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Rubber seal on underside of lid.

Gamma Lid

Storing Grains or Flour                                                        Education - Storage

Grains such as wheat (red, white, Kamut®, spelt, einkorn, emmer), quinoa, amaranth, millet and other grains all store very well for long periods of time.  If stored properly, the grains will last for years.

Rotate your Grains/Flour

I always encourage people to use and rotate the grains or flour they purchase.  Rotating the grains ensures that -

1.  The grains/flour don't sit for too long.

2.  The grains/flour are used as soon as possible.

3.  When used, the grains/flour are still as fresh as possible.

First in, First out - Grains will store for years, flour will store for months, but you should still plan on using them on a regular basis.  When storing your grains for flour, label and date the package or pail so that you always know to use the oldest grain or flour first.  

How to Store

Small packages - If you purchase grains or flour in smaller packages, such as 1 - 5lb bags, you will probably be using them long before they would go bad.  If using smaller packages within weeks or just a few months, keep the grains or flour in a food grade container in a cool cupboard.  

Bulk Storage - When it comes to bulk storage where you would be storing larger amounts of grains over longer periods of time, the answers to the questions below are important.


Can I leave the grains in the original paper, poly or plastic bags?

Leaving grains in paper or plastic bags is not recommended.  Paper or plastic can be punctured or tear and can wear out over time.  Transferring the grain to a sturdy food-grade pail would be a much better choice.

Should I use a plastic, food-grade pail?  What size is best?

Yes - in almost every case, if you are storing larger amounts of grain, food-grade pails are ideal and can be purchased at most hardware or preparedness stores (be sure the pail shows "food grade" somewhere on the bucket).  Pail size depends on the amount of grain you need to store. 

This link here from USA Emergency Supply is a great resource regarding how much grains will fit into different sized pails.

What about rubber sealed lids?  Why are these important?

When storing grains long-term in food-grade pails, always use rubber-sealed lids.  The rubber seal assures an air-tight seal (for the most part) and will also keep unwanted critters out of the pail.

What are gamma lids?  Why are these lids so convenient?

Gamma lids are one of the most convenient toppers for your food-grade pail.  These lids keep a tight fit on the pail, and at the same time, provide quick access to the pails contents without having to pry the lid off each time you need access to the grains.

When you need a tight fit on the pail, screw the gamma lid on.  When you need access to the grain in the pail, screw the gamma lid off.  So convenient. 

Should I use oxygen packets?  Do oxygen packets absorb all the oxygen once the pail is sealed?

If you are storing grains in food-grade pails for long periods of time (months/years), oxygen packets will help prolong freshness.  Most food-grade pails are not oxygen proof, which means that oxygen packets will not be useful long-term unless you also use mylar bags in the pails to prevent oxygen from moving in and out of the container.  

Do I need to use mylar bags?  How do these bags help protect the grains?

If you are storing grains in food-grade pails for long periods of time (months/years), mylar bags will help prolong freshness by blocking light and helping to create a tight, cozy environment for the grains.

 

Mylar bags must be sealed, which takes another step in preparing the grains for storage. Oxygen packets are optional when using mylar bags, but when used together, mylar bags and oxygen packets create an air-tight environment for your grains. 

 

Where to Store

When storing grains, it's always best to store them in a cool, clean, dry, dark environment.  Find a storage room, space under the stairs, a crawl space - somewhere cool and dry where the grains will store well and keep until you need to use them.

Light, moisture, humidity and heat will all affect grains and long-term storage in a negative way. Minimize these issues as much as possible.  If you have a designated space that will keep the environment cool, dry and constant, that's what you're looking for.