STORING GRAINS & FLOUR
Grains such as wheat (red, white, Kamut® (Khorasan), spelt, einkorn, emmer), quinoa, amaranth, and millet all store very well for long periods of time. If stored properly, these grains will last for years.
Rotate your grains/flour - "First in, first out"
We always encourage customers to rotate their grains and flour. This is especially helpful when purchasing large quantities. Rotating your products ensures that the oldest grain or flour is used first, preventing it from going stale before you've had a chance to use it.
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 products, label and date the container, and use the oldest grain or flour first.
How to store
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.
Where to Store
When storing grains, it's always best to keep them in a cool, clean, dry, and dark environment. Light, moisture, humidity and heat will all affect grains and long-term storage in a negative way. To minimize these issues as much as possible, use a storage room, a space under the stairs, or a pantry - all are good options.
When it comes to storing large quantities of grain and flour, the answers to the following questions are important:
Can I leave the grains in the original paper, poly, or plastic bags?
Leaving grains in their original bags is not recommended. Paper and plastic can be punctured or torn, and wear out over time. Transferring the grain to a sturdy food-grade bucket is the best choice.
What kind of container should I use?
In almost every case, storing larger amounts of grain in plastic food-grade pails is ideal. These pails can be purchased at most hardware or preparedness stores (be sure the phrase "food grade" is listed somewhere on the bucket).
Industrial Container is a good resource for purchasing quality food-grade buckets and lids.
If you'd like an easy guide to follow for how much grain will store in different sized buckets, click here.
Are rubber sealed lids important?
When storing grains long-term in food-grade pails, always use rubber-sealed lids. The rubber seal assures an air-tight fit and will keep unwanted critters out of your grain. We like a lid that does its job while also being convenient - here's a link to our favorite version, called a Gamma lid.
Should I use oxygen packets? Do oxygen packets absorb all the oxygen once the pail is sealed?
If you are storing grains for long periods of time (months/years), oxygen packets can help prolong freshness. However, most food-grade containers are not oxygen proof, which means that oxygen packets will not be useful long-term on their own.
Do I need to use Mylar bags? How do they help protect the grains?
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 in order to be effective, which adds 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, leading to a greater shelf life.