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Old 12-10-2008, 03:47 PM   #1
kinger
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Default "Old" Grains?

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question...I apologize ahead of time if I'm in the wrong area.

I started brewing 25 years ago, but I've taken a lengthy rest from it for the last five years while concentrating on my wine-making. Just prior to switching from beer to wine I purchased several different grains in bulk. I divided the bags into several sanitized 5 gal buckets, put lids on them, and stored them in my basement. These buckets have been sitting undisturbed for 5 years or so. Should I assume the grain is no longer usable, or should it be okay given the airtight, cool storage method?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 12-10-2008, 03:58 PM   #2
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That's a pretty long time even under the best conditions.

If you really want to try it, I'd make a small mash in a container or something and see how that comes out before doing a whole batch. Maybe even make a small 1-3gal batch to see how it tastes.

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Old 12-10-2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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I'd just assume it's not in the best shape flavor wise and make some starter wort with it. If you have a canner you could make a big batch and can it all for later use as stater wort.

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Old 12-10-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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I know a few guys have told me that grain can last a long, long time assuming air-tight, light-tight conditions, plus cool temps. You very well may be fine. Was the grain whole or pre-crushed? I'd wait for one of the forum big-dogs to chime in before you throw it out.

Out of curiosity, what prompted the switch to wine? Just looking for something different?

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Old 12-10-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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Trust your tongue. How do the grains taste? If they taste musty or flat, toss 'em. After 5 years, I'd say they are pretty much done for at this point, but you never know!

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Old 12-10-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Trust your tongue. How do the grains taste? If they taste musty or flat, toss 'em. After 5 years, I'd say they are pretty much done for at this point, but you never know!
Right. Best thing I ever did was to start munching on different grains I wanted to use in recipes. Just chewing up a few kernels helped me get and idea of the underlying flavor I was going to add.

I'd imagine if your grains have absorbed any basement flavors, you'll pick them up if you give them a good chew.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:55 PM   #7
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Right. Best thing I ever did was to start munching on different grains I wanted to use in recipes. Just chewing up a few kernels helped me get and idea of the underlying flavor I was going to add.
Absolutely. Shame on you out there that don't taste your grain!
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:57 PM   #8
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They will make great bird feed.

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Old 12-10-2008, 10:24 PM   #9
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Give them a try, what do you have to loose. If its bad you can just dump the beer.

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Old 12-10-2008, 11:11 PM   #10
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I have 3 and 4 year old malt that still makes a damn fine brew. I made a 10 gallon batch at the shop on Teach a Friend to Brew day with nothing but 3 year old grain and the sample at bottling was delicious. That said I had some 6 year old wheat that tasted nasty and I had to pitch it.

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