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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: liquidbrewing on November 27, 2012, 09:18:32 PM

Title: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: liquidbrewing on November 27, 2012, 09:18:32 PM
So, I been dealing with a mice problem for a while now.  I store my base malt, in my garage,  in 5 gallon buckets and just noticed today that the remainder of my base malt has been totally compromised.  I'm ready to just toss all of the malt, about 30 pounds.   :'(  That's probably the only solution, right?  I didn't know mice could chew through plastic like that.

Any suggestions of how to store my grain?  I have no room to keep it inside our little apartment.  I'm thinking some sort of metal containers.   Please help!
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: theDarkSide on November 27, 2012, 09:25:04 PM
Vittle Vaults.  They are probably thicker than the buckets, but either way, you have some pretty bad-ass mice.

Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: davidgzach on November 27, 2012, 09:26:03 PM
Vittles Vaults.  Looks like DarkSide beat me to it!

Dave
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: Slowbrew on November 27, 2012, 09:39:26 PM
I have seen some folks use steel trash cans with steel lids, like this http://www.homedepot.com/buy/behrens-31-gal-steel-trash-can-1270.html#.ULUy6GdMOSo.  Line them with heavy duty trash bags make sure the tops are tight.

I have seen mice chew through just about anything except steel.

Paul
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: morticaixavier on November 27, 2012, 09:57:05 PM
I have seen some folks use steel trash cans with steel lids, like this http://www.homedepot.com/buy/behrens-31-gal-steel-trash-can-1270.html#.ULUy6GdMOSo.  Line them with heavy duty trash bags make sure the tops are tight.

I have seen mice chew through just about anything except steel.

Paul

that's going to be the only sure way. you can also fill the bucket with co2 to help keep bugs out.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: liquidbrewing on November 28, 2012, 12:20:42 AM
Definitely going the trash can route.  Great suggestion!

I'm wondering if all of the grain should be tossed?  Any thoughts?  Err on the side of caution?  Or will any thing the mice could have done survive the boil? 
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: euge on November 28, 2012, 12:36:01 AM
Unless there are turds and piss in the grain it is probably ok. Guess no-one really wants to know what's going in in granaries right? :P

I like to vac seal specialty grain and store it in the freezer. Bulk grain in a metal trashcan sounds like an excellent idea against rodents but be sure to use it up on a consistent basis or weevils will certainly appear. They won't hurt the beer though.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: thebigbaker on November 28, 2012, 01:02:12 AM
And for extra defense, set up some traps near where you store your grains.  Or better yet, set them near where they may be entering the area.  We've used these to get rid of any mice that like to enter our garage during the winter:

http://www.homedepot.com/Ortho/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZ2yq/R-202229592/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=mice&storeId=10051#.ULVibYe22jQ (http://www.homedepot.com/Ortho/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZ2yq/R-202229592/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=mice&storeId=10051#.ULVibYe22jQ)
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: jamminbrew on November 28, 2012, 01:33:37 AM
A cat. I have one. No mice. I do occasionally find a decapitated body in my driveway, though.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: bluesman on November 28, 2012, 01:56:47 AM
I use Vittle Vaults and Rubbermaid totes. Trash cans will also work if the lid seals tight. I also have a cat which helps.  ::)

They tend to come indoors when the weather starts getting cold. Get some mouse traps. Snickers bars work great.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: tschmidlin on November 28, 2012, 05:20:32 AM
I use airtight plastic containers and have traps always baited.  I haven't had a mouse in a while though, I found all of the holes I could and sealed them up.  When I first started I would sometimes get three in one night.  Now when I get them I'm pretty sure it is because they have come in through an open door.  Peanut butter on the traps works great, it stays in place for a long time and the mice will still go for it if it is 6 months old.

Personally I wouldn't tolerate the mice where you store food.  Get a cat if there are too many holes to seal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hantavirus
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: BrewArk on November 28, 2012, 07:58:07 AM
I get pails at work.  I've never had mice that were tough enough to get through 'em, but if I thought there were that possibility, I'd probably nest the sealed bucket inside another one, making the barrier twice as thick.

My grain is in the garage w/a lot of the food for the kitchen, so I usually have some baits out as soon as I see any droppings.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: davidgzach on November 28, 2012, 12:37:22 PM
The trash can will definitely work and is cheaper.  You will not get the seal you get with the Vittles Vault but you'll get mouse proofing!

As for tossing the grain, for me it depends on the entry point.  If they chewed through a corner of the bag and were not inside, then I would dump out a half pound and go with it.  If there was ANY chance they were inside the bag, I would toss it all. 

Dave
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: theDarkSide on November 28, 2012, 01:25:12 PM
And for extra defense, set up some traps near where you store your grains.  Or better yet, set them near where they may be entering the area.  We've used these to get rid of any mice that like to enter our garage during the winter:

http://www.homedepot.com/Ortho/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZ2yq/R-202229592/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=mice&storeId=10051#.ULVibYe22jQ (http://www.homedepot.com/Ortho/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZ2yq/R-202229592/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=mice&storeId=10051#.ULVibYe22jQ)

These traps are great...no more snapping my fingers on the old style traps  :o.  Problem is I forget about them sometimes and when I go to check them, they have a dried on mouse.  Much easier to dump them when they're fresh.

And the plug in pest repellers don't do squat!
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: erockrph on November 28, 2012, 02:47:24 PM
I was looking at those Kill & Contain traps. I may have to give them a try. I usually just use glue traps because they're cheap and you can just throw them everywhere.

And +1000 to a cat. The wife freaks out, but I love watching them catch mice. Even cooler than a laser pointer.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: anje on November 28, 2012, 05:24:50 PM
And +1000 to a cat. The wife freaks out, but I love watching them catch mice. Even cooler than a laser pointer.
I'm envious. I have defective cats. Had mice in the kitchen once -- the cats were quite interested, but always maintained a 2-foot radius between them and the mouse, including backing up when said mouse decided to leave the pantry and hide under the oven instead.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: erockrph on November 29, 2012, 04:31:43 PM
And +1000 to a cat. The wife freaks out, but I love watching them catch mice. Even cooler than a laser pointer.
I'm envious. I have defective cats. Had mice in the kitchen once -- the cats were quite interested, but always maintained a 2-foot radius between them and the mouse, including backing up when said mouse decided to leave the pantry and hide under the oven instead.

It can get rather gory when they are successful. I put out a couple of the little trapdoor "catch & release" style traps once. Little did I know, my cats could easily get their paw in the opening. Looked like it went through the blender by the time I found that mouse. I also discovered that entrails stick rather stubbornly to tile floor. Sometimes having a lousy hunter of a cat as a deterrent is a more palatable option.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: dean_palmer on November 29, 2012, 06:23:57 PM
Vittles Vaults seem thinner than buckets and they are not going to stop a rodent that will chew plastic. Those crappy Gamma-Seal lids they use also don't seal like people want to think they do. If you do get the tiny seal in the spin-on lid to seal the one between the lid mount and the vessel will usually be leaky. Been there with these, and they are mostly hype. Unless you just have to have a square vessel to fit a certain space, buy buckets with o-ring lids (very common), or metal containers (for rodent issues) and use liners that you can seal. Trash bags work well actually for inside any larger bucket. You can buy a lot of good buckets for the price of a Vittles Vault.

Regular bucket lids with o-rings are much more reliable, cheaper and easier. I gave away two of the overpriced Vittles Vaults as I think they are of limited use, and still own one to remind me not to buy gimmicks again :-)
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: davidgzach on November 30, 2012, 03:59:58 PM
Vittles Vaults seem thinner than buckets and they are not going to stop a rodent that will chew plastic. Those crappy Gamma-Seal lids they use also don't seal like people want to think they do. If you do get the tiny seal in the spin-on lid to seal the one between the lid mount and the vessel will usually be leaky. Been there with these, and they are mostly hype. Unless you just have to have a square vessel to fit a certain space, buy buckets with o-ring lids (very common), or metal containers (for rodent issues) and use liners that you can seal. Trash bags work well actually for inside any larger bucket. You can buy a lot of good buckets for the price of a Vittles Vault.

Regular bucket lids with o-rings are much more reliable, cheaper and easier. I gave away two of the overpriced Vittles Vaults as I think they are of limited use, and still own one to remind me not to buy gimmicks again :-)

Dean, what happened to make you this passionate against the Vittles Vault?  Did grain spoil on you?  I've had a good experience with mine thus far.

Dave
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: gymrat on November 30, 2012, 04:03:31 PM
I have seen some folks use steel trash cans with steel lids, like this http://www.homedepot.com/buy/behrens-31-gal-steel-trash-can-1270.html#.ULUy6GdMOSo.  Line them with heavy duty trash bags make sure the tops are tight.

I have seen mice chew through just about anything except steel.

Paul

Be careful with this idea. A lot of manufacturers use insecticides in their trash bags.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: theDarkSide on November 30, 2012, 04:38:31 PM

Dean, what happened to make you this passionate against the Vittles Vault?  Did grain spoil on you?  I've had a good experience with mine thus far.

Dave

Same here.  I have 1 for 2-row and 1 for pilsner.  I will probably pick up another for Maris Otter in the future.  Mine seal up perfectly and nothing has eaten through them yet ( although they did eat through a bag of yeast nutrient  >:().  I also like that I can store a sack in 1 container rather than 5 or 6 buckets.  You can usually find them cheap when there are deals at the pet stores.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: davidgzach on November 30, 2012, 04:51:02 PM

Dean, what happened to make you this passionate against the Vittles Vault?  Did grain spoil on you?  I've had a good experience with mine thus far.

Dave

Same here.  I have 1 for 2-row and 1 for pilsner.  I will probably pick up another for Maris Otter in the future.

LOL!  I have the same as above as well as the third for MO!   ;D
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: dean_palmer on November 30, 2012, 06:33:21 PM

Dean, what happened to make you this passionate against the Vittles Vault?  Did grain spoil on you?  I've had a good experience with mine thus far.

Dave

Well, to make a long story shorter (I hope) Keep in mind the ones I bought were probably 8 years ago so they might have fixed the plastic mold quality and seals but I doubt it.

I bought the first one (about 14 gallon size) and made a fermenter out of it, then bought two more for grain storage. I found that all of these had such inconsistent molding of the main vessel that I had to hand file it to make the gasket surfaces seal on the lid mount ring. After that I found that for the o-ring in the spin-on lid to seal it had to be screwed on so tight that it took a mallet to loosen it. Kind of impractical for something advertised as being better than regular bucket lids and costing $45+ each. I really didn't care that the airlock didn't bubble as I knew the nasties would not be able to just float in due to the poor seal, but with our high humidity here in Florida I wasn't willing to leave my bulk grain possibly exposed to moisture and possibly insects (no rodents :-) I just want to make sure people don't think they are getting something better than buckets, and spending money for no reason. They should call them the "gimmick-Seal lids" not Gamma Seal. Just my experience, opinion, and a bit of humor.

Not to mention that if you need to really clean them you need to remove the lid mount and that is difficult and can break that part. If used for fermenters this is where the nasties hide. My solution and modification suggestions for this are at the bottom of the main page of my website. Pics of the vessels as fermenters is also on the site.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: breslinp on December 01, 2012, 01:22:56 AM
I've been dealing with mice in my garage. I'm guessing grain remnants in the driveway and garage lure them in. I'm the middle unit of 5 town homes so I was surprised to see them. I've just been using the old fashioned traps. I get about 3-4 when the seasons change. My grain is a room away in the basement (carriage type house) and stored in the pet containers from Target. They have not breached the house yet. I hate mice.

http://www.target.com/p/boots-barkley-pet-food-container-50lbs/-/A-11174886#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=pet food storage (http://www.target.com/p/boots-barkley-pet-food-container-50lbs/-/A-11174886#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=pet food storage)
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: davidgzach on December 03, 2012, 03:21:57 PM

Dean, what happened to make you this passionate against the Vittles Vault?  Did grain spoil on you?  I've had a good experience with mine thus far.

Dave

Well, to make a long story shorter (I hope) Keep in mind the ones I bought were probably 8 years ago so they might have fixed the plastic mold quality and seals but I doubt it.

I bought the first one (about 14 gallon size) and made a fermenter out of it, then bought two more for grain storage. I found that all of these had such inconsistent molding of the main vessel that I had to hand file it to make the gasket surfaces seal on the lid mount ring. After that I found that for the o-ring in the spin-on lid to seal it had to be screwed on so tight that it took a mallet to loosen it. Kind of impractical for something advertised as being better than regular bucket lids and costing $45+ each. I really didn't care that the airlock didn't bubble as I knew the nasties would not be able to just float in due to the poor seal, but with our high humidity here in Florida I wasn't willing to leave my bulk grain possibly exposed to moisture and possibly insects (no rodents :-) I just want to make sure people don't think they are getting something better than buckets, and spending money for no reason. They should call them the "gimmick-Seal lids" not Gamma Seal. Just my experience, opinion, and a bit of humor.

Not to mention that if you need to really clean them you need to remove the lid mount and that is difficult and can break that part. If used for fermenters this is where the nasties hide. My solution and modification suggestions for this are at the bottom of the main page of my website. Pics of the vessels as fermenters is also on the site.

OK, I just use mine to store bulk grain, not as a fermentor.  I can see how that could cause problems.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: liquidbrewing on December 06, 2012, 10:04:28 PM
Picked my self up one of these.  http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100202118/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=steel+trash+can&storeId=10051#.UMEWKeTAd2A

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/b0/b014ddea-3ba7-46d8-8d2f-4da2e9527840_300.jpg)

Suck on that mice!  If they chew through this, someone is telling me to give up homebrewing!  Or brew more, so I don't have spare grain for mice bait...hmmmmmm  50 gallon batches here we come! 8)
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: ynotbrusum on December 07, 2012, 12:10:56 PM
Get the green rodent blocks and bye bye mice problems.  Keep pets away from them, though!  I never have any trouble with Vittles Vaults, but could see right away that fermenting and cleaning would be an issue.  So no fermenting.  I have four - pilsner, 2 Row, MO, and bags of specialty grains.  I love them.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: liquidbrewing on December 07, 2012, 11:13:38 PM
I just got two 55# bags of pale malt in.  Both bags fit nicely inside this trash can.  I decided to leave them in their bags and just place the two 55# bags in the can.  Fit's great side by side.
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: 1vertical on December 14, 2012, 03:02:29 AM
I have never used sterlite brand but have used Rubbermaid totes with lids
successfully for many years. I live rural and def have mice in the ballpark.
I store wild birdseed, brewry grains and other misc grain with no fail as of yet.
I put out bait and try to be diligent on the checking of the contents.  I personally
do no give a rats a$$ if the little dawgs hemorrage to death from eating warfarin!
Play on words intended
Have had them chew thru the boot of the shifter in my pickup and infest the cab
all over a bag of sunflower seeds...looked like a war zone...seeds and shiza everywhere.
I suppose they could chew thru the plastic rubbermaids if they were real desperate...
just has never happened yet....
Title: Re: Pests in brew house/ Need storage suggestions!
Post by: gwdawg1 on December 15, 2012, 04:14:15 PM
You can trap them out, might take a while.   I use peanut butter on the new type of traps that have a small (about 1 1/2) plastic piece that holds the trigger,  they work like a charm, better than the old style.  I keep a couple baited all the time just to catch any that might get in my shop where my brewing setup is.