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Storage of crushed grains

I bought some crushed grains from NB and purchased more than I need. I was wondering if there is a preferred method of storing them and about how long I can expect them to last, as well as the effects of prolonged storage.

I’m an extract brewer so they would only be used for steeping.

You’ll want to use an air tight container, like tupperware. Keep your grains somewhere cool and dry (little humidity).

From what I have read, base malts (2-row, Pilsner, Maris Otter) have a shelf life of about a year (if left uncrushed). Specialty malts can stay fresh much longer.

I currently use Home Depot Homer buckets with airtight lids.

I just brewed with stuff I bought in May with every inclination to use quickly…one thing led to another and just brewed the stuff this past Sunday.

Hit expected OG right on the money so I’d say at least in my case, 5 months is OK.

Mine were crushed and only in a twist tied plastic bag within a tote sitting in my basement.

4-5 years ago I purchased 4 AG kits, crushed. It was about 4 months before I made the last kit. All were stored in the plastic bags with twist ties.

Look around to anything you think would work for storage. Mason jars, peanut butter, mayo,…

I store uncrushed specialty grains in Ziplock bags and sacks of uncrushed base malts in Vittles Vault containers.

Honestly, your best bet with crushed grain is to use it as soon as possible. Maybe try vacuum sealing it if you’re really worried and can’t use it soon.

Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept away from humidity. I’ve had bags stay for 4+ years without problems. Can’t say for certain with crushed grains, but I suspect the same principle applies: keep it very dry and it should last a long time.

When grain goes bad, it goes stale. You can taste the difference from just putting a bit in your mouth. Going stale won’t hurt your extract efficiency. You will still get great sugar extraction, but the finished beer will taste stale.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept away from humidity. I’ve had bags stay for 4+ years without problems. Can’t say for certain with crushed grains, but I suspect the same principle applies: keep it very dry and it should last a long time.

When grain goes bad, it goes stale. You can taste the difference from just putting a bit in your mouth. Going stale won’t hurt your extract efficiency. You will still get great sugar extraction, but the finished beer will taste stale.[/quote]
Keeping grain dry is only one concern. The other one, which I believe is the primary contributor to staling, is oxidation. When grain is crushed, the surface area exposed to oxygen is significantly increased, which speeds the process of staling. As you have pointed out, this can be discerned by tasting the raw grain. I have detected staling in under a year in uncrushed grain that has been properly stored. I can’t imagine crushed grain would hold up for more than maybe a couple months if properly stored.

I use a food saver for extra specialty grains then put them in a sealed plastic bucket. As far as I can tell theyve stayed fresh after a month + of being crushed

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept away from humidity. I’ve had bags stay for 4+ years without problems. Can’t say for certain with crushed grains, but I suspect the same principle applies: keep it very dry and it should last a long time.

When grain goes bad, it goes stale. You can taste the difference from just putting a bit in your mouth. Going stale won’t hurt your extract efficiency. You will still get great sugar extraction, but the finished beer will taste stale.[/quote]

I did not know that it…but there is lots I dont know!

[quote=“kcbeersnob”][quote=“rebuiltcellars”]Uncrushed grain will store indefinitely if kept away from humidity. I’ve had bags stay for 4+ years without problems. Can’t say for certain with crushed grains, but I suspect the same principle applies: keep it very dry and it should last a long time.

When grain goes bad, it goes stale. You can taste the difference from just putting a bit in your mouth. Going stale won’t hurt your extract efficiency. You will still get great sugar extraction, but the finished beer will taste stale.[/quote]
Keeping grain dry is only one concern. The other one, which I believe is the primary contributor to staling, is oxidation. When grain is crushed, the surface area exposed to oxygen is significantly increased, which speeds the process of staling. As you have pointed out, this can be discerned by tasting the raw grain. I have detected staling in under a year in uncrushed grain that has been properly stored. I can’t imagine crushed grain would hold up for more than maybe a couple months if properly stored.[/quote]
Interesting. Perhaps I’ve just gotten lucky? I live in a place with a very dry climate most of the year, but I can’t say the O2 is less than in other places. Perhaps my sealed buckets where I store my grain are good enough at keeping air out?

Reviving a (not too) old thread here.

This weekend I am making the jump to all grain. I do not have a ton of all grain specific equipment yet. Basically just a mash tun (thank you for the advice fellas). I have 13lbs of grain that I bought last night and ground at the homebrew store. The only thing they provide to store/transport in is brown paper bags. So now I have 13lbs of crushed grain sitting on my dining room table in brown paper bags waiting for my Saturday morning brew day. The only thing I have to store them in besides the paper bags would be a hefty garbage bag. Should I move them into the garbage bags or should they be okay in the paper bags for another 48 hours?

Obviously I need to get a mill to avoid this problem again. Or at least some sort of storage bin, but that is not going to help me right now.

Thanks!

They’ll be fine for that short time period.

I’d put the paper bags inside the garbage bags just to be safe.

What do you ferment in? If I measure out grain for brew day (crushed or no) I usually use a plastic fermenting bucket for temporary storage. I alsways have several plastic pails around no matter what.

Cool. Thanks for the quick response guys.

I ferment in glass carboys but the bucket is a good idea that hadn’t crossed my mind. I probably should grab a couple next time I am at home depot. Then once I get my mill they can be re-purposed for something else around the house.

:cheers:

I have a whole stack of buckets - most I would no longer use as fermenters, but still come in very handy on brew day. Even if you do get a mill, they can be very handy for storing crushed grain over night if you want to crush the night before and save time.

Even if I crush day of, I usually measure out all my grain in advance and store for a day or two in a bucket.

The OP should hold you responsible if his room mate grabs that garbage bag and throws it to the trash between now and brew day.

The OP should hold you responsible if his room mate grabs that garbage bag and throws it to the trash between now and brew day.[/quote]

Holy Moley that would suck! On the other hand, we don’t know what the vermin situation is at the OP’s house. At one place I used to live years ago a stack of paper bags filled with crushed grain = 1 mouse buffet.

I have a whole stack of buckets - most I would no longer use as fermenters, but still come in very handy on brew day. Even if you do get a mill, they can be very handy for storing crushed grain over night if you want to crush the night before and save time.

Even if I crush day of, I usually measure out all my grain in advance and store for a day or two in a bucket.[/quote]

Yeah. I could just mill into the bucket and throw the lid on. I too have a stack of buckets but not ones I would use for anything brew related. I have 2 that hold painting supplies, 1 that I use once a year to brine the Thanksgiving turkey and one that was an ash tray in the backyard until I quite smoking. I’m sure my wife would love to see a few more show up in the garage! :wink:

The OP should hold you responsible if his room mate grabs that garbage bag and throws it to the trash between now and brew day.[/quote]

Holy Moley that would suck! On the other hand, we don’t know what the vermin situation is at the OP’s house. At one place I used to live years ago a stack of paper bags filled with crushed grain = 1 mouse buffet.[/quote]

I have all of my brewing stuff in one corner of the garage on the floor. I always expect to pick up the big rubbermaid tub that has all of my small equipment & specialty grains in it and have mice go running out! But I am also lazy and probably won’t change the location of all my stuff until that happens either.

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