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  #1  
Old 02/24/08, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 45
Does Flour go bad

I have a small little problem with my preps. I have my wheat berries stored properly in heat sealed mylar bags with all the air removed for long term storage. However for short term storage I thought I would try storing some all purpose flour. I bought 4 50# bags about 1.5 years ago. I am just finishing my first 50# bag. Lately while cooking or baking I have been noticing an odd flavor and smell and my recipes are not coming out. I have read conflicting statments on the web and was wandering if those with more experiance have encountered similar problems?

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  #2  
Old 02/24/08, 09:57 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Eastern WA
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If it's whole wheat, it will get rancid. It's best to store it in the freezer. Even bleached white flour will go bad. Never thought it could, but I was given some over a year ago, didn't get around to passing it on & now it's no good.

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  #3  
Old 02/24/08, 10:02 PM
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Yeah, the all-purpose goes all funny tasting/smelling if not used. I've had far better luck storing whole wheat than all-purpose flour!

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  #4  
Old 02/24/08, 11:46 PM
Junkman
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wild Wonderful West Virginia
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White Flour

We buy our white flour in 5# bags as it is easier for us to handle. A bag fits into a bread bag and we drop it in the freezer. But, we do store Bay Leaves in any flour products. Even our dog food and dog biscuits. No problem with weevels. I even spread the Bay Leaves on the shelf in the cupboard where I keep pudding and Jello. Jklady

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  #5  
Old 02/25/08, 12:13 AM
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Not only does flour go bad, it starts loosing it's vitamin content immediately after being ground. Within 2 weeks of grinding, it's lost most of the vitamins it had.

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  #6  
Old 02/25/08, 01:37 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Florida
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From my understanding wheat berries will last indefinately if stored properly before being ground. How long do you suppose a buket of bleached all purpose flour would hold up sealed in mylar with o2 absorbers?

THanks For your replies

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  #7  
Old 02/25/08, 01:38 AM
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Hmmmm.. Maybe I should stop being lazy and just grind some wheat up.

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  #8  
Old 02/25/08, 07:31 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Central Michigan
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I store my bleached white flour in the big 5 gallon buckets that I got from Walton's. I have not had it go bad, even after several years. It takes on moisture and smell/taste from the environment which is why it's shelf life unprotected is short. I don't care much for it, bleached white flour, but some things I make just really need some of it to get the results I want. I do not use the mylar bags, just the good, food grade heavy duty buckets. I purchased a bunch of them back in 1992 and they have been wonderful.

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  #9  
Old 02/25/08, 08:40 AM
A.T. Hagan
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I bought 4 50# bags about 1.5 years ago. I am just finishing my first 50# bag. Lately while cooking or baking I have been noticing an odd flavor and smell and my recipes are not coming out.

You don't say how you have packaged the flour. Seeing as how you're in Florida like I am if that flour is just sitting in its original paper or plastic bag then you may have 150 lbs or so of fertlizer on your hands.

In the past before I bought my first vac-sealer I stored my flour simply sealed in glass jars. Not vac-sealed, no oxygen absorbers, just sealed. Kept them in the house in the air conditioning. About the third year or so I noticed the flour was beginning to smell stale and by the beginning of the fourth it was plainly apparent. It was fertilizer from then on. If your flour has just been sitting in bags then it has been exposed to even more humidity and oxygen so I'd expect it to go off sooner. You'll be fortunate if you don't end up with a massive weevil infestation as well.

ALL of my flour is now vac-sealed in canning jars. Only the stuff that I am actually using at the moment is not. If your flour has been repackaged somehow please detail this for us and we'll see if we can troubleshoot the problem.

.....Alan.
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  #10  
Old 02/25/08, 10:24 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: N.E. Oklahoma
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I'm using 2 year old unbleached flour that was packed in large jars with lids and kept out on my counter. It's still fine but I am replinishing my flour over the next few weeks. I only have a 4 lb bag left from that date and I think it will go in the compost not taking a chance on my homemade bread. Now that I have wheat berries I am grinding enough to substitute at least a cup of the unbleached flour. I'll build up slowly from there.

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  #11  
Old 02/25/08, 11:11 AM
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Location: Carthage, Texas
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It's probably like a lot of things... it's still 'edible'... might not be tasty, but....

I've only had bad luck storing white flour, for any length of time. I prefer white flour to whole wheat... if I want vitamins and minerals, I'll get them from elsewhere. I like the bland taste. So when it starts turning, my delicate palate is quickly offended.

I'll store whole wheat berries when I can find reasonable sealable buckets, afford the mylar, and the wheat........... till then I'll stick with rice and corn. Maybe when the guvmint checks arrive...

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  #12  
Old 02/25/08, 04:03 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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I'm using white flour that was dated 1999. I store in original paper sack and place the bags in plastic buckets with tight lids. They are stored in a dark basement room where temps do not get too high even in the summer. We run a dehumidifier in the basement during the summer and also have central air although don't use it until it gets to 85º or 90º. White flour seems to me to be a inert substance with no particular food value but useful for baking, making gravy and biscuits, etc. For food value I store wheat berries and grind as needed. I think it is important to store in tight containers because flour will absorb humidity and odors.

White sugar has the same inert character and as long as it is kept dry lasts forever. Even if it gets moist a hammer will render it usable (which is why I never store sugar in glass containers!).

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  #13  
Old 02/25/08, 06:47 PM
north of the lift bridge
 
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try again

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.T. Hagan View Post
I bought 4 50# bags about 1.5 years ago. I am just finishing my first 50# bag. Lately while cooking or baking I have been noticing an odd flavor and smell and my recipes are not coming out.

You don't say how you have packaged the flour. Seeing as how you're in Florida like I am if that flour is just sitting in its original paper or plastic bag then you may have 150 lbs or so of fertlizer on your hands.

In the past before I bought my first vac-sealer I stored my flour simply sealed in glass jars. Not vac-sealed, no oxygen absorbers, just sealed. Kept them in the house in the air conditioning. About the third year or so I noticed the flour was beginning to smell stale and by the beginning of the fourth it was plainly apparent. It was fertilizer from then on. If your flour has just been sitting in bags then it has been exposed to even more humidity and oxygen so I'd expect it to go off sooner. You'll be fortunate if you don't end up with a massive weevil infestation as well.

ALL of my flour is now vac-sealed in canning jars. Only the stuff that I am actually using at the moment is not. If your flour has been repackaged somehow please detail this for us and we'll see if we can troubleshoot the problem.

.....Alan.
alan ,could you share the process for storing flour
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  #14  
Old 02/26/08, 08:14 AM
A.T. Hagan
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Pretty simple. There are only two practical methods for storing white flour for the long term that I have found to work. One is to vac-seal it and the other is to use oxygen absorbers. Gas flushing and dry ice works poorly because the particle size is much too fine to get a good purge.

I don't keep nearly as much refined white flour as I do grain wheat. I've got maybe fifty or sixty pounds and it's all vac-sealed in half-gallon jars.

Getting a good seal with flour is a bit fiddly. What I do is shake the flour down well in the jars leaving two inches of headspace. Then using a well-wrung damp cloth I carefully wipe down rim and the inside throat of the jars to get all of the loose flour off. While I'm doing this I've got the lids soaking in hot water. Wipe each one dry just before putting them on the jars then vac-seal as per usual. If you've done a good job you won't get any flour in the seal and they'll stay closed. With any type of powdery food I always wait a week to see if the jars will remain sealed before putting them away in the cabinets.

If this still isn't working then after you've shaken the jars down and wiped off the tops cover the flour with a bit of paper toweling before vac-sealing.

If I was going to store quite a lot of white flour I'd pack it in buckets with oxygen absorbers. Take extra care to wipe the inside of the bag mouth clean with a damp cloth before sealing.

.....Alan.

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  #15  
Old 02/26/08, 11:13 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 162
sam's

I am going to Sam's today and I want to buy two twenty five pound bags of bread flour. I want to put them in a trash bag and store them in our freezer. Is that a good idea or not? Thanks for the help. Jim

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