Dry storage for grain

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Belgian Samurai

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Hi,

I've been reading a lot of stuff on buying grain in 50lbs allotments. The issue I'm dealing with is humid climate and a damp basement floor if it rains really hard for a day or two. Obviously, I would need an air tight container to store the grains, but what about food grade bags (Like these) inside a new plastic outdoor trash can (Like this) and store that in the basement?

Thanks!
 

cmac62

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Hi,

I've been reading a lot of stuff on buying grain in 50lbs allotments. The issue I'm dealing with is humid climate and a damp basement floor if it rains really hard for a day or two. Obviously, I would need an air tight container to store the grains, but what about food grade bags (Like these) inside a new plastic outdoor trash can (Like this) and store that in the basement?

Thanks!
I don't have the humidity issues, but I use Vittle vaults https://www.amazon.com/Vittles-Vaul...keywords=vittles+vault&qid=1617909764&sr=8-10 for my large grain storage, and smaller containers for anything less than a full sack.
 
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Belgian Samurai

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I don't have the humidity issues, but I use Vittle vaults https://www.amazon.com/Vittles-Vault-Stackable-Airtight-Container/dp/B0002H3S5U grain storage, and smaller containers for anything less than a full sack.
I saw those. They're really nice looking and also too expensive for me.
I live in South Florida and store my grain in a hot humid garage.

I have good luck with 5 gallon buckets and gamma lids.
I like this approach. I see those are $10 per lid. I would still use the plastic food bags to keep the basement smell out.

EDIT: Then again, maybe that isn't necessary...?
 
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I saw those. They're really nice looking and also too expensive for me.

I like this approach. I see those are $10 per lid. I would still use the plastic food bags to keep the basement smell out.

EDIT: Then again, maybe that isn't necessary...?
Mice and rats WILL find that grain eventually. Weevils too, and they can get through the zipper on a ziplock bag.

It'll take several buckets to store a full bag of grain. If you do buy the lids, you're spending nearly the cost of the vittles vault.

If you want to store 50# of grain, I suggest the Vittles Vault. If it is too expensive, save until you have the money. I use them and they will hold a full 55# bag of grain (european bags are 55). I also have a bunch of the white buckets with the gamma lids, so I do know how much they all hold.

BTW, this is the vittles vault I'd buy (vertical one). They stack. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002DJOOI/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_NW72BWQHBRZT9C9RV3NE

1617925332810.png
 

Nate R

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@Belgian Samurai where are you? Usa? Costco will have the 50# size (like above, but they stack on their sides) on sale for like $26.
Also, amazon will run specials, which amounts to, also, $26. (Often they will be con-current... hmmmm)
Or look at pet supply stores and maybe used?
You cannot beat these things... worth every penny.
Buy once, cry once.
If you buy a vault for even $50 and a bulk sack of grain... you might break even vs. buying grain by the pound. Seriously.
Then once you buy a 2nd sack, the cost goes down... etc. Etc.
 

madscientist451

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I saw those. They're really nice looking and also too expensive for me.
I get buckets at a local bakery for $1. Sometimes the grain is in ziplocks in the buckets, sometimes not. Cheap buckets are fine, gamma lids are nice, but you don't absolutely need them.
 

Nate R

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I get buckets at a local bakery for $1. Sometimes the grain is in ziplocks in the buckets, sometimes not. Cheap buckets are fine, gamma lids are nice, but you don't absolutely need them.
Agree... but i think the OP has issues:

The issue I'm dealing with is humid climate and a damp basement floor if it rains really hard for a day or two.
 
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Belgian Samurai

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Wow, thanks for all of that great information, everyone! I'll look into all of that. :)
 

AzOr

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Go to your nearest large grocery store and ask at the bakery for their plastic buckets. Sometimes they have the standard 5 gallon buckets, sometimes they’ll have smaller 2ish gallon buckets. They always come with lids.
I believe it’s what their frosting comes in. They work great. I use them occasionally for grain and wood pellets.
 

AzOr

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Go to your nearest large grocery store and ask at the bakery for their plastic buckets. Sometimes they have the standard 5 gallon buckets, sometimes they’ll have smaller 2ish gallon buckets. They always come with lids.
I believe it’s what their frosting comes in. They work great. I use them occasionally for grain and wood pellets.
I forgot to mention that when you do get them, soak them in an oxi wash for a day or two. They’ll be like new after.
They are always more than happy to give them away. They just throw them in their compactor anyway.
 
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Belgian Samurai

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I wanna have a grain storage setup ( 50-second youtube video ) like DrHanz when I grow up. Haha But seriously, that is pretty cool. I've recently found his YouTube channel and am learning new stuff all the time.
 
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I wanna have a grain storage setup ( 50-second youtube video ) like DrHanz when I grow up. Haha But seriously, that is pretty cool. I've recently found his YouTube channel and am learning new stuff all the time.
This is my old grain closet. It was awesome. I was brewing all the colors of the rainbow back then and had every grain. But then there was the chinese Year of the Weevil, and the spousal unit tracked the root cause to my closet.

1617980371598.png
 

firerat

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This is my old grain closet. It was awesome. I was brewing all the colors of the rainbow back then and had every grain. But then there was the chinese Year of the Weevil, and the spousal unit tracked the root cause to my closet.

View attachment 725150
Good lord!!

Yeah the vittle vaults would be the better route. I use buckets because I have like 100 and had a bunch of gamma lids already from being a weirdo prepper type.

I have a bunch of these too. They hold 5# each.


2 buckets will hold a full sack of grain.
 

renstyle

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For my bulk grain nabbed some homer buckets and 2 different types of Leaktite lid.

Homer Bucket: $3.78
5gal Homer Leakproof lid: $1.78
or
5gal Reusable lid: $1.78

Each bucket holds ~25lb, so need a pair.

50lb storage for $11.12, which is $11.90 incl 7% tax we have here.

These are also stackable, tho not as svelte and as easy on the eyes as the vittles containers. ;-)
 

renstyle

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I've also asked all of my family members to send me their vintage tupperware containers like these:

x-retro-vintage-tupperware-orange_360_882832a36379043b38cc43791d675e4a.jpg


Some are olive green, some yellow, some mauve, and many orange. They've been keeping lord knows what safe and dry for decades, and do well for sub-10# quantities.

They also stack nicely. :D
 

renstyle

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I wanna have a grain storage setup ( 50-second youtube video ) like DrHanz when I grow up. Haha But seriously, that is pretty cool. I've recently found his YouTube channel and am learning new stuff all the time.
I've never used a Fermentasaurus, but if you have a few lying around that's a FANTASTIC way to re-purpose old fermenters when they've had their time!
 

Nate R

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I've never used a Fermentasaurus, but if you have a few lying around that's a FANTASTIC way to re-purpose old fermenters when they've had their time!
... and i was hoping he would then use a pressure kit to purge the oxygen!! I am sure some lodo folks must do this, right?!?!
(I think sierra nevada uses co2 to blow grain out of railcars... i heard this here from a poster, so i may be wrong.)
 

renstyle

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... and i was hoping he would then use a pressure kit to purge the oxygen!! I am sure some lodo folks must do this, right?!?!
(I think sierra nevada uses co2 to blow grain out of railcars... i heard this here from a poster, so i may be wrong.)
Some of those Fermentasaurus "grain bins" would make a CO2 purge possible for the majority of the O2 amongst the grain. You'll never get it to zero as the grains will carry a few ppm of O2 into the kettle regardless, but it's nice to know the option is available. :)

After reading an article on adapting to "Inert Brewing" with Bavarian Helles, I've been educated on the lengths some breweries go to minimize hot-side oxidation, some of which includes storing their grain in O2-free/purged containers similar to what you describe. Not milling the grain until just before brewing was mentioned as well. Going much, much further than I do personally, still an interesting read.
 

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For my smaller quantity of grains I use my vittles valut. When I purchase a 50# bag of grain, I store it inside my 70 quart cooler mash tun.
 

Birrofilo

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This is my old grain closet. It was awesome. I was brewing all the colors of the rainbow back then and had every grain. But then there was the chinese Year of the Weevil, and the spousal unit tracked the root cause to my closet.
That's very good looking, I am sorry for the Weevil problem (or the spousal unit problem).

It might be that your problem could be traced not to the containers, but to the small quantities of flour left around (some is visible on top of some containers) and to some grains contained in simple bags (one is visible). The plastic container should be decently air tight, the place should be kept clean from any food odour.

If I were you, I would make some experiments with some small but serious closet ozonator. They knock down odours and create a hostile environment for living beings - including men, but if you have a closet in your basement or in your balcony, it's OK.
 
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Nate R

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Some of those Fermentasaurus "grain bins" would make a CO2 purge possible for the majority of the O2 amongst the grain. You'll never get it to zero as the grains will carry a few ppm of O2 into the kettle regardless, but it's nice to know the option is available. :)

After reading an article on adapting to "Inert Brewing" with Bavarian Helles, I've been educated on the lengths some breweries go to minimize hot-side oxidation, some of which includes storing their grain in O2-free/purged containers similar to what you describe. Not milling the grain until just before brewing was mentioned as well. Going much, much further than I do personally, still an interesting read.
Any time i feel like my current set up is too involved or too complex... i wander over to lodo and make myself feel better!!

But... some of the macro breweries that use machines to scrub oxygen and such... it is an amazing feat.
 

renstyle

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Any time i feel like my current set up is too involved or too complex... i wander over to lodo and make myself feel better!!

But... some of the macro breweries that use machines to scrub oxygen and such... it is an amazing feat.
As homebrewers are able to affect our smaller batches in ways that macro, or even some micro breweries could only dream of.

RO water with specific brewing salts added customized per batch? For us that's do-able. No "ROI" need to make due with municipal supplies.

Mash efficiency a bit down? Toss another half a kilo of malt in the mix.

Using different yeasts for (potentially) every brew? Yeah, we can do that. Even overbuilding starters to save is within our realm where it's basically a necessity for the big boys to keep things consistent.

...and unless you are lucky enuf to have a 10bbl conical in your back shed... MUCH less diastatic pressure effect on the yeasts too!

Very few big breweries do traditional lagering (2+ months) anymore, since time=money.

Alot of these techniques they use were developed partially to make affordable product at scale, so I see it as the 'other side' of the same coin, as it were, and enjoy the liberty I have to pick and choose what techniques I wanna employ.

We just do it for the suds! :cool:
 

Tobor_8thMan

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My basement goes from very dry in the winter to somewhat humid in the summer. No, there are no leaks in the basement, just osmosis of humidity. When humidity gets too high I run a dehumidifier (normally during July/August).

I've found food grade buckets with a lids works to preserve my brewing malts without any degradation or off tastes/flavors.
 

CascadesBrewer

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For my bulk grain nabbed some homer buckets and 2 different types of Leaktite lid.
I use a similar solution. I use the $5 white food grade buckets from Home Depot with the $2 snap on lid. I could justify the $42 price tag to get 6 sets. I keep my grain in a finished and temperature controlled lower level though. The Vittles Vault also seem like a pretty solid option as well. I often see them in the $25-$30 price range. A positive of buckets is that they stack inside each other when not in use (plus you can never have enough buckets on brew day!).

Walmart has some decent priced containers for storing a few lbs of grain. I don't see a direct listing for the one I have a bunch of, but I think it is the small container in this set: Mainstays Plastic Food Storage Containers with Flip-Top Lids, Set of 3 small medium and large - Walmart.com The downside of that container is that it holds about 4 lbs, and it would be nice if it fit a full 5 lb (I sometimes get 5 or 10 lb bags of common grains from MoreBeer). This one Mainstays Cereal Keeper, 2 Count - Walmart.com probably holds a full 5 lbs.
 

NBBrewer

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Hi,

I've been reading a lot of stuff on buying grain in 50lbs allotments. The issue I'm dealing with is humid climate and a damp basement floor if it rains really hard for a day or two. Obviously, I would need an air tight container to store the grains, but what about food grade bags (Like these) inside a new plastic outdoor trash can (Like this) and store that in the basement?

Thanks!
I have my buckets with screw tops for base grains and my epsom salt jugs (oh and a few juice jugs)for specialty grains. Works pretty good and was pretty much free.
 

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Nate R

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To the OP... i started with just one vittles vault for one large sack. Like 55# 2-row i think.
I then used $2.29 wal mart food grade buckets and $1.39 (?) Wal mart food grade lids. (Not gamma. But cheap as sheet if you ask me).
That lasted me a while. Then as i quickly learned how bad azz and easy it is to have my own bulk grain, i expanded over time and now have 4 stacked in a closet (this dang obsessive hobby).
So... maybe get one to start? Then look for good deals?
What do you brew? Probably dont need any specialty malts in bulk. I buy bulk 2-row, wheat, and pilsnet malts. Then 10# of misc. (And a bulk bag of viking malt that was so so so cheap at morebeer.)
 

BrewAgain

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Has anyone thought of using a extra or not good enough for beer keg for grain storage? Could purge the O2 pretty easy and probably work ok to pour out for weighting.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Has anyone thought of using a extra or not good enough for beer keg for grain storage? Could purge the O2 pretty easy and probably work ok to pour out for weighting.
This seems like massive overkill. When you have been in your favorite brewery, where have you noticed that they store their grains? In the bag on pallets stuck on shelves in a corner of the brewery? In a silo sitting outside? I suspect the primary enemies for homebrewers would be rodents, bugs, and humidity.
 
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