Since my bug infestation mishap a few months ago (see my September 2015 post) I have become more focused on making sure all of my brewing supplies are properly stored. Below you’ll find the basics of homebrew supply storage so that you can get the most out of your Costco-sized bulk purchases and keep your homebrewing ingredients in tip-top condition.
The most important lesson I learned during my bug infestation is that if grain is to be stored for more than a few weeks it MUST be stored in airtight containers away from moisture and at a moderate temperature (less than 90 °F (32 °C) should be ok, but around 75 °F (24 °C) is ideal). This is because most bugs and spoilage organisms thrive in warm, humid temperatures. Here is a picture of two of my new storage containers.
I also keep dry malt extract in one of the airtight containers to keep out sugar-loving insects like ants. According to the malt producer, Briess, base malts should be used within 6 months and highly roasted malts within 18 months of manufacturing, otherwise you may run the risk of decrease freshness and flavor. Briess also suggests that you don’t freeze malt since condensation may build up during the thawing process and promote mold growth....