Basics of Storing Grains
by Scott C.S
Ok my question is two-fold:
First, with so many varieties of grain, which exact "types" or species of grains are most advantageous to long term storage? Also can someone give several specific names as well as a short description of characteristics, (Taste, shelf-life, cost, availability)?
Secondly, being new to survival prepping, where specifically can bulk grains for human consumption be found? When I search for these grains I'm not sure if they are being sold for livestock, birdseed or for other purposes. Or are they all basically edible? Is there a warning or label on the packages I should be looking for to help identify animal feed from regular edible grain?
Thanks for any and all suggestions!
Scott S. - Aurora, Illinois
Thanks for asking these important questions, Scott. You're not alone in wondering about grains.
First, there are many types of grains. The kind you store should be what you and your family will like and eat. Most people begin with wheat, of which there are at least four main types: hard red winter wheat, hard white winter wheat, soft white wheat, and spring wheat. (Read more about different grains on my site here: Storing Grains).
The hard winter wheat varieties have the longest shelf life of 30+ years. The hard winter wheats are high in protein and are best for breads, rolls, pizza dough, etc.
The soft white wheat is lower in protein, has a milder taste, and is best for cakes, pies, pastries, etc.
As for where to buy grains for human consumption, you would be safe to buy it anywhere that sells food for humans, which means don't buy it from an animal feed store. My favorite supplier is Honeyville Food & Grains. I also have bought grains from Sam's Club, Costco, Whole Foods, Nitro-Pak, Emergency Essentials, and The Ready Store. (The last three are specifically emergency preparedness suppliers and are 3 of my sponsors. I buy most of my supplies from these three. Shipping is either free or minimal.)
Long Term Grain Storage
- What are the best grains to store for the long term?
- If stored in Mylar bags, can the Mylar bags of grain be stored in steel 55 gallon drums?
- What is a good hand crank grain mill that isn't that expensive?
How to Store Grains
6 Gallon Buckets for Storing Grains
I'm new to all of this so what I want to know: I will purchase large amounts of grain. Have buckets - how does one break it down? Baggies, tin cans, canning jars, food storage with sealer? This is so confusing. I understand that there are packets to place in buckets for moisture. Should you mix what is in the bucket so you only have to open 1 bucket instead of 3? Say wheat, flour, sugar, dried egg/ milk. Or should they each type have a separate bucket. I have canning jars.
Thank you for asking these questions, Ruth. You can store these items any way you like - the important points being properly sealed, using oxygen absorbers, and keeping them in a cool place.
In my opinion, however, the food products you are planning to store would be best stored one product to a bucket. I realize you are concerned about opening the bucket to use the food and possible spoilage before the bucket is emptied. It's a valid concern, but most dried food products will last a long time even sitting in your cupboard until used up. Flour would be the biggest concern.
Here are some options:
1. Store in large buckets using the Gamma Seal twist on/off lids. They twist right off. This makes them perfect for rotating your food supplies - just snap the adapter ring on and twist - and they're re-sealed. (See them on this page Food Storage Containers in the right-hand column.)
2. Buy the products in #10 cans (see the photos above). That way you only have to open one small can at a time.
3. You could put the products in bags that can be vacuum sealed, then fill buckets with the type of food you want. You would not need oxygen absorbers in the bucket in this case.
I'm not sure you should use canning jars for dry goods as there is not a good way, without heating, to seal the lids. Heat is the enemy of dried goods. They're best used for fruits and vegetables and some meats using regular canning methods.
I hope I've answered your questions satisfactorily. If not, feel free to write again and let me know what I didn't cover for you.
Where can I buy grains for long term storage?
by Linda Bergstrom
What and where do I buy grains? What is the best way to store those grains long term?
Can I freeze my long term storage grains after...
Can I freeze my long term storage grains after I have sealed them in Mylar bags and bucketed them? I had a friend over who helped me seal up my grains and beans and I did not get to freeze them first (temps never went down low enough this year, yet). I know I should have waited to do so, but I am hoping I can put the 6 gal buckets out to freeze once winter temps arrive.
Also, I sealed up some oatmeal that I did have stored in my freezer, but I did not allow a warm up time before sealing (since we were on a roll and had one extra bucket and Mylar).
Will my oats go bad due to condensation after bringing them into the warm air--since I sealed them up fairly shortly after? I am not sure if there was any condensation inside the Mylar bag after sealing up the oats, but after I sealed them and placed them into the bucket I noticed there was condensation on the outside of the bucket. I did use 2 of the 2000 oxypackets in each bucket. I hope I did not need to redo all the grains and beans again---which would require all new Mylar bags and oxy packets. Thanks for your answer!
There is no need to freeze any grains, beans, or oats before sealing them up in Mylar bags and buckets and not after either.
As for the oats that were frozen, the condensation on the outside of your buckets is from the frozen moisture melting that was already present in and around the oats. Freezing does not ADD moisture, it just freezes what is already there. If you live in a dry climate, you will have less moisture in everything than if you live in a moist climate. If you do live in a humid climate, I advise you to use desiccant moisture absorbers in your long term storage along with the O2 absorbers.
So, not knowing how humid it is where you live, I can't say for sure if there is enough moisture inside your buckets to cause mold in the oats.
As for O2 absorbers, you may not need two 2000 packets in one 6-gallon bucket. If you are at sea level to about 4,000 ft. elevation, you would need 3-4 500cc oxygen absorbers, and 2-3 for 4,000 ft. to 7,000 ft. elevations.
Because most oxygen absorbers are significantly over rated for their absorbing capacity, I only use two 500cc absorbers in our food buckets as they will absorb more than twice their rated capacity. However, it is NOT HARMFUL if you use more than what is required.