Malt & Grain Questions

Malt & Grain Questions
  • How long can I keep grain and extract? About a year as long you store it properly. Keep it sealed. Keep it dry. Like any food item air and water lead to spoilage. If the grain has been milled you’ll want to use sooner.
  • What is Malt Extract? It is a type of sugar that has been extracted from barley. This sugar will then be converted into alcohol by the yeast. It come as either a powder (DME) or syrup (LME) and is available in light, amber, dark and a few specialty grains like wheat and rye.
  • Which is better, liquid or dry malt extract? They are the same. Some people have a preference but they do the exact thing. DME has been completely dehydrated while LME still has a little water content. This is why you’ll see DME in 3 lb units and LME in 3.3 lb units – that 0.3 lbs is the water.
  • Can I make beer using only extract? Certainly. If you want a quick and simple beer an all extract brew is easy. However, adding even a small amount of actual grain (partial mash) can greatly improve the flavor without adding much more work.
  • When and how much should I crush my grains? Once the grain is crushed you’ll want to use it within a few months. You don’t want to mill the grain into flour, you just need to crack the husks a bit so water can penetrate and allow for sugar conversion. The level of crush is only crucial in all-grain brewing. For partial mash the grain is more for flavor than fermentable sugar so a light cracking is fine.
  • Can I do anything with the grain when I’m done brewing? There are lots of uses for spent brewing grain. You can compost it. You can bake it into bread or use it for granola. If you know someone with a farm its great feed for livestock.
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