Possible problem with stored rye

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Isildur's Heir, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Isildur's Heir

    Isildur's Heir Monkey+

    I have a possible issue with some whole grain rye that I have stored. It was triple clean whole grain. I put it directly into some clean and dry juice bottles (3 quart Wal-Mart Grape Juice bottles). I also put some into a couple of dry food "pitchers". THis wasn't intended for long-term storage (years), just long enough for us to use up a bulk purchase.

    There are small pockets of something white here and there in the containers. It is a powder because it disappears if you try to collect some of the grain that is around it. There is much more of it in the "pitchers" than in the more tightly-sealed bottles, especially at the bottom.

    Internet searching has been of no help. Of course, if in doubt, throw it away, but I don't want to throw it away if this is just dusty stuff that's already in the grain just collecting somehow. Has anyone had something like this happen to them?
  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Let's hope it's not Ergot fungus that plagued Europe in the Middle Ages!
    Or that you have now created a great starter for Mushrooms!

    Also let's hope someone smarter than I has a real answer for you.
  3. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    Don't know if this is it but try a search on "ergot of rye".
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Images of ergot

    If it looks like a mouse has been crapping in your grain seed heads....it might be ergot....but it also may just be a mouse! ; ) Either way...the grain may not be edible.

    The following graphics are what ergot looks like.



  5. Isildur's Heir

    Isildur's Heir Monkey+

    It's not ergot. Ergot, as you have shown, is a purple-black color on the grains. This is a white powder.

    The rye is very dusty and I think it's just that the dust (not dirt) has collected in spots. The shelf that the containers sit on is on a wall that has the most used door in the house. I think the vibrations have caused the dust to collect. That's what I suspected (as I hinted at in my post), but I wanted to check it out with others.

  6. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    it may well also be small insects eating the grain inside the outer shells
    the dust is whats left after lunch
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Possibly an insect issue... some moths can cause this dust as they eat your grain...
  8. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Do you have a university nearby? Call their ag dept. or insect gurus and see if you can bring it by. Propellar-heads love a puzzle.

    I'm going to bet it is starch (as opposed the bran or gluten).
  9. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Sure sounds like some kind of critters!
    I've seen fine powders caused by a few vermin in macaroni noodles, but they were quite well fed and big enough to identify at the time....
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Try putting one of those suspect containers in the freezer for 3 days. If it was critter-based, it will kill them and you wont see the problem return. Then, you'll know for future storage of these grains. :)

    I was gonna' suggest a lab if that doesn't work. You can get testing relatively inexpensively (compared to the cost of food replacement).

    Please keep us posted. Someone else may run into a similar problem.
    Capt. Tyree and VisuTrac like this.
  11. Isildur's Heir

    Isildur's Heir Monkey+

    Well, I finally got around to looking into this after posting for help.

    My local cooperative extension said it is grain beetles. After opening the container with the dust, I agree.

    After all of this time (about a year) the dry food "pitchers" had gobs of dust, and the juice bottles had almost none.

    I assume that this is because the "pitchers" are not very well sealed, but the juice bottles are.

    I am going to follow up with the extension agent for more info.

    I guess this is what you get for trying to save money. Still, I don't think rye farmers want to seed their fields with grain beetle laced seed, so maybe this is a problem that goes beyond storage, and the dealer has issues.

    I'll let you know what I find out.

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