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So last night I packed my first mylar bags, 20 X 1 gallon each, with oats, beans, and pasta. Added a 300cc oxygen absorber to each bag (1 for each bag except the pasta, added 2 to each of those bags). Sealed with a flat iron.

The one thing I forgot was to suction or squeeze as much air out of each bag as possible before sealing (I was doing it alone, may not have had enough hands to make that work anyway). As a result, the bags didn't 'suck down' tight overnight as some have described as the oxygen absorbers do their work.

So question: should I still be ok for at least 10-15 years of viable storage for these items as they are, or do I need to start over and suction the air out before sealing to ensure the best prevention of spoilage over the next 10-20 years?
 

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The oats and beans should have sucked down tight...I'm not sure how well pasta works when packed in mylar since it could easily protrude through the bag. It could be that there is a small hole in your bags or perhaps you left too much room in the bag. It is supposed to have some headspace but not too much. I recently bagged up some stuff and had a few bags that didn't suck down--tried to reuse/reseal the same bags and same result, lol. Pretty sure those bags were damaged in some way so had to use new bags and those worked just fine.:thumb:
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I deliberately leave a little air in mine and just compensate by using a bit more absorber. I don't want the tight suction. It increases the chances of bag damage and it also tries to pull air in harder. The tighter the suction the more chance of O2 infiltration over time, even in a sealed bag. But that's just my take on it.

Essentially, if you used enough O2 absorber, you're fine if the bags don't suck in tight. I like them to suck in just tight enough to let me know the absorber worked, but not tight enough to look "vacuum sealed".
 

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Maximus
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The one thing I forgot was to suction or squeeze as much air out of each bag as possible before sealing (I was doing it alone, may not have had enough hands to make that work anyway). As a result, the bags didn't 'suck down' tight overnight as some have described as the oxygen absorbers do their work.
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It will only "suck down" about 20% of the air anyways. My bet is that you did it right, just that you did not notice that amount it was reduced by. O2 absorbers only absorb the oxygen. It won't do anything with the nitrogen, co2 and any other gasses.
 

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How many 02 absorbers

I had kind of the same problem. I packed 5 pounds of rice in a one gallon mylar bag.....added 2 300 cc oxygen absorbers to each bag....I did three bags total.

This morning one of them looks great and looks vacuum sealed. The other two do not. I guess my question is this: How many of the 300 cc absorbers do I need to use in a one gallon mylar bag?
 

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The Lord's Servant
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I had kind of the same problem. I packed 5 pounds of rice in a one gallon mylar bag.....added 2 300 cc oxygen absorbers to each bag....I did three bags total.

This morning one of them looks great and looks vacuum sealed. The other two do not. I guess my question is this: How many of the 300 cc absorbers do I need to use in a one gallon mylar bag?
Give it another day and see if it doesn't "seal." Sometimes it takes 48 hours. I believe you used more than enough o2 obsorbers, mostly you just need 1 300cc for a one gallon bag.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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Here's a way you can adapt to squeeze air out of mylar bags prior to sealing, something I used before I got a hotjaw sealer:

You get or make a couple of pieces of 1" stock (it's 3/4" square in dimension). Cut two about, oh, 16" long. Carefully sand them smooth so there are no sharp edges or splinters or whatever. Put the two together, then use a rubber band at one end to hold them. Voila! You have something you can use to hold the bag flat while you seal.

When I did this with an iron, I'd seal on a 2x4 or similar, so that the open end of the bag was up higher than the bench I was working on, i.e., the thickness of the bag was compensated for by the 2x4. Then I'd use a piece of 1x stock to seal on with the iron.







If you do this, make sure you sand them smooth so you don't tear or poke your bags. A little bit of sanding is all it takes.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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For those having trouble getting good seals on their mylar, try a hair straightener. I used to use the iron and board method. But since I've tried the hair straightener, I won't go back to it. It does a better job and it more reliable. To me, anyway.
 

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The Right of the People..
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I just finished sealing a bunch of 1 gallon bags. I also use a hair straightener. Makes life easy.

My trick is to fill the bag, and seal about 2/3 of it. I leave just enough open to slip the OA inside. Once you get it in, you only have 2-3 inches to seal. The hot plates on my hair straightener are 4 inches long. I press out excess air and give it 1 quick clamp for a couple seconds and i'm done.

Here is what I did this weekend:

This pic is right after i finished.



2 hours later, this is what I got:



I aim for the packed tight look. It lets me know they are sealed. I do however agree with MikeK's statements about leaving some air in there.

I also use 500 cc OA's on my 1 gallon bags. And I threw 2 in the elbow macaroni because of the extra air. To each their own. :thumb:

This method also saves me headaches when doing the 5 gallon bags.



Hope this helps.
 

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Pleasantly demented woman
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And you'll all have lovely straight hair, to boot. :)
 
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What should the heater/sealer temp be for using a hair straighter? I have seen some indicate 200 deg, and some higher. What is optimal? And, what is too hot or cold?
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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If there is a lot of air, it will never suck down tight - but that does not mean that there is O2. You can have almost 0% O2 and a boat load of N2.

The "vacuum pack" appearance is simply a by product.

The only benefit is that you can see that there is no leak. Then again, you can also put the bag under water and squeeze it. If there is a leak, you will see bubbles.
 

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You're fine if they don't suck down tight. If it REALLY bothers you, don't start over. Cut a little slit at one of the corners and squeeze the air out. You're most likely just pushing nitrogen and a few other gasses out (no O2), but you can put another O2A in if it makes you feel better. Then just seal up the corner.
 
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