Ask Mr. Wizard

Bugs in grains


Ernest Wakukawa • Kahaluu (Oahu), Hawaii asks,

I have many back issues and couldn’t recall an article specific to my inquiry — it has to do with finding creepy crawly bugs in the grains! I was getting ready to brew one day when I discovered bugs slowly crawling out of a batch of wheat that I had just purchased. Luckily for me, I don’t grind my grains at the brew shop, but at home. I didn’t notice the bugs until a few days later when I was about to crush. What would have happened if I had ground the grains with the bugs in it and had them processed in my wort? I bring my grains up to 160 ºF (71 ºC) to steep, but not to a boil. I boil my hops in a totally separate “hop boil.” Would the steeping process at 160 ºF neutralize any live bug contamination?


: I am not entirely clear on your brewing process and will get to those pesky bugs in a moment. I am going to assume that you are an extract brewer using
Response by Ashton Lewis.