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SweetLuu

Pre-Cracked Grain Life

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Does buying grain already cracked shorten the shelf life? Caramel Pils is a bitch to crack with a rolling pin! :sweat:

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Not sure but I'll wager that the outside husk of the uncracked grains actually might be it's own little storage container for the inner grain of barley. Not impervious to moisture but better than if it's cracked.

I think dry, airtight storage is the key here. If you can squeeze out ( or burp a lid) any excess air and seal it tight freshness won't be a problem.

I bought 2 pounds already cracked, that were packaged in sealed plastic bags and once I cut the seal I use zipper bags to store the unused. I can't tell that there is a difference in the great aromas between whiffing a new bag or an older..Just speculatin' here.

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I've also read, that keeping them in an air tight bag, out of heat and with no moisture exposure, that they should be good for 3-6 months easy. After that it seems the general consensus is it starts to fade. I've got my grains in a vacumn sealed ziplock in a supposed airtight tupperware container. So far a month later and it still smells as fresh as when I got em in.

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I asked that same question of 2 different online suppliers. They both told me that once specialty grains are cracked they have a 2 week shelf life no matter how you store them. (Northern Brewer & Austin HB Supply)

If what you guys are saying works it would be a great thing for me as I have no store nearby and have to order everything and get nailed for shipping. It costs $7 to ship $1.50 of grain. If I could store it I could stock up.

Please update if you have any more info.

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gophers6 wrote:

I asked that same question of 2 different online suppliers. They both told me that once specialty grains are cracked they have a 2 week shelf life no matter how you store them. (Northern Brewer & Austin HB Supply)

If what you guys are saying works it would be a great thing for me as I have no store nearby and have to order everything and get nailed for shipping. It costs $7 to ship $1.50 of grain. If I could store it I could stock up.

Please update if you have any more info.

I'll let you know this weekend. Brew day is sunday, and my grains will have aged about a month and a half.

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jungerer wrote:

gophers6 wrote:

I asked that same question of 2 different online suppliers. They both told me that once specialty grains are cracked they have a 2 week shelf life no matter how you store them. (Northern Brewer & Austin HB Supply)

If what you guys are saying works it would be a great thing for me as I have no store nearby and have to order everything and get nailed for shipping. It costs $7 to ship $1.50 of grain. If I could store it I could stock up.

Please update if you have any more info.

I'll let you know this weekend. Brew day is sunday, and my grains will have aged about a month and a half.

Can you tell at brewing time if they've lost their pizzaz?

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I have a lot of grain. I buy I pound when I need 1/10 lb for a recipe.

I'm thinking 25 lbs of crushed grain sitting around isn't a good idea.

I think I'm gonna end up getting a grain mill. They have I sweet looking table top one at NB for a buck and a quarter. It just might have to wait a few months though, until then I'll just have to keep working out my arms on brew day.

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gophers6 wrote:

jungerer wrote:

gophers6 wrote:

I asked that same question of 2 different online suppliers. They both told me that once specialty grains are cracked they have a 2 week shelf life no matter how you store them. (Northern Brewer & Austin HB Supply)

If what you guys are saying works it would be a great thing for me as I have no store nearby and have to order everything and get nailed for shipping. It costs $7 to ship $1.50 of grain. If I could store it I could stock up.

Please update if you have any more info.

I'll let you know this weekend. Brew day is sunday, and my grains will have aged about a month and a half.

Can you tell at brewing time if they've lost their pizzaz?

From what I read, if you taste it you can tell if its stale or not.

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This is a great question. The info you got from Northern Brewer and Austin HB is pretty typical. I've even read (can't remember where - sorry) that 1-2 days is the most you want to wait. That can get you pretty anxious if your brew day has to wait a day or two (or, gasp!, until the next weekend).

My LHBS gives advice that's similar to what you're hearing from most folks here: Keep the moisture out and keep them fairly cool and you'll be just fine for months. I've heard similar things from several brewers.

Needless to say, those who go with the more pessimistic estimates would probably say that the beers made with old grain are really noticably defective, but it doesn't get noticed because the beer drinkers are also defective. If that sounds like I'm being sarcastic, I am, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm right. This would be a great experiment for one of those Basic Brewing Radio/Brew Your Own colLABorative experiments.

On the home milling, yes, crushing crystal malt with a rolling pin is just too hard! Some say use a rubber mallet. I just use a regular old claw hammer. Works fine for a small amount of steeping grain.

A grain mill is also in my future. All kinds of advantages - just can't find $100+ that doesn't need to be spent on something else. Maybe if I win the lottery. Oh yeah, I'll need to start playing to win. Oh well, someday!

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This is a concern for me because my inlaws got me more crushed grains then I can quickly use for Christmas.

I went to the Victory website and this is what their PDF says about Victory Briess grains:

STORAGE AND SHELF LIFE
Best if used within 6 months from date of manufacture.
Store at temperatures of

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I store mine in these bags:

2183758150103002994S600x600Q85.jpg

Well, obviously that's not the grain, but you get the point... ;)

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SweetLuu wrote:

Does buying grain already cracked shorten the shelf life? Caramel Pils is a bitch to crack with a rolling pin! :sweat:


You think Caramel Pils is bad (which it is) don't even think of using a rolling pin on CaraPils grain. Harder than a rock. If you try to taste it for freshness you'll only break your teeth. Even tried the food processor on pulse, but the only result was lots of shredded hull. Next time I order it, it'll definitely be milled. This weekend I'll have to pick up that ZipLoc pumpy thingy. Maybe just as effective in sealing in freshness as the more expensive Foodsaver?

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We've had very good luck with it, and it's very cheap. I think the pump with three bags was maybe $6. The bags generally run about twice as much as regular baggies ($3.50ish for 12 quart or 8 gallon bags). I've only seen quart and gallon sizes...

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I put my grains in the waxy bag that comes inside Cheerios boxes and then crush with a rolling pin. Doesn't work worth a crap. I poke holes in the bag before the grain cracks.

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Ziplock bag + meat tenderizer mallet x 15 minutes of hard hammering = nicely crushed grains.

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Just an update. Brewed this morning. After a month and a half the grains still smell amazing and worked like a charm.

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