain that I do have in the freezer.

Get yourself a mill and you won't regret buying in bulk!
Andy

Amherst, NS - Canada

Offline babalu87

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 831
  • Grand Brewbah
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 10:31:17 AM »
55 gallon plastic drum with a clamp on lid
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8683
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 10:33:07 AM »
I use large Rubbermaid totes for storing my grain. Keeps it dry and also keeps the mice out. Plastic trash cans work weel too.
Ron Price

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 10:36:10 AM »
I use large Rubbermaid totes for storing my grain. Keeps it dry and also keeps the mice out. Plastic trash cans work weel too.

Yep, Rubbermaid totes here too.  Work great
Joe

Offline hamiltont

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 972
  • Location: Somewhere in the Middle of Nebraska
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 10:38:12 AM »
I too live far from a LHBS and was presented with the same problem.  I buy bulk grain & mill it when it's time to brew. I store the grain in plastic bags with as much air removed as possible and then in plastic pails from the local bakery. I must have 30+ pails now.  They come in handy for a lot of brewing related needs.  I keep the grain in the basement where the temp doesn't fluctuate more than a few degrees.  Being sealed in the buckets the humidity hasn't presented any problems either. I have grain over 2 years old that's still fine to use. YMMV though.
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline wilypig

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 94
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 11:10:08 AM »
I have a 15 gallon tote that seals well. It holds 1 full sack of grain as well as up to 7 one pound bags of specialty grains. No mice, no moisture. I sometimes have the grain stored for up to 6 months between fill ups. Holding for up to a year is ok as well.
If you can make mac and cheese from a box, you can make great beer.
Weiz Guys Homebrew club Loveland CO
Wilypig Fermentation Specialties

Offline slimsparty

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • 1882 Brewery
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 02:12:44 PM »
Quote
I use large Rubbermaid totes for storing my grain. Keeps it dry and also keeps the mice out. Plastic trash cans work weel too.

+1000 -for some reason I bought a mill after batch 1.  I think it is because the original LHBS I used didn't offer to grind-I now know they would.  Plus I am a good old boy from Michigan that tries to do stuff himself.

So yes, now, with beer smith, my two tubs of grain, and my mill, I can create nearly anything.

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2457
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 02:46:37 PM »
I too live far from a LHBS and was presented with the same problem.  I buy bulk grain & mill it when it's time to brew. I store the grain in plastic bags with as much air removed as possible and then in plastic pails from the local bakery. I must have 30+ pails now.  They come in handy for a lot of brewing related needs.  I keep the grain in the basement where the temp doesn't fluctuate more than a few degrees.  Being sealed in the buckets the humidity hasn't presented any problems either. I have grain over 2 years old that's still fine to use. YMMV though.

+1, well, except I don't have a basement.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline BarleynYeast

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 48
  • Las Vegas, NV
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 11:58:13 PM »
I have been using storage container for dry pet foods for over 3 years and they work great. They have an airtight, spin on lid that will keep out all pests and are also made of food grade, high-impact resistant plastic. The large one will hold a 55 lb bag of grain. Unfortunately they are a little pricey, but made to last.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753798&keepsr=0&clickid=prod_cs
For smaller quantities try http://morebeer.com/view_product/6467/102153/1_Gallon_Grain_Storage_Jars they will fit about 5 lbs of specialty grains.


Offline BrewArk

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 452
  • Rick - Newark, California
    • View Profile
    • BrewArk
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2009, 10:12:52 AM »
Buckets? Check with your local bakery. They get icing in 4-5 gallon buckets that have a rubber seal in the lid. Just wash it out good & leave it open to void the icing smell. It eventually goes away.  Walmart sells them for a buck.  Just call the bakery & ask them to save you some.

I store my grains in 5 gallon pails (food grade - that I get at work).  Usually two pails per sack of grain.  They stack well & I put a label on the side w/the contents.

-Cheers :)
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

Na Zdraví

Offline mtbrewer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 12:06:05 PM »
I use a 22 gallon tote for base malts, holds two fifty pound sacks.
For specialty grains I use a15 gallon tote, you can stuff a lot of grain in there.
My concern is more than mice, my female Lab/Chesapeake would gladly eat all my grain for me. >:(
I keep the base malt in the original bags, specialty in plastic bags with air removed.
I have had grain for up to a year with no ill effects. I keep it inside, so not much temp. fluctuation.

Offline granitebaybrewer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 01:24:53 PM »
For smaller quantities of specialty grains I use the FoodSaver Vacuum Canisters.  The larger sized ones will hold 3 - 4 lbs. of grains (guessing, never actually weighed them out).  The system is a bit pricey new; however, I've see them used quite often at yard sales for almost nothing (if you live in an area that has yard sales).  I use pet food containers (like BarleynYeast suggested for my bulk grains.

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2457
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2009, 11:33:55 AM »
sorry for the semi-thread jack... :-[

I have the opportunity to get in on a group purchase of grain, which will cut my shipping costs down by $20 per sack from the regular one at a time rate I usually purchase at.

I don't have the room at my house for a year's worth of grain, but my father-in-law has a huge garage.  Spoke with him and he'd be happy to keep the grain for me, given that I already supply him with endless kegs of the blonde ale he likes.

Question:  The garage stays at 70-80df for most of the year, and it does get humid from time to time (we live in florida) though its not too bad at his place.  Is it worth it to do the buy, or is it too much of a risk that the grain will go bad that I'll wind up throwing out ruined grain?

Thoughts?
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281