How to Store Malt

Malt, like any other food grain, that requires care and attention to store. A lot of stores are selling 2019 batches of old and improperly stored malted wheat, 2 R Barley and Pilsner. Hence we thought about informing the patrons on how to make the best malt selection.

Pest & Weevils in Malt

Pests:

Weevils, Saw-Tooth Grain Beetle, Indian Meal Moth and Confused Flour Beetle frequently destroy the malted grains. The best way to prevent them is to control temperature and humidity.

  1. Store malts in airtight containers and away from ground of walls from where they can pick up moisture.
  2. Use Diatomaceous earth & fining agents and dried neem leaves at the base of your grain and on top. It will keep the moisture low and retard pest activity (without introducing pesticides in your food)
  3. Make frequent inspections to your grain silos for any abnormalities. Watch out for Live or dead bugs on pallets or products. Be careful about flying insects in the storage area. They can drop off larvae.
  4. Webbing or fuzzy masses (possibly eggs) nestled in cracks or on a product is usually an indication of high moisture, mold, and an early warning for malt getting spoiled.
  5. Larvae (caterpillars) on sides of products or bags is a warning of pest infestation.
  6. Spilled grain around containers or bags is a sign of rodent presence and should be dealt with immediately. Rats droppings are toxic and can render your product inedible.
  7. Coarse sawdust is a sign that the pest has eaten your grains and left with husks (hulls)
pest in craft malt

Temperature Control

High temperature, sunlight and exposure to humidity can ruin the craft malted grains real fast. It is recommended to store the malted grains at 20 Degrees Celsius or lesser. Freezing the grains is a bad idea because:

  1. When you take it out of the freezer, there will be condensation on the grains. This condensation will make the malt sticky and difficult to mill in a milling machine
  2. Freezing dehydrates the grains and make it more friable.

French Press Test

Craft malt is like coffee. If you are paying a premium for your ingredients, you deserve the freshest aroma. If you want to witness the freshest aromas of your malt, then use a french press

french press for malt

Grind about 25-50gm of your malt (you can use a combination of different craft malt as well) into coarse grits (not fine powder). Pour some 200ml of hot water (70 degree Celsius) in the french press. After about 15 minutes push the plunger down and smell the wort. This is a much faster and compact way to judge the color and aromas of your specialty malt.

For your base malt, the moisture content is more important. For this we recommend you to bite down a few grains into half. Damp grains are soft, while too dry grains would be brittle (friable). 3-5% moisture is ideal for most home brew applications.

Note: You can buy pre-milled grains from your home brew store. However you can see that if you hold them for more than a few weeks, their aromas will diminish. Hence we recommend you to freshly mill your grains.

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HOW TO STORE YOUR MALTED GRAINS/FUNGUS IN MALT
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