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Is my grain still good?

So a month ago, I got a bunch of grain for a Belgian I’ve been meaning to brew. Crushed it, wrapped it in plastic bags and then let it sit. Work and whatnot got in the way of brewing. I plan to finally get this batch done on Wednesday, but I’m concerned that the grain might not be good anymore, what with potential spoilage and all. Fwiw, it’s been in a thick plastic bag, wrapped up, in a box, in my condo. Any way I can tell if it’s gone squiffy?

If the grain has been cool and dry it is most likely still good. Mold would be easy to see. Two basic types blue-green and black. The sniff and taste test is also a good check for sour aromas and flavors.

Thanks flars, I’ll check it out and post back. Normally I’m on top of things but this has been a busy summer!

Before I bought my mill I bought a kit pre-crushed from NB and it sat for almost 2 months in a double plastic bag in a box in my basement during the past brutal winter when it was just too cold to brew. I brewed it as soon as the weather warmed a bit and it turned out just fine. You should be alright as long as moisture didn’t get to it. I assume it was maintained in a somewhat temperature controlled environment?

On a related note, about how long will uncrushed grains stay good/fresh? A couple years?

I have some that are still factory-sealed in their individual packages, and others that I’ve re-packaged into ziplock bags. Everything is then stored in another large plastic bin with lid.

https://byo.com/stories/issue/item/1362-shelf-life-storing-your-ingredients

Brewed on Friday, which was a disaster - rain during the boil (I have to brew outside on my deck), clogged pickup tube on my kettle, and spilled about a quart of 210 degree wort into three different kitchen drawers much to my wife’s amusement. However, my OG came out right where I wanted it, and it’s currently happily fermenting away. Everything looked and tasted pretty much as expected.

I disagree with the home brew store owner who wrote that. Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept in an airtight container like a bucket with a gasketed lid. Temperature isn’t that important, though too long kept hot might be a problem. Hard for me to know that.

To the OP: next time just chew a little of the grain to see if it tastes stale. You’ll be able to know immediately. Brewing with stale grain will give you stale tasting beer.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”][quote=“Ken in MN”]
https://byo.com/stories/issue/item/1362-shelf-life-storing-your-ingredients
[/quote]
I disagree with the home brew store owner who wrote that. Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept in an airtight container like a bucket with a gasketed lid. Temperature isn’t that important, though too long kept hot might be a problem. Hard for me to know that.

To the OP: next time just chew a little of the grain to see if it tastes stale. You’ll be able to know immediately. Brewing with stale grain will give you stale tasting beer.[/quote]

Good, I’m glad you disagree, rebuiltcellars. That makes it conscionable for me to use my 2-year-old, sealed grains.

[quote=“Silentknyght”][quote=“rebuiltcellars”][quote=“Ken in MN”]
https://byo.com/stories/issue/item/1362-shelf-life-storing-your-ingredients
[/quote]
I disagree with the home brew store owner who wrote that. Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept in an airtight container like a bucket with a gasketed lid. Temperature isn’t that important, though too long kept hot might be a problem. Hard for me to know that.

To the OP: next time just chew a little of the grain to see if it tastes stale. You’ll be able to know immediately. Brewing with stale grain will give you stale tasting beer.[/quote]

Good, I’m glad you disagree, rebuiltcellars. That makes it conscionable for me to use my 2-year-old, sealed grains.[/quote]
A few years ago I used up a 3 year old sack that had been stored air-tight. No problems at all.

Properly stored grains last for a very long time, if not indefinitely.

We stored grains in our bins on the farm for many years. Some of those grains were 5-8 years old before they were fed.

The malt you purchase is usually at least 1-2 years old from being harvested on the field.

Keep it high and dry and it’ll last till you die.

What is the peak of flavor from a malt? Probably anywhere from a month to a year or so after being malted, but it’s not like it’s a drop off the cliff from fresh to stale, it’s more like a decade.

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