I have some grains for my partial mash, is it bad to throw in the fridge, leave out, or toss in the freezer?
Anywhere cool and dry would be ideal.
The most important thing is to keep them dry. So airtight containers are best. You can use any dry food storage containers, or plastic Homer buckets that you can get from any hardware store. Are your grains milled already? They last a lot longer if they are unmilled.
They are milled. Like a fool i ordered the kit when i still had not even started lagering my Kolsch. I use a fridge for fermenting because otherwise i would go nutz thinking of the temperature changes, obvious problem there is I can only do two beers at once…if they ferment in the same range.
Airtight containers like the clamp shut jars they sell at Wally world would be fine for small amounts like the specialty grains you refer to should be fine.
On a side note, spring is one of my favorite times to brew, along with fall. The basement reflects ground temps pretty well, so with an accurate digital thermostat on my heating system I can control liquid fermentation temps downstairs to within a degree or two. If you have access to a heated basement, replace its thermostat with Homer Cheapo’s digital thermostat. It is completely programmable and accurate.
Even in summer, if you have an unfinished wall that you can enclose, or is enclosed by a closet, ground temps in Pittsfield several feet down (foundation temps) still hold near 60 even in mid summer. Insulate that closet with foundation insulation on the inside of the walls and cieling that do NOT come in contact with the ground. Brew ales in there in summer and lagers the rest of the year. Nothing more stable and reliable than ground temps. And its free.
Well…the other thing that I didn’t mention is that my basement is quite a bit warmer than most because my pellet stove is down there. Avg temp in the winter is about 75 degrees. BTW, Barney, I believe the Berkshire Homebrew Assoc is meeting at the wandering star brewery on Friday. The brewery is very accommodating.
I dont belong (I know). I work nights and weekends. If they change the meeting time to Wed at noon and I’ll be there! (alone, lol). Wandering star is a neat little brewery. Basically a one man operation. He does do brew days and stuff for the BHA and thats awesome too. His strong pale ale is excellent!
If you have that same closet I described above and insulated it the same way, you might be able to control temps well in the closet. But yeah, that is kinda tough for fermenting in your home without a fridge. I use the basement fridge in my garage for cold crashing and lagering. It fits two carboys nicely with the veggie drawers removed.
Refrigerators are very moist so not the best choice IMHO. I have stored my grain in a big plastic container in the garage for years. Sometimes not in the best temperature conditions since it is not heated or cooled. Never had a problem but I do not store the grain for any extended amount of time.
In a nutshell, keep it in a dry, airtight container and cool if you can. Ziplocks work for small amounts. Just squeeze out as much air as possible. Then DWHAH.
I keep mine unmilled and bagged in 5 gallon Home Depot buckets with matching lids. Can be had for under $5 a set. Keep them in a cool dry place like an unheated closet.
A dedicated beer fridge works okay too but definitely avoid a mixed use fridge as the food odors will be absorbed by the grain.
I buy about 200 lbs a year, store in outside building in plastic bins. I wouldn’t keep malt inside, more often than not I end up with tiny insects ( malt weevils ? ). My wife would not like 'em inside. Outside, some freezing in winter, 100 degrees often in summer. The malt keeps.
My last 4 sacks of malt from Norther Brewer, last summer, no bugs so far.
You need to either put that malt into tightly sealed buckets or buy from a different source.
I also store malt in an outside shed. Temperatures can go from -20 in winter to a blistering 80 in the summer, and the malt stays fine. No bugs. Of course, if the buckets I used weren’t tight, I’d loose the malt to mice. Mostly just try to keep it as dry as possible.