How to Insure a Proper Vacuum Seal - Reynolds Handi Vac

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BierMuncher

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On your Reynolds Handi Vac that is...

Hops dust from pellets and whole hops are the number one reason people lose the seal on their vacuum sealed bags. Once any kind of dirt, dust or other particles get into that little "button", you're sure to lose your seal and render the whole concept useless.

The solution is quite simple. A bag-within-a-bag.

Whether you still have the foil bags your hops came in, or you've transferred them to ziplocs or other sealable bags, don't discard those bags when you move to seal-vacumming your hops.

If you're currently storing your hops in general ziploc bags, simple close the ziploc seal and leave about 1/2 inch of the seal open, then place that bag inside the reynolds vacuum sela bag. If you're storing your hops in the original foil bags that your hops were shipped in, simply fold over the top and place the bag inside the vacuum handi bag.

Placing these bags, within the bags, will eliminate the possibilty of hops dust clouding the seal button. Leaving the inner bags openned, will insure that the vacuum action will pull the air out of those inner bags and insure an air(less)tight seal.


My left over hops in the original foil bag
Reynolds_2.jpg

Loosely folded over and placed inside the vacuum sela bag.
Reynolds_3.jpg

Once vacuumed, the air inside the foil pouch is also sucked out and the inside of the reynolds bag is pristine and dust free.
Reynolds_4.jpg

A smaller bag of loose hallertau...
Reynolds_5.jpg

Tighter than a knats ass.
Reynolds_6.jpg

This also makes for cleaner reuse of the bags.
 
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BierMuncher

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Here's an example of several normal ziploc bags being sealed inside the vacuum seal bag...remember to leave about 1/2 inch of the inner bags seal...open.
Reynolds_7.jpg
Reynolds_8.jpg
 

Funkenjaeger

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Great idea! I think your simple method can drastically improve the usefulness of the handi-vac system. I love mine for the simplicity and low cost, but having the bags lose seal intermittently was getting on my nerves.

In addition to a better seal, you can also get the light-resistant benefits of the original foil bags.

I'd think that the cheaper, non-zip-seal sandwich baggies would be a good substitute if you don't have the original foil hop bag to use (like if you're splitting up bulk hops into smaller bunches), since they would take up very little space aside from the hops themselves.
 

RichBrewer

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I had that very same problem with my food saver. I ended up doing the same thing. Hops love sticking to those bags and they get everywhere!
 
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BierMuncher

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One thing I also helped tremendously in keeping the seal.

Simply place a strip of scotch tape over the seal button. This seems to provide a secondary seal and really has stopped all leakage in my bags.
 

TexLaw

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RichBrewer said:
I had that very same problem with my food saver. I ended up doing the same thing. Hops love sticking to those bags and they get everywhere!
Same here. The bag in a bag works great, and it's easier to read what is in the bag.


TL
 

jas0420

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Thanks for the tip! I was (still am actually) having seal problems on mine. I broke 1lb packs into 1 ounce packs and put 1 oz into a qt-sized Handi-Vac bags. Several of those lost their seal, so I went back out and picked up some gallon-sized Handi-Vac bags, put as many qt-sized ones into that as I could, then sealed it up. Noticed the other day a few of my gallon bags have lost seal now. :mad:

My hops actaully came with a little more hop "twigs" in them than I was expecting. I did my best to pick them out, but I know at least one of my broken seals was from those puncturing the bag.

I'm going to give your tape trick a try though....
 

FSR402

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Soulive said:
Nice man! Now I feel comfortable getting one of those. Cheers...
Same here I think I'll pick one up tonight... I messed up Monday brewing and cut open an ounce of hops and as I was about to add it to the boil I seen that it was the wrong hop. :mad: So now I have an open bag of amerillo's.
 

Beerthoven

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After a long of period of struggle, and after trying all of BierMuncher's tips plus a few ideas of my own, I am throwing in the towel on the Reynolds Handivac. No matter what I do, I just cannot get the gawd-damn gallon size bags to hold their seal for more than a day or two. The quart size bags do work much better, though.

Food Saver, here I come!
 

jimba009

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Glad i found this thread. i just purchased the ziplock version of this, a hand pump instead of the battery powered version. i tried it out on some grain and it was gang busters! glad i found this for the little green guys!
 

njnear76

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I decided to put the original foil bag into a normal freezer ziplock bag. Then I put that inside an airtight container from Bed Bath and Beyond.

I think the ziplock bags regardless of type are not 100% airtight. The airtight container is made of PET so it should be.

Anyways, it might be worthwhile to get an airtight container as an extra insurance. Just by $.02
 

raceskier

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Another tip for items that are difficult to vacuum is to add some material that prevents the interior of the bag from sealing to the vacuumed item creating "airlocks". It can be as simple as a strip of paper towel or a piece of string. These items no mater how highly vacuumed provide an air passage path allowing you to more completely bleed all of the air towards the port. The crinkled finish on the Reynolds bag is attempting to the same thing.

A little trick from the world of composite material fabrication.
 

jimba009

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Ok, after a few days the bags are no longer holding the seal on the grain. I tried the bag in bag method and that didn't help. Maybe i will have better luck with the hops......:mad:
 
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BierMuncher

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Ok, after a few days the bags are no longer holding the seal on the grain. I tried the bag in bag method and that didn't help. Maybe i will have better luck with the hops......:mad:
Try placing a piece of clear wrapping tape, or good quality scotch tape over the "blow hole".

That seemed to help my situation out.

Granted...they are still not lock-down-perfect after several weeks/months, but for the most part they keep unwanted air and aromas out of the hops.

I just dry hopped with some 14 month old Northern Brewer whole hops and they still smelled outstanding.
 

jimba009

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i tried the 3M tape (the beast Giant Turkey had) and it held for about a day. I stuck 4 lbs of 2 row in a gallon bag just to see what would happen and it held good for about 12-18 hours. Tonight i am going to try some of the green guys in the quart bags and see how those hold up. I am hoping the hops will work out better, that was the original intention of the vac pump. Thanks for all of the info you have here BM, you have guided many to the tasty greatness!
 

conpewter

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I would caution if you've ever used the bag for grain or hops before (without BM's method) you may still have dust stuck in the seal, so you are better off starting with a fresh bag and using the bag in bag method.
 

The Pol

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I got the Food Sealer for $58 on-line... and after using it tonight, I would not use anything else. It is fast, easy, I can seal and reseal the bags effectively.

I hope the Handi Seal works for you all... just after hearing all of the issues with it, I didnt want to take any chances.
 

Baja_Brewer

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I got the Food Sealer for $58 on-line... and after using it tonight, I would not use anything else. It is fast, easy, I can seal and reseal the bags effectively.
Ebay?

You said it reseals?

I might have to look into one, after the money I spent on hops its worth preserving them.
 

The Pol

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Not ebay.... I will get the link and coupon code up here.

IT ROCKS, very nice Food Saver, with (2) vaccuum canisters, mason jar sealer, accessory hose etc... you can cut open and re-seal bags very easily. IT IS AWESOME... $58!

Sorry, seeing as though they probably sold about 50 of them to HBT members alone, they are all gone. I went to www.jardenstore.com and this machine is completely removed from thier site. No more deals there! It is completely discontinued.
 

conpewter

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The Pol, I was about to pull the trigger on one of those a week or so ago (whenever your thread was going) but talked to my wife and decided that since we already had the Reynold's handi-vac (a whopping $10 investment..) and that we really don't have food around long enough to get freezer burn (We buy grocery's monthly) that it wasn't worth the $75 to get the food-saver (That's what it ended up being when including the bags to get free shipping). It does look like a really nice machine though.
 

Baja_Brewer

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Thanks, I was just going to say that I did a search and found it.

Now Ill have to consider it...hmm....
 

The Pol

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It is a really nice machine. I have had succes resealing Seal A Meal bags, but could not keep a vaccuum in the Kenmore sealer bags. The FoodSaver bags seem heavier and more durable than the others hands down.
 

Baja_Brewer

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I could not keep a vaccuum in the Kenmore sealer bags. The FoodSaver bags seem heavier and more durable than the others hands down.
Thats what I've read about them. And the fact that it can re-seal will save you some bags in the long run, no need to repackage every time you open one! Plus you can store larger amounts.
 

Nikobrew

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Thats what I've read about them. And the fact that it can re-seal will save you some bags in the long run, no need to repackage every time you open one! Plus you can store larger amounts.
I've been using the kenmore bags most of the time and haven't had much trouble. A couple I think have been punctured by the hops pellets when they get moved around in transit. Are the foodsaver ones actually stronger, I thought it was just a perception but if they are thatd be good to really know.
 

The Pol

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They FEEL much heavier in thier construction... I played with it and the Seal A Meal bags and Kenmore bags and I can feel a difference. Like I said, I could not keep a vaccuum long in the Kenmore bags, so I placed my Cascades in a FoodSaver and sealed em up.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I just used this method to seal up my hops. It worked great! I put my ziplock inside my foil pack from hops direct then ironed the foil bag shut. I think that will be a good barrier.
 
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