Many people choose to store large quantities of grain at home for any number of reasons. There are also almost just as many options available for home grain storage. Therefore it is important to know what is the best product and method for your specific grain storage needs which will depend on a number of things including your budget, how much you are storing, how many different types of grain you are storing, your climate and more.
As long as wheat and most grains remain in their seed form and are kept away from things such as moisture, excessive heat and insect pests then they can remain edible and viable for many years. The reason they can keep for so long is due to the seed’s incredible internal structure. The endosperm and wheatgerm are completely separated by the bran. The structure of the grain seed keeps the vitamins and oils away from oxygen since the nutrients begin to deplete once they come into contact with oxygen. This is why flour that is freshly milled at home has a much shorter shelf life than flour purchased in stores.
Storing grains such as wheat in their whole form is far less problematic than many other foods. The key is to provide it with an environment that is low in humidity, relatively low in temperature and free from any pests such as insects or rodents. While wheat and other grains can sometimes be stored in warmer and more humid conditions, it does increase their likelihood to sprout and spoil.
Determining your storage location will therefore be your first step when looking at what you will need for your grain storage needs. Low heat and humidity of less than 50% is ideal which can be a big challenge when living in tropical or even sub-tropical parts of Australia such as Brisbane. Low humidity and heat will mean that grain insects such as weevils cannot reproduce and destroy your stored grain. If you are storing in conditions that will not be conducive to grain insects then bags will suffice as long as they are kept off bare concrete since this can draw moisture into the grain and create mould and clumps. However you will also need to ensure that rodents such as rats and mice are not able to gain access to the grain and either consume or contaminate it with droppings.
You may be best off investing in some metal 44 gallon drums which can then either store your loose grain in or bags full of grain. That way you can keep pests and insects out while it is stored. Otherwise large plastic screw-top drums can often be picked up on places like GumTree or produce stores that can be easier to gain access to while still keeping your grain secure. If you are unable to keep the grain stored in conditions that are low in humidity and temperature then you will need to keep a constant eye on whether grain insects have infested your stored grain.