Wheat berries are entire grains of wheat that still have their outer layer of bran. This outer layer helps to protect the berries and means that they can be stored for quite a long time. But you have to know how to store them correctly.
Most importantly, you want to keep your wheat berries dry and away from oxygen which can cause them to spoil. You also want to store wheat berries away from bright light, especially sunlight, because this can also shorten their shelf life.
Here are the best and easiest methods to store wheat berries.
How To Store Wheat Berries
Store Your Wheat Berries In Mason Jars
Mason jars, or other types of airtight jars, are ideal for storing wheat berries. Glass jars protect your wheat berries from moisture and also stop them from being exposed to oxygen.
However, you must bear in mind that glass jars will not protect your wheat berries from light pollution. Therefore, mason jars filled with wheat berries need to be stored in a dark spot such as your pantry or store cupboard.
This is the ideal storing solution when you only have a small amount of wheat berries that you’ll be using on consistent bases. But what about if you want to purchase your wheat berries in bulk?
Store Bulk Wheat Berries In Plastic Buckets
If you plan on purchasing your wheat berries in bulk, one of the best storage solutions is to use 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids. It’s also recommended that you use buckets with gamma lids.
Gamma lids are ones that screw on. This creates a much better airtight seal and also makes it easy to access your wheat berries when you want to use them.
These 5-gallon buckets are fairly easy to source and will keep your wheat berries secure for 20 years or more. You can even find food-grade buckets. These will be a little more expensive, but they are still one of the best ways to store your wheat berries for a long time.
Storing your wheat berries in buckets with gamma lids also keeps them safe from insects and rodents, especially when you’re storing them in the basement or an underground food bunker.
It’s also a good idea to store your grain on a bench or table and keep it off the floor. Ideally, you want to store your wheat berries at a temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing your grain at a higher temperature will not reduce the food value, but it may inhibit the seeds from germinating if they’ve been stored for a long time.
Store Wheat Berries In Mylar Bags
Mylar bags are also good for storing wheat berries because they protect the grain from both moisture and oxygen. However, it’s important to note that rodents can easily chew through plastic bags.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to place your wheat berries in mylar bags in usable portions (such as 10-pound bags) and then place these bags into large buckets with lids.
Storing your wheat berries this way also makes it easier to inspect each bag quickly to see if there is any spoilage. It also means that if the grain in one bag has spoiled, the grain in the other bags won’t be contaminated.
This is far better than having to discard an entire 5-gallon bucket of grain if there has only been a small amount of spoilage.
Store Your Wheat Berries In Vacuum-Sealed Bags
If you want to store your grain for quite a long period of time, such as 5 years or more, another way to do this is to store the wheat berries in vacuum-sealed bags.
Ideally, you want to use mylar bags for this because they are more airtight and will also protect the grain from sunlight. You should use your vacuum sealer to remove as much air as possible and then seal the bags.
If you then store your grain in a cool, dark spot, your wheat berries should last almost indefinitely.
Use Dry Ice To Remove The Oxygen From Your Storage Buckets
Another method that is quite popular is to use dry ice inside your 5-gallon buckets to remove all the oxygen. Or rather, the CO2 or carbon dioxide in dry ice replaces the oxygen in the bucket and sinks to the bottom of the bucket. Here’s how to use dry ice to store wheat berries in airtight buckets:
- Put some grain into the bottom of the bucket to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.
- Place around 2 to 3 ounces of crushed dry ice on top of the grain. Make sure you use gloves when handling dry ice.
- Fill the rest of the container with wheat berries.
- Loosely place the lid on the bucket but don’t seal it. You need to leave a little space so that the dry ice can push out all of the oxygen.
- Once 30 minutes are up, you can seal the lid tightly onto the bucket.
Using dry ice in your wheat berries will not affect the food value of the grain or inhibit sprouting.
Interesting Facts About Wheat Berries
- 180 to 200 pounds of wheat berries is enough to supply one adult for a whole year.
- 10 to 15 pounds of wheat berries will provide enough for one adult for 3 weeks.
How Do You Use Wheat Berries?
Wheat berries are used to make flour for bread and other baking staples. However, you’ll need a grain mill to grind up the wheat berries into flour.
It’s better to store wheat berries for the longer term because they can keep for more than 20 years, while the actual flour will store well for a much shorter period of time.
Are All Wheat Berries The Same?
There are actually two different types of wheat berries, namely hard wheat berries and soft wheat berries. Hard wheat berries are generally used to make flour for bread because they have a higher gluten content and also slightly more protein.
On the other hand, soft wheat berries are generally used for making cakes, biscuits, pasta, and pastry flour because they have a lower gluten content.