Flour beetles during mash -- Continue or discard?

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KookyBrewsky

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I took about a year off of brewing as I tried to sell my gear because I didn't want to continue without kegging and couldn't afford it. Fast forward to now when I have a kegerator I got at an amazing deal.

I just started my BIAB brew day after ordering new yeast and hops, however like a fool I decided to use the year old grains stored doubled sealed in thick plastic bags with no apparent holes.

As I stirred and everything settled down for mash time, I noticed lots of tiny specs which after inspection are "confused flour beetles". Legend has it that one of my favorite drinks (kombucha) was possibly discovered when a dead bug landed in some juice and fermented due to the acids in it. This batch would not gross me out and it would also be a nice "discard" / learner batch for my kegging process. I'm also a bit of a farmer and do things organically so there are pretty much bugs all over my vegetable plants that I have to kill on a daily basis.

With that said, as boil comes up, should I even bother, or should I discard?

(the things that look like dark sesame seeds are what I am referring to, they are all over the surface of the mash)

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KookyBrewsky

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DId you store those year-old grains already milled or whole? I use these to store my whole grains in. It can hold more than 50 pounds.
I stored them whole, I milled them yesterday. I keep my unmilled grains for baking (I became an extreme baker while not brewing) in 5 gallon food grade buckets from Home Depot. This, unfortunately, was before that development.
 

EDF713

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I say pull the bag, hopefully with the bugs still in it, and proceed. The boil should kill off any bad stuff. I've read they come from eggs on or with the grain, it happens. Part of the reason I just buy grain for each batch and don't store, since I live in Houston along with every bug known to mankind.
 
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KookyBrewsky

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I say pull the bag, hopefully with the bugs still in it, and proceed. The boil should kill off any bad stuff. I've read they come from eggs on or with the grain, it happens. Part of the reason I just buy grain for each batch and don't store, since I live in Houston along with every bug known to mankind.
I buy everything as needed too but this was a recipe I purchased right before my hiatus as stated. So yes I agree. I just pulled the bag, not really a remnant of bug. Smells delicious so it’s not rancid.
 
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Brew with it. Believe me, neither you nor anyone else will detect any difference in the finished beer. There is nothing unwholesome for you there, so no worries.

If you have any any more grain with weevils, freeze it for a couple of days. My experiments showed that is 100% effective at killing the live ones, and their eggs.
 
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KookyBrewsky

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Nope no more grains. This is the only remnant from pre-kegging.

I’m switching to all organic brewing, there are only 2 hops available on Etsy and a number of grains so I am a bit limited but I’ll have to come up with my own grain bills… that will be for another thread!

I hate to bring up the V word on a beer forum, I know beer enthusiasts love some BBQ, but I guess I’ll be calling this one “Zero Day Vegan Streak”.
 

hotbeer

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You name for this beer will have endless play on words and double entendre.

If it's a great tasting beer, maybe another sub-forum will have to go up in the All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing forum. It could discuss how and which weevils or bugs need to be grown in your grain mix.

Bugs generally are harmless when eaten. Some places a delicacy. Still, being brought up to think of bugs as bad, I'd have to overcome a lot to take that first sip.
 
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KookyBrewsky

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As mentioned I’m vegan, I didn’t feel like bringing it up to avoid argument (though I also said I’m a raised bed farmer and kill critters daily) but I do collect many cookbooks. One is called Oaxaca from a famous restaurant in the US. Apparently she ate grasshoppers growing up like popcorn. They’re best on a taco. I must say they’re easier to raise and less taxing on the environment than most meats.

the wort is basically crystal clear, you know what I mean. I should be good to go. Luckily the bugs didn’t dissolve so I basically just roasted them whole if they were even alive, then fished them out.

The minute weight of poo grosses me out a bit but if it’s sterilized and pasteurized I just need to put on my big boy pants and look at the facts and what it boils down to, harmless components.
 

MaxStout

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You can put it in the freezer for 3 or 4 days. That'll kill any weevil eggs.

You really only need to do it for base malt. The processing of roasted and crystal malts will kill anything off.
 
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KookyBrewsky

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You can put it in the freezer for 3 or 4 days. That'll kill any weevil eggs.

You really only need to do it for base malt. The processing of roasted and crystal malts will kill anything off.
this is 9lb from a recipe kit. No more left. I look at all the grains, I double milled it. I swear I didn’t see a thing and then bam! Floaters.
 

kevin58

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On the one hand the boil should take care of anything that could hurt you. But can you really enjoy this beer knowing that the presence of dead bugs on top of your mash means an entire colony of bugs consisting of many untold generations went into that batch. That means the long dead carcasses of past generations their poop and pee (aka frass) in addition to the current living generation that were drowned in the mash. Cheers!
 
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KookyBrewsky

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I’ve concluded there’s nothing wrong with it other than my own strange feelings about it and it would be a shame to waste. I boiled for almost 2 hours. Many have mentioned the disgusting things we eat from mass manufactured food product.
 

Gusso

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I just hope you don't recreate that scene from Alien after drinking a pint!
 

SMD

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Maybe you’ll start a new trend in brewing. 5-10% of the grist from household bugs, varies by region.
 
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Although it was Lennon solo and not The Beatles, mind games might make a good beer name. Tell them about the weevils after they've downed a pint. What? Weevils? Is this a mind game?
 

BrewChem

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I’m confident that bugs in brewing has been occurring for millennia and yet the craft still exists… go forth and be well.
 

McMullan

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Nope no more grains. This is the only remnant from pre-kegging.

I’m switching to all organic brewing, there are only 2 hops available on Etsy and a number of grains so I am a bit limited but I’ll have to come up with my own grain bills… that will be for another thread!

I hate to bring up the V word on a beer forum, I know beer enthusiasts love some BBQ, but I guess I’ll be calling this one “Zero Day Vegan Streak”.
Probably more bugs on organic grain. Part of the natural ecology of cereals and harmless generally.
 

Brewdog80

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On another non beer related forum, a guy had about $100 or so of flour, grain, rice and even sugar that his wife had found weevils in. They don't usually get into sugar, I'd expect those guys got lost. But they tossed it all. What a waste. They came in with your flour. I would freeze every bit of flour and grain you have for a few days, and store bags individual in airtight containers. But Beetlejuice will be a great beer. And just Brew On!
 

davidabcd

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Make it, toss it or drink it yourself (if it doesn't bother you).
Personally, I would do a test batch, as you mentioned, and then toss it.
I would never serve it to guests.
 
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