The Fresh Loaf

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How to be sure wheat berries are still good? Are they bad?

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BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

How to be sure wheat berries are still good? Are they bad?

Many years ago, about 30, my wife went to a Mormon church cannery and purchased about 30 cans of red wheat berries (sealed in cans) which have been stored in a VERY warm garage ever since. I opened one of the cans and they look fine, but I can't tell if they are bad. I would not know the smell of rancid wheat if it slapped me in the face.

I hate to just presume that they are bad and throw away all this wheat, so is there a way to tell without a doubt if all this wheat is bad? What about attempting to sprout? I've heard that wheat berries can sprout, would that be the ultimate test?

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

try sprouting them, if they sprout then they are alive.  lots of Google info on how do do this, very easy.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It smells like rancid oil and it is very unpleasant. your nose will wrinkle of its own accord.

If they were canned they may be just fine. It is the presence of oxygen that causes the oils to spoil. Just put a few in a bowl ,add a little water and just wait a day or 2. A tiny white tendril will sprout from one end.

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

So, is sprouting a definate sign if wheat berries are good? Will rancid berries sprout?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in water (microwave) cover and let cool down.  Then bite into them and see if they taste fine.  If they past your taste test, mill the rest of the berries or do what you please.  I would test each and every can as needed.   By the way, how big are the cans?

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

They are # 10 cans. Thanks for your responce, but it did not answer my question; Will rancid wheat berries sprout and is the ultimate test to determine if berries are bad?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Try it and get back to us.  Meanwhile taste some and see if they taste rancid.  If they do jump up and slap you in the face, then they have definitely gone bad. Very bad!  With no manners.  No manners at all!   :)  

I have not sprouted rancid wheat berries.  I have not tried it yet.  I suppose the process would be to soak the berries 6 to 8 hours, drain and then rinse & drain 3 times a day until they sprout not letting them dry out between rinses.  They would best be sprouted in a dark place out of direct sunlight.  I think we got some pictures here under making your own malt.  Nature can sometimes put her seeds under a variety of conditions that we would not consider eating.  Maybe rancid seeds sprout.  Maybe not.

30 year old wheat...  Wonder what they sprayed on their fields back then that might not be permitted today?   That's a good sized can!  12 cups?  The wheat hasn't been as gene manipulated as the current wheat varieties.   Heck, boil up a whole cup with a pinch of salt and test some cooked cereal with the missus.  Add some berries and milk...  :P   ...and let us know what happens.

siuflower's picture
siuflower

According to my farmer friend in Saskatchewan you can stored the wheat up to 8 years.

 

siuflower

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

You would know the smell of rancid grain, even if you think not.  I had some brown rice go rancid partway through a 25-lb bag.  It was an odor of slightly rancid cooking oil, such as might linger in a well-used deep-fryer cleaned for storage.  Mormons believe in prepardness, so most likely the grain was well-canned for storage.  Most of the canned wheat I have bought was marked as being intended for 10 to 15 years of storage.  It is said that there was wheat in the tomb of King Tut, that still sprouted.  The accounts don't say whether the grain was rancid.  I agree that sniffing and tasting the grain is the best test.  If it looks good, smells clean, and does not taste bad, then I personally would bake with it.