How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

To Freeze Wheat or Not To Freeze Wheat

Rumor has it there’s a bunch of people out there that freeze things before putting them into long term storage. The theory here is that you’re going to kill bugs and stuff that might hatch.

Now there’s next to no point to doing that sort of thing for anything other than wheat or rice. Despite what you may have heard.

The problem is that while freezing your rice or wheat for three or four days kills live bugs, it will not reliably kill eggs. So after you freeze it, let it thaw for a day, and repeat. Four or five times. Eventually you’ll kill em all.

Way too much work for me.

My solution? I use plastic or mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. And not the big bags, but smaller bags. Nothing bigger than a gallon.

Which is precisely what we use. Gallon ziplock freezer bags. Four of them fit perfectly into a four gallon square bucket, which is what we use for our food storage.

And honestly, I don’t bother with the oxygen absorbers most of the time.

Will there be bugs in some of the bags? Possibly. But since the ziplock bags are transparent I can see if there are bugs present. And the bags prevent the infestation from spreading too far. ┬áBy not using larger bags there’s good compartmentalization in your storage supply.

And your chickens will LOVE the infested wheat or rice … so nothing goes to waste.

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12 Responses to To Freeze Wheat or Not To Freeze Wheat

  1. I freeze wheat, rice, flour, and nuts. It’s true that to get it all you should freeze and refreeze several times, I usually freeze and refreeze once. The bottom two shelves in the freezer are for freezing the things that will go into buckets so it’s not really inconvenient to use this process. And I’ll use this process as long as I have electricity and a freezer.

    The moths that get into the nuts are more of a nusiance, they won’t make the nuts inedible but that doesn’t make it appetizing to eat!

    • Thanks for the tip on the moths! We store commercially packaged nuts so I’ve never had to look into that. Great info!

  2. I vacuum seal and freeze my flour before storing. But for my rice, which I keep in food grade 5 gal buckets, I mix in a little food grade Diatomaceous Earth. So far, not a bug to be seen! Probably would work for wheatberries too. Also have heard bay leaves work great.

  3. I put a bay leaf or two, depending on size, in with every vacuum-packed package of rice or flour or other foodstuff that could be problematic, and I freeze the flour. Rice 2 years old has no pests; flour the same vintage, ditto. I’ve found that *every* container into which I put bay leaves, even those sitting in the cupboard, is pest free…last year when we moved I found the one I didn’t that had rice and rye flour mixed together got pests.

  4. We know that if grains are kept in suitable conditions they will keep for many years and in some cases hundreds of years.

    Before you store your grain make sure you know where it comes from.

    We live in a rural area and I help with the grain harvest and therefore able to get the grain we use directly from the harvester. Although it has not been organically grown it has not been contaminated with the chemicals that are applied at the bulk storage silos. Grains stored at bulk storage facilities are chemically treated to stop infestations of insects taking place and in some instances it is also treated against fungal outbreaks. Check what chemicals have been used on the grain and you may find that no self respecting bug would want to eat it.

    Organically grown produce has to be grown as per a number of regulations but when it comes to storage there may be a problem where chemicals are used. It does pay to check where organic items are grown and follow the supply chain until it reaches the consumer.

    We store the grain we get in 200 litre steel drums with steel lids. From the drums it is cleaned and put into glass jars with lids until it is ground into flour. Bay leaves in the drums and also a burning candle/s to deplete the oxygen after the drums are sealed are two methods of deterring insects.

    The grain we are using at the present time for our own consumption was harvested three seasons ago and there is no sign of contamination by insects. We are using the three year old grain as it has 14 percent protein whereas the past two harvests had about 11 percent protein and were effected by wet weather.

    Get the grain you use checked for protein as the higher the level the better bread. Also check if the variety of grain you are using is suitable for bread and baking or any other item you want to use it for such as making pasta. Hard grains for baking, soft grains for pasta.

    At the present time we have about a tonne of grain that was treated with diatomaceous earth that I am feeding to the poultry and to be honest I would not want to use it for human use regardless of what the literature says.

    We use about 60 kilograms of flour for baking a year and at that rate it is easy for us to keep about ten years supply on hand at all times without any problems associated with insect infestation.

  5. We do not keep a supply of flour but grind the grain whenever we need to, about once every week to ten days.

    My wife bakes the bread and other items from the freshly made flour as we believe that it loses some of the nutritional advantages if stored.

    The storage of flour can create problems not found when storing wheat and it is easier to store raw grains than flour. It is interesting to note that there have been many instances where flour has been purchased and kept in the container it was sold in for several months and evidence of insect contamination has been found. Insect eggs are so small that during commercial grinding some of these can pass through the process undamaged to cause problems at a later date.

    Whole ground grain is far more nutritious than the cheap white flour and much of the so called whole meal flour that is commercially produced.

    When the grain is taken to the silos after harvest it is classified according to the amount of protein, moisture, contamination, variety and possibly other tests depending on what it is to be used for.

    Here the grades for wheat are H1, H2, APW, ASW and then a variety of poorer feed grades.

    H1, H2 and APW are milling grades and any others after that are animal feed.

    So the baker wants a thousand tonnes of grain to convert to flour to make bread from. Does he purchase the top quality grain? Of course not he buys the cheapest blend of the different grades he can get away with and with that cheap blend he is still able to bake a marketable bread.

    Interesting to note that H1 sells for about $256.00 per tonne. Bio dynamically produced grain sells for about $450.00 per tonne and is sold to diary farmers who produce bio dynamic milk.

    Do your homework, buy good quality grain from a reputable supplier/grower, grind it yourself and bake your own goodies and eliminate much of the contamination you are probably now feeding yourselves and your children.

  6. I like the fact that you don’t say that freezing is the only way. I do not have a freezer and that has never been an option for me. I am not crazy about the plastic bags though, as I try not to use plastic associated with our food supply. Glass jars I like though. Now I am planning on adding the Diatomaceous Earth. Rice is not something I usually eat so I will probably only worry about flour or wheat berries.