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Discussion Starter #1
What is the best way to remove all the air before sealing the Mylar bag? I will use a oxygen absorber but I want to remove as much air as possible.

Should I just use a vacuum and attach a smaller flexible hose to it?

Should I buy a food vacuum sealer that has the added connection to attach a small flexible hose to it?

What would you recommend? Thanks
 

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Wrong Side of Heaven
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You dont want to make bricks, it puts stress points on sharp foods that can tear bags. Hand pressing most air out will be sufficient.

O2 sorbers will remove 20 percent of the volume leaving only N2 in the bag. When I do some items... potatoes, sharp pastas, or thin sliced tomato and zucchini, I leave extra air in the bag and add more O2 pacs. I end up with bags that feel and pack like potato chip bags slightly less than...
 

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Golfer
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If you use a straw or hose you have to be quick to get it out and the bag sealed up without air sucking back in through the hole.
I have seen advice for zip top freezer bags: immerse the bag in water and let the water compress the bag. It would be a 2 man job to do mylar this way though, one to hold the bag and one to seal the top.
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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What is the best way to remove all the air before sealing the Mylar bag? I will use a oxygen absorber but I want to remove as much air as possible.

Should I just use a vacuum and attach a smaller flexible hose to it?

Should I buy a food vacuum sealer that has the added connection to attach a small flexible hose to it?

What would you recommend? Thanks
Don't bother. Use the right sized O2A instead. The gas left serves a function. You can more visibly see the bag shrink to know the O2A performed as it was supposed to. The remaining gas keep the bag from being stressed and allows the bag to more readily conform to storage.

No vacuuming or squeezing out excess air has ever helped a O2A do its job right. But doing those have caused failures before. There is no upside to trying to take air out of mylar before adding the O2A and sealing it right. Only potential downsides. So why risk screwing up?
 

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Golfer
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Many others have voiced in on this. There needs to be sufficient amount of oxygen/air to initiate the o2 absorber. If there isn’t enough it won’t work and you might as well not even use it.
Why would you want oxygen in the bag when the purpose of the O2 absorber is to get rid of it?
 

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Wrong Side of Heaven
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Why would you want oxygen in the bag when the purpose of the O2 absorber is to get rid of it?
I dont remember the thread, it talked about needing so many cc's of O2 to get the pac to activate. It also needs a bit of moisture as well, it is just basically iron making rust. It is why you dont place desiccant bags with O2 absorbers they cancel each other out.
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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Why would you want oxygen in the bag when the purpose of the O2 absorber is to get rid of it?
You are just trying to BS reason this. But you ignore how O2As work.

O2As need oxygen to catalyze. Sucking all the oxygen atmosphere out doesn't help that need.

The right sized O2A takes care of it all. As long as you seal it up promptly it can handle the entire volume of the bag.

All you do by squeezing air out or vacuuming is create complication without adding any security at all.




Other readers should note Puttster's "logic" has come up with some real loser ideas. He once reasoned that filling a huge rolling plastic trash bin with grain, dropping a block of dry ice on it, and taping it shut would be fine to store grain long term in his Gulf Coast garage. It didn't pan out at all like he expected. Didn't surprise the rest of us very much though. Pretty much, if he advises it then your internal warning bells should be ringing loudly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey you guys were right about not needed to suck the air out. I sealed my first bags of food. I was worried because I didn't suck the air out and after I sealed them they seemed to have a bit of air in them. I thought there was too much air and I would never really know if my oxygen absorbers worked because I would never see them being tightly compressed.

I did also notice my oxygen absorbers didn't get hot after sitting for less than a minute outside, but I could have sworn one felt hot.

I came back after work and all my bags were sucked in tightly, so I guess the oxygen absorbers worked.

Even though I didn't suck the air out before sealing, are they still too tight like you guys mentioned? They seem like hard bricks.

If someone can comment, does my mylar bag sealing look OK?







 

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COF
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I give them a good shaking before putting them in the bag. I always feel some heat so I know they are doing their thing. Don't know if it's needed but it makes me feel better. Your bags look like what I see with mine, maybe yours are a bit tighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Would anyone know, if I open these bags up in 10 years. Should the oxygen absorber get hot again?

Is this a good way to tell if the bag didn't have oxygen in it after all these years?
 

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Wrong Side of Heaven
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SNIP...

Even though I didn't suck the air out before sealing, are they still too tight like you guys mentioned? They seem like hard bricks.

If someone can comment, does my mylar bag sealing look OK?

...SNIP
Those look fine, do you know, or have a way to tell what is in them?? label system or sharpie

Opening a bag after 10 years you will know if there was a failure, contents would be off putting, degraded, or not what it looked like when it went in. Keep pictures of your work.

I usually work with the mylar with the zipper. That way after opening you can get some extended use of the bag and not worry about transferring it to other containers. If you need to open a bag, add new O2 and reseal with iron.

Most of the time new O2s come with a viability "eye" on the packaging. I have opened a set and placed unused O2s in a sealed jar, after a time they showed to be exhausted. I only buy them in smaller sealed quantities now as I need them. Dont risk your efforts and expected food to save a few cents.

over the years I have only opened up about 5 gallon bags as a test/use/viability examination nothing was off but they had only been sealed about 5ish years at the time. Everything I put up is for emergency use.

If you suspect a bag has failed due to a pinhole leak.... due to sealed bag changing shape or volume.

Place bag on a hard flat surface, stack several heavy books ontop of bag and level them. Take a measurement from the table to the top of the books. Let sit overnight and remeasure without disturbing, lower means leak, you can also compare before and after bag feel...
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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Would anyone know, if I open these bags up in 10 years. Should the oxygen absorber get hot again?

Is this a good way to tell if the bag didn't have oxygen in it after all these years?
Them reactivating again is highly suspect because the need for another catalyst reaction, of which internal components have been much diminished.

Bag condition should should inform you of the state inside. They might loosen a little, but if air is getting in then it will loosen completely.

Do remember that if osmotic infiltration happens that the rice is not hopeless. When you sealed the bag the atmosphere inside was 20% oxygen. If new air gets back in then you will have at max 4% oxygen atmosphere. Not great but a much slower oxidation rate. Moreover, if that happens it could not have been avoided by squeezing or vacuuming the air out early. You've done your part right, if you store it well. The rest is up to the mylar bag.

I'd suggest putting contents and date sealed on them with a sharpie, recording it to a spreadsheet so you can keep track of all your food put away this way, and going for a robust storage system. Those black and yellow lid HDX totes from Home Depot are always value priced, go on sale fairly often, and are quite useful in this application.

Don't forget to wash the sealed bags down before you mark them. This gets any food dust off the bags that might attract vermin.
 

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Storyteller
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Hey you guys were right about not needed to suck the air out. I sealed my first bags of food. I was worried because I didn't suck the air out and after I sealed them they seemed to have a bit of air in them. I thought there was too much air and I would never really know if my oxygen absorbers worked because I would never see them being tightly compressed.

I did also notice my oxygen absorbers didn't get hot after sitting for less than a minute outside, but I could have sworn one felt hot.

I came back after work and all my bags were sucked in tightly, so I guess the oxygen absorbers worked.

Even though I didn't suck the air out before sealing, are they still too tight like you guys mentioned? They seem like hard bricks.

If someone can comment, does my mylar bag sealing look OK?







Thanks for posting the images.

I often iron the top of the bag to have a large seal area.

This was covered in the link I posted for you.

Enjoy!
 
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