Saturday, April 10, 2010

How Much Wheat to Store?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Militia member on the move fighting for your Constitution or an ordinary citizen surviving a disaster; you need to eat in bad times. The following should help anyone who is contemplating stocking dry bulk foods for the long term, in particular wheat grain. I have been at this for a number of years and below is what I follow and its been repeatedly tested and it works for me. The information is an excerpt from one of my Survivalship Handbooks dealing with the needs of a Survivalist. Understand this ONLY DEALS WITH WHEAT GRAIN and no other grains. Hope this answers some of your questions about this subject and gets you started as we are running out of time!

How Much Wheat to Store?

This is the most often asked question about storing wheat.

My interest in Survival and Bulk Dry Food Storing made me ask the same question. How Much? I began by learning how to mill grain and bake bread with it. It took a lot of practice to get it right and I ate and still eat a lot of home made bread in the process. Once you start baking bread with your own freshly milled grain it gets addictive. I am comfortable with these minimum amounts shown below as they are based on my actual consumption of the baked goods.

Remember, here I’m talking only about ‘wheat grain’. There are other grains you need to store such as; long grain white rice, dent corn, rolled oats, pearled barley etc. The LDS Church recommends 400 lbs. of various grains such as wheat, rice, oats, etc per year per adult and I believe this to be a bit to much, 200-300 is more like it. Below I’m talking about only wheat for bread and bread items and that’s why you see a difference in the total poundage it doesn’t look at the other grains.

Simply put, you could never have too much in the way of wheat grain because there is going to be a lot of survivalists who have misjudged their food storage especially their consumption of baked goods when forced to live in a survival mode and totally depended on your personal food stocks. You may also be compelled to help out friends in need with some of your extra wheat grain.

I’m using a one year time frame for simplicity. You don’t have to buy a year’s worth to get started in long term storage but you need to start. Start with 1 month’s worth and add to it as finances allow, but get started!

The example for: How Much to Store for One Year?

• On a per person basis, in disaster times, each person in your family or group will consume the equivalent of 3-4 loaves of bread items per week!
• A single loaf of bread uses 1 lb. of grain to make a single loaf.
• So a 50 lb. bag of grain will make 50 loaves of bread or about 1 loaf a week per year.
• 2 loaves per week = 100 lbs. of wheat grain per year per person.
• Add another 100 lbs. of wheat grain per year per person that would be used for making pancakes, waffles, cookies, etc.
• So figure the equivalent of 4 loaves per week per person of wheat grain bread based items consumed or 200 lbs. per year for a reasonable minimum amount to store per person.

In summary:
200 lbs. of wheat grain is 4, 50 lb. bags or 6 buckets per adult per year. For children 4-6 years old multiply the adult amount by .5 and for 7-9 years old multiply by .75

Family Example:
2 adults plus one 9 year old and one 6 year old you will need to store: 13 bags or 19 buckets of just grain for one year’s worth of wheat grain!

Another bread consumption fact:A loaf of bread is 9 inches long, a normal slice is ½ inch thick, the end pieces are not always useable so you’re left with an 8 inch loaf which slices into 16 slices or 8 sandwiches. Now with little else to eat and in a full survival mode one adult will probably consume 2 sandwiches per day or 2 loaves per week between lunch and dinner! I see twice that amount per person when you consider making pancakes, cookies, pizza etc, etc.

Milling Wheat into Flour
You will need a grain mill. There are two types of grain mills to choose from.

A Steel Burr or a Stone mill.

Some models offer interchangeable burrs and stones.

A stone mill will mill the grain into slightly finer flour than the burr mill although the burr mill works very well. It’s what I use with good results.

If you can only afford one style then I recommend the Steel Burr mill as a first choice.

Your mill choice must be able to be used without electric power, so a hand crank option is required.

Lehman’s makes an excellent, thoughtfully designed manual cast iron burr grain mill.

The Family Grain Mill is what I use with the manual crank and the KitchenAid adapter to power it with my KitchenAid mixer.


  1. Thank you so much for this information, I really appreciate the information and the time, effort, and research you put into this post, thanks again.

  2. Thank you so much. I have been struggling with how much grain it takes to make a loaf of bread. I have no Idea how to store the amount I probably need in the heat of So Cal. Hopefully with dried beans, rice and dehydrated goods if we need to survive we will be able to. Hard time ahead with good heart in view. Thank you again.

  3. Anon,
    Glad to be able to give you some guidance. The amounts work for me and I’m sure, with some actual use before you need the grain you can find the exact amount to fit your needs. I strongly recommend you buy a wheat mill as soon as possible so you can begin milling your own wheat and bake with it. Wheat grain stored for baking is useless without a mill. Also using the wheat for daily consumption during the good times will save you some food budget money and allow you to eat better with chemically free food. I use my grain every week.

  4. Just wondering do you use yeast to make your bread? How much should you store. OR is there a way to grow a culture of bread yeast?

  5. I found your information very helpful. I had heard of Lehnan's before but not the site. Not good with computers and this is first attempt at a blog (whatever this/ that is). Just wanted to know if you used yeast to make your bread. If you do how much do I need to store or is there a way to culture yeast? How do you culture yeast if you can culture it? Also how much of the yeast culture do you need to use for a loaf of bread? I have a dehydrator a steamer scanner and a pressure canner. being an old old lady I find a lot of the food on store shelves really lacks taste and texture so have decided to go back to my youth. And do it myself. Been learning container gardening to grow my own produce to avoid the GMO stuff full of pesticides. Gives me indigestion plus a lousey taste in my mouth. Anyhow would appreciate knowing about the yeast. Thank you.

  6. Hi Karen,
    Yes, I do use yeast when bread baking but I only buy it in 1 lb. blocks from warehouse stores or where restaurant supply stores because it is very cheap this way compared to the supermarket prices. About $4.00 per pound. You can make 50 loaves of bread from the 1 lb. block. I keep in storage at least 2 lbs. at the minimum on the shelf and normally buy 4 lbs at a time. Click on this link for the article.

    Instead of using yeast you can make your own “Sour Dough Starter” very easily. Click on this link and it will take you to my posting about how to make it.

  7. Karen,
    Glad to hear you are container gardening. Growing your own food is fun and is far safer then the junk they sell in the store. Keep it up!