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Earlier this month, I got to take part in a bulk grain buy on Homebrew Talk. I picked up two 55lb sacks of 2-row base malt. Now that I got these grains, I was trying to figure out how to store them. I think I would be ok just leaving them in the bags until used, but I think the bags are vulnerable. I am keeping them down in my basement. My basement is not finished and could get wet if we had wicked rainstorms.

Once  I open a bag,  I figured getting 10 – 15 lbs out at a time for a brew could be a mess or spill out. Also when it is open, it loses its seal and freshness. I did some research online and I saw a couple people storing grains this way.  I took their ideas and worked in some of mine. Here is what I did.

I went to Lowes and bought a couple things. First is a 32 gallon trash can.

While this would probably do the job by itself, I wanted to add some more features to the can. So I picked up some 3 mil Contractor Clean-p Bags.

I used these bags to line the inside of the trashcan. I figured this would add one more layer of freshness protection. The lining would rap outside of the can. I figured this also add freshness and humidity protection around the top where the lid connects.

Where the lid connects around the top has the greatest chance of causing the grains to go stale quicker. I decided to line the trash can lid with vinyl weather stripping. I got the thinnest that Lowes had so that the lid would still “click” in.

I then filled up the can with my 110lbs of grains. This seemed to fit perfect.

The lid clicks in and creates a pretty nice seal. I’m not sure how much longer the grain will stay fresh, but I do know it is pretty safe water, humidity, and even rodents that may sneak in.

I don’t see any drawbacks here. I can take a scooper and scoop out how much I need and reseal and it is protected. It is pretty heavy, but I don’t plan on moving it much. You could always get a trash can with wheels to move more easily.

 

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Comment by Scott Murray on March 31, 2011 at 11:34am
Jeff this is a great idea! I'm starting to look into bulk grain purchases and was wondering myself how I would keep the grain fresh after opening it along with some of the same issues you have in your basement. Looks like you did this back around December, how is it working out for you as far as freshness of the grains? Great job!

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