Storage Options – Base Grain, Specialty Grain and DME


When it comes to storing grain and DME, we’re concerned about keeping the ingredients fresh, away from oxygen and moisture and away from possible pests.  Beyond that convenient access and efficient use of space are issues to consider.

Buckets are one of the most basic and popular options out there.  

A 5 gallon bucket holds about 25 lbs of grain.  Two buckets = a 50 lb bag.  Two 6 gallon buckets would comfortably hold a 55 lb bag.

The advantage of these is primarily cost.  Some lids are not airtight.  The airtight or nearly airtight lids can be difficult to put on and take off.  Also, you will be carrying these.  Some of the other options have wheels for convenience.  Definitely a solid option for the price. 

6 Gallon Bucket


Buckets + Gamma Lids
Probably, the next step up is adding gamma lids to your buckets.

These fit on standard 3.5 to 7 gallon buckets.  You attach the base of the unit to the bucket and leave that intact.  The lid screws on and off.  These fix a couple of issues that buckets have on their own.  First, gamma lids are airtight.  Second, the lids screw on and off easily.  No more prying lids.  Check out my Hands On Review of Gamma Seal Lids – Here


Now we transition into pet food-type containers.  These work great because they are typically food safe, designed to be airtight, they can hold a lot and they have convenient features like easy access lids, see through sides and wheels.

Iris 60-69 QT Airtight Pet Food Storage Container

Airtight, Food Safe, Large Easy Access Lid, Clear Sides to Gauge Contents and Wheels.

This will comfortably hold a full 50-55 lb sack of grain.  At 5 lbs per gallon, this would hold 75 lbs of malt.
Vittles Vault II 40 LB

Airtight, FDA Approved, Food Safe, BPA Free, Large Easy Access Lid and Clear Sides to Gauge Contents.

The 40 lb rating is for pet food.  This holds a full 50 lb sack of grain.  Made from heavy duty food grade plastic.

Vittles Vault II  40-Pound Clear Base Cranite Top

Bergan Smart Storage 50 LB

Thanks for Facebook friend Eric for pointing this product line out to me!

Stackable, Airtight, Food Safe and Large Easy Access Lid.

They claim the largest top opening in the 50 lb pet food container category.  Holds a full sack of grain.

Bergan Smart Storage 50 LB

Vittles Vault 40 LB Stackable

This uses the same closure as the gamma lids mentioned above.

Stackable, Airtight, FDA Approved, Food Safe, BPA Free, Large Easy Access Lid, Space Efficient, Made from high quality impact resistant plastic and pest proof.

Note: 40 lb rating is for pet food.  This will hold a full 50 lb bag of grain but not in the pictured orientation.  The back of the container must be down.  In that orientation they are not stackable.  These hold approximately 42 lbs in the stackable orientation.   If you’re buying and storing full sacks of grain, I recommend to the 60 lb version.

Vittles Vault Stackable 40 lb

Stackable, Airtight, FDA Approved, Food Safe, BPA Free, Large Easy Access Lid, Space Efficient, Made from high quality impact resistant plastic and pest proof.

All the advantages of the 40 lb Vittles vault with 50% more capacity.  Easily holds 50-55 lbs sacks of grain.

Vittles Vault Stackable 60 lb

Buddeez Containers
Thanks to HBF Reader Jason for the heads up on this series of containers!

12 1/2 Gallon Size

Airtight, FDA Approved, Food Safe, BPA Free, Large Easy Access Lid, Clear Sides to Gauge Contents and Wheels.

12.5 gallons.  At 5 lbs/gallon this holds around 62.5 lbs of grain.

Buddeez 12-1/2-Gallon Roll-Away Pet Food Dispenser with Scoop

20 Gallon Size!

Airtight, FDA Approved, Food Safe, BPA Free, Large Easy Access Lid, Clear Sides to Gauge Contents and Wheels.

At a whopping 80 quarts/20 gallons, this should hold approximately 100 lbs of grain!

Buddeez 80-Quart Roll-Away Pet and Large Animal Food Dispenser with Scoop

Other options
Some have mentioned using trash cans, totes and other similar types of containers.  Those may work for you, depending on your situation and the environment you’re in.  I have stuck to airtight options for this post.

Specialty Grain Storage

Iris 11-12 QT

At a rate of 5 lbs of grain per gallon, this should comfortably hold 12.5 lbs of grain.  Airtight, see through sides

Iris 11-12 QT Airtight Container

Vittles Vault Jr

1.3 Gallon capacity.  Around 6.5 lbs grain storage capacity.  Airtight.

Vittles Vault Jr

Bergan Smart Storage 10 LB

This should hold around 12.5 lbs of grain.  Airtight, lid snaps into place for pouring, easy access handle on bottom and no scoop is required.

Bergan Smart Storage 10 LB

Buddeez 8 Quart/2 Gallon

Airtight, BPA Free, Clear Sides, FDA approved food safe.  2 Gallons capacity should hold around 10 lbs of grain.

Buddeez 8-Quart Dispenser for Pet Food and Bird Seed

DME/Specialty Grain Storage
These containers should work for both specialty grains and Dry Malt Extract storage.

Rubbermaid Cereal Keeper

Airtight, Food Safe.  1.5 Gallon Capacity.  1.5 US Gallons equates to 5.67 Liters.  My rule of thumb for smaller containers is 1.25 lbs per liter.  That means this should hold around 7.09 lbs of grain.

Rubbermaid 5161-RD Cereal Keeper

Snapware Containers

4 liter/17 cup capacity airtight, BPA free container.  Holds 5 lbs of grain or 4.57 lbs of DME.  Check out my hands on review – Here.

Snapware MODS Medium Rectangle Storage Container 17 Cups

5.44 liter/23 cup capacity airtight, BPA free container.  This should hold around 6.8 lbs of grain.

Airtight Medium Rectangle 23 Cup 8X6X9

Vacuum Sealing

I use a FoodSaver vacuum sealer for hop storage.  I also use it to store and preserve small amounts (1 to 2 lbs) of specialty grains.  I’ve also stored entire bags of grain in FoodSaver bags.  I don’t recommend that, but I’ve done it.

For smaller amounts of specialty grains I usually just put the whole bag of grains inside a FoodSaver bag and vacuum seal it.

Mason Jars

You can also use Mason jars along with your FoodSaver’s Accessory port to store grain.  Using my rule of thumb 1.25 lbs per liter, the half gallon size jars should hold around 2.36 lbs of grain and the quart jars should hold around 1.17 lbs of grain.  Mason jars are reusable, are oxygen impermeable and you can easily see the contents.

Wide vs Narrow: Wide Mouth Mason Jars are well… wide.  Both narrow and wide work, but wide jars give you easier access to contents.

1/2 Gallon Mason Jars
Ace Hardware: Ball 64oz Wide Mouth Mason Jars (68100) – 6 Pack

Amazon: Ball Wide Mouth Half Gallon Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 6

Quart/32 oz Jars
Ace Hardware: Ball 32oz Wide Mouth Mason Jars (67000)

Amazon: Ball Wide Mouth Quart Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12 

FoodSaver Mason Jar Sealer

Jar sealers and caps come in two sizes to fit both wide mouth and regular mouth jars.


FoodSaver T03-0006-01 Regular-Mouth Jar Sealer

Storage Caps:
If you want or need to skip the FoodSaver part, Ball makes a storage cap.  That also comes in two sizes depending on jar size.

Ball Plastic Storage Caps Wide Mouth

Ball Plastic Storage Caps Regular Mouth

This model includes an accessory port that’s required to use the Mason Jar sealing attachment. 

FoodSaver V2244 Advanced Design Vacuum Sealer, Black

VacMaster Storage Roll, 8-Inch by 50-Feet Long, 1 Roll per Box

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5 thoughts on “Storage Options – Base Grain, Specialty Grain and DME

  1. Anonymous

    For my 5 pound buys.I like to use rubbermaid cereal keepers…6 quart holds it great

  2. graymoment

    All good ideas. The biggest factors working against keeping grain fresh are light, air and temperature. I’ve found following the same method for long-term emergency food storage preparation to work very well. Mylar bags (with zip lock seal) + 5-6 gallon bucket + a cool location. Mylar bags are cheap on Ebay and various emergency food storage sites. You can buy smaller 1, 1.5 and 2 gallon bags for specialty grains. No additional storage needed.

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