Cheap and effective ways to store 50lb sacks of grain?

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With all of the recent black friday deals for grain (free shipping, etc) I purchased 4 50-lb sacks of grain (munich, briess, etc). Whats a cheap + good way to store the grain? Vittles Vault Stackable 60lb containers with screw on lids look nice and the screw on lids will keep out insects but they are $50-60 a container. 5 gallon bucks with snap on lids are cheap, but i'm worried they won't keep out insects. Any suggestions?
 

IslandLizard

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I leave them in their original sacks, the opened flap folded over and taped down. They're placed on a sturdy wire rack, in a cool area, a small (spare) bathroom in the lower level, the part that's underground. 62-65F year round.

Smaller bags with other malts (up to 5# each) all together in lidded storage totes, also on that rack.

When storing grain for longer times, just keep an eye out for any bugs (e.g., weevils) or grain moths developing. They sometimes come inside the bags...
 

aceluby

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I store mine in containers I got at Target. I think they were $20 or $30, but I've got varying sizes, 3 for my 50 lbs bags (pale ale, pilsner, munich) and a bunch of other ones for my specialty grains. Helps me stay in stock through numerous brews.
 

grampamark

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I use 2 large totes, 1 27 gal and one 35 gal. They just fit under the post office surplus table I use as a milling station. The smaller one will hold 20 5 pound bags, the larger one 25+. The lids fit tightly, I don’t worry about bugs (of course, as a grain farmer, who knows how the grain has been stored and handled prior to reaching the end user, I don’t worry much about stored grain in general :cool: ).
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seatazzz

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+1 to the 60lb Vittle Vaults; sometimes Costco (or Sam's Club if you dont have Costco) has them as well. Gamma lids, stackable, but can be a bit of a pain to fill. We use them for dry pet food as well since we have a thieving overweight younger dog that has been known to chew through bags.
 

Chorgey

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Currently, I only store grain that is 10 Lbs. or less. These are vacuum sealed and go in those larger styrofoam coolers that you would get from an order of Omaha Steaks
 

tld6008

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Same. I then place them in a 44 gallon garbage can I originally bought as a wine fermenter before deciding it was silly to make a beverage I have to wait 6 years to drink.
Something like this
 

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I just tie up the sack after I have removed what I need from the sack. One way of storage may be vacuum packing using a foodsaver? I reckon that is not really required but if you made a bag big enough to hold 5 kg you would only need 5 bags per sack 😁 😁😁
 

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I use a plain galvanized trash can (~20-30G) that I bought new. It looks like prices are up on those, or I must have found a great deal at the time. The lid seals pretty tightly, my goal was cool, dark, and zero mice.
 

Closet Fermenter

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I purchased a 50lb sack of marris otter last spring. The label said it should be stored at 45°F, which is problematic in the South. My only option to comply was putting the grain in gallon bags, (5 lbs. each) and placing them in an inkbird-controlled freezer. I keep my hpps and yeast in there too.
I just purchased a vacuum sealer and plan to seal up what I have left.

I could be wrong, but I am thinking that the low temperature is to keep the already present bug eggs/larvae from developing.
 
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CascadesBrewer

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I agree that the 60lb Vittles Vault at sale prices are a pretty good solution.

I am using 5 gallon food grade buckets from the big box store with a simple snap on lid. One bucket holds about 25 lbs, so two buckets is not quite enough to hold a full 55 lb sack. With the cheap lid the solution is around $8 per bucket or $16 for a pair of buckets. Many people recommend the Gamma lids, but at around $10 each that would double the overall cost. I store my grains in a temperature controlled lower level where threats from rodents/bugs and heat/humidity is limited.

The ability to stack Vittles Vault looks handy. One benefit of buckets is that they stack together when empty and you can always find a use for an extra bucket around the house if you don't need them for grain storage in the future.
 
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I use a plain galvanized trash can (~20-30G) that I bought new. It looks like prices are up on those, or I must have found a great deal at the time. The lid seals pretty tightly, my goal was cool, dark, and zero mice.
I'm not worried about mice as much as I am tiny creepy crawly insects getting into the grain
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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With all of the recent black friday deals for grain (free shipping, etc) I purchased 4 50-lb sacks of grain (munich, briess, etc). Whats a cheap + good way to store the grain? Vittles Vault Stackable 60lb containers with screw on lids look nice and the screw on lids will keep out insects but they are $50-60 a container. 5 gallon bucks with snap on lids are cheap, but i'm worried they won't keep out insects. Any suggestions?
I purchased these for around $30 early pandemic. Otherwise, stacking 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids is an option, but it would get pricy too. Search for used containers Is a possibility.
 

wallyLOZ

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Another vote for the Vittles Vault. I've got three of the 50lb. bins. Two for base grain and the third for specialty malts and DME. A bit pricey to get started, but they'll outlast me. An option worth considering, IMHO.
 

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Check with your local bakery, donut shop or if your local grocery store has an inhouse bakery. Ask for the 2-3 gallon plastic bins that the ingredients come in. They have lids with gaskets so they seal air tight and keep out the critters. They may give them to you or sell for a reasonalable price.
 

Rish

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creepy crawly insects getting into the grain
Then maybe just put the grain bags inside big, heavy duty garbage/leaf bags and securely tie the bag? Seems a cheaper way to do this than barrels, bins, etc. You could, if you have room, put these one at a time into a freezer for a while to kill any bugs/eggs that might already be in your grain. Good luck!🍻
 

PeckerWood

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Vittle Vaults are great. They have a decent seal in them to keep moisture and critters out. I use them in both breweries that I run.
 

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faithie999

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i have used 5-gallon buckets for 20+ years with no problem. i always used the standard snap-on lids, but a couple of years ago i learned about the Gamma brand screw-on lids which are much easier to use.
 

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Although pricey initially, gamma seal buckets work great. I bought a multi color pack of those lids and mix/match colors for each grain type. Specialties in 1 gallon. I’ll see if I can post picture. I never noticed any critters and some grains have been sealed for two years during pandemic hiatus. Running low on 6 row, MO, Vienna and Golden Promise.
 
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Brooothru

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With all of the recent black friday deals for grain (free shipping, etc) I purchased 4 50-lb sacks of grain (munich, briess, etc). Whats a cheap + good way to store the grain? Vittles Vault Stackable 60lb containers with screw on lids look nice and the screw on lids will keep out insects but they are $50-60 a container. 5 gallon bucks with snap on lids are cheap, but i'm worried they won't keep out insects. Any suggestions?
Ditto what others have said...

I paid no more than $35 each for 3 60# Vittle Vaults a couple of years ago. Best thing ever for bulk grain storage.

You can also get various sizes of buckets from the "big box" hardware stores, along with snap-on threaded collars and gamma lock screw-on lids for a few bucks less. Not as strong or durable, but they seal reasonably well. I prefer the Vittle Vaults.
 

Oleson M.D.

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We store our grain in the original bags from the malting company. They are plastic lined, and great for long term storage. We have never had any issues.
Why spend money on needless buckets or containers?
 

matt_m

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I have Vittle Vaults but last summer I needed more and couldn't find any deals on the Vittle Vaults (it was hard to even find them in stock at the time.) I ended up ordering a 6-pack of these 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids which ended up being $95 delivered with coupon code dontgo10. Turns out I like them more. It takes 2 buckets to hold 50lb but handling a 25lb bucket is a lot easier than handling a 50lb vittle vault. Plus there's more flexibility with not having to dedicate 50lb of storage to one product.
 

Brooothru

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I divide bulk amounts into 5~10# vacuum bags and then store those in the Vittle Vaults. It makes portioning 'predictable'. Specialty grains are in 1~5# bags. I keep a running inventory that really doesn't take much time to maintain, so I know what's in which gamma container and how much on hand when I get ready to brew. No mice, no bugs, no surprises.
 

Bobby_M

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Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but I found the best place to store excess grain is at the local homebrew shop. Yes, I own a shop so you might think this is self serving but hear me out. When I didn't own a shop, I wanted to be the king of my homebrew domain and sourced several sacks of base malt, several pounds each of different specialty grains, storage containers, a mill, etc etc. I was proud of myself for "saving so much money" on bulk grain.

Two problems. Whatever grain is starting to age out, if you are so inclined to track such things, starts steering your brewing decisions. E.g. "if I don't brew a stout next, I'll never use this grain". Then you fight against that constraint and brew what you want only to dump 50 pounds of grain in the garbage.

Not everyone has a decent local shop, but if you do, think of the increase prices of by-the-pound grain purchases a fee you pay them to keep the grain fresh for you.
 

BAF

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I buy sacks of base malts (2-row, MO, and Pilsen), and buy 5-10 pounds of other specialty grains at a time (depending on how much I need/realistically am going to use).

Like others have said, 2 food-grade 5 gallon buckets will easily hold a sack of grain if you wait to open it until you need it. Get the off-brand gamma lids at Home Depot for 9 bucks a pop; much cheaper than online and they seal just perfectly well in my experience. Un-opened sacks I put in large rubber totes. A 27 gallon tote will hold 2 sacks. Then I just pull a sack out when I need to replenish.

I wish I had a good local shop. The closest one to me closed a year or two ago (and was still a decent drive away), and the next closest one is an hour away. I prefer to buy in bulk versus needing to take a couple hour trip to get ingredients. Knock on wood, I haven't noticed any freshness problems; most stuff gets used within a year or so.
 

Bobby_M

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I was not suggesting that bulk buying is bad for everyone's habits but more of a warning that it's not a one size fits all. I felt that it really didn't work out for me.
 

Brooothru

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Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but I found the best place to store excess grain is at the local homebrew shop. Yes, I own a shop so you might think this is self serving but hear me out. When I didn't own a shop, I wanted to be the king of my homebrew domain and sourced several sacks of base malt, several pounds each of different specialty grains, storage containers, a mill, etc etc. I was proud of myself for "saving so much money" on bulk grain.

Two problems. Whatever grain is starting to age out, if you are so inclined to track such things, starts steering your brewing decisions. E.g. "if I don't brew a stout next, I'll never use this grain". Then you fight against that constraint and brew what you want only to dump 50 pounds of grain in the garbage.

Not everyone has a decent local shop, but if you do, think of the increase prices of by-the-pound grain purchases a fee you pay them to keep the grain fresh for you.
All true,Bobby, and I still go to my LHBS for anything less than 10#, as well as make a few impulse buys of “gotta haves” and a wine kit or two. What doesn’t get used in my recipe gets vacuum sealed, inventoried, and put in a Vittle Vault/gamma lid bucket. The only big bags (group buys through local brewery or the LHBS) get ‘portioned out’ in vacuum bags and used for current brew session or stored in the Vittle Vaults.
 

giraffeman

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Good way to store bulk grain is in a extra corny keg. I purge it with CO2 and then fill it with the grain.
its a bit of a pain getting it out but it works Great
 
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