Storing crushed grains

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by EvanAltman36, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Is there any kind of shelf life timeframe on keeping storing crushed grains prior to use? My LHBS is a 30 minute drive in good traffic, so I try to make my trips worthwhile. My current brewing schedule allows me about 1 brew day per month, so I was hoping that I can pick up the ingredients for 2 separate batches at once. So I guess my question should include hops too, and I should probably be more concerned with those. Will the grains be fine indefinitely if they're just kept in a well-sealed ziploc bag or airtight container and kept dry? I figure that you can keep oatmeal in the canister for a long time, so the same would apply here. But for pellet hops, can I just keep them in the fridge in the little ziploc bags they provide me at the LHBS for an long time too? It'd probably be 4-6 weeks between purchase and use.

    Thankfully, the commute will be irrelevant soon, as said LHBS is opening a new location only 10-15 minutes from me in September.
     
  2. bruce.gates

    bruce.gates New Member

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    Personally, I don't store crushed grains but then again I have a mill. If you don't have a mill then the best way to store crushed grains is in the fridge in as airtight a container as you can manage. Vacuum seal bags would be even better. They can be kept for upwards of 6 months according to some internet sources I've seen, but I would check on them before use to be sure. A good way to tell if they're still fresh would be to take a small sample and chew them before you store it.

    This 1) gives you a sense of what it tastes like in general and will help you with designing recipes overall and 2) gives you a sense of what it tastes like fresh so that a few months down the road when it comes time to use that grain again, you can mentally compare the fresh crushed grain with the grain you've been storing.

    As for hops, I freeze mine and I've been told they can keep for at least a year. Again, as airtight as possible because air is always the enemy of freshness. :D
     
  3. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    I would get a mill in that situation. You can then buy grains in bulk. Milling the day of gives maximum freshness. You don't want the grain to pick up freezer burn, or the 'fridge' smell. Yeah, maybe if they were vacuum sealed, but that is a lot of work too.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I asked at the Homebrew Shop last batch. Freshly crushed is always better but it'll keep for at least a week crushed. I'm working on an idea for storage - I have one of those "barrels" pretzels come in - it may be large enough to hold the grains for a batch. I'll try it in the future. And they also said don't keep it cold, just dry and as airtight as possible.
     
  5. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    I would think that keeping grains in the fridge could be bad, given the flavor issues you could get. How much does a decent mill cost?
     
  6. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Around $120.
     
  7. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Found two options on Amazon; first is normally $99 but on sale for $27 and Prime eligible so I get free shipping. Next is $48, normally $89. I don't want to be a cheapskate, for if the $27 option is a good one, I'd just as soon do that. Thoughts?

    I know the pictures are small, but the cheaper one also appears to have a bigger hopper.
     

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  8. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Those are going to be okay for milling a small amount of grains, like 1-2 pounds.

    If you are an all grain brewer, or ever plan to go all grain, you need the kind of mill that hooks up to an electric drill. That way you can get through 12 pounds with ease.

    The cheap carona mill sends bits all over the place. I sold mine.

    In general, a good mill will hold its value.
     
  9. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Good advice. I'm not planning to go all grain in the near future, so I think I'd be best to save my money for now and continue to have my LHBS grind in-store. I only do small amounts, so there's really no advantage to me getting a corona mill at this point. Plus, if and when I do go all-grain, I'd have to upgrade anyway. Thanks for the input.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  11. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    How much was that puppy? It's shiney!
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I got mine on a steal a deal from amazon just before he made a newer version called 3 I think so mine was 90 bucks, works very well, I think the new ones are 140 or so

    I mounted mine to a plastic bucket lid, then it fits perfect on a 5 gallon bucket (no flour dust) in your eyes lol
     
  13. bruce.gates

    bruce.gates New Member

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    I do 2.5 gallon BIAB brews and I use a corona mill. My grain bills usually only call for upwards of 4.5-7 pounds depending on the brew. To avoid getting grain everywhere, I wrap the outside of the circular bit with foil with a little "slide" bent into the bottom. The causes most of the grain to fall right into the container with no mess afterward. Some grain gets into the foil, but just dump that into the container as well! It's cheap, it works and if you want, you CAN adapt it for use with an electric drill.

    Just my two cents. :)
     

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