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Building An Ingredient Library, Part 2

In the second of his two-part series, Josh Weikert focuses on both what to store your ingredients in and where to put the things in which you put the things.

Josh Weikert May 7, 2017 - 7 min read

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One of the unoriginal truisms of my life is this: the hard part is figuring out what you want. Once you know that, actually getting what you want can be surprisingly easy. In this case, the hard part isn’t so much figuring out what you’ll brew with and where to procure it, but what the heck to do with the huge sacks of base malt and innumerable one-pound bags of specialty malts that are about to invade your home brewery. Where are you going to store all of this stuff? In this second part of “Building an Ingredient Library,” we focus on exactly this part of the equation, and we’ll cover both what to store in and where to put the things in which you put the things.

The Big Idea

Without a doubt, the biggest (pun intended) question is what to do with all of that base malt. If you follow my suggestions in Part 1, you’ll have three sacks (or about 165 pounds/75 kg) of it, and that’s no laughing matter. Not stored properly it can get damp and mealy, attract vermin and bugs, and waste your money (which defeats one key purpose here). You have two solid options here, so you can choose the one that works best for you, but they both operate on the same principle: you need large vessels with screw-down gasketed lids. These are often referred to generically as “Gamma Seal” lids, but that’s actually a trademark of US Plastic. It doesn’t need to be exactly that brand (though they’re great). The important part is that you have more than just a tension seal on your bucket or container, because that’s insufficient to keep out the air and moisture that can compromise your grains.

Now, as for those two options of yours, you need to decide what you’re more comfortable with: dog food or paint.

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