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Old 01-03-2013, 04:52 AM   #1
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Default What to store ingredients in

I was thinking about starting to buy large amounts of ingredients at a time, but I wasn't sure what to store everything in. What does everyone store grain and hops in to keep them fresh


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Old 01-03-2013, 04:56 AM   #2
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grain: i don't crack it till usage, and i store it in its' 50 lb bag, and then a 50 lb food container from petsmart. specialty grain: freezer, uncracked till needed.

hops: once i open the 1 lb package, i seal them up in a vacuum-sealed bag (food-saver) and right back in the freezer, in 4 oz packages

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:58 AM   #3
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Large amounts of grain go in 5 gallon buckets I got from a local dairy for $1.50 each. I use Gamma Lids on them. They seal well and are easy to open and close.

Smaller amounts go in Lock and Lock containers that I get at the local overstock/clearance store. Ocean State Job Lot.

Liquids go in Ball Jars.

I also use a Food Saver and the hops get sealed and go in the freezer.

In addition I have 20ml vials and keep a yeast bank of frozen yeast. I have used samples more than 6 months old with success.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
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Regarding the Food Saver, some cheap vacuum bags are oxygen permeable and are unsuitable for hops. If you can smell the hops through the bag, it's no good.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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I buy my grains as needed. I keep the sealed bags in the fridge with LME & yeast. Hop packets go in zip lock freezer bags on a small shelf above the ice maker. Other dry items go in a bag in the pantry.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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Almost all plastic food bags are oxygen permeable, although some are more resistant than others. Hops sealed in mylar packets that have been CO2 flushed will last far longer.

As far as storage is concerned, food grade containers with a good seal should work fine. My SWMBO owns a restaurant and I use sanitized strawberry topping buckets (10 gallons with a gasket lid) for storing bulk grains.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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I'm curious about the Food Saver and hops. How long do you figure your hops stay good that way?

I bought a storage bag meant for coffee, but I never got a good answer on how well it would work.
I don't see it being much better than a Ziplock baggie as you can't get all of the air out.

I haven't tried to reseal the package the hops come in, but I've wondered if that would work as well. Anyone try it?

I'd certainly prefer to buy the 8 oz bag of hops. I considered opening it and vacuum sealing it into 1 oz packages to keep for a few (<6) months. I'd be OK with losing up to 10% of the AA's, but no more. And there's no way to know for sure...

I've been typically making the majority of my beers with a single hop because I don't want them to sit long. IPA's are generally the only time I'll mix 'em up a bit.

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...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
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