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Vacuum sealer

by William » Nov 3rd 13 3:52 pm

Hello guys, I need your advice.
Could someone recommend me a vacuum sealer that works with this zip lock?

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/gift-packa ... orage.html

I would also like to ask if someone has already used them, because I would understand if the quality is good enough.
I wish to use them to age some oolong for a medium/long term.

Regards,
William.

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Nov 4th 13 1:36 pm
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Re: Vacuum sealer

by brandon » Nov 4th 13 1:36 pm

You have two problems. Consumer grade vacuum sealers usually depend on some texture inside their name-brand bags to move the air out. They have mixed success on bags like the above. Some bags with gussets (the standard gao shan foil pack is an example) have more luck with this type.
The second problem is the power rating of the sealing bar. They are meant to seal thin layers of polycarbonate, not the type of heavy duty bag we like for tea. For me a food saver has sealed some and not others. A chamber style vacuum sealer gets around both of these limitations, and starts way outside what I imagine your budget it. One alternative is to seal tea in its original package inside a FoodSaver or similar brand bag with their machine. This gets most of the air out.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by brose » Nov 4th 13 5:03 pm

A good nitrogen purge is another option to easily preserve tea without having all of the hassle of vacuum sealing.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by ethan » Nov 4th 13 5:25 pm

William wrote that he wants to "age" tea. Will tea age significantly packed so well to keep air out?

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by William » Nov 4th 13 6:46 pm

Thanks for answers.
Another option I was considering was to completely fill these zip lock with oolong and then seal the bag using one of these heat sealer.

http://www.amazon.it/MACCHINA-SIGILLA-C ... gillatrice

In this way I would get (I think) the same effect of filling a jar up to the top some oolong, but without the problem of having too many jars around and avoiding any contamination deriving from the external environment, such as moisture and odors.

What troubles me is that air and moisture trapped inside the zip lock, albeit little, might still ruin my tea after months/years.
What do you think?

Regards,
William.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by Neist » Nov 4th 13 8:27 pm

I'm not sure if it'd affect the taste of the tea, but you could always use desiccant and oxy-sorb packets. One would remove the oxygen and the other would remove the moisture.

You know those silica gel packets that are sometimes sealed inside products? Very similar to those.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by William » Nov 4th 13 8:50 pm

Neist wrote:I'm not sure if it'd affect the taste of the tea, but you could always use desiccant and oxy-sorb packets. One would remove the oxygen and the other would remove the moisture.
Thank you for your response.
Do you have any particular brand to suggest?
I have never used them, so I am pretty inexperienced.

Regards,
William.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by Neist » Nov 4th 13 9:26 pm

William wrote:
Neist wrote:I'm not sure if it'd affect the taste of the tea, but you could always use desiccant and oxy-sorb packets. One would remove the oxygen and the other would remove the moisture.
Thank you for your response.
Do you have any particular brand to suggest?
I have never used them, so I am pretty inexperienced.

Regards,
William.
I unfortunately do not. :) I just know of the existence of them. The Oxy-Sorb ones are actually a brand (http://www.amazon.com/Oxy-Sorb-Oxygen-A ... B0028AG8RO). I used to know people who would store bulk, dry goods with them. The amazon page claims they don't effect taste or odor.

I really have no clue on desiccant packets, outside of what a desiccant packet is and how they are commonly used. I've never used them myself personally. Sorry!

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by William » Nov 4th 13 9:32 pm

Neist wrote:
William wrote:
Neist wrote:I'm not sure if it'd affect the taste of the tea, but you could always use desiccant and oxy-sorb packets. One would remove the oxygen and the other would remove the moisture.
Thank you for your response.
Do you have any particular brand to suggest?
I have never used them, so I am pretty inexperienced.

Regards,
William.
I unfortunately do not. :) I just know of the existence of them. The Oxy-Sorb ones are actually a brand (http://www.amazon.com/Oxy-Sorb-Oxygen-A ... B0028AG8RO). I used to know people who would store bulk dry goods with them. The amazon page claims they don't effect taste or odor.

I really have no clue on desiccant packets, outside of what a desiccant packet is and how they are commonly used. I've never used to use them myself personally. Sorry!
Thank you anyway for your advice .. I will do further research! :)

Regards,
William.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by wyardley » Nov 4th 13 9:42 pm

Sorbent Systems sells the stand-up bags in various sizes / colors as well as a "snorkel" type sealer that (sort of) works with them (look for their specials, because otherwise you have to buy 1k instead of 100). But really, I'd suggest that most home vacuum sealers don't work very well - you need good quality bags with channels and a chamber sealer. Other than that, my suggestion is, buy teas that need to be consumed very fresh and won't age well in small quantities and / or packaged in smaller, sealed quantities of, say, 50g or so, and store the rest of the stuff in sealed, but not vacuum sealed, bags or canisters.

Dessicants are pretty much useless unless you've got a perfect vacuum seal - they simply can't absorb that much moisture.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by Poohblah » Nov 5th 13 1:39 am

wyardley wrote:Dessicants are pretty much useless unless you've got a perfect vacuum seal - they simply can't absorb that much moisture.
Could you please explain this? It seems to me that a dessicant in a small, air-tight package would be able to absorb all of the moisture in that package.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by wyardley » Nov 5th 13 2:34 am

Poohblah wrote:
wyardley wrote:Dessicants are pretty much useless unless you've got a perfect vacuum seal - they simply can't absorb that much moisture.
Could you please explain this? It seems to me that a dessicant in a small, air-tight package would be able to absorb all of the moisture in that package.
I could be wrong, but, as I understand it, there has to be little enough moisture present that the desiccant doesn't get saturated (and hence, useless), so it's not just that the container has to be air tight, but you have to get enough of the air out to prevent that from happening.

http://www.sorbentsystems.com/desiccant ... saturation
is kind of an interesting read

Most of the desiccant packages used for tea are pretty small.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by William » Nov 5th 13 7:13 am

wyardley wrote:
Poohblah wrote:
wyardley wrote:Dessicants are pretty much useless unless you've got a perfect vacuum seal - they simply can't absorb that much moisture.
Could you please explain this? It seems to me that a dessicant in a small, air-tight package would be able to absorb all of the moisture in that package.
I could be wrong, but, as I understand it, there has to be little enough moisture present that the desiccant doesn't get saturated (and hence, useless), so it's not just that the container has to be air tight, but you have to get enough of the air out to prevent that from happening.

http://www.sorbentsystems.com/desiccant ... saturation
is kind of an interesting read

Most of the desiccant packages used for tea are pretty small.
Suppose the case that I fill one of these zip lock bags, I put inside a desiccant and an oxygen absorber, and seal it with a heat sealer. What do you think?

Perhaps only a practical test will clarify things. :)

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by Chip » Nov 5th 13 3:43 pm

Getting the right size desiccant can be ... confusing.

I am also always more than a bit distrustful of getting them "further from the actual source/manufacturer" since if they have not been properly maintained/stored they can be useless and you would never really know for certain. The more time they spend exposed to air or in an improper storage container, the more they become "used up."

So, if I was to get them, I would want to deal directly with a company like Sorbent ... and even then hope for the best.

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Re: Vacuum sealer

by William » Nov 5th 13 4:28 pm

Chip wrote:Getting the right size desiccant can be ... confusing.

I am also always more than a bit distrustful of getting them "further from the actual source/manufacturer" since if they have not been properly maintained/stored they can be useless and you would never really know for certain. The more time they spend exposed to air or in an improper storage container, the more they become "used up."

So, if I was to get them, I would want to deal directly with a company like Sorbent ... and even then hope for the best.
Thanks for the advice Chip!

In fact, after many, many hours of research online, I found some interesting items on Ebay.
In particular, to limit the presence of oxygen inside the zip lock, I have found some oxygen absorbers, kept in sealed envelopes without air inside, envelope which is accompanied by an oxygen indicator tablet.
Instead, to limit the presence of moisture inside of the zip lock, I have found some packets of silica gel, in sealed envelopes without air inside, envelope which is accompanied by a humidity indicator.
Last but not least detail, according to the sellers, both were sealed at the time of production.

I think I'll try some of these products together with some oolong I will buy soon. My aim is to let them refine for a couple of years and see what the result will (obviously checking every few months how the experiment proceeds, by opening some bag, one for each oolong).

Regards,
William.
Last edited by William on Nov 5th 13 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.