Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Storing and Grinding Your Own Grain

We have been grinding our own four since November 2009 and I have had no regrets. There is a few things you need to figure out though with grinding your own flour. One is where do to get your grains. Second what do you do with your 5, 10, or even 25 to 50 pound bag of grain. Third what do you do with the flour after it's ground. Then you get to decide what flour to use for what type of baking, but we will save that one for another post.

Where to get grain:
 I get mine from Azure if you have not heard of them you should really check them out. You can buy small bags of wheat berries from Bob's Red Mill or even the bulk bins from places like WinCo but for me Azure had the best price for our family of four and I could get it Organic.

Storing your grain:
Since I have no basement, and a garage that is not handy I was left with my laundry room / pantry to store my grain. I had done my research and knew that the grain needed a cool, dry, and dark place and I had read that you could go to your local donut shop and get FREE 5 gallon food safe buckets. So I called up a donut shop got my free 5 gallon food safe buckets brought them home and started filling them up with my 25 pound bags of  wheat. At the time I had hard white wheat, soft white wheat, hard red wheat and oats. If I was thinking straight and not about all this great grain I was going to be making into tasty treats and breads for my family, I would have realized that unless you have a lot of space to store stakes of 5 gallon buckets it's really not going to work. Soooo I put on my thinking cap and started looking at the situation logically. My first thought was a bunch of Ziploc bags, then thinking I wished they had big Ziploc bags, then thinking THEY do have huge Ziploc bags. I was so excited I went to target right away and got one box of the 10 LB bags and another of the 50 LB bags. Then I went to my favorite place to get organizing things IKEA and I got some stackable boxes that you can get into while still stacked(does that make since). I put the bags into the boxes, filled each bag, labeled the boxes stacked them in my pantry and now I have my grain where I can get to it. 

The best way for me to grind is to do large batches and then store the flour in the freezer. I think I have mentioned this before but I have to two small children and I don't really have the brain power in this season in my life to do a lot of thinking ahead. So as to not get stuck when it's nap time and wanting to make something but having to grind flour (bye bye nap time). I grind 5 gallon Ziploc bags of flour and keep them in my freezer to lock in the nutrients, save time and keep my sanity . I guess that is thinking ahead a little, maybe I'm getting better. 

I hope this was helpful. In another post I will share what I've learned about baking using all whole grain flours.

How do you store your grain?

This post is for Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop.


  1. Hello Elizabeth, I hopped over to your site from Simple lives Thursday. Good information thanks for sharing. I went to the link for Azure and was pleased to read that they are in Oregon and so am I! I'm just cooking for 2 now most of the time and I've not gone to the grind my own yet. But, I am thinking about it. I'm trying to decide if a hand grind would be good enough in that I don't plan to grind more than I need at a time?? Have a good day, blessings Erin

  2. I love grinding my own as well. I do grind small batches just as I need them. I find it doesn't take long and then I don't have flour in my freezer taking up space. I second Bob's and Azure but I prefer to find local grain farmers so I know exactly where the grains are coming from. You can't beat Azure for pricing though!

  3. I used to buy bulk grains through the local natural foods store. I'd place an order and they were happy to order bulk bags for me the next time they placed an order for the store, and they sold it too me at a discount. All my bulk purchases were high quality organic products. I have a deep freeze so if there was room, I'd store it there but often in cooler weather when I was baking a lot I'd just store it in the bag in the kitchen.

  4. That is great that you were able to get your bulk organic grains at a discount. The reason I store my flour in the freezer is because flour looses most of it's nutrients within a couple of days.

  5. I like to grind a weeks worth of grain at a time so that when I feel the urge to make something I don't have to worry about my little ones during there naps.
    Azure farms is only six hours away from me, and since I don't know of anyone closer it works for me.

    Erin- I don't know anything about hand mills, but if you are only doing a few cups at a time it sounds like a good idea. Let me know if you get a hand grinder and how it works for you, I have some friends that would be interested. Thanks.

  6. This is something that I have as a goal to start doing. I have no idea where to even start with it, but I am excited to learn!

  7. Liz, I admire your abiity to grind your own flours. And I think your organization and planning ahead is pretty good too.

  8. April- Getting as much information as posable on grinders, and using grain is the best place to start. I read a lot about grinding my own flour before I got started. Good Luck and if you have any questions I will see if I can answer them or point you in the right direction.

    Shambo- It doesn't take any real ability, but thanks for the compliment.