Crushed grain shelf life

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Braufather

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I know it has been discussed quite a lot already here and elsewhere but seeing as I’ve a couple a bags now over 3 months old I thought I’d canvass opinion anyway.

Generally opinion seems to be anywhere from you crush no More than two weeks before you brew up to a year and beyond.

ive got 5k Simpson’s pale, 4kg Simpson’s Maris otter, and 1kg English premium carapmalt. All crushed 10th March. They are in sealed bags straight from supplier, that haven’t been opened yet but they are not vacuum packed and have not an insignificant amount of air trapped in.

By the time I get a window they will be 4 months old.

I’d be interested in hearing what experience have people have had!
 

tigertim

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I mentioned in another thread that I was brewing the BrewUK (CraftyBrews) Proper Job clone which I’d had sitting around for quite a while.

Turns out I ordered it on the 19th November last year and brewed it a fortnight ago. The grain was in ostensibly sealed bags, as you’d expect, but certainly didn’t seem to be vacuum packed.

It’s been in the keg just under a week and it’s very cloudy, but it tastes absolutely spot on. I’d really struggle in a blind taste test against the real thing.

ETA : Also got the efficiency and OG I was expecting.
 

Braufather

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Cheers chaps. I’ll crack on then. I was hesitant about throwing lots of hops at these brews as planned in case I wasted them but seems all should be fine.
 

Clarence

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I've got some grains that are 2+ years old. They are kept absolutely dry and they're fine.
When you consider that a bag of flour can sit on the supermarket shelf or in your cupboard in a steamy kitchen, wearing nothing but a paper bag, it's not surprising a sealed bag of malt can last a bit longer.
 

Tombo

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I got offered a 25kg bag of crushed pale ale malt for £5 that had a best before date that expired 3 years previously so the crush date will have been a while before then. Thought it was worth a go at that bargain price.
I did mash it for longer than normal just in case but I can't say I noticed any significant loss or taste and neither did anyone that tried the beers created with it.
I would say if it's been stored correctly it'll WAY outlast it's BBE.
 

Braufather

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Seems like I was unduly concerned then with my 4 month old of unopened assorted grains still sealed from the supplier. I brewed on Tuesday with the first lot and will report back.

Does beg the question then, why invest in your own grain mill?
 

Tombo

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Don’t BBE is not the same as Use By which is a date after which you should not use the product. Most BBE dates are arbitrary and refer to freshness not usability.
Exactly that, BBE is a guide as to when something will be at it's best but it's only a guide. Things should not be used after their use by date, doesn't apply to crushed grain though.
 

Agentgonzo

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Does beg the question then, why invest in your own grain mill?
You can set the crush size to suit your own equipment.
I got mine because I used to buy a 25kg sack of base malt from my local brewery and they only had whole malt. Buying from them at wholesale was about half the price of the homebrew shop.
 

Cwrw666

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Does beg the question then, why invest in your own grain mill?
I bought one because I accidentaly ordered 25kg whole grain instead of crushed. My efficiency leaped from mid sixties to around 83%. I don't know why - freshness or fineness of the grind. All I know is that when I brew from a recipe I have to reduce the pale malt by quite a lot to get the right OG.
 

Agentgonzo

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I bought one because I accidentaly ordered 25kg whole grain instead of crushed. My efficiency leaped from mid sixties to around 83%. I don't know why - freshness or fineness of the grind. All I know is that when I brew from a recipe I have to reduce the pale malt by quite a lot to get the right OG.
"People on the internet" have said that homebrew shops tend to set their crush quite coarse. The reasoning given is that homebrew shops don't want to give you grain that will give you a stuck sparge. (Also, lower efficiency also isn't exactly a problem for shops selling you grain 😆). Finer milling purportedly gives you greater extraction of sugars (efficiency)
 

Braufather

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@Cwrw666 I get it that it can save money in the long run but if you spend money on a decent mil then thats is a bit swings and roundabouts cost wise, but with added hassle - so my motivation for buying a Mill would be tangible results taste wise between fresh milled and older pre grained- however its seems they are limited.

@Agentgonzo i actually cant use grain from homebrewshop/ie as its too fine and gives me wort fountains. i have no problems with geterbrewed and the malt miller and i figure their grain mills will be far better than one id purchase so why not let them do it for you. My only concern was it would be loosing flavour by the day until it was used but it seems not!
 

Cwrw666

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"People on the internet" have said that homebrew shops tend to set their crush quite coarse. The reasoning given is that homebrew shops don't want to give you grain that will give you a stuck sparge. (Also, lower efficiency also isn't exactly a problem for shops selling you grain 😆). Finer milling purportedly gives you greater extraction of sugars (efficiency)
Yes, I do have a lot of flour in my milled grain, but as I do BIAB that's not a problem.
Once, however, THBC sent me crushed though I'd ordered whole grains. So I put the crushed through my grain mill. The result was still a much lower efficiency.
So I'm sticking to grinding my own grain. It's more work (obviously) but doesn't add to the brew day as I put my water on to heat then grind the grain and still have a ten minutes sit down before the water is up to mash temperature.
I'm not doing it to save money BTW - I just like the idea of higher efficiency.
 

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