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Old 04-01-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
dktoller
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Default Hops / Foodsaver Success

Wanted to share a technique for storing hops using a FoodSaver that works for me. I'm using model V2244.

Austin has oxygen-barrier heat seal bags which are about 8 cents apiece. (From the looks of the labeling they seem to be designed to hold electronic components in a static-free bag.) I find these hold about 2.5oz of hops comfortably.

These bags are not generally recommended for use with a FoodSaver. However I thought I would roll the dice and give them a shot. The primary issue seems to be that the bag material is stiff and slick, and once pressed closed in the machine does not allow for any air flow. So no vacuum is pulled and you end up with air in the bags after they are sealed.

I tried sticking a coffee stirrer (and many other items) into the bag to create an air gap. But these attempts either didn't allow airflow, or prevented the bag from heat sealing properly. I pushed my way through 3 lbs of hops with pretty mediocre results and decided to live with it.

After thinking about this some more, I tried one final experiment. I cut a small strip from an official FoodSaver bag that was about 1/2" by 2". The bag material is dimpled to allow airflow, but pliable enough to seal nicely. I slipped the strip into the bag so it stuck out slightly. I got an amazing seal on the first try. So now for every bag I cut and insert a small strip of official bag material and things work very nicely.

This is now my go-to technique for repacking bulk hops. YMMV.

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Old 04-01-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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I'm confused by what your trying to accomplish. Why not use the foodsaver bags? Why do you need an air gap. It's probably something simple, just not getting it. I guess you want to use the oxygen barrier bags. Have you had troubles with regular bags? I haven't.

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Old 04-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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I'm hoping to harvest my first home grown hops this year and was planning on vacuum sealing with a food saver with the regular bags. Have others had good results with that?

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Old 04-01-2012, 11:25 PM   #4
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All I used was my foodsaver and the foodsaver rolls. Just gave some from the 2011 harvest to my buddy for a beer he was making, and they smelled fantastic. Added + the finished beer was great. So yes I have had good results using stock foodsaver equipment.

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Old 04-02-2012, 12:40 AM   #5
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I've never used a Foodsaver but have often thought of picking one up. I've always assumed that if the whole point is to maintain the vacuum and preserve food, that their bags aren't oxygen-permeable, as the alternative would seem to totally miss that whole point.

So, am I wrong about their bags?

Cheers!

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Old 04-02-2012, 12:43 AM   #6
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I've used the bags for years and no ill results. I guess the OP wants to use the oxygen barrier ones you get when your hops come from the shops, but I guess you need special equipment for them.

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Old 04-02-2012, 01:10 AM   #7
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Of course regular foodsaver bags should work fine.

I was looking for a cheap alternative when you want to do dozens of small bags. That way I'm not continually opening and closing the main bag each time I brew.

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Old 04-02-2012, 02:44 AM   #8
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Cheap is why i dont buy the premade bags. I get the 8" and 11" rolls for the foodsaver. make my own bags whatever size i want.

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:30 AM   #9
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Take your hops and break them into 4 oz bags. Or, 4-6x hop amounts you need.
That way most stays under vaccuum and frozen. Only the small bag you need comes out.

I re-bagged 5 lbs of hops this way (5 different varieties.)

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Old 04-02-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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I'm just going to use the food savers bag and o2 eater packets like you get with beef jerky

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