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Grain Best by date?

I’m going to get a grain mill soon and start buying 50 pound bags of base malt. Considering shipping costs I’m better off picking it up from the homebrew supply shop that about an hour away. My concern is that the few times I was there I was the only person there and I do not want to buy grain that’s been sitting for a year. Is there typically any type of dating of the grain sacks?

I’ve never seen one on the bag, but I haven’t really checked either. Grain can last awhile so I wouldn’t think you have to worry too much.

sometimes that born on date is handy,. I too have been wondering how old my grain is and what if any taste differences there is but what I came up with is to buy some grain from n.b. and some from the small guy and just taste, smell, brew ,and taste again, I’m at the taste again point. it’ll be a few more weeks before its all carbed up in the bottle. what I think so far is there’s not much difference with my LBS, but I do not think this is the norm. I’ve been at some LBS’s that did not even know what the difference is between 2 row and 6 row . brewing beer is just like life, one big experiment.

Uncrushed grain will last a while if stored properly. Store it in buckets with a lid. Home depot /lowes buckets work great and are cheap. Keep them around room temp and in a dry place. I have grain that’s pushing almost a year old and have no reservations about using it.

When I buy sacks at my LHBS, sometimes there is a best buy date on them. I believe Muntons has them. Usually when I get them they at at it near that date but it is usually fine.

The best test for freshness is eating some grain. It should have a solid crunch to it. If the first bite is a little soft your beer will likely suffer.

A big +1 to the Home Depot buckets for storage. The buckets hold about 1/2 a sack each.

The last sack I bought I couldn’t fit all the grain in the buckets so I left a couple pounds in the sack. I never got around to putting the excess in a bucket and a few, hot and humid, months later I did a side by side sampling. The grain in the buckets was hard and crunchy but the grain from the sack had gone totally slack and I dumped in the compost pile.

When evaluating grain life, proper storage conditions are more important than a specific shelf life. I buy 4-6 sacks at a time and store it in air tight pretzel containers (10lb/container). Same thing applies for adjunct grains. Shelf life for this method is probably 1-2 years. I try not to buy more than what I will make in 6-12 months but I like the freedom (and savings) by keeping most everything in stock.

I bought a sack of Crisp MO in Oct and was surprised to see a best by date of 8/21/15 on the sack. I have not seen a date on Fawcett or Rahr sacks, although the Rahr sacks come with an analysis card that lists the batch number. May be more effort than you want, but you could contact the manufacturer and ask about the production date for the batch.

Regarding storage, I tend to keep one sack of MO and US 2-row on hand. I use 50 lb Vittles Vaults
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DJOOI/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
for storage. They fit a 55 lb sack perfectly.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]I bought a sack of Crisp MO in Oct and was surprised to see a best by date of 8/21/15 on the sack. I have not seen a date on Fawcett or Rahr sacks, although the Rahr sacks come with an analysis card that lists the batch number. May be more effort than you want, but you could contact the manufacturer and ask about the production date for the batch.

Regarding storage, I tend to keep one sack of MO and US 2-row on hand. I use 50 lb Vittles Vaults
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DJOOI/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
for storage. They fit a 55 lb sack perfectly.[/quote]

Agreed on the Vittles Vaults! I use 4. One for each of the Pilsner, 2 row, and Maris Otter sacks and the 4th for specialty grains in their own 1 or 5 pound bags. Though I do keep my darkest malts in a separate Rubbermaid container. Works great for me!
:cheers:

I’ve been thinking a little about this as well recently. I bought uncrushed pils malt for an american lager I intended to make several weeks ago and my OCD :stuck_out_tongue: is starting to make me question whether I’ll want to use it when I do get around to it.

I’ve got it in a small food-storage container with a lid that seals well enough, so I’m sure I’m being stupid for even worrying about it. But that won’t stop me from thinking about it come brewday in a week or so :expressionless:

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