Amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants, breweries are currently experiencing either a total shutdown or vastly downscaled production levels. This is likely to remain the case throughout this period and for as long as public movement is restricted.
As a result, many breweries will be storing malt for longer than usual and storage conditions for your malt in this time – just like always – is very important.
Malt can be damaged in storage from infestation by moulds, insects and mites, and aged by oxidisation. So, in order to maintain the integrity of our product in your beers, we recommend that you adhere to these guidelines.
Malt Storage Guidelines
- Ideally, keep the temperature below 15°C. This is because the potential for insects to live in the grain is higher if the temperature is above this. If the temperature can’t be kept below 15°C, take extra care to make sure it is kept dry. If malt gets wet, it can turn mouldy, increase in temperature and insects can thrive.
- Keep the humidity low as malt is hygroscopic, meaning it will rise in moisture over time.
- Keep bags sealed and do NOT leave open to the atmosphere.
- Do NOT store bags against walls or directly on the floor. This blocks air movement and will potentially lead to moisture increasing.
- Do NOT store pallets/bags in direct sunlight. This will cause the malt to increase in temperature.
- Do NOT store your pallets/bags high up in the brewery on a mezzanine floor. This is where all the steam from the brewing process is directed and could lead to the malt increasing in temperature and moisture.
- Do NOT store pallets/bags in areas where there is potential for large temperature swings. This can lead to condensation forming on the bags.
- Do NOT store pallets/bags next to machinery that releases chemical fumes as malt will absorb these odours.
If the correct conditions for storing malt are maintained, whole grain will last up to a year from their production date, while pre-crushed will keep for six months. All Best Before dates are clearly listed on our bags.
For those of you who have malt silos, the product can keep for a year. However, you need to regularly monitor the moisture and temperature (below 15°C) to ensure that the quality of the malt is maintained.
We wish all of our brewing customers the very best during these difficult times and hope you get back to something of a normal brewing routine as soon as it is safe to do so.
More from Simpsons Malt
- An Introduction to UK Barley and how it is grown
- How is Crystal Malt made?
- Why does UK Barley make such good Malt?