Milled grain shelf life

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by SabreSteve, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    I'm know this has been answered but I'm wondering if I should throw out a couple pounds of milled steeping grains from my last extract batch before I switched to BIAB. I figured I'd get back around to it by now but the reality I've found is with 5 gallon batches I'm not brewing super frequently because I can't really justify brewing it that much faster than I can drink it. I'm slowly increasing the amount I give away with each new batch as they improve but for now I'm on about a 1 brew a month pace.
    The grains I have are about 10 ounces of chocolate malt and just under a pound of Carafa III. They are in Ziploc bags and then wrapped in plastic wrap but not vacuum sealed or anything. It's been about 2 and a half months since I got them and it'll probably be about 3 months before I use any of it. My next brew is another batch of my SMaSH Blonde next week when my dad is in town (should be an interesting brew day) and then I'm planning a Citra blonde. Not super interested in changing up that schedule. Anyways sorry for the mega-post. The question is basically if the milled grains are going to be almost 6 months old by the time I use them should I just pitch them now?

    Also worth noting I won't be buying pre-milled grain anymore. Just finished putting together my mill assembly. Just need to attach some kind of spray shield but I have material for that. IMG_20201106_221101__01.jpg
     
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  2. Donoroto

    Donoroto Member

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    Interesting. I can't answer your question, but I wonder if freezing (or refrigerating) the grain would make it last 3, 6 or 9 months.
     
  3. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    The grains can be used as adjuncts in all grain. Keep them in an air tight bag and they should be good.
     
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  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't toss them, they seem to lose some efficiency over time but based on what they did at Brulosophy you can use old milled grain without to much worry.
     
  5. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    So basically what you're saying is since they're adjuncts you wouldn't worry about it?
    Would you take the same approach with base malts?
     
  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  7. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    I'm almost at the 3 month mark now. Now that I have my mill assembly up and running I really don't plan on ever having more milled than what I need right away so hopefully won't be too much of an issue
     
  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'd be shocked it if was an issue. Grain sits for years in graineries before being used or sold.
     
  9. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but it's usually whole. My thinking is once it's milled oxygen can more readily get at it
     
  10. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    So if you're doubtful you'll use your crushed grains within the next 5 months or so and you're concerned about it's possible quality, I'd say pitch it. Less than $4 of grain isn't worth worrying about possibly affecting the quality of your future batch.
    I've made a batch or two with entire grain bills that have been crushed for 5 months and made good beer. Wasn't my best but certainly not my worst. A little bit of carafa and crystal are easily replaceable, but if waste is a big concern, then use it.
     
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  11. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    That's where I'm torn. I hate waste but yeah the cost is so low and I care about the quality
     
  12. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Such a small amount, wrap them up tight or vacuum seal if you can and put them in your freezer.
    Run them through your new mill for practice.
    Make a strong tea and add a shot of whiskey...kinda like a scotchie.
     
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  13. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    If stored cool and wrapped relatively airtight, a year shouldn’t be a problem. There’s not a whole lot in the malts that can go stale or rancid.
     
  14. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Since you had them sealed in a zip lock bag, at three months I think the worst problem you face is some loss of flavor. I say use them.
     
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