I love brewing all-grain but I feel that I could cut down on my costs significantly by purchasing some of my grain in bulk, storing it, and using it as needed. I know a lot of people do this but I'm not sure what the "proper" storage methods are for bulk grain.

I know I'd need to store it whole and crush it myself on brewday, which is fine. Are there recommended temperatures, moisture levels, etc. at which it should be stored, or is the usual "cool, dark, and dry" advice enough?

I'm thinking of keeping a bunch of American 2-row in a large rubber trash bin with a snap-down lid in my garage.

  • mdma.. With regards to your comments to tomcocca's answer. The fact that I have the two pictures that you used among the 24 pictures that appear in my post is purely coincidental. I did not know of your posts existence until I followed traffic back to here. As far as prices, I do post deals on Homebrew Finds, but I did not market this particular post as such, This was a roundup of grain and DME storage options and techniques as I understand them. I do not claim that these are the lowest prices available, although, I'm guessing that in many cases Amazon is providing one of the best prices when Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 23:05
  • Welcome to homebrew exchange. Please leave remarks as comments and create an answer when responding to the original question. Thanks.
    – mdma
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 23:28
  • I got 18 gamma seal lids for $120 shipped from usaemergencysupply. That's $6.66 per lid. freckleface has them cheaper still. You could post those links instead of the amazon links. Don't let the fact that you don't have a affiliate agreement with them put you off. :)
    – mdma
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 23:28
  • Thanks for your welcome to this community. I figured there was a comment capability instead of answering the original question. I still don't see a comment link on other answers, only on my own. Do I need to post a certain number of times before this becomes available? Anyway, with regards to affiliate links, you'll notice that an affiliate relationship is, by no means, a requirement to show up on homebrew finds. As long as a supplier is reliable and trustworthy. Also.. Comments are open on all posts and I do go back and add additional sources. But really, a place called freckleface? :) Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 0:01
  • Yes, crazy name and a bare bones website. There are others as well that are more "regular". Just search for gamma seal lids - they are all on the first page of google. Amazon are normally good, but in this instance the price is not very competitive. (Don't worry about the answer, a moderator may be able to clean it up, or move this over to chat.)
    – mdma
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 0:07

7 Answers 7


My LHBS suggested the trash can idea. He told me to put the grain in a trash bag, tie that up, the into the sealed trash can for safe keeping. Should last a while using this method.

  • This is how my LHBS stores all their grain for sale.
    – Simon
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 0:30
  • Any idea how long that'll keep the grain? Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 4:43

I have a dog food container from Petsmart that would be perfect. It holds 40-50 pounds of dog food and has a top that screws on and seals. It was a bit pricey ($40?), but it has been outside for a year and no water or mice have gotten in.

  • This sounds like a pretty good option; I think I'll check out Petsmart!
    – Jeff L
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 19:46
  • Looking at it again, the opening in mine might be a little small for a good-sized scoop, but in general dog food containers are probably a good place to look.
    – Blaise314
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 1:22
  • I too use an "air tight" dog food container but from Walmart. It has wheels a good seal and a tight latch, pet food containers are pricey but a little more "deluxe" for sure!
    – Ryan Shdo
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 9:33
  • I've had good luck with the pet food containers too. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 3:33

I've also been told by the LHBS that standard plastic buckets (Home Depot style, not food grade) is fine for grain storage. Though you will need more than one to store a 40 lbs. bag. The type of plastic is unimportant. Just make sure the bucket has a tight fitting lid.


Be sure that however you store it, it is in a rodent-proof container. Mice will have a feast if they come across your stored grain, and they will set up shop nearby (or possibly inside your container).

  • 1
    Good point. I had some mice plow through a 3-lb bag of rice before I discovered them a few years ago.
    – Jeff L
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 19:19

I've learned the hard way that Grain looses it's freshness after about 12 months and becomes stale tasting after 24 months. (I took a break from brewing for 2 years, and started back using my existing grain stock. Couldn't figure out why the first few batches tasted so...meh, but figured out eventually that it was the old grain.)

Grain stales quicker when left exposed to air (oxygen) and moisture. If you think you'll use the grain within 6-12 months, then a trash can is fine. Longer than that, and you should probably consider something that its airtight. To keep grain in the freshest possible condition, use an airtight bucket and some oxygen absorbers.

For speciality grains, which are typically used less and hang around longer than base malt, I use a foodsaver and package in 0.5lb and 1lb quantities.

See also


Great post on exactly this topic yesterday with lots of options on homebrewfinds: http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/03/storage-options-base-grain-specialty.html

Seems like a very good and cheap option is 5 gallon buckets with gamma seal lids.

  • ....homebrewfinds posted this yesterday, and that they use exactly the same images as I used in my question from last week. (See link in my answer here.) I'm a bit skeptical - the links to amazon are commissionable, and the prices aren't all that great. Amazon want $9.49 per gamma lid. You can buy them for less than $4 a piece elsewhere. I got mine from usaemergencysupply, along with some oxygen absorbers.
    – mdma
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 22:37

I am using those vacuum bags used to reduce the volume of clothes, like this one:

enter image description here

I first decided to use this when I had 13Kg of malt that was getting old, and already had some bugs (I don't know how they are called in english). Since they need oxygen to survive (and this bag removes it all), after a few hours, I could see them trying to escape.

Update. This is how it looks like:

enter image description here

  • Have you tried this technique with brewing grains? It's not clear from your answer. Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 20:09
  • Yes, I use them to store the unmilled grains. I edited my anwser to add more information
    – romaia
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 20:43

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