Author Topic: Storing Grain?  (Read 7573 times)

Offline stout_fan

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2009, 05:56:25 AM »
For base grains, I use Homer Buckets and pails that wine grapes come in.

Yep, I simply buy 5 gallon buckets w/ lids at HD.  Each bucket holds right at 25lbs.  It works great with nil moisture and does not invite rodents.

Likewise...2 pails per sack, cheap and easy.
If you add a gamma seal lid to the bucket it makes life a bunch easier.
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Offline karlh

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2009, 06:03:41 AM »
In my first year of brewing I made the plunge and bought a mill for about $50... I wasn't sure that I would ever recover from the sticker shock.  It turned out to be one of my best brewing investments, and mills have (more than) doubled in price since then.  It's a great investment, and my LHBS charges $0.20/lb to mill grain, which would cost around $70 bucks a year for me.  

On storage I have used 5 gallon HDPE buckets to store grain, as well as rubbermaid tubs, and a steel 30 gallon barrel (which is overkill, but I got it for 5 bucks). I haven't had problems with mice or bugs in any of these, but have had rodents chew through the HDPE bucket we were keeping birdseed in when it was left outside (probably squirrels).  If you had a "problem" with mice, they might get through a rubbermaid storage container.
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Offline jstobaugh

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2009, 09:23:08 PM »
 I use Corney kegs. I freeze the grain for  a day or two and then put it in the kegs. I can get 25 pounds in a key. I have grain 4 years old that still makes great beer. 

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2009, 05:39:15 PM »
I use Corney kegs. I freeze the grain for  a day or two and then put it in the kegs. I can get 25 pounds in a key. I have grain 4 years old that still makes great beer. 
Interesting idea if you have enough kegs.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2009, 06:13:48 PM »
3 - bugs - bug larvae are in the grain and will hatch under certain conditions. The only true way to avoid those conditions is to freeze the grain for a day or more and most of us cannot pull that off.

Where are you getting your grain?! I've never seen any bugs or larvae in mine. Is it really that common?
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Offline pdbreen

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2009, 06:33:14 PM »
petstore.com sells the 50lb/13gal vittles vault for ~$37 with free shipping over $75.  Each vault holds just about a 55lb bag.  The remainder goes in a food saver bag (or into the daily mash).
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Offline nyakavt

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2009, 07:48:18 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.

Not every grain supplier includes a moisture barrier bag.  Every imported malt that I've ordered does indeed include one (Best, Thomas Fawcett, Franco-Belges).  But the two domestic malts I've purchased, Breiss and Rahr, do not have a moisture barrier bag.  Just the fiber weave of the sack (or paper, in Breiss' case). 

A large garbage bag is sufficent for a moisture barrier, just tie the top tightly.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2009, 08:03:46 AM »

Where are you getting your grain?! I've never seen any bugs or larvae in mine. Is it really that common?

Yes it is that common. Pretty much all grain has bug larvae in it. The question is whether or not the conditions will cause them to hatch. It's rare that they will hatch, but when they do you certainly know it. I knew one brewery that got in sacks and within a few days they all went buggy. I believe they returned them to the maltster. In the old texts it talks about opening the doors where the malt is stored during the winter to control pests.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2009, 08:06:19 AM »
MDixon

do you think the pressure of vacuum sealing will be enough to prevent hatching?
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Offline stout_fan

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2009, 06:33:09 AM »
...In the old texts it talks about opening the doors where the malt is stored during the winter to control pests.

Yep, freezing the buggers would work. I've also been told a CO2 purge of an airtight container also works.

Let me tell ya about the time I made a tap handle out of a piece of  Cocobolo. I got a piece that was half sapwood. The tree fills in the sapwood holes caused by boring worms when it transforms it to heartwood. It looked real cool (white and black sides) on my keggereator. A few months after I had turned and finished it I started finding dust under the handle. While looking at the handle and pondering the source, a boring worm started to emerge from the sapwood. They're about 1/16" in diameter.

Into a ziplock bag it went and spent the next 6 months in my self defrost freezer. It has been sitting for 6 months inside the same ziplock bag at room temp. No more dust!
I'd say something witty down here, but I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in that department.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2009, 07:20:23 AM »
MDixon

do you think the pressure of vacuum sealing will be enough to prevent hatching?

I don't know if bugs need air to hatch, but it stands to reason that they would. Certainly their hatching is temp dependent, but I believe several conditions have to be right for them to come out. If one ever does have a hatching, they are some pretty ugly black bugs which emerge. My guess is insect larvae do not survive the malting process and are somehow introduced/cross-contaminated after the malt is kilned.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 01:04:36 PM by MDixon »
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Offline wesmccann

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2009, 08:12:14 AM »
After reading all of the replies, I still have one concern - if your grain is being purchased after already sitting in a humid climate such as the Gulf Coast, how do you dry out the grain enough to store it long-term in a Rubbermaid container or bucket?  The house is kept below 70 (don't ask), so temp is not a problem, but humidity is over 80% here nearly all year round.

Offline blatz

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2009, 08:16:20 AM »
After reading all of the replies, I still have one concern - if your grain is being purchased after already sitting in a humid climate such as the Gulf Coast, how do you dry out the grain enough to store it long-term in a Rubbermaid container or bucket?  The house is kept below 70 (don't ask), so temp is not a problem, but humidity is over 80% here nearly all year round.

well, I live in South Florida, so my humidity is easily as bad as yours.  I generally keep around 150-200lbs of grain inside the house(74-76df), under my stairs, at any given time, stored in bakery buckets and some Homer buckets, and a few dog food bins.  I have never, ever had a problem, even using some specialty grains over a year after purchase.

the reason I was posting all the questions above is for the 500lbs of grain that is coming today, and storing that in my in-laws garage...
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2009, 08:22:38 AM »
After reading all of the replies, I still have one concern - if your grain is being purchased after already sitting in a humid climate such as the Gulf Coast, how do you dry out the grain enough to store it long-term in a Rubbermaid container or bucket?  The house is kept below 70 (don't ask), so temp is not a problem, but humidity is over 80% here nearly all year round.

I doubt you have 80% humidity in a 70 degree house. Order from out of town, during the winter, in large enough quantities so you only have to reorder next winter. If the grain sat in your house a few days it would dry out and then you can cap your buckets. Midwest supplies (no affiliation) is in MN I believe. Nice and cold.  ;)

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Offline blatz

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Re: Storing Grain?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2009, 09:24:25 AM »
update:

well, I got my 495lbs of grain on Wednesday night, transported them to my inlaws, vacuum sealed and put them on racks in their garage.

spoke with my FIL last night and he told me 3 of the 8 bags didn't hold their seal, oh well. at least they're in other bags which is an additional barrier.
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