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Milled grain, good enzymatic activity (grain milled over 10 years ago)!

Hello brewing brothers and sisters. I haven’t posted in quite awhile but have been lurking. Anyway, with crazy times being what they are, I needed to make a starter for a 10 gal lager but only had one pack of dry yeast. And I had no DME on hand.

So I made a 3 gal small beer with a mash from pre-milled grain that has been sitting around since Dec, 2009. I could have milled fresh grain but figured what the hell and just mashed in the old grain to see what happened.

I did give it an extended 2 hour mash, but got basically the same efficiency as with fresh grain!

Not saying it would taste as good as fresh grain. But still interesting that the amylase stuck around that long.

Happy brewing everyone. Stay healthy.


Welcome back man, good to hear from you! I have always heard that saving grain long term is better uncrushed, so I’m glad to hear your efficiency worked out ok. You will have to report back once you taste it for results. Keep in touch and be safe!


Now that I’m thinking about it maybe that’s not surprising. If you left a bag of sugar around it would still be sugar right. The enzymes jus sit there. I’m assuming it was sealed somehow.

The conventional wisdom that I had always heard was that enzymatic activity degrades over time, after the grain has been crushed.

This bag of old crushed grain was kept sealed in plastic, so I am sure that helped.

I just thought it was an interesting anecdote, that the amylase does not necessarily die off over time.

But regarding your point, I do not think there is any amylase in table sugar (no matter how fresh) :slight_smile:

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That’s a crazy concept… The enzymes to convert starch into sugar is still active… After a long time… I hope more peeps with the techkincal training weigh in to explain this…

I’m not sure if I have ever seen an empirical study on the longevity of enzymatic activity of decade old malt… :wink:

My personal opinion suggest that enzymes are temperature dependent, along with moisture. So if the malt never reached a significant temperature and moisture level to activate the enzymes there would be no conversion. After all, if a dry malt hit a certain temp with no moisture it would continue to burn (i.e. crystal malt vs roasted malt).

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