Storing Grains in 5 Gallon Buckets

Back in the 1960’s we used to pack our wheat and other grains in 5 gallon square metal cans with good tight fitting lids.  A little dry ice in the bottom and they were well protected against insects and other vermin.  Recently a friend of mine opened a can that they inherited that was dated as packed in the nineteen thirties.  The wheat was in good shape, they used it without any problems.  Most of the wheat packed during this era was just dumped in the can and the lid sealed.  As long as it was low moisture (below 12%) hard red winter wheat, it stored well.  The metal cans were impervious to oxygen.

In the seventies and eighties the plastic five gallon bucket became readily available.  People assumed that they could treat them the same as a metal can.  The difference is that the plastic bucket is permeable to oxygen.  A lot of wheat and other grains were stored in them.  While this grain is still quite usable, it has lost a lot of its nutritional value.  The reason is that grain was exposed to oxygen.  People also discovered that you have to be careful where you store the plastic buckets.  They will absorb odors from chemicals, oil or gasoline stored in their vicinity.  Rats have been known to chew into the buckets.

Now we have the oxygen absorber, used in conjunction with mylar bags and a plastic bucket, we have a much improved method of storing grains.  Use a five or six gallon food grade bucket with a mylar bag for a liner and place a 2000cc oxygen in the bag with the grain.  Seal the mylar bag and put the lid on the bucket.  Label and date the bucket and it should be ready for storage.

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When you are deciding where to store the buckets, consider the following.  It is best not to store them directly on concrete.  Keep them in area that is free of rats and other rodents. The best temperature for storage is between 40 – 60 degrees.  Following these guidelines will protect your grains and give you the most nutritional value.


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3 thoughts on “Storing Grains in 5 Gallon Buckets”

  1. It has been my experience that storing buckets off the ground (I use a 1X4 under them) allows not only air to flow around them keeping the temperatures even, it helps in preventing the plastic from becoming brittle from the change of temperatures in the concrete. I also find that it prevents moisture should one not use mylar inside the bucket

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