Brewing grain shelf life question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Jimminator, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Jimminator

    Jimminator New Member

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    I bought the grains to make a new batch of ale a couple of weeks ago. I get it already crushed from the LHBS and planned to brew the next day. Life intervened and now it's been sitting around for a couple of weeks. (Wyeast and hops have been in the frig the whole time.) I'm hoping to brew tomorrow. Should I be worried about the grains being a couple of weeks old?

    Follow on question, if I'm not able to brew tomorrow, it will likely be two weeks before I have another chance to brew. What are your thoughts on using this grain? Or is there a way to check to see if they're still good after a month?

    I don't mind getting new grains, but I don't want to chuck these if I don't have to.

    Jim
     
  2. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    They should be fine for a month after they're crushed if kept sealed at room temp. After that I'd toss them.
    Brian
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    its fine, those people saying grain has a shelf life are mostly vendors selling grain :eek:
    Ive been around farm animals all my life and kept grain in the barn for years, if it smells good and tastes good then it must be good!
     
  4. Jimminator

    Jimminator New Member

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    Thanks guys! Yeah, I was vacillating between the 'must brew within a few days of grinding' to '6 month old flour in the pantry is fine, how different is this?' Appreciate the info. :D
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    smell it and it should be fine, as long as it hasn't soured or got wet should work
     
  6. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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    Yep, I get my stuff in batches, pre-crushed, usually two batches at a time, so 2 to 3 weeks sitting is not uncommon; I've had zero issues. Was told to just make sure they are kept in a dry place; I try to keep them fairly cool also (not like fridge cold), just not in a warmer place.
     
  7. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    ^^^I see what you did there :lol:

    Bread that's stale but not moldy is still stale and not at its peak.

    Once the grain is ground, it will lose quality rather quickly and handling has a lot to do with it.

    As far as farm animals go, my dog will eat a pile of crap if I let her. That doesn't mean it's good for her!

    I'd like to think that in making beer as a hobby, we'd like the best and freshest ingredients and hopefully produce a great product in the end. That being said, if they smell and taste good, go ahead and use them.

    Lastly, the grains are usually cheapest part of your beer and typically under $20.00 so you have to weigh the cost and value.

    Hope this helps,
    Brian
     
  8. Jimminator

    Jimminator New Member

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    Thanks! I got a chance last Sunday and brewed. (You can see the story in another thread, everything went wrong). It's still happily bubbling away in the basement, and the initial tastings indicate this will be by far the best batch since I restarted brewing. I did a pretty thorough sniff test though, and even though it was two weeks old, it still smelled fresh. :D
     
  9. social_misfit

    social_misfit New Member

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    just used the end of 600 lbs of grain I bought back in mid July 2013 stored right uncrushed grain stays good a long time

    all the best

    S_M
     
  10. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    If kept dry grain will keep almost indefinitely. Keeping it in a sealed container will kept it from going stale for a very long time. Once crushed it will go stale quicker because more of the grain is exposed to oxygen, but it will still kept for a good long while.

    Bottom line is you have to keep it dry. If it is already crushed I do like to store the grain in the freezer if I have the space.
     

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