Author Topic: About being fresh.....  (Read 3106 times)

Offline oscarvan

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About being fresh.....
« on: December 07, 2010, 09:29:57 PM »
The calculator in the back of my head figures the first glass of home brew I had was about 20 dollars.....lol. And yes, that will go down as I brew more. Kegging right off the bat didn't help there.

So anyway, AG is right around the corner, and research reveals that 50# bags are a LOT better deal than the by the pound approach.

BUT, quality is important. So the question is, how long does the grain keep?
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline chezteth

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 09:37:09 PM »
I have usually heard that grain will keep about a year if properly stored (perhaps longer).  You can try a few grains and if they taste ok then they should be ok to use.  Purchasiing 50lb bags is definitely the way to go especially for base grains and if you brew often enough.  I purchase 50lb bags of base malt but still buy smaller amounts of specialty grains just so I don't have to worry about them getting used up quickly enough.

Offline denny

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 09:44:54 PM »
I keep open bags of grain in big Rubbermaid bins.  A year is no problem.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 10:44:51 PM »
Keep it cool and dry, keep the bugs and mice out of it and a year is no problem for unmilled grain.  If you have to buy it milled use it fast.
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Offline euge

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 11:29:32 PM »
Those sacks of grain will produce weevils after a while if they sit around. Lots of weevils. Especially when it warms up. Anyway it doesn't affect the brew much but they can spread throughout your house if their population explodes. Keep your grain airtight. Depending on the strength of your brews you ought to get upwards of three 10 gallon batches out of a sack. Seeing your incipient enthusiasm for brewing that probably won't be a problem.  :D

Also, your grain behaves a lot like flour, so if it isn't sealed up good then humidity can throw your weight off some but it really affects how the malt feeds through the rollers in your grain mill.



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jaybeerman

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 12:08:33 AM »
Those sacks of grain will produce weevils after a while if they sit around. Lots of weevils. Especially when it warms up. Anyway it doesn't affect the brew much but they can spread throughout your house if their population explodes. Keep your grain airtight. Depending on the strength of your brews you ought to get upwards of three 10 gallon batches out of a sack. Seeing your incipient enthusiasm for brewing that probably won't be a problem.  :D
Also, your grain behaves a lot like flour, so if it isn't sealed up good then humidity can throw your weight off some but it really affects how the malt feeds through the rollers in your grain mill.

Weevils wobble but they won't...oh maybe that was weebles.  I think weevils are a regional thing.  I had never heard of them till a gal told me that I’d get weevils in my sacks of rice; the bags were opened but the tops were rolled up.  She was from Louisiana.  Anyhow otherwise I completely agree that the grain should be kept tight and free of moisture. 

Offline oscarvan

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 07:06:29 AM »
OK, air tight storage it is. There's a place in town that deals in used pallets, barrels etc. I'll go see if they have something with a sealing lid.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline narvin

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 07:17:26 AM »


Weevils wobble but they won't...oh maybe that was weebles.  I think weevils are a regional thing.  I had never heard of them till a gal told me that I’d get weevils in my sacks of rice; the bags were opened but the tops were rolled up.  She was from Louisiana.  Anyhow otherwise I completely agree that the grain should be kept tight and free of moisture. 

Grain weevil eggs are in all grain, as far as I know.  If you keep it cool and dry, they won't hatch.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 07:22:49 AM »
Hmmm, the cool part can be a problem in summer...... Now I need a grain fridge?  :o :o :o
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline SiameseMoose

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 07:25:45 AM »
Weevil eggs, aka grain bugs, are in all bags of malt. To eliminate or kill them would require expensive and/or chemical treatment of the grain that you really don't want. The eggs will not hatch if the grain stays cool. I have heard below 74°, but I don't know that number to be accurate. If they hatch, purging the container with CO2 will kill them, although it usually requires several treatments. In the end, RDWHAB, as they won't affect your beer. As Mary Ann Gruber, the retired head maltster for Briess once said, "Grain bugs do not contribute significantly to chill haze."
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 10:07:17 AM by SiameseMoose »
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Offline narvin

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 07:28:35 AM »
Hmmm, the cool part can be a problem in summer...... Now I need a grain fridge?  :o :o :o

I wouldn't worry about going that far   ;)
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Chris S.

Offline bluesman

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 07:31:52 AM »
Hmmm, the cool part can be a problem in summer...... Now I need a grain fridge?  :o :o :o

I have been storing sacks of grain in my garage in rubbermaid totes for years without any grain weevils.
Granted it would be best to keep the grain cool but I haven't seen any weevils in my grain and my garage gets up into the 90's during the peak of summer.

I think the best approach is to keep the grain in a container where it will remain dry and safe from rodents and other pests.

Here's a pic of a weevil infestation.

Ron Price

Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 07:32:35 AM »
If you store the grain in anything that might be mistaken as a garbage bin I suggest you CLEARLY label it as "NOT TRASH, BREWING GRAIN."

A friend had a new 30 gallon rubbermaid container that held his grain. He had visitors for the weekend once; weeks later he hunted down an odd odor in his man-cave...yep, you guessed it, someone had put a bag of garbage in his grain bin. And there was loads of food scraps in it...visitors can eat a lot, don't ya know!

(I don't think there were any adverse effects to his grain, but why risk it?)
John Wilson
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Savannah, GA

Offline oscarvan

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 07:38:32 AM »
Here's a pic of a weevil infestation.

Give a whole new meaning to the phrase "Protein rest....."

Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline tubercle

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Re: About being fresh.....
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 08:03:55 AM »
Tubercle keeps his bag in a 35 gallon cardboard drum with a lid (grain is kept in the bag, not poured out).
Had a few instances of weevils and at the first sign of them scoop the grain into gallon zip bags and put in the freezer. Very rare occurrence though.
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