Grain Shelf Life

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Grain Shelf Life

Postby billd220 » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:17 pm

I bought the ingrediants for my next brew about a month ago. Unfortunately because of many things going on I didnt get a chance to use it yet. :oops: Does grain have a shelf life? I asked a friend that question the last time i brewed and he said it wouldnt go bad...That beer didnt turn out right. It only fermented to about half of what it should have. Maybe the grain that i bought but didnt use for a couple of weeks was my problem. I think i just read that you should use it right away but my question is do you have to use it right away?

Its not expensive, so i might just go buy some more grain because i dont want to take the chance of having bad results again. Im just curious for future reference.

Thanks....you guys are always a huge help.
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Storing grain shouldn't affect attenuation -- or efficiency

Postby billvelek » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:09 pm

Your friend was correct, and it almost certainly was something else that affected your beer. Grain can usually be kept for years and years and still be good, and about the only thing you need to do is keep it dry so it won't mildew, and keep bugs and rodents out of it. However, having said that I will add that I have had ground corn meal go bad over the course of a couple of years -- I believe it spoiled due to the oil in the germ going rancid, and that was perhaps only because the oil was exposed to oxygen that perhaps wouldn't have reached it if it were whole. But the point is that there is no way that your malt will spoil in the course of mere months. I routinely store my 50 paper bags behind the door in my bedroom, even after they are opened, and I have never had a problem. Of course, 50 pounds usually doesn't last me more than two or three months. But years ago I had stopped brewing for awhile, and I had a lot of milled specialty grains in mason jars with the rubber seal snug on the rim, and they somehow ended up spending a couple of years in the attic, exposed to extreme heat and cold. When I found them, I used them and the beer was just fine. I would say that the worst thing that will happen to grain that has already been milled is that it could lose some of its aroma. I don't think the starch profile can possibly change, so it should yield the same sugar profile when using the same mash schedule. I can't imagine diastatic power is affected by age because the enzymes haven't activated yet.

Just my perception. I'm no _expert_, but I did stay at the Holiday Inn Express. :D

Cheers.

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