In a lot of recipes I have read, there is an emphasis on the freshness of the malt and hops. If I am buying online or in my homebrew store, how do I determine the freshness of what I am buying?
Are there some maltsters that are better than others?
Or is there a "born on" date on the malt? If so, what is a good length of time?
Is it the time from when the grain was harvested? or the time from when it was malted?
So: how can I make sure I am getting the freshest ingredients?