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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Vacuum Sealing 12# of Hops, Individually - How Many Rolls?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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If you don't purge with nitrogen, then I don't see what could make them any better. You're still leaving O2 in there, even if you're blocking some from coming in.
see link to Vacuum seal

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If the vacuum bags are oxygen permeable, why don't they inflate over time?
I very well could be wrong, as I'm not an expert but -
Oxygen molecules are pretty small and there seems to be general consensus both on this forum and elsewhere that plastic buckets are somewhat permeable.
Oh, so that's why the airlock bubbles!

Nevermind vac bags are Oxygen barriers!
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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see link to Vacuum seal
Wut?

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I very well could be wrong, as I'm not an expert but -
Oxygen molecules are pretty small and there seems to be general consensus both on this forum and elsewhere that plastic buckets are somewhat permeable.
Oh, so that's why the airlock bubbles!

Nevermind vac bags are Oxygen barriers!
Airlock bubbles occur because yeast breaks down sugar, releasing CO2 as a byproduct.

I don't understand this post.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:59 PM   #13
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In the other vacuum seal thread, the idea is that you take little pieces of regular foodsaver bags (the part with the air channels) and insert them into the mylar bags. Then you can seal the mylar bags using your regular foodsaver, which vacuums out the air, and then seals the bag just as if it were a foodsaver bag.

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:02 AM   #14
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In the other vacuum seal thread, the idea is that you take little pieces of regular foodsaver bags (the part with the air channels) and insert them into the mylar bags. Then you can seal the mylar bags using your regular foodsaver, which vacuums out the air, and then seals the bag just as if it were a foodsaver bag.
Yeah, I saw that one.

These survivalist forums are saying that FoodSaver bags are only good for short term storage, which many there seem to define as "less than 5 years" and advocate mylar bag because they last "at least 10 years".

Is this really a timeframe we're worried about? I can't find anybody who has done side-by-side comparisons with alpha level measurements.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:14 AM   #15
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Ok, after researching a bit, I've found that O2 permeability is not nearly as big of a deal as it has been made out to be with Food Saver bags.

Go ahead and Google it. Now remove every firearms, survivalist and prepping forum from the search results. These people get very emotional about their packaging. Here's what's left: Food Packaging Permeability Behavior: A Report.

FoodSaver brand bags are 4mm thick PET according to their FAQs. Section 3 gives us the permeability of PET film as 3.6 cc/m^2 for O2. N2 and CO2 can be ignored, as we don't care about them.

I ran the numbers through the formula given in Section 2. Not positive I got my numbers right, but it looks like one O2 absorber packet can easily sustain 4 oz of hops for 1 year (I assumed a 3"x3" package).

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:20 AM   #16
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Here's an old article from Brewing Techniques about hops storage and oxygen barrier, etc.

http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique....1/garetz.html


There is some additional data in Designing Great Beers about hops degrading over time at various storage temperatures with particular varieties. Pages 88-90.

If you do the "look inside this book" thing on Amazon, then click on the little link on the left that says "sign in to view more pages" you should be able to read where I'm talking about.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:40 AM   #17
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Thanks for getting me into the science and economics of hop storage, guys. I really enjoy this stuff. Why? No idea.

Found the Hop Age Tool in BeerSmith 2. It has the Hop Storage Index filled in that says how well each hop retains its alpha acids.

Varieties I bought:

Willamette - 40% loss per 6 months
Crystal - 50% loss per 6 months
Fuggles - 35% loss per 6 months
Centennial - 40 loss per 6 months
Cascade - 50% loss per 6 months
Chinook - 42% loss per 6 months
Mt Hood - 40% loss per 6 months
Tettnang - 40% loss per 6 months
Columbus (CTZ) - 40% loss per 6 months
Hallertau - 50% loss per 6 months
East Kent Goldings - 35% loss per 6 months

So I'll use 35% (Fuggles) as the low side, 40% (Willamette) as the average, and 50% (Crystal) as the high side.

At room temperature (70F), in a ziplock or FoodSaver bag, for 12 months:
Fuggles - 59.5% alpha loss (1.82%) - $7.59 loss @ $12.75/lb
Willamette - 65.8% alpha loss (1.88%) - $7.73 loss @ $11.75/lb
Crystal - 76.8% alpha loss (0.81%) - $11.34 loss @ $14.75/lb

At room temperature (70F), in a mylar bag or mason jar, for 12 months:
Fuggles - 49.3% alpha loss (2.28%) - $6.29 loss @ $12.75/lb
Willamette - 55.5% alpha loss (2.46%) - $6.49 loss @ $11.75/lb
Crystal - 66.6% alpha loss (1.17%) - $9.82 loss @ $14.75/lb

At freezer temperature (0F), in a ziplock or FoodSaver bag, for 12 months:
Fuggles - 14.0% alpha loss (3.87) - $1.79 loss @ $12.75/lb
Willamette - 16.4% alpha loss (4.60) - $1.92 loss @ $11.75/lb
Crystal - 21.4% alpha loss (2.75%) - $3.16 loss @ $14.75/lb

At freezer temperature (0F), in a mylar or mason jar, for 12 months:
Fuggles - 10.7$ alpha loss (4.02%) - $1.36 loss @ $12.75/lb
Willamette - 12.5% alpha loss (4.81%) - $1.47 loss @ $11.75/lb
Crystal - 16.6% alpha loss (2.92%) - $2.44 loss @ $14.75/lb


Looking at these numbers, it becomes apparent that temperature has a much larger role than the oxygen permeated through a PET bag. In a freezer, even with the biggest loser (Crystal), you only save 72 cents per pound over the course of a year by spending extra on the mylar bags. That might not even be enough to offset the extra cost of the bags themselves.

Mason jars would be the way to go if you plan to use them repeatedly, but the payback period is in the range of 5-10 years. I'd go this route if I had more freezer space.

Looks like I'll stick to FoodSaver bags, and toss in a cheap O2 absorber packet in for good measure, just in case. 100cc are 9c each shipped and 300cc are 13c each shipped on Amazon. I think a 300cc would probably work for a whole pound if it was vacuumed.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
Here's an old article from Brewing Techniques about hops storage and oxygen barrier, etc.

http://morebeer.com/brewingtechnique....1/garetz.html


There is some additional data in Designing Great Beers about hops degrading over time at various storage temperatures with particular varieties. Pages 88-90.

If you do the "look inside this book" thing on Amazon, then click on the little link on the left that says "sign in to view more pages" you should be able to read where I'm talking about.
"Pages 31-350 are not included in this book preview."
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:18 AM   #19
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Foodsaver bags are not Oxygen barrier[...]
Really? So, how could a vacuum sealer actually work if the bags were oxygen permeable, hmmm?

Last September I vac sealed and froze my entire 2012 hop harvest (many pounds) and none of the bags has exhibited anything other than that "vac sealed" appearance.

Meaning, no air has permeated the bags...

Cheers!
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:54 AM   #20
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"Pages 31-350 are not included in this book preview."
Right...if you click on the little thing on the left which says "sign in to view these pages" it works. At least, it did for me. Although maybe that's an Amazon Prime feature or something.
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