Abstract Western hard red spring wheat, stored at 20 and 25% moisture contents for 10 months during 1985–1986, was monitored for biotic and abiotic variables in 10 unheated bins in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The major odor volatiles identified were 3-methyl-1-butanol, 3-octanone and 1-octen-3-ol. The production of these volatiles was associated and correlated with microfloral infection. Ventilation, used for cooling and drying of grain, disrupted microfloral growth patterns and production of volatiles. The highest levels of 3-methyl-1-butanol occurred in 25% moisture content wheat infected with bacteria, Penicillium spp. and Fusarium spp. In non-ventilated (control) bins with 20% moisture content wheat, 3-methyl-1-butanol was correlated with infection by members of the Aspergillus glaucus group and bacteria. In control bins, 1-octen-3-ol production was correlated with infection of wheat of both moisture contents by Penicillium spp. The fungal species, isolated from damp bin-stored wheat and tested for production of odor volatiles on wheat substrate, included Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissler, Aspergillus repens (Corda) Saccardo. A. flavus Link ex Fries, A. versicolor (Vuill.) Tiraboschi, Penicillium chrysogenum Thom, P. cyclopium Westling, Fusarium moniliforme Sheldon, F. semitectum (Cooke) Saac. In the laboratory, fungus-inoculated wheat produced 3-methyl-1-butanol; 3-octanone and 1-octa-3-ol were also produced, but less frequently. Two unidentified bacterial species isolated from damp wheat and inoculated on agar produced 3-methyl-1-butanol.