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F O O D VS. F E E D GRADE GRADE

GRAINS WRITTEN BY JAMES BECK

S

GRADE

MINIMUM TEST WEIGHT PER BUSHEL (LBS)

U.S. NO. 1

56.0

U.S. NO. 2

54.0

U.S. NO. 3

52.0

U.S. NO. 4

49.0

U.S. NO. 5

46.0

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1. You know that you are starting off with

calls from someone offering a screaming deal on grain or flour. Oftentimes this will a higher starch and sugar content mean a No. 2 grade or worse which is the which will result in the best alcohol same quality that the local feed mill can yields. offer you. Since feed is their primary goal 2. You no longer have to worry about they can purchase a lower quality grain and other grains, sticks, stones, or brokens grind it up to stay competitive in the feed affecting your distilling process. market. 3. Choosing a USDA No. 1 grade grain When you purchase from a feed supplier, lowers the possibility of insects you need to consider what else they may infecting your distillery and grain. grind in the mill used to create your flour. Would you want your customer to find out Many distilleries have received phone that your vodka or bourbon flour came from a mill that also makes MAXIMUM LIMITS OF: blood meal or fish meal? Next, you want to find out if the DAMAGED KERNELS BROKEN CORN grain you want to purchase has AND FOREIGN HEAT DAMAGED been tested for mycotoxins. Asking AL (%) MATERI TOTAL (%) KERNELS (%) that question alone will show you 2.0 are more educated and informed, 3.0 0.1 and they will not likely offer you 3.0 5.0 0.2 that “fire sale” deal. The two 4.0 most common toxins are aflatoxin 7.0 0.5 and vomitoxin, and in 1988 the 5.0 10.0 1.0 IARC placed aflatoxin B1 on the 7.0 list of known human carcinogens, 15.0 3.0

ourcing quality grains is one of the most important decisions that a head distiller makes. What makes one grain supply better than another? One differentiator is food grade vs feed grade. The USDA has created requirements to help the buyers and sellers of grain decide what quality of grain they are actually purchasing or selling, and distillers should start their search here. The USDA has a basic grading scale which is easy to follow. A distiller should be looking for a U.S. No. 1 grade grain for a few reasons.

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Artisan Spirit: Summer 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Summer 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.