Vacuum Sealers

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

zanemoseley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
545
Reaction score
1
Location
Cookeville, TN
I just sent back the handheld FoodSaver system with the zip lock looking bags to Amazon. I had a problem with the bags letting air back in after putting in the freezer. After contacting Foodsaver they told me that the valves are not rated to go in the freezer and would leak, would have been nice it was advertised that way.

I'm looking at a larger model now. Seal-A-Meal has a cheaper $45 one on that seems to get good reviews on Amazon, actually better than several more expensive FoodSaver systems.

Which should I get? I'm not opposed to getting a FoodSaver but if the Seal-A-Meal is just as good at basic vacuum sealing then I'd rather save the money. I'll mainly use it for hops and freezing some stuff from my vegi garden.
 

CA_Mouse

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2013
Messages
1,990
Reaction score
362
Location
Riverside
I've had both and they both work well. If it is only going to be used occasionally, then get the Seal-A-Meal. Ours gets heavy usage (not just for my brewing habits) and the Seal-A-Meal lasted only about 8 months. We are currently going on 3 years with a FoodSaver model that costs about 76% more, but was worth every penny it has saved us in lost foods and better space savings over all.
 
OP
Z

zanemoseley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
545
Reaction score
1
Location
Cookeville, TN
Well I ordered a seal-a-meal so we'll see how it holds up. It was about 1/3 the price of the Foodsaver I would have bought.
 

hillybilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
287
Reaction score
33
Location
Tallahassee
I have the top of the line food saver with attachments for vacuum sealing jars, marinater, and canister set love it
 

wp2145

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Kansas City
I have a FoodSaver as well. I found that you can use it to reseal potato chips bags by using the the sealer function. That led me to begin using Mylar bags for sealing dry goods that don't need to be vacuumed packed. Mylar has zero breathability and can't be vacuum packed as regular FoodSaver bags can. However, it seems that it would be great for saving extra DME or Hops etc. that you want to protect from moisture. Mylar bags come in all sizes and can be found on eBay or Amazon. I use it for pipe tobacco and coffee beans. I open the bag, take what I need, reseal the bag. You can also toss in an oxygen absorber packet as well. Seems to work fine for me.
 

day_trippr

"This Space For Rent"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
37,651
Reaction score
20,550
Location
Stow, MA
^ fwiw, you can vac-seal those "mylar" bags, you just cut a small strip of the regular Foodsaver type bag material and place it in the mouth of the bag along the seal line before inserting the assembly into the sealer.

That said, imo I don't see any advantage over using the regular bags. When I pull out a bag of my homegrown hops, for instance, the bags are still holding a vacuum, months after sealing. Clearly, the material is an effective O2 barrier, so as long as the seal is sound the bags work as you'd want them to...

Cheers!
 

Accidic

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2010
Messages
1,525
Reaction score
102
Location
Millbrook
Can't speak for the Seal-A-Meal model but we have a Foodsaver from Costco bought in 2006 that's still chugging away without any problems. We've got a few of the "attachment" pieces too that are fairly handy such as the Mason jar attachments mentioned above.

That said, the mylar idea is an interesting one. If you were really worried about it you could just allow it to suck the air out but hit the seal button right before it created the vacuum. Do that around actual vacuum bags and you'd get the best of both worlds. In fact, where did you get the mylar? I wouldn't mind throwing some of my freezer hop stores in those bags for a little extra insurance if it isn't too expensive.
 

wp2145

New Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Kansas City
Can't recall which vendor. I got fifty and I have used about half over the past few years.
 

TrickyDick

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
334
Location
near Orlando
Necro post-

I bought some 6" Mylar pouches for hop storage. 3.5mil. My foodSaver vac sealer will not adequately seal these bags, and forget about any vacuum effect.

What are others using for Mylar pouches and a foodSaver? I can't find thinner pouches like the commercial vendors and online guys sell. I think they use chamber vac sealers which are costly and bulky however. Should still be able to get the same pouches somewhere? I think thinner material would help.

TD
 

BargainFittings

Vendor / Owner
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
105
Location
Allen TX
Last edited by a moderator:

TrickyDick

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
334
Location
near Orlando
Cool. Do you know how thick the Mylar can be? My foodSaver will not heat seal, nor vacuum purge the 3.5mil pouches I have. The seal is does create will easily open with gentle force if it takes at all. Obviously I'm intending to reseal hop pouches.

Thanks

TD
 

wardens355

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
747
Reaction score
221
Location
Kansas City
Cool. Do you know how thick the Mylar can be? My foodSaver will not heat seal, nor vacuum purge the 3.5mil pouches I have. The seal is does create will easily open with gentle force if it takes at all. Obviously I'm intending to reseal hop pouches.

Thanks

TD
You can seal Mylar with an iron.

Because I have accumulated Mylar bags, foodsaver bags, and oxygen absorbers, I now use an over-redundant storage process for my hops. I vacuum seal hops in 4-6 oz portions in foodsaver bags with oxygen absorbers, then toss a bunch of those bags in a 1-gallon Mylar bag with another oxygen absorber, then heat seal the Mylar closed with an iron and stainless racking cane or a level.

I think there are two general methods that are sufficient for sealing hops:
1. Vacuum seal in foodsaver bags and store in freezer (using an oxygen absorbers is probably way overkill, but I have so many that I add them anyways).
2. Placing in Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber and heat sealing with an iron (press out as much air as possible before sealing).

Oxygen absorbers are fairly cheap on Amazon. If you have an iron, I would recommend going with number 2 above. When you open the oxygen absorbers, take out only what you need and then toss the rest in a foodsaver bag and vacuum seal for later.
 

BargainFittings

Vendor / Owner
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
105
Location
Allen TX
Cool. Do you know how thick the Mylar can be? My foodSaver will not heat seal, nor vacuum purge the 3.5mil pouches I have. The seal is does create will easily open with gentle force if it takes at all. Obviously I'm intending to reseal hop pouches.

Thanks

TD
Yes the snorkel sealers will seal if you hold the seal bar long enough.
 

TungstenBeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
328
Reaction score
53
Location
Buffalo
I use a FoodSaver unit for regular things (meat, fish, etc) as well as brewing things (grain, even though it's overkill). I also have the jar attachment which works well to store hops in the freezer. Ball tells you that their larger mason jars aren't meant to go in the freezer, but I've had no problem storing hops in all sized jars, including their 1/2 gallon size jar. I wouldn't store liquids or anything with much water content in them, though.

I've been very, very happy with it.
 

hezagenius

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
2,109
Location
Iowa
I have one of the FoodSaver vacuum sealers and it took me a while to figure out that the bags have to be oriented in a certain direction for them to vacuum seal correctly. If you are vacuum sealing them in the normal orientation (like if you are using a pre-cut bag) everything is fine. If you rotate it 90 degrees, it will not vacuum seal. Drove me crazy until I figured that out.

I use mine for crushed grain that I buy from my local store as well as hops. I plan to start buying hops in bulk and sealing them to save some cash. So far, it has worked great. SWMBO also uses it for food so she can't complain too much about the purchase.
 

phug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
1,740
Reaction score
323
Location
Toronto
I've been reading reviews that people have been having trouble getting the smaller sized jars to seal properly. Anyone seeing that?
 

TrickyDick

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
334
Location
near Orlando
Thanks. Food Saver is doing most of its duty for food, and SWMBO is happy and proficient with it (more than I am). Just bought the snokel sealer suggested. Seems like it'll be better for my intended purposes. Thanks

TD
 

TrickyDick

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
334
Location
near Orlando
Got the new sealer today. Weighs less than foodsaver, cost less, more control, and less mess/waste. Has a cheap built abroad feel but as long as its working to seal up hops and malt I'm happy.

Thanks for the tips!

TD
 

EJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
419
Reaction score
126
Location
Woodinville
For sealing mylar, hop bags, yeast packets (I do half batches) I use an impulse sealer. They are easily adjustable for thicker or thinner bags. They don't vaccuum, but seal very well. Cheap too.
 
Top