Welcome to the Crisp Brewing Malt Storage Guide packed with handy tips on how to keep your brewing malt clean, cool, dry and odour-free. Storing your brewing malt under these optimum conditions will help you achieve the best results over a more sustained period of time.
It is important to mention that it is good practice to use first in, first out (FIFO) to manage your stock and ensure your malt is used up well before its best before date. We want to keep the malt as fresh as possible and suggest you aim to use up your malt stock two to three months from delivery. If that is not possible, do not worry – it is only a guide. The following tips should help you manage and maintain your stock well enough to last much longer if necessary.
These are our key tips for storing whole-grain malt in 25kg sacks.
Keeping the brewing malt DRY is the absolute priority. Malt is hydroscopic, so it will naturally absorb moisture from its surroundings. We need to minimise the rate of this happening and prevent any other opportunities for moisture to get into the grain.
Although our malt sacks are water-resistant, try not to expose them to rain. A heavy dose of rain is likely to find its way into any malt sack. Leaving the malt sacks in direct sunlight will increase the temperature of the malt and create the perfect environment for insects. Insects will bite through and damage the malt impacting the quality.
It is important to keep the air flowing around the sacks. Blocking the airflow can potentially lead to moisture and temperature build-up which, again, is the perfect environment for insects.
You can use cable ties, tape or repackage the remaining quantity into smaller, resealable containers. Exposure to the atmosphere will increase the rate the grain picks up moisture and oxidised.
Malt sacks must be stored in an ODOUR FREE environment. Malt will absorb any odours present and this will have an impact on the quality of the final product.
The odours from the paint will be absorbed by the malt. Do not use the area until the smell of fresh paint has gone. This is usually around 6 months but will vary depending on ventilation and airflow.
Odours from these fumes will be absorbed by the malt and may be present in the final product. The heat and moisture can potentially directly damage the malt’s quality or increase the chances of an infestation and/or mould. It is best to find an alternative area to store your malt sacks.
Keeping the temperature COOL is important for reducing the chances of an insect infestation. However, it should not be prioritised over keeping the malt dry.
If you can’t achieve these temperatures, concentrate on keeping the malt as dry as possible, keep the temperature as low as you can and aim to turn over your stock within six months.
As soon as the malt is removed from storage, condensation will build up in the sack as a result of warm air hitting the cold surface of the malt sack. This is a moisture risk as the water droplets will find a way into the malt.
Finally, malt should be stored in a CLEAN area to prevent attracting unwanted rodents and birds. Malt will naturally attract rodents and birds because it is a food product. Therefore, there needs to be an active pest control and awareness to prevent damage to the malt and food safety issues.
It is unhygienic and the smell of food waste will attract pests to the area. These pests carry harmful germs and diseases that can be passed on to humans and you do not want them to contaminate your malt. They are likely to chew their way through a malt sack if left nearby.
The traps will help you to determine if you have a rodent issue and identify the type of rodent present. These traps will prevent the odd rodent from damaging the malt sacks too. Rodents tend to run along walls, so this would be the best place to set up your traps. If you do have a persistent rodent issue, you should speak to a licensed pest controller to rectify the problem quickly and safely.
Leaving malt grain on the floor is like leaving out a treat for any rodent or bird. Make a point to sweep the floors daily to remove anything that may attract them. Try not to leave any food near or on the malt sacks too. This can attract insects, rodents or birds to the area. Keeping the area clean should help protect the malt from rodent or bird damage.
Storage conditions will vary in different parts of the world, so there isn’t a single-method, generic approach to storing malt sacks. However, keep in mind that malt is durable and is kilned to reach a state where the grain is stable and capable of long-term storage. If the points above are implemented, the malt will be suitable for use up to two years from their date of production.
If you have any questions on storing malt which I haven’t covered, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us on 01328 829391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org If you are interested in buying some of our malt or getting some sample malts in the post then please fill out our contact form.