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grain got left outside - is it ruined?

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MagnusTS

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My brand new 25Kg bag of Maris Otter was left outside for a few days in the damp.
Long story, but it involved my 17 year old son, and a house party while I was away.

Will it be ruined? It doesn't look too damp (the grain at the top of the bag at any rate).
How will I know if it is ruined, what effect would it have on the beer?

Thanks.
 

Simonh82

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Keep an eye out for mould, that will be what gets it if it is damp. Water also speeds up staling reactions so I would use the damp grain ASAP and it will probably be fine.
 

MyQul

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Taste it and smell it, is the best way to tell if being left outside had an effect on it. I once bought some stale mild ale malt from a HBS. I couldnt be bothered to take it back and brewed with it anyway. It initially had a kit like twang, which eventually went away with conditioning
 

Bigcol49

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Hi!
I wonder whether you could lightly toast the grain to dry it out?
Daft idea, I know.

PS @MagnusTS I've checked the law - your son is too old to put up for adoption and corporal punishment is outlawed in the UK.
 

MagnusTS

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Thanks for the advice folks.
I am very relieved to hear it might not be a complete write off.
I'll keep an eye out for mould, and will keep fingers crossed.

I think I'll send the 17 year old away to military school.
 

divrack

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dampening grain before crushing is a good help actually. if its precrushed its probably good also, but id store it somewhere warm, maybe air it out a bit also. im pretty sure the reason some brewers make consistantly awful beer is bad storage so i would definitely keep an eye on it.
 

Clint

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Can you freeze it? Or clack the whole lot out in one day....
 

Cwrw666

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The bags I usually get are lined with plastic so there's a good chance it's fine. But you could break it up into smaller bags and shove 'em in the freezer.
Personally I always order when the weather forecast is dry for a few days as we don't get deliveries to the house - they just leave the stuff at the end of our track, rain or shine.
 

Tony Palmer

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In the trade its called slack malt. If water has not penetrated into the malt OK. If its pre crushed stuff maybe take the surface off and see if the bulk is still OK. When you try biting the grain if it is all soft it has been ruined. You will need to use it up pretty quickly.
 

DavidDetroit

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I know nothing about bags of grain but my GUESS would have been to gently dry it out using whatever feasible way. I saw one reply recommending something similar to that. If you do over toast it, could you use it for breakfast cereal?
 

DavidDetroit

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Inspired by a previous post, have your son make your next four batches of beer (under supervision). And then make him watch those beers get drunk. Now I'm just being mean....
 

MagnusTS

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I did an Imperial stout with this grain at weekend.
The grain seemed pretty dry, and smelt OK.
Efficiency was down quite a bit, and I missed my OG by a fair margin.
But the grain bed collapsed during mash, and I always seem to get a low efficiency with stouts for some reason....

So all looking fairly promising, but i will take advice and brew, brew, brew, to use the rest of the bag up as quick as I can.
 

Petrolhead

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Damp cereal grain, I think that was the cause of the witch trials in Salem! When you get around to drinking it let us know if you get the urge to burn anyone at the stake :)
 

Stib

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I'm work in the grain industry and be surprised what you can get away with if you know what your doing, we store grain at and below 14.5% moisture, we have had grain in above 25% and stinks but carful drying/cooling brings it back like there was nothing wrong :)
 
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