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Discussion Starter #1
If you have a sealed bucket, and the bucket isn't exposed to ultraviolet or infrared, I don't understand how Mylar would help preserve the food. Can anyone fill me in?
 

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And-correct me if I'm wrong-eliminates that pesky step of freezing grains to kill bugs beforehand. I don't have a ton of freezer space and would need to portion each batch into gallon freezer bags and do this in a series of steps. Instead I just pack them in smaller mylar bags then shown, as I prefer to store them in smaller containers that are easier to manage.
 

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The bucket "may" work just fine, however, the bucket depends on a compression seal, that rubber o-ring like gasket in the lid, which may or may not be perfect. Some buckets, depending on the plastic type, those other than HDPE, not marked with the number 2 recycle code, may out-gas into the food. A good heat seal (fusion of the material) on a metallized Mylar bag is a hermetic seal (gas tight). In a bucket-bag-absorber system, the bucket serves principally as mechanical protection for the bag. The bags are very susceptible to puncture, thus the whole system is pretty bullet proof so to speak. You may do well with just a bucket, maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Interesting comment on outgassing--I hadn't thought about that. I'm confused--I should or shouldn't look for HDPE marked with the number 2 recycle code?

Regarding sealing the bucket itself, if you use silicone caulk, does that help?
 

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HDPE is the plastic that is designated by the recycle code 2, if the bucket is marked with the 2 on the bottom it is HDPE. HDPE is the only plastic that the FDA will certify as food grade, so it is the best pick. Most of the buckets are HDPE, so you are reasonable safe in getting the right plastic, not a big risk. The only out gassing problems I have heard were reportedly with buckets marked with a "6" if I remember correctly. You could Google the plastic recycling numbers and pick up that thread.

Many people have had good luck packing dry items without bag or absorber. In fact, that is the way it was done in the past, before the bags and absorbers. The difference by adding the bags and absorbers is maybe something like double the storage time, depending on what is being packed.

FYI, metallized mylar is used in helium filled balloons because of its ability to seal in a gas. The helium atoms are so small they go right through a regular balloon, like a slow leak. A kids balloon goes flat in a few hours. To solve the problem, they use metallized mylar, and sometimes add a little nitrogen to the helium gas for best results. The Nitrogen atom is large enough it cant get through the tiny pores, plugs the openings to some extent. Sooo, that birthday balloon will last a long time.

Bottom line...time is short, better to store in just a bucket than not to store.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Next dumb question:

I bought oxygen absorbers plus food grade silicon gel dessicant. But can both work together? Do the oxygen absorbers need a little moisture to oxidize?
 

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(quote)" Do the oxygen absorbers need a little moisture to oxidize? "

Yeah, that's what I've read and heard. No silica when using O2 absorbers.:thumb:
 

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The oxygen absorber wont do anything about moisture, they are packets of iron particles, they remove the oxygen by (oxidation), or rusting. They only need oxygen to work. Cut open a used absorber and you find rust, a new absorber will be black (iron) particles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you, Ken. I am trying to decide whether I should throw a dessicant pack into the bucket with the oxygen absorbers. But I worry that the oxygen absorbers won't rust if the dessicant does its job.... It seems like no one ever says to use both, which implies that I shouldn't.
 

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Hmm, It looks like this thread is getting deep. This is probably more than you want to know..but here goes, more detail. Type "B" absorbers require some moisture, type D absorbers have some moisture included in the package. There is generally enough moisture within the (seemingly dry) food to do the job, you don't need to add water to the package, if that makes sense.
 

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While "silica gel" removes moisture, I don't think it removes all that much. It will absorb something like 40 percent of its weight in moisture, pretty good. If you know exactly how much moisture remains in the item to be stored, the problem is it is a guess. I cant remember exactly, but I think silica gel can leave the moisture content at well over 10 percent or more, been too long since I read that stuff.

More to the point, when grain is stored (silo storage) they try to get the moisture content down to something like 12 percent, you cant get it all out practically. Grain is stored (sometimes) for years that way.
 

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Iron

Like MK-9, I recommend using a regular iron, they work great.

Save the money you might have spent on that (expensive) heat sealer and put it toward something else. Use a board or metal strip as a flat smooth surface to iron the bag against to make a pretty seal. I don't remember who recommended it first, but I now use a carpenters aluminum level as the surface to iron against, works super.

I really don't think you can burn the bags, and I have tried. I usually take an old bag for demonstration to people new to the process, and hold the iron on the bag for a LONG time.
 

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I don't remember who recommended it first, but I now use a carpenters aluminum level as the surface to iron against, works super.
I think that was Josiah on this board here and it does work very well.
 

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I think that was Josiah on this board here and it does work very well.
Yep, same thing I used. An aluminum level that had multiple ridges on the edge. Crank that iron up as high as it'll go and don't let it sit too long in one spot so it burns through.
 
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