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How Long Do Grains Last

I have several pounds of grains that I purchased from NB two years ago. They have remained sealed at room temperature. Should I bite the bullet and buy new ones, or are they still as good as new?

I have used grains that were a year old and had no problems. As long as they were kept dry and no bugs got into them, I don’t think you would have any problems. I’m sure someone else with experience with this will chime in.

Grain is a food product, and fresher is presumably better. That said, if there’s not something obviously wrong with it its probably okay to use.

In the most extreme case, I brewed a wit with a friend who insisted on using some red winter wheat he picked up where we used to live in Oklahoma. We live in New Hampshire now, and he had been holding on to it for years, like 3 or 4.

Efficiency turned out to be less than stellar (which may or may not have had anything to do with the old wheat) but the resulting beer tasted great. So great in fact that when we cracked open the keg at a party, is was empty within a few hours.

BTW, I’m assuming the grain is uncrushed. If your grain was pre-crushed, its bound to be way stale, and I would toss it.

I buy 400-600 pounds at a time and keep them in sealed pretzel jars for up to a year. I have never had a bad batch of grain so I don’t know what the tell tale sign would be.

Munch on a few kernels and see if they still taste fresh. I keep grain for years in buckets with no problems, just brewed a pale ale with 2-yr-old rye.

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