Sealing a food bucket using dry ice
If your plan is to store buckets of grain for the long term, you need to insure that your precious stockpile is not affected by oxygen. You can use Oxygen Absorbers for small packets, but if you want to efficiently remove the oxygen from a bucket, there is a more efficient method- Dry Ice.
First the science lesson… what is Dry Ice? Dry Ice is frozen Carbon Dioxide. It looks quite similar to frozen water, with one key difference. When regular ice melts, it turns to liquid (which can then be turned to gas by adding heat). Dry Ice does not melt into liquid, it Sublimates, which means it goes from frozen to gas without turning into liquid first. This means you can use dry ice to freeze things, without ending up with a puddle. (You can also use it to put on a great Halloween show in your yard….) So, if you add Dry Ice to your bucket of grain, the Carbon Dioxide, which is heavier than Oxygen, will push the oxygen out of the bucket. You just tighten the lid, and the bucket will seal itself.
The Dry Ice Storage Method-
You will need
-1 oz of Dry Ice per gallon, so a 5 gallon bucket will need 5 oz.
Using the gloves (Dry Ice is -109.3degrees F. DO NOT TOUCH IT BAREHANDED) place the dry ice into the bottom of the bucket. Pour your grains into the bucket all the way to the top. Add a desiccant packet to remove any residual moisture. You do NOT have to cover the dry ice or protect the grain in any way.
Put the lid on the bucket, but leave it open just a bit. This will allow the CO2 to escape. After a few minutes, feel the bottom of the bucket. If it is no longer cold, seal the bucket the rest of the way. (If it’s cold, give it another few minutes).
Keep an eye on the bucket for an hour or so… if you see the bucket bulging, release the pressure by opening it, then seal it again.
Your grains will stay safe in an oxygen free environment for as long as you need them.
NOTE- Your grains will not be affected by the Carbon Dioxide! They will absorb it while in the bucket, but the gas will be released as soon as the bucket is opened.
Use MORE desiccant packets if it is humid, you can use fewer if it’s dry.
WARNING- Dry Ice is -109.3 degrees F. This is VERY COLD. Touching Dry Ice with bare hands will cause burns. WEAR GLOVES when handling dry ice.
Where Can You Find Dry Ice? – Check your phone book under Dry Ice. Your local Ice cream shops, welding supply shops, ice houses, and meat packers will use it, so you could check with them. Hospitals also use dry ice in their laboratories, call and ask who their supplier is. It’s not that difficult to find.
Sealing a Food Bucket
Silica Gel Desiccants 2-1/4 x 1 1/2 Inches – 25 Silica Gel Packets of 10 Grams Each by Dry-Packs
5 Gallon White Bucket & Lid – Set of 3 – Durable 90 Mil All Purpose Pail – Food Grade – BPA Free Plastic –