Storing Malt

We fielded lots of questions about the proper storage of malt at the 2010 National Homebrew Conference in Minneapolis (June 17-19, 2010). This sounds like a topic for discussion. Please review these basic storage recommendations before replying with your question:

Malt: Store in a temperate, low humidity, pest free environment at temperatures of <90 ºF.  Improperly stored malts are prone to loss of freshness and flavor. Whole Kernel Diastatic and Preground Malts are best when used within 6 months from date of manufacture. Whole Kernel Roasted Malts may begin experiencing a slight flavor loss after 18 months.

Keep in mind that moisture is dry malt’s worst enemy. Always store bags of malt in low humidity, or store and seal them in plastic bags if you live in a humid climate. Freezing dry malt will not harm the kernels, but we do not recommend it due mainly to condensation forming after it thaws. Malt that undergoes freeze/dry cycles will actually decrease in moisture. In addition, we do not recommend storing malt outdoors, even in moisture resistant containers.

Treat your malt with TLC and you’ll greatly extend its shelf life.  Deeply roasted malts have extremely long shelf lives when properly stored.

LME (liquid malt extract): Store at temperatures <90º F. Best if used within 24 months from date of manufacture. Light-colored LME naturally darkens with age. Storing in a cool, dark location helps to minimize this effect.

DME (dry malt extract): Store in a cool, dry location. Unopened bags best if used within 24 months from date of manufacture. Product is hygroscopic. Storing opened bags is not recommended.

Additional handling and storage procedures can be found on the Briess website at:

Dry Grain Ingredients
Liquid Extracts & Syrups

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