Dumb question. How do you open a sack of grains without getting plastic in it??

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Nate R

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Such a dumb question. I am sure the answer is super easy.
But i just cannot seem to open a 55# sack of grain without little plastic shards getting loose.

Anybody know the secret? I've tried pulling the string. Not pulling the string but using a box knife. Using scisscors. Nothing has worked.

Thanks all!
 

philjohnwilliams

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When I open a sack I transfer the grain to buckets for storage, to make it eadier to pour I only cut one corner (with sharp scissors) which minimizes the amount of plastic that can fall into the grain.
 
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Nate R

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day_trippr

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This may be disappointing, but I have perfectly unzipped pristine woven grain bags only to find there were still shards of plastic inside...

Cheers!
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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This may be disappointing, but I have perfectly unzipped pristine woven grain bags only to find there were still shards of plastic inside...

Cheers!
Ha!! This is bad, but actually it makes feel better that it is not just me...
 

bkboiler

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Even the grain I get at my LHBS occasionally has plastic shards in it... I think I just picked one or two out then gave up and brewed anyway.
 

day_trippr

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Both Weyermann and Simpson bags are prone to this, even though I really do like Weyermann bags in particular because the liner is clearly some high quality material. But I get white fragments in both. I don't think there's any way for them to totally avoid that. One can image when the bags are fabricated they're sliced off a roll and printed and bottom-stitched, so there are bits of the plastic matrix already floating around in the process, and I know when I'm machining plastic stuff in my workshop the fragments tend to fly around and stick to everything.

In that regard, Briess bags have both beat - they're still lined paper :)

Cheers!
 

9Kegs

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I use a pointy scissors and cut each stitch and pull the threads out from the opposite side. Start at the corner and work toward the center about 4 to 6 inches. It's tedious but avoids the plastic you get when cutting the bag.
 

FloppyKnockers

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Little shards of sack plastic is my secret ingredient.

I have a house lager that on my first brew I lost the hop schedule. Thankfully I remembered it. It wasn't that tough - one at 60 minutes, one at 10. I finally found my sticky note in the spent grains. I guess it fell into the mash without me noticing. We call it "sticky note lager". How much gravity does one standard sized 3M post-it note with some Sharpie on it contribute?
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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Little shards of sack plastic is my secret ingredient.

I have a house lager that on my first brew I lost the hop schedule. Thankfully I remembered it. It wasn't that tough - one at 60 minutes, one at 10. I finally found my sticky note in the spent grains. I guess it fell into the mash without me noticing. We call it "sticky note lager". How much gravity does one standard sized 3M post-it note with some Sharpie on it contribute?
What color? I hear pink drops the ph by 0.2, but yellow only 0.1
 

tyrub42

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I got frustrated trying to open bags the 'right' way with that specific unraveling that I can never remember, then I watched this video and it's the easiest way ever, and also something you can remember forever without having to go back every time you open a new bag.

 

Yesfan

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Who is the maltster you are using for grain? Quite a few distributed by BSG are now using simple pull strips.

Here are some links that might help with other brands:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=9365.0


I've got tons of letter openers like that. Never thought of using them. That'll save a lot of wear and tear on my chainsaw!


I've usually just cut mine open with scissors, and dump the grains in a 60qt bin that has the foam liner in the lid (Ziplock). Next sack of grain, I'll try it the proper way to see if it reduces/eliminate those pesky plastic shards.


To add to the OP's "dumb question", is it better to leave the grains in the bag vs dumping the contents into a seal-able container? With cereal, I've always just rolled the top of the bag down to squeeze as much of the air out, and close it off with a clothespin vs using one of those large plastic containers. I feel the cereal doesn't stale as quickly this way.

I don't mill my grains until brew day and haven't noticed anything off putting by having the grains stored in a container vs rolling up the bag. I do wonder if there's a difference like I've experienced with cereal. Would the resulting beer be fresher tasting?

EDIT: for clarification, I don't think the OP's question was a dumb one.
 
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Nate R

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and here i just watched a youtube video of someone making alcohol out of toilet paper......forget what enzymes he used though, might get a higher FG...

Make alcohol OUT of toilte paper??? Not right now my friend!
I think the going rate is a 1/5th for a 4 pack of toilet paper.
One 12 pack of craft can get you a 6 pack... maybe.
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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I got frustrated trying to open bags the 'right' way with that specific unraveling that I can never remember, then I watched this video and it's the easiest way ever, and also something you can remember forever without having to go back every time you open a new bag.

This was great, thank you!!! Agree- this one I can remember!!!

And to @Yesfan - I called it a "dumb" question because I assumed it was a well known, well used trick. I guess it makes me feel better that others also are having this problem, too.
Happy to have this forum and y'all to have such great help!

Happy Covid Brewing all!
 

bracconiere

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Qhrumphf

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Only bag I can recall you need to slice is Briess (can't remember with Patagonia and I've never used Great Western but pretty sure I've used everyone else of note). Most bags have the pull strip these days.

Weyermann is easier than most stitched bags, most of the time. Rather than cutting links on the string side as you normally would (videos online showing that process), lift the folder over edge and cut a few rungs on the inside of the fold opposite where you'd normally cut the string.

Assuming it's not an instance where the intern was on the stitcher that day, it should easily open pulling on the white string at that point.

Same for all stitched bags, just faster with Weyermann.

If you're slicing the bag itself you're probably doing it wrong.
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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Well, fwiw... this is from my last batch of Pilsner, with Weyermann Pilsner grain.
Going forward should not be a problem (thanks to all the help above from y'all fine folks!), but if anyone is wondering, yes, they do survive the mash!!
20200405_142310.jpg
 
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