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Old 04-30-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
Vongo
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Default Buying grain in bulk

Looking for some advice on keeping grain.

1. How long will base malt last if I keep it in a sealed ale pale?

2. If you could only choose say 3 or 4 malts to keep on hand what would you choose?


Thanks

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Old 04-30-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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1. When I buy in bulk, it only lasts me a few months, so it's good at least that long. As long as you keep it in a cool dry area and it's sealed up, you should be okay for 6 months or longer.

2. I would pick a pale malt, wheat malt, and a pilsner malt. Then you can buy smaller amounts of specialty grains, or buy another base malt like vienna or munich.

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Old 04-30-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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I usually only have pale and wheat on hand.

It's kind of a pain for me to get out to the LHBS, so I'll roast my own specialty malts, using this info:
http://barleypopmaker.info/2009/12/0...ng-your-malts/

I'll use that to make a dark crystal malt, like a C-120, and I'll roast some dry in a cast iron skillet to make black or chocolate malt. You'd be surprised how evenly you can roast the grains in a heavy pan. The dark malts I've made myself were way more uniform than any I've bought.

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Old 04-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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For bulk sacks of grain, I have 2 row. I have some Bairds UK 2 Row, Bairds MO and Thomas Faucett Golden Promise on hand (full sacks of 2 row and MO, the GP has been opened)... I had another sack of UK 2 Row, but used it up already.

I would plan to do bulk grain buys (base malt) once a year. I was involved in the one we did in February, and will do it again.

For storage, I have the open sack closed with a zip tie right now. I plan on getting some more food saver bags (gallon sized as well as some large rolls) and bag up the balance. It makes it easier when you can just grab a couple of pre-measured bags of grain and brew.

For specialty grains, I have some different British Crystal malts on hand (all four actually) plus some victory, honey and crystal MO in a plastic bin. Each bag is sealed, so it's all good. The ones that have been opened before get vacuum packed.

If you have the room, it wouldn't be a bad idea to store the grain where it's cooler during the summer months. But, whole grain stores a lot better than crushed grain. From what I've been told, whole grain, decently stored, can last a year or more and still be good. I wouldn't push it beyond about 18 months though.

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Old 04-30-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vongo View Post
Looking for some advice on keeping grain.

1. How long will base malt last if I keep it in a sealed ale pale?

2. If you could only choose say 3 or 4 malts to keep on hand what would you choose?


Thanks

1.) Until the weevils get out of control. I would definitely suggest against buying large quantities of flaked grain, peated malt or acidulated malt unless you can freeze them or saturate them with Co2, nitrogen or argon - the bugs love those the most. Briess is also pretty bad about weevils. If you don't get weevil problems, they last a year or more uncracked. (A few bugs aren't a big deal, but a really bad infestation is not only nasty and hard to contain, but it'll also change the malt flavor and aroma).

2.) I keep a continental or British Pale malt, Weyermann Pilsner, Weyermann Pale Wheat, and Vienna on hand in bulk, although I may stop stocking the Vienna, since I go through it pretty slowly.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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Great idea on the food saver... I can basically male my own "house kits" that will be ready for the malt mill at anytime!

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Old 04-30-2011, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateo View Post
I usually only have pale and wheat on hand.

It's kind of a pain for me to get out to the LHBS, so I'll roast my own specialty malts, using this info:
http://barleypopmaker.info/2009/12/0...ng-your-malts/

I'll use that to make a dark crystal malt, like a C-120, and I'll roast some dry in a cast iron skillet to make black or chocolate malt. You'd be surprised how evenly you can roast the grains in a heavy pan. The dark malts I've made myself were way more uniform than any I've bought.
I have 100lbs of Pale on its way and was trying to find out how to make my own specialty grains from it. This is exactly what I was looking. Thanks Nateo!
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradinator View Post
I have 100lbs of Pale on its way and was trying to find out how to make my own specialty grains from it. This is exactly what I was looking. Thanks Nateo!
make your own caramunich! it's delightful.

i did about two pounds, split between 4 small cookie sheets for the drying/roasting portion and ended up with 2 different levels of toastyness somewhat similar to a caramunich I and II. they taste great.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:01 AM   #9
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I use 2 x 5 gal buckets with lid gaskets per bag of grain. Cheap and keeps the grain air tight.

I always have 50 lbs of Montana 2-Row, Plisen, Wheat, each on hand at all times because these are the base malts that I use most frequently. I normally also have Marris Otter, & Munich too. Currently I have Simpson's Golden Promise, & Gamb. Pale Ale. I have thought about getting a bag of Crystal 40L since I use that in my IPA's quite a bit although normally a pound at a time so it probably makes more sense to continue to purchase it as I brew even though it costs 2 x as much as bulk.

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Old 05-01-2011, 01:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromZwolle View Post
make your own caramunich! it's delightful.

i did about two pounds, split between 4 small cookie sheets for the drying/roasting portion and ended up with 2 different levels of toastyness somewhat similar to a caramunich I and II. they taste great.
Recipe please
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