From brewing various recipes, mostly using steeping, I've ended up having several bags of opened, only partially used malts, almost all of which are past their best before date.

Some are crushed, some are not, some are specialty, some are base. The oldest has a best before date in November 2019, the newest in November 2020.

I googled and found a couple of forum threads on this topic and it seemed like the worse that can happen is that any beer made with stale grains will be less flavourful, but I thought I'd get another opinion here.

My main question is, is there any danger in using these grains?

2 Answers 2


There is certainly no danger in using them. If you have kept them dry, the worst thing that could have happened is that their enzymatic activity (certainly of the crushed ones) has diminished or disappeared. So if you want to use them, add some percentage of pilsner or lager base malt.

Castle Maltings or Dingemans specify a maximum of three years for keeping uncrushed malts and 3 months for crushed malts. But, just treat the crushed malts like flour. They will still yield their sugars, starches and proteins.

  • I have used 2 years old two-row malt with no problem, however I always use fresh speciality malts.
    – Philippe
    May 4, 2021 at 18:20

As you found in Google there is no danger from using these older grains. There could however be quite a lot of disappointment with the taste when the brew is ready. Also, you have to consider the time wasted. My advice would be to try and use any grains as quickly as possible and when buying just buy what you need.

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