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Old 02-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default Best vacuum sealer for bulk hops?

Hey guys,

My local homebrew club is running a bulk hop buy order, and I've put my name in for several pounds of hops. When they arrive, I want to divide them up into 1 or 2 ounce packets, vacuum seal them, and store them in my freezer.

I've heard that some of the vacuum sealing products aren't actually completely oxygen-impermeable. Also, I don't want to waste any more of the sealing material than necessary. So what is the best product for accomplishing this?

I'm fairly certain the FoodSaver system is the right answer, but what model? And do I have to be careful about which roll of sealing plastic I buy to ensure I get the kind that is completely oxygen-impermeable? Or am I asking too much, and I'd have to go to some sort of mylar system to actually get a complete oxygen barrier?

What's the best vaccuum-sealing system for managing a personal bulk hop supply?

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-Adva.../dp/B0044XDA3S

I have this one and it has worked great. $70. I think there are other brands (not "Foodsaver") that do the same for less money. I hope someone else adds this info.

I use the 8" rolls of bags and cut to size.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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When it comes to plastic bags, there is no 100% oxygen barrier. The thicker the ML of the bag, the harder it is for O2 to permeate it but it's never 100%. Glass is a better option and you can use anything from baby food jars (the kind with the inner rubber seal) to 4-8 oz. canning/jelly jars for storing long term. Add a grain or two of dry rice in the bottom to help keep moisture in check and an oxygen absorber and you're good to go for the freezer. There are also mylar vacuum sealers but some of them have issues with gripping the bottom of the sealer bag.

Whatever you use to seal them, if you're doing it for long term storage, use an oxygen absorber.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-Adva.../dp/B0044XDA3S

I have this one and it has worked great. $70. I think there are other brands (not "Foodsaver") that do the same for less money. I hope someone else adds this info.

I use the 8" rolls of bags and cut to size.
That is exactly what I use. Works great.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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I use one of these attachments for my bulk coffee beans and hops. No expensive rolls and product doesn't get smooshed.

http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-T03-...ref=pd_sim_k_6

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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Thumbs up for the wide mouth jar sealer. So convenient to be able to seal a mason jar, open it, use some hops, then re-vacuum it sealed again. I use masking tape with sharpie to label what's in the jar, when I last used it, and approximately how much is left.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses, guys. I just ordered the FoodSaver V2244 off Amazon, with a 3-pack of the 8" x 20-foot rolls. I'm hoping that will let me seal up small amounts of hops (1-2 oz) without wasting too much of the roll.

Interestingly, FoodSaver's website claims their bags are oxygen-impermeable:

Quote:
"Channels and multi-ply construction blocks moisture and oxygen [...]"
Are they making unsubstantiated boasts, or can I actually expect a little oxygen-protection from these bags?
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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Thumbs up for the wide mouth jar sealer. So convenient to be able to seal a mason jar, open it, use some hops, then re-vacuum it sealed again. I use masking tape with sharpie to label what's in the jar, when I last used it, and approximately how much is left.
But you can't draw the O2 out of the bottle, right? Is this much better than just putting the hops in a jar and putting the top on, and just skipping the vacuum altogether?

I'm not being argumentative, I truly wonder if there is much of a difference. At least the bags collapse and remove the air space.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
But you can't draw the O2 out of the bottle, right? Is this much better than just putting the hops in a jar and putting the top on, and just skipping the vacuum altogether?

I'm not being argumentative, I truly wonder if there is much of a difference. At least the bags collapse and remove the air space.
It is designed to pull a vacuum on the jar, removing O2 from it. The jar doesn't collapse like a bag does but it's still under vacuum. I don't have one of these but it looks like a good system to me.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
But you can't draw the O2 out of the bottle, right? Is this much better than just putting the hops in a jar and putting the top on, and just skipping the vacuum altogether?

I'm not being argumentative, I truly wonder if there is much of a difference. At least the bags collapse and remove the air space.
Don't have any science to quote, but it sure works for me.

Folks like Planters and Folgers seem satisfied with the concept. Mason jars hiss when opened just like pulling the foil off a can of nuts.
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