- November 4, 2017 at 8:16 pm #15418
Mylar bags, Food grade 5gal. buckets and gamma seal lids.November 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm #15444
That’s the way we’ve got our “rice and beans” stored. Would like to have more put away but we’re working on it.November 5, 2017 at 4:11 pm #15445
We didn’t use food grade buckets though. The Mylar bags are food gradeNovember 8, 2017 at 9:07 pm #15526
A few of hints if you allow me:
1 – consider using smaller Mylar bags inside the bucket. You may be doing this so bear with me. If you are using larger “bucket sized” bags, cut them and seal with iron. I have 6 gallon bags which I divide into 4 and then can package smaller (about 5 lbs) of legumes in each. That allows for variety of legumes and/or rice in 1 bucket.
2 – consider using gamma lids on bucket. These allow for opening and airtight resealing. Combined with smaller bags; open, reach in an grab bag, reseal.
3 – in the bucket and out side the bag(s), use oxygen absorbent. At Walmart’s sporting goods department, look for hand warmers. Yes, hand warmers are essentially oxygen absorbent sacks. Why, well to heat up to warm your hands, they “consume” oxygen. The price is great since you can get 10 pairs for $5 which is $.25 per sack. This is were the gamma lid comes in, the absorbent would remain viable if bucket not left open for long time.
4 – consider combining different separately package “ingredients” into bucket. This will allow you to have multiple meal combinations within single bucket. I have compiled ingredients for meal, say chili, and vacuum sealed each ingredient and then into Mylar with oxy absorbent. Then multiple Mylar “meals” into bucket. Now, you have a single bucket to open with multiple meals within.
5 – tip: Assuming it is the same at all Sam’s clubs or Costco, the bakery section gives away the food grade buckets used for the frosting on cakes. My Sam’s club has 3 sizes, 2 square and 1 round bucket. Can’t beat the price… but you cannot use gamma lids in this case.November 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm #15802
Oxygen Absorbent and Desiccant; do I need them both and what do they do?
Oxygen Absorbent does exactly what is in the name, absorbs Oxygen. But how does it do that? We have all head of Fire and Rust, right? Well, both are forms of oxidation, fire being fast and rust being the slow, very slow version. Therefore, in order to have fire or rust, you need oxygen.
Have you ever noticed what happens when you place a cup over a candle? It eventually goes off, right? Well, what you are actually doing is letting the flame consume (absorb) the oxygen available in the air within the cup. Since rust is a much slower version of the same principle/physics/chemistry, an Oxygen Absorbent sack used for prepping removes oxygen from the ambient air when it is exposed to same. Since one would be using a sack in a sealed container, it also creates a vacuum since the total volume of air is reduced as the oxygen molecules are consumed to oxidize the material in the sack.
So, what is in the sack? Essentially, iron. There are also other items (usually salt) to expedite the chemical reaction but iron is the fuel as wood is to a camp fire. When the salt, iron, and oxygen combine, the chemical reaction begins and continues until there is an imbalance, i.e., run out of oxygen or iron. So, the amount of absorbent in relation to the volume of air (unless you want to measure true oxygen content) is important to create the desired environment within the subject container. One great thing about the imbalance, if it is the oxygen that ran out, the remaining ingredients in the sack remain viable, so, technically, not a 1 time use item. However, they cannot be recharged as a desiccant.
Desiccant does what is in the name but not as obvious as the Oxygen Absorbent. If you purchased any electronic item, you most likely found a little sack that says “Do Not Eat” or it may even be labeled “Desiccant”.
So, what does it do? removes humidity/moisture from the ambient air. The chemical reaction here is simpler in that a desiccant absorbs water molecules (H2O) versus consuming it. They will not get wet and are more susceptible to saturation depending on item and container they are placed. Say you use one in sealed jar of dehydrated fruit versus roasted nuts. The former obviously will have more inherent moisture and leave more open air (gaps) between the pieces of fruit. So, depending on the volume of the desiccant, it will only absorb what it is capable of handling.
When one versus the other?
Based on the preceding, you can somewhat determine the respective applicability. Basically, if you want to prevent moisture related issues, the desiccant is your “Huckleberry”. The Oxygen Absorbent is essential for two critical long term purposes. Since the oxygen is removed, any aerobic (requires air) pathogen or “critter” will be deprived of an essential item to exist, i.e., Oxygen. This is great for long term storage, particularly grains and legumes as they may contain insect eggs. Ever had weevils in a sack of flour that has not been opened? The other advantage is the vacuum since one cannot easily remove the air from a bucket or a large Mylar bag. An Oxygen Absorbent inside the sealed bucket or bag will consume the oxygen thus reduce the air volume crating a vacuum which prevents incursion but insects, moisture, and other similar threats to your valuable prep.
Do I need to buy them?
You may be able to save some money relating to desiccant as you can save those you find with products you purchase, electronics especially, make sure you check the entire box as they are often included in non electronic products. You can recharge them by putting in toaster oven or regular oven at ~120 for 30+ minutes. If the sack is plastic/poly of some kind, reduce the heat and extend the drying time.
Oxygen Absorbent can be a DIY item since essentially it is Iron Fillings and salt. You can file a high iron item or run a magnet along a shoreline (ocean, lake, river) to harvest. Purchasing is obviously a simpler option and you can find them on line, usually bundled with Mylar bags. However, I have found a low cost option. At Walmart (or most stores with sporting goods) you will find hand/feet warmers. I have found volume package of 10 pairs of hand warmers for $5.00, that is $.25 per sack and they are much larger than standard sized “dedicated” ones. I used one inside a 6 gallon Mylar bag of Rice and it was a solid brick within the respective bucket.
I hope you found the preceding informative and useful for your preparedness!
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