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Grain Storage Question

Well, looked through some old threads on this topic and have some ideas. It’s not a new topic but I’m curious what guys like @sneezles61 @radagast @brew_cat @denny @dannyboy58 @voodoo_donut @wilcolandzaat @squeegeethree @damian_winter @loopie_beer (Did I drop enough names? They only allow 10.) think about grain storage and shelf life. The reason I’m asking is that I’m planning on going from buying recipes to buying bulk. My plan is to store in sealed containers in a temperature controlled environment.

With certain life situations I have some idle spells and don’t want to impact my quality with old grain. All thoughts and opinions are welcome on this one folks.

I buy sacks of 2 row, pilsen, vienna and munich along with 10-20 lbs of some other grains I use often. For storage I have three vittle vaults and an assortment of food safe buckets and containers. They’re stored in the basement storage area where my brew gear and laggering chest keezer are located. It’s generally 68-70 in there year round.

I haven’t been going through the grain as quickly this year but I’ve never felt like any of the grain has gotten stale. At one time I started using the inventory feature in BeerSmith but I haven’t kept up with it so I can’t say for certain how long it takes me to go through a sack of grain. When I started looking into buying in bulk the general consensus seemed to be that stored in an airtight container grain should be good for more than a year. I doubt I’ve ever had any around that long brewing mostly 10 gallon batches.

I believe I looked at Briess’s website and even the cracked grain didn’t show much if any reduction in , points, flavor AND grainy-ness… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: For at least a year!! Sneezles61

I think of grain like many other local crops. They are usually all harvested only a few times if year so when you initially purchase them, they have already been sitting for months

Think these pet vaults are a good idea. They come in 50 lbs as well because you want to buy in bulk.

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Yeh I would use the pet vaults as well if I had room for them.

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Me try to convinse the wife. That i need them.

I store all of my grains in these stackable Pet Food Bins…

… at my LHBS that I can walk to.

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Any airtight container works. I keep my bulk in the original sack rolled down tight and taped then stuffed in an plastic bin. As they get low I’ll sometimes transfer them to a 5 gallon buckets which are cheap and stack nicely. I only buy full sacks of stuff I’ll go through. Other base grains I’ll just buy 10 or 20lbs and they go in the buckets. The specialty grains my brew store packages them vacuum sealed any size I want so those I buy in 1lb vacuum sealed bags. Pretty standard stuff. The important thing is I control my humidity in my brewery. Pretty easy to do with a dehumidifier that has a built in pump. You would be amazed how much water that I pull out of my room

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As @brew_cat said humidity is the enemy so I’m at a bit of a disadvantage there. I tend to buy from LHBS, crush and brew within a week.

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I second the Vittles vaults! :innocent:


I have 12.5 gallon buckets with screw on lids… They work quite well for me… And hold a 50 lb sack of barley… Sneezles61

Thanks all, I feel much more confident going forward. My plan is to buy full sacks of 2 row and MO. I’ll get 25# of Vienna and Torrified Wheat. I’ll get 10# of the crystals, other cats and dogs, and Melanoidin. Sounds like they’ll keep based on my event horizon. Again, thanks to all for the input!


Uncrushed malt will last a fair amount of time. I’ve had some for over a year with no notice of ‘staleness.’

You’ll have more to ponder Noob… Decisions… Too much color? Too little? How about biscuit? Cracker? You get the point… You may not have time to sleep… You’ll be plotting and scheming. Sneezles61

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I recently bought from NB (July 17th) a 55 pound sack of Rahr 2 row and put it into a Vittles Vault 50. Bought specialty grains by the pound and put them in quart mason jars (rye, c40, c80, c120, cara8) for Rye IPA and Chinook IPA. I’ll just buy more specialty grain online when needed and grab yeast and hops from LHBS as needed.

Since I am only able to brew about 8 times per year a 25 kg sack of my base grain lasts about a year. Previous to last year I would just roll down the bag & tape it then store in a plastic tote. When I finished it at the end of a year the grain had lost some of it’s aroma & taste. Last year I sealed the sack of grain in one of those large vacuum bags you use for clothing & blankets. When I got the the end of the sack of grain a month back, I did not detect any loss of aroma or flavor.

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Sorry for the late reply. I just use food grade plastic buckets to store my grain in. Most Home depot buckets have a food grade stamp on them and the lids have a seal in them making them air tight. They are cheap around 3 dollars and hold around 25 lb of grain.

My post is simply to caution you that occasionally grain comes with critters in the bag. Not a big deal if you’re brewing quickly but storing for many months can give them time to grow and multiply. Again, it’s not your storage bins that are the culprit, it comes from the manufacturer or NB!

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