Storing Your Own Bulk Grains: Tips & Tools
While I was processing about 500 lbs of grains in my food storage the other day, I thought it would be beneficial to document the process. These bulk whole grain storage techniques can be used for all sorts of dry goods.
First – the basics. I’m using the following materials:
- sealed mylar bag
- oxygen absorbers
- food grade plastic bucket
- some baseboard trim
The mylar bag does the job of protecting the grain, the oxygen absorbers help to preserve the grain and prevent bugs from eating it all, while the bucket protects the bag from the environment. Mylar bags are very strong by themselves, but are easily punctured. I’m also using gasket lids.
1. So, first, get some grain. Here is 100 lbs of Hard Red Wheat, which is high in protein and great for bread. I found mine from a local co-operative.
2. Second, find some food grade pails, lids, and mylar bags. Food grade pails are plentiful at beekeeping supply stores or even ice cream shops. The mylar bags are 20X30 inches. They are great grain bag storage containers.
3. Next, fill the bag inside the bucket. Vibrate the bucket by hitting it against the floor a few times to make sure the grain is settled. By volume, a 5 gallon pail will hold 80 cups, and in wheat, with a bag, that translates to about 27 lbs.
Here, I’m topping up 2 buckets of corn.
4. Oxygen absorbers, come in many sizes. These are 300 CC each, and I’m putting 3 or 4 per bucket. Be sure to keep them sealed up and only expose them to air when you are about to use them. I’m using a mason jar with a sealer lid to keep them while I am processing.
5. I used a piece of trim I had laying around and after making sure the bag is more or less straight in the bucket, I fold the bag flat over the wood.
6. A regular clothing iron on the hottest setting does a great job of sealing the mylar with a medium speed pass. I leave 10% of the seam open at this point.
7. Next, I fold the bag into the bucket and press down to remove as much air as possible.
8. Then I use the iron to seal up the remaining seam.
9. A small note goes inside the bucket listing the contents in case the outer labeling is damaged or erased.
10. Pre-label the lids, and use a rubber mallet to seal the gasket lid in place.
11. FINAL PRODUCT…Here on the floor and shelf to the side are 500 lbs of wheat, 50 lbs of corn, 25 lbs of red lentils, 200 lbs of sugar, 100 lbs of rice. It all fits on a few sections of ikea shelving.
Thanks to Dean from Calgary, Alberta for this information about bulk grain storage.