PAW is coming - Last places to buy large quantities of food

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Apollo-11
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Post by Apollo-11 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:40 am

Hatch wrote:One quick thing to add on the subject of grain storage. Another reliable method for removing the oxygen from your containers is dry ice. Place a piece of dry ice in the bottom of the container, fill with your grains, etc., then place the lid on loosely to allow the expanding CO2 gas to escape. When the container stops smoking CO2, tighten down the lid.
A few quick notes. I hadn't done this before and I learned a LOT the first time, so maybe some of our experiences will be useful to some of y'all:

Take a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid. You can use a regular lid, one with a gasket, or one of those Gamma Seal lids. They are great for convenience, but they are expensive. The bucket DOES NOT have to be food-grade, if you use a mylar bag for the food. Heck, it doesn't even have to be real clean, since it will never touch the food. But we used new, food grade buckets anyway. Who knows what we will use them for in the PAW. Maybe sawdust toilets? Maybe we will use them to carry water. Probably not after using them for sawdust toilets... :P

Take the mylar bag and put it in the bucket. Drop a small amount, maybe 1/4 cup, of dry ice in the bottom. (This gets interesting in a little while.)

I like overkill, so I dropped an oxygen absorber in there, and added another one near the top as I was filling it up.

Fill up the bucket with your grain or whatever. There is a company in Oregon called Bob's Red Mill. They sell bulk grain and other food cheap (plus it's healthy - if you've never milled your own wheat and made bread from it, you've never had real bread... it's good!) Anyway, leave some space at the top. You can get around 45 pounds of wheat berries in a 6 gallon bucket, give or take.

Take your hot iron (wrapped in alumimum foil to protect it, otherwise the wife will beat you) and seal it up partway. You want to leave an opening for now, so only seal it up maybe 3/4 of the way. Melt the mylar together by holding the edge of the bag on a handy flat surface and ironing it slowly.

Now go away and pack some more buckets or something. Then later on, come back after a while and feel the bottom of the bucket. If it's not cold, you are ready (you were waiting for the dry ice to "melt" or sublimate into carbon dioxide gas). This gas is heavier than air. It will push out most of the nitrogen and oxygen and stay in the bag, because you were careful not to tip the bucket, right?

Now carefully squeeze some of the gas out of the bag, enough so that it'll fit into the bucket. Then take your iron and finish sealing it up 100% of the way. Once the mylar has cooled, you can check to make sure it's fully sealed by squeezing the bag. If it's sealed, you won't be able to let any more gas out.

Then you fold the top of the bag down, and pound the lid on the bucket with a rubber mallet. Don't forget to label it with the contents, the date packaged, and the fact that it's sealed in CO2 with oxygen absorbers. (You want to remove them right away, once you open the package to use it during the PAW, otherwise they get nasty.)

Now here's the interesting part... if you seal the bag before all the dry ice has melted, it will puff up the bag over the course of an hour or so. If you already put the top on the bucket, it will blow off with quite a bit of force. Don't ask me how I know this... LOL... It's strong enough that if you have another bucket stacked up on it, it will knock it off.

Anyhow, if this happens and the mylar is still intact, just make a small cut near a corner of the bag and let some of the gas out, then reseal it.

I hope this is helpful to someone. Many Bothans died to bring us this information... (along with the plans to the Death Star.)

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ZombieKraft
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Post by ZombieKraft » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:22 pm

Awesome,

thanks for the advice on long term grain storage Apollo. That is very informative.

Granny's old milk to cheese advice was good too.

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midgetyaz
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Post by midgetyaz » Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:29 pm

ZombieGranny wrote:No, no, no - DON'T WASTE IT!

When your milk has gone too far to drink, make cheese and cook with it. If you make the first batch with rennet, you can make a second batch by adding lemon juice (or vinegar) to the liquid you drain from the first batch of cheese, and then cook with the leftover whey from the second batch.
I always have a jug of sour milk for pancakes and such. The husband thinks I'm insane, but he doesn't mind the waffles.
bonanacrom wrote:That made no sense at all. I think it was meant to make me dumber, and it worked.

Ellie With An Axe
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Post by Ellie With An Axe » Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:33 pm

ZombieKraft wrote:Granny's old milk to cheese advice was good too.
I bet you could rotate that NIDO, once the opened can starts to go, would make some really awesome white cheese.

And you could take your tasty deer corn and pound it into fancy tortilla chips, and make nachos. How awesome would that be to have nachos in the apocalypse. 8)

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Post by zombicide_x » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:12 pm

Ellie With An Axe wrote:I bet you could rotate that NIDO
I bet you could store that stuff almost indefinitely at 0F. If you've got a chest-type freezer out in the garage, just put half-a-dozen cans in there, at one end, and forget about it.

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Apollo-11
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Post by Apollo-11 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:17 pm

Ellie With An Axe wrote:
ZombieKraft wrote:Granny's old milk to cheese advice was good too.
I bet you could rotate that NIDO, once the opened can starts to go, would make some really awesome white cheese.

And you could take your tasty deer corn and pound it into fancy tortilla chips, and make nachos. How awesome would that be to have nachos in the apocalypse. 8)
Nachos in the apocalypse! I love it! :idea:

I will bring the powdered cheese.
Last edited by Apollo-11 on Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Apollo-11 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:35 pm

ZombieKraft wrote:Awesome,

thanks for the advice on long term grain storage Apollo. That is very informative.
I'm glad to pass along some personal knowledge. I had stored some wheat in plain buckets, with no mylar bag, back in the mid 90s. I think some of them were nitrogen packed by a local preparedness store, but they were not properly sealed, nor were they packed with O2 absorbers. Since natural changes in temperatures happen over time, this will cause the bucket to "bellows", and it will eventually pump out all of the nitrogen if it's not sealed. So the wheat was basically packed in regular air, out in an unheated shed. It got moldy and nasty and was unusable. If I had relied on it, I would be dead. (Unless it could still be used as seed stock).

So, based on the premise that "there is always time and money to do it right the *second* time", I did it again. And this time it's done right.

Now, everyone needs to get going on their 2008 New Years Resolutions. I challenge everyone to go get a bucket, and a mylar bag, some dry ice and a few oxygen absorbers, and a bag of hard red winter wheat. Get to it! My personal goal is to pack 1 bucket a month. The big four are Wheat, Salt, Honey, and Powdered Milk. If you have those, you are doing pretty well.

Plan on the initial cost to be about $10-$15 for the materials for a one-bucket run (more buckets=cheaper cost), plus the wheat. Wheat fluctuates in price, but right now the cost is about $12-$15 per 25 pounds. If the price makes you leery, remember that you are investing in your future. The extra money for the dry ice, mylar, and oxygen absorbers is the insurance policy. You can buy dry ice from an ice cream parlor or a meat dept at some stores. The mylar bags and oxygen abosorbers can be had at Walton Feed, or any number of mail-order emergency preparedness places. The bucket likewise, or you can get one at Home Depot or WalMart.

Don't forget a grinder! (Even an old coffee grinder might work). Grinding wheat on a stone sucks.

So, anyone up to the challenge?

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