Over the past few years, homebrewing has become a popular hobby as beer lovers everywhere are trying their hands at creating their own signature brews; in fact, our good friend Rick Armon (who participated with us in the King of Ohio IPA Contest) over at Ohio.com has published some recent research that estimates that there are 1.2 million home brewers in the United States, and that last year there saw a 24% year-over-year increase in sales of beginner homebrew equipment kits.
We were recently approached by a gentleman by the name of Matt Zajechowski from DigitialThirdCoast.net with a great new infograph detailing how to properly store your brand new homebrew supplies like a true brewmaster! The infographic was created by one of Matt’s Clients over at Nextdoorselfstorage.com. Whether you are an budding novice who is about to embark on their first brew day, or you are an resident expert over at my favorite homebrew community /r/homebrewing, this infographic offers helpful tips that anyone can benefit from!
Here are some friendly tips offered by the folks over at NextDoorSelfStorage on how to store your materials:
Malted grain and liquid malted grain should be stored between 50-70 degrees; climate controlled storage is essential to prevent your ingredients from spoiling. Malted grain should be kept in an airtight, dry container that will keep out bugs and mice, which will keep uncrushed grain good for a year, or crushed grain good for 2-3 months.
Liquid malted grain, similarly, should be stored in the can in which it’s sold, following the expiration date on the can. If you open the can, the shelf life of liquid malted grain will be three months, but you can refrigerate the liquid malted grain in the smallest possible container to avoid oxidization, spoilage, contamination- and worst of all, “skunked” beer.
Hops are very delicate, and should be stored away from heat, light, and oxygen, making an air-tight container in the freezer your best bet. Stored carefully this way, hops can last up to a year, thanks to their natural preservative qualities.
Yeast, meanwhile, should be stored in the fridge within the manufacturer’s packaging and according to the manufacturer’s expiration date. If stored in poorly sanitized or damaged plastic containers, some bacterial buildup can lead to over-carbonation and enough pressure to create ‘bottle bombs’.
Even if you aren’t putting your equipment away for a hiatus, you can still improve your home brewing storage to help you focus on brewing crisp, delicious, and drinkable beers. Use hooks or a pegboard to hang small items like stirring spoons, racking canes, and bottle brushes. A file cabinet can be perfect for storing unused bottles, while plastic shelving is ideal for vertically storing larger elements, like fermenters. Compartmentalized toolboxes can be used for smaller items, like bottle caps and airlocks, and dry ingredients (like spices, Irish moss, gypsum, and Burton water salts) should be stored at room temperature in airtight bags.
As with anything else you cook, bake, or brew, the quality of your final product will depend on the integrity of your ingredients, your equipment, and how you store both your ingredients and equipment. By storing your ingredients and equipment according to best practices, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy your own delicious home-brewed beer.
So, fellow homebrewers, is this infographic spot on, or way off base? Did you find this infographic helpful? If so, please let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share this post with your homebrew buddies. Always remember to Keep Calm and Drink a Homebrew, and best of luck on your next brew day! Cheers!