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Whether you’re the experimental arm of some local brewery who invents new blends at home, or simply a home brewer who enjoys the fruits (or hops?) of their own labor, being an at-home beer maker…can get a little messy.

And we’re not just talking about the actual beer process! Beer brewing involves an awful lot of ingredients and supplies that need to be kept around, and it can be difficult to balance the various safety/freshness needs of your products with your need to save space and keep everything tidy.

We’ve got a few tips here for various brewing goods, and how they can be stored most effectively:

 

Ingredient & Supply Storage for Home Brewers

Malt/Malt Extract

Malt can be a fairly temperamental part of the brewing process, requiring ideal conditions to stay fresh and usable.

Most malts need to be kept anywhere between 50 to 70 degrees, and in a fairly dry place to avoid the potential for mold or spoilage. Liquid malts should be kept on rust proof wire shelving in the original container until ready to use, and dry malts should be stored in plastic storage bins, as far as feasible from any direct sources of heat or cold (vents and the like). Try to use the smallest possible container for each of these; as too much extra oxygen can lead to spoilage or ‘skunking’ of the beer. (And we want to avoid that, unless we’re trying to make one of those green-bottle European beers!)

 

Stirring Spoons and Bottle Brushes

There’s an awful lot of small tools that get used in homebrewing, isn’t there? And, like all small tools, they can get easily lost if you’re not careful.

One of our favorite tricks is to use wire shelving hooks built into your shelves to keep them all close at hand. If that’s not a viable solution, using wall hooks and pegboards to keep them right nearby will make the whole process a lot easier!

 

Hops

Hops are fairly sensitive to environmental factors, and sadly are very easy to spoil by mistake as a result.

Different strains of hops will spoil at different times, and a close eye needs to be kept on all of them for safety’s sake. One of the best ways to keep hops safe is to keep them in a freezer – your freezer at home will do the trick if you have space, but if you have access to a larger industrial freezer, walk-in cooler shelving can go a long way towards keeping your hops usable for a longer period of time.

 

Yeast

Yeast, as many of you reading this probably already know, is the part of beer-making that’s most susceptible to changes in temperature, and tends to be a little…fragile as a result.

There’s a lot to balance with yeast – packaged yeast can hang in there for a few years, but as soon as you start to use it all bets are off, and old yeast starts to rapidly lose the amount of healthy, usable cells it contains. Whatever you use to store your yeast – ideally on some sort of sterile metal shelving to prevent spoilage – make sure everything is as sanitized as possible. Yeast can be very quickly affected by unclean surfaces or the presence of germs, and needs to be kept as clean as possible to ensure usability.

The quality of your brews largely depends on the integrity of your ingredients – and with some safer storage, your ingredients can stay fresher for longer!

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