Buckets are… Good for Grain Storage
Buckets are cheap and efficient containers for storing bulk homebrewing malts. They are generally sturdy and cost effective. Since they stack, they are also space efficient. Search Amazon for “food safe buckets”
How Much Grain Can You Store in a 5 Gallon Bucket?
My general rule of thumb for unmilled malt storage is 5 lbs per gallon. That means a 5 gallon bucket would hold about 25 lbs. Two x buckets would hold a full 50 lb bag of malt. That’s a rough estimate. Actual storage capacities will vary.
The Problem… Lids
I’ll group standard bucket lids into two categories.
- First… relatively easy to install and remove and…. questionable on air-tightness. No o-rings or gaskets. They go on fairly easy and come off relatively easy. Sometimes too easily, I’ve had this style pop off on their own.
- Second… sturdy, airtight lids… that require the power of Thor to remove. These are gasketed and seal well but are tough to remove. They’re so hard to remove, they make tools to do it. If you’re stuck with these lids, those are worth a look. Search Amazon for “bucket lid opener” to see what’s out there.
The Fix… Gamma Seal Lids!
High quality, gasketed lids do exist for 5 gallon buckets. The problem with these lids is… they are usually difficult to remove, sometimes very difficult. The revolutionary thing about Gamma Seal lids is that the ring stays installed on the bucket. That ring is used in conjunction with an easy to remove spin off lid that features airtight seals. Airtight + Easy to Use = Whammo!
Outfitting your buckets with Gamma Seal Lids allow you to convert relatively cheap buckets into easy to use, airtight grain storage containers.
Hands on Review Gamma Seal Lids for Homebrew Grain Storage
Gamma Seal Lids, are used in conjunction with standard buckets. Gamma Seals feature a two part design. A ring that stays installed on your buckets and a inner screw off lid.
Underside of the lid with label. (click on the picture for a closer view)Close up on the top portion of the label. These fit standard 3.5 to 7 gallon buckets. Other listed features: Heavy Duty, Easy to open and close and unlimited uses.Close up of bottom left portion of the label includes assembly instructions and Made in the USA label.The gasketInstalledHere you can see both parts, the ring that remains installed and the easy spin off and on lid.Top view, ring installed on bucketTop view of lid
These are a great option for grain storage. I’ve used (many) of these for years with great success. For kits, I’ll generally store 1 kit per bucket (less the parts that need refrigerated) and leave the contents in any bags they came in. For bulk grains, I’ll generally remove those from any packaging and put them right in Gamma Seal Lid-outfitted buckets.
For labeling, I affix GrogTag’s Keg and Carboy Labels on each bucket. Those are write on/wipe off friendly, so they keep the bucket looking nice. You could also just write on the bucket directly, the marker will probably stain the outside of the bucket over time, but no huge deal.
After years of use, I can heartily recommend these as upgrades to your grain storage buckets.
There are lots of colors and counts of Gamma Seal Lids available. Try the search below to see what’s currently available.
Get a Deal on Bulk Malt via MoreBeer: Viking 2-Row Pale Ale Malt – and Viking Pilsner Malt – both sell for $8.99/10 lbs, unmilled. 5 x $8.99 = $44.95 for 50 lbs of grain. To sweeten the deal shipping is free with a qualifying $59 order. Check product links for current price & availability.
Check out our Storage Options Roundup Post for a full rundown of storage options for base grain, specialty grains and DME.
More: Recent Great Deals