HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Roast storage test... (23 msgs / 728 lines)
1) From: Mike McGinness
Just an FYI cupping volunteers. I just finished roasting & packaging for
tomorrow's mail. All three CCK CCM 151gr greens batches yielded 126gr
roasted. I was surprised that the two Pan' Songbird batches also weighed
126gr roasted (same profile/temp.) Then further surprised when my last
batch, JBM Moy Hall, weighed 128gr after roasting, again same profile, same
finished time & temp', same starting 151gr. (Just thought it was
interesting.) I split each batch equally 3 ways:  42gr in a ziplock bag,
42gr in a vacuum bag and 42gr in a vacuum bag with Fresh Pak oxygen
absorber. I bagged each batch right after roasting before roasting the
next...
Since this is a storage freshness test I didn't ship fast method, simply
USPS 1st Class. (That and it saved about $13 additional for Priority, $72
additional for Express!:-)
Oh, don't be concerned about the vac' bags not being hard when you get them.
The roast degassing will expand the bag. (should be enough room for the
expansion;-)
MM;-)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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2) From: R.N.Kyle
Thata boy Mike, I can't hardly wait. I applaud your enthusiasm for the =
art of coffee roasting and those little things that make it better.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC
rnkyle

3) From: Mark A. Chalkley
Mike -
Cool!  (and interesting!)  Thanks for the update - I'm waiting (sort
of) patiently...
Mark C.
On Sunday, September 15, 2002, 7:43:34 PM, you wrote:
MM> Just an FYI cupping volunteers. I just finished roasting & packaging for
MM> tomorrow's mail. All three CCK CCM 151gr greens batches yielded 126gr
MM> roasted. I was surprised that the two Pan' Songbird batches also weighed
MM> 126gr roasted (same profile/temp.) Then further surprised when my last
MM> batch, JBM Moy Hall, weighed 128gr after roasting, again same profile, same
MM> finished time & temp', same starting 151gr. (Just thought it was
MM> interesting.) I split each batch equally 3 ways:  42gr in a ziplock bag,
MM> 42gr in a vacuum bag and 42gr in a vacuum bag with Fresh Pak oxygen
MM> absorber. I bagged each batch right after roasting before roasting the
MM> next...
MM> Since this is a storage freshness test I didn't ship fast method, simply
MM> USPS 1st Class. (That and it saved about $13 additional for Priority, $72
MM> additional for Express!:-)
MM> Oh, don't be concerned about the vac' bags not being hard when you get them.
MM> The roast degassing will expand the bag. (should be enough room for the
MM> expansion;-)
MM> MM;-)
MM> Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
MM>
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4) From: Les & Becky
Mike,
I got my little gems in the mail today.  My wife was all concerned because
she could smell the coffee through the package.  Nothing to fear, the
zip-lock bag was "sealed", but still letting aroma out!  Have we set a
standard for the test?  I would put today-Friday as peak flavor for the
coffees.  I don't see anything gained by simply opening the packages and
roasting at their peak period using normal storage methods.  Can you please
let me know if you want the test done one week or two weeks from now.  I am
thinking that the earliest I would like to run my test would be on Sept. 27
or 28.  However, maybe the best would be to wait at least another week .  I
roasted some Panama tonight just to get the taste buds geared up for the
test!  If the whole point is longer storage with the absorbent bag vac
sealed, I would think that a two maybe three week wait is in order.  It is
your test!  The CSA in me said "Lets Brew NOW!"
Les

5) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Les & Becky" 
<Snip>
please
<Snip>
am
<Snip>
27
<Snip>
I
<Snip>
Longer would be better. Three weeks would be an excellent time since I've
read that coffee is 'best' up to three weeks from roasting. (said by coffee
roaster selling roasted coffee of course.) I'm really leaving it up to each
taster. I'm thinking I may keep my test batch even longer, until you visit
Oct. 20th! That should give the control zip-lock bag time to get really good
(and stale that is;-) I'd probably want to roast another batch a couple days
prior as a fresh roast control if going that long (same bean, temp, time and
profile of course...)
MM;-)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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6) From: Les & Becky
Mike,
I like the idea of waiting longer.  I think I will wait until getting home
from that trip, so I will test on Oct. 22 and post the results.
Les
<Snip>
coffee
<Snip>
each
<Snip>
good
<Snip>
days
<Snip>
and
<Snip>
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7) From: AlChemist John
I received Mikes three storage test coffees in good order.  Les was 
right.  The baggie let the wonderful smell of coffee out nicely.  I plan on 
brewing the test batches up on probably Sunday with a friend.
First observation:
The baggie was very loose
The vacuum sealed was just loose
The vacuum sealed one with the oxygen/CO2 scavenger was still  mostly 
tight.  Must be doing something
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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8) From: Mike McGinness
First off I leave when and how to compare entirely up to each individual.
(as if I had any control over it :-) Since Les is stopping by for a visit
10/20 I decided to keep mine 'till then. A good long 5 week test. I also now
plan on roasting a batch of the same beans 10/17 for a 4 way comparison....
After my deciding this plan of attack Les decided to keep his 'till he gets
back to Roseburg 10/22.
From: "AlChemist John" 
<Snip>
on
<Snip>
I noticed the same expansion difference in the two same size same weight of
same roasted beans vac'd packed. Don't know what effect it'll have on taste
but that's the whole point of the exercise!
It'll actually probably be more interesting to get cupping tests from people
different times of rest/staling.
MM;-)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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9) From: Rick Farris
Mike wrote:
<Snip>
I didn't notice all that big a difference in volume, but I *did* notice that
the baggie and non-O2-getter beans were flecked with oil already, and the
O2-getter beans weren't.
-- Rick
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10) From: Mark A. Chalkley
I received the test coffee from Mike yesterday - I got the Kona.
I can't see any difference in appearance between the three sets of
beans.
However, I also noticed the same difference with regard to the volume
of "air" in the bags.  This difference continues to hold after a
second day at home, even though the volume of air in both
vacuum-sealed bags seems to be increasing.  I can't say for sure yet,
but it almost seems that the amount of air in the bag without the
absorber seems to be increasing faster, but I should know that
definitively before the storage part of the test is done.  (I have
easily been able to determine which packet has the absorber in it by
air volume before actually seeing the absorber.
Since I'm going to be gone for a couple weeks, I'll wait and do the
taste part of the test on 10/22, as well.  I'm kinda leery about doing
that because I really hate the thought of letting Kona get past it's
prime, but this is a sacrifice for science, after all.  Mike
sacrificed the Kona, packaging, postage, and time - the least I can do
is show a little patience... ;>)
Mark C.
On Thursday, September 19, 2002, 10:06:48 PM, you wrote:
AJ> I received Mikes three storage test coffees in good order.  Les was 
AJ> right.  The baggie let the wonderful smell of coffee out nicely.  I plan on 
AJ> brewing the test batches up on probably Sunday with a friend.
AJ> First observation:
AJ> The baggie was very loose
AJ> The vacuum sealed was just loose
AJ> The vacuum sealed one with the oxygen/CO2 scavenger was still  mostly 
AJ> tight.  Must be doing something
AJ> --
AJ> John Nanci 
AJ> AlChemist at large
AJ> Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
AJ>
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11) From: Mark A. Chalkley
I had a good opportunity to test the samples Mike sent me today, so I
took it. I'm not a professional cupper by any stretch of the
imagination, but I did do a pretty thorough blind testing, at least to
the extent that I'm capable of one.
To recap what Mike sent me, copied directly from the very professional
label he put on the packets: 3 batches of Captain Cook Kona '02,
Caracolillo Coffee Mill, roasted September 15, 2002, 13:40 Pacific
Daylight Time, Light Full City 435F.  There were 3 packets:  a ZipLoc
baggie (hereafter referred to simply as ZipLock), a vacuum-packed bag
(Vac-pac), and a vacuum-packed bag with a "Fresh-pak Oxygen & Carbon
Dioxide Absorber" (Fresh-pak) sealed inside it.
I brewed all three samples using a Hario Nouveau, pre-heating the
water in an electric kettle, using the contents of each packet with
exactly 5 cups of water (as indicated by the Hario carafe), and
limiting extraction time, from wetting of the grounds to completion of
kickdown) to a total of 3:30 (total variance was less than 20
seconds), by cooling the carafe with a damp rag as necessary.  (Having
only two Harios, as it turned out, I brewed the Vac-pac and the
ZipLock samples simultaneously, and the Fresh-pak third a few minutes
later.
On to the reviews, in order of quality:
First, the ZipLock - No coffee aroma, in either the whole beans, the
ground beans, or the brew.  The only flavor I could ascertain from the
brewed coffee was bitterness.  In short, a terrible waste of good
Kona.  If I'd tasted this first (it turned out to be the second), I'd
have had no trouble stating that it was absolutely stale.  If I hadn't
known I was tasting Kona, though, I'd have had great difficulty
believing that this even started out as quality coffee sample - it was
absolutely horrible.  I've only had two cups of coffee other than what
I roasted/brewed myself in the last year and a half or so (both in
very upscale restaurants and both supposedly "just brewed") and this
was worse than either of them, by far.  It reminded me of some of the
samples I've had at Dunkin' Donuts/7-11/other places of that ilk. I've
had worse at places like that, but only because they contained some
very assertive foul flavors.  The best I could say for the fresh
brewed sample of this was that it was hot.  After it cooled, there was
absolutely nothing whatsoever to recommend continued drinking of it. A
few swallows of it was all I subjected myself to.
Second, the Vac-pac - Good, but disappointingly weak, aroma in the
whole and ground bean.  I didn't notice any of the "grassiness" I
usually detect in freshly roasted coffee of this light a roast (not
meaning to imply that Mike's Full City was lighter than Full City, and
I don't have my S-W chips yet, just using the term in a relative
sense). In the brewed coffee, I found good "coffee" flavor, but no
specific flavors that I could identify. I'm sure a better taste tester
than myself would be able to specifically profile some of the distinct
flavors, but I really couldn't.  I felt that acidity was very low,
even for Kona. This was the first sample I tasted and I have to
confess that I originally hoped this sample was the ZipLock one - the
flavors and aroma were muted enough that I wasn't overly impressed
with the sample.  However, the second tasting removed any doubts about
that...
Third, the Fresh-pak - Very good aroma, particularly in the ground
bean.  Whole bean aroma wasn't up to par with fresh or just-rested
roast, but did contain quite a bit of the "grassiness" aroma that I
normally associate with a relatively light roast. The brewed coffee
had consiserably more of this "grassiness" in the flavor.  Also, I
found considerably more sharpness and acidity in this sample, though
still subdued, as would be expected in Kona.  Flavors were
considerably more intense in this sample - I felt I could detect notes
of nuttiness and turpeny (slight, not unpleasant) in the aftertaste.
Also, I noted a great deal more body or mouth-feel in this sample. The
only negative I'll offer about this sample is that I do not feel it
was quite up to par with what I'd expect of a just-rested sample.
My wife also agreed as to the relative differences in the quality of
the samples, but all her tastings were "adulterated" with cream and
sugar.  (My "tasting notes" are based on black samples and samples
"adulterated" with cream only, each tasted both hot and cold.)
In summary, if we were ever to repeat this test, I'd like to roast a
batch of the same green beans the day before the test, attempting to
duplicate the roast to the extent possible of course, and compare the
four samples. Actually, I think we can forget the ZipLock sample in
any testing in future - it's a waste of the beans.  But I do think
considerably more conclusive findings could be obtained if the test
were to include fresh-roasted beans, as well.  This would be hampered
by the difficulty of duplicating the roast, but it should still prove
informative, perhaps even moreso than this test.   Hint, hint... ;>)
The only other conclusion I've come to in this test is that I want to
get some of the Fresh-pak packets for my own use, if they're aren't
too expensive.  Based on my results and Alchemist John's, I think they
would be very helpful in certain situations - they definitely do
appear to help.  So, two questions, Mike: How much are they and how is
the integrity of the packet maintained, i.e. are they individually
wrapped, or what?
Lastly, thanks, Mike!  I really appreciate the opportunity to
participate and I hope you feel the results of the two tests so far,
as well as the others when they're complete, justify all the effort
and expense you went to.  I certainly do.
Mark C.
On Thursday, September 19, 2002, 11:22:38 PM, you wrote:
MM> First off I leave when and how to compare entirely up to each individual.
MM> (as if I had any control over it :-) Since Les is stopping by for a visit
MM> 10/20 I decided to keep mine 'till then. A good long 5 week test. I also now
MM> plan on roasting a batch of the same beans 10/17 for a 4 way comparison....
MM> After my deciding this plan of attack Les decided to keep his 'till he gets
MM> back to Roseburg 10/22.
MM> From: "AlChemist John" 
<Snip>
MM> on
<Snip>
MM> I noticed the same expansion difference in the two same size same weight of
MM> same roasted beans vac'd packed. Don't know what effect it'll have on taste
MM> but that's the whole point of the exercise!
MM> It'll actually probably be more interesting to get cupping tests from people
MM> different times of rest/staling.
MM> MM;-)
MM> Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
MM>
MM> homeroast mailing list
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12) From: Mike McGinness
Good report Mark. It is interesting that your tests found the vac + Fresh
Pak best while John gave the nod to vac only for overall best. Hence why I
thought it a good idea to have multiple testers in the first place!
Yeah, I knew the ziplock roast would be terrible, just like the general
coffee consuming public gets all the time! My original idea was to primarily
see how the vac and vac + Fresh Pak compared then figured why not see how
basic poor storage faired. Comparing fresh roast didn't occur to me at the
time. However, there will be three of the tests 4 way with fresh roast.
Mine, Les's (taking fresh roast home from his 10/20 visit) and I'll be
mailing a fresh roast sample to Ron in a day or two (anyone else?) Maybe
still be only 3 way test though... will they (&I) or won't they (&I) brew
the already confirmed garbage ziplock samples!:-) Duplicating the roasts
won't be that difficult (within a few seconds.) I've gotten pretty good at
controlling temp ramp with the variac.
The Fresh Pak packets come in a vac sealed bag, came in two bags of 100. As
you already figured out they must be kept under vacuum or loose their
usefulness. I made a few small vac bags of 1 or 2 for soon to be used. The
rest in two larger vac bags. Cost was $12.50 for 200 25cc packets plus s/h,
about $20 total. They come in different sizes with suggested usage depending
on storage 'container' size. Seehttp://www.sorbentsystems.com/order_O2.htmlOh, as far as judging this Kona itself, it's only ok fresh roasted, IMNSHO.
It was the cheap end of season CCM mixed farm stuff. Not bad, 'bout 6 maybe
7 on a Kona scale of 10. I wouldn't pay normal Kona greens prices of $14-$20
per pound for it but for the about $6 inc s/h weren't a bad deal.
MM;-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
Mad Coffee Experimenter at large
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13) From: Gary Zimmerman
Mike McGinness wrote:
<Snip>
Thanks, all, for these tests.  Really interesting information.
Has anyone tried a ziplock or sealed jar with one of those one-way valves?
-- garyZ
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14) From: Mark A. Chalkley
Mike,
On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 7:16:37 PM, you wrote:
MM> Good report Mark. It is interesting that your tests found the vac + Fresh
MM> Pak best while John gave the nod to vac only for overall best. Hence why I
MM> thought it a good idea to have multiple testers in the first place!
The difference between my report and John's escaped me, until you
mentioned it.  It is an interesting point - I wonder what it means.
We'll see what the other tests reveal...
MM> Duplicating the roasts won't be that difficult (within a few
MM> seconds.) I've gotten pretty good at controlling temp ramp with
MM> the variac.
I didn't mean it would be difficult for you to duplicate them.  I was
thinking more along the lines of your sending the two vac-packed
samples and a third in green for home-roasting by the tester.
MM> The Fresh Pak packets come in a vac sealed bag, came in two bags of 100. As
MM> you already figured out they must be kept under vacuum or loose their
MM> usefulness. I made a few small vac bags of 1 or 2 for soon to be used. The
MM> rest in two larger vac bags. Cost was $12.50 for 200 25cc packets plus s/h,
MM> about $20 total. They come in different sizes with suggested usage depending
MM> on storage 'container' size. Seehttp://www.sorbentsystems.com/order_O2.htmlThat's not bad at all - I think I'll order some.  Thanks for the info!
MM> Oh, as far as judging this Kona itself, it's only ok fresh roasted, IMNSHO.
MM> It was the cheap end of season CCM mixed farm stuff. Not bad, 'bout 6 maybe
MM> 7 on a Kona scale of 10. I wouldn't pay normal Kona greens prices of $14-$20
MM> per pound for it but for the about $6 inc s/h weren't a bad deal.
Hmmm - that's interesting to know...  That makes it sound as if the
Fresh-pak sample was pretty well preserved indeed!
Mark C.
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15) From: Mark A. Chalkley
Gary - I use a Vac-U-Vin cannister as a matter of course.  I've never
tested the results against non-vac-stored samples, but I carried
enough for two weeks' worth of brewing on a recent trip in two
cannisters - didn't really notice much reduction in the quality of the
coffee at the end of the trip, so it works very well, IMO.
Mark C.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 7:44:43 PM, you wrote:
GZ> Mike McGinness wrote:
<Snip>
GZ> Thanks, all, for these tests.  Really interesting information.
GZ> Has anyone tried a ziplock or sealed jar with one of those one-way valves?
GZ> -- garyZ
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16) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Gary Zimmerman" 
<Snip>
I'm not sure what you mean by 'tried'. I use the clear/gold valve bags Tom
sells for gift roast giving. The theory, as I understand it, for the valve
bags helping storage is as the roast degasses the CO2 'pushes' the oxidizing
O away from the beans. The valve is the release built up pressure pushing
the lighter oxygen out. First problem oxidization begins immediately since
oxygen is present. As degassing progresses the amount of O attacking the
beans is reduced by the CO2 barrier. Second problem once container opened to
remove some beans, the CO2 barrier is gone and oxidization is full speed
ahead. The idea behind vacuum sealing is the greatly reduce the oxygen
available for oxidization. The idea behind adding the Fresh Pak is to reduce
oxygen even further.
Since I plan more roasting for the tests anyway, and the long term ziplock
really doesn't need to be cupped, I think I'll split the fresh roast control
into two storage vehicles. One valve bag the other vac bag. This will make
it a 4 way test between a couple day rest two different storage, long term
two different storage.
MM;-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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17) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 16:16 10/9/02, Mike McGinness typed:
<Snip>
It was really difficult for us to decide why the Vac pak was 
best.  Somehow, the Fresh pak was just a little too smooth.  Odd that a 
small packet of iron could cause that difference.  Mind you, both were 
really good.  Also, IF (IF I say) I had to drink coffee unadulterated, I 
would have chosen the fresh pack as the best.  Maybe that is the way coffee 
is supposed to be?  Maybe not.
Conclusion, drink fresh roasted (I know, not the point of the experiment)
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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18) From: Christian Wiedmann
I was wondering if since the two vac packed samples were so similar whether
somebody would consider making a test with the Fresh Pak and a zip-loc to see
if the oxygen absorber can offset the lack of vacuum.
I don't have a FoodSaver (yet?), so I am of course wondering whether I can
use the oxygen absorber packets instead.
	-Christian
On Thu, 10 Oct 2002, AlChemist John wrote:
<Snip>
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19) From: Ben Treichel
Christian Wiedmann wrote:
<Snip>
Interesting question.
<Snip>

20) From: Gary Zimmerman
Gary wrote:
<Snip>
Mike wrote:
<Snip>
I meant as part of your storage experiments.  Since so much 
commercially-roasted coffee is offered in these valve packs, I was 
wondering whether the technique was indeed valuable.
<Snip>
That's how I understand it too - the CO2 simply displaces the O2.
<Snip>
I didn't think relative densities of the gasses had anything to do with 
it.  I thought it was just simple displacement and dilution.  Add more CO2 
to the bag (as the beans outgassing do), and there's less space for 
O2.  You get a mix of gasses that's largely CO2 with less O2 relatively as 
more CO2 is outgassed.  A gas mixture, rather than just the O2, is what's 
pushed out the valve when pressure becomes great enough to open the 
valve.  As you add more CO2, the concentration of the O2 is minimized, but 
probably is never negligible.
Maybe adding an O2 scavenger to one of those valve packs would work?  I'm 
just thinking of a way to avoid the necessity of a vacuum system.
<Snip>
Yeah, that makes sense.  I'm just looking for a bit lower-tech storage 
system that doesn't require vacuum.  Not that I usually have my beans 
sitting around for very long anyway, but if I did want to give some out for 
gifts, I wonder whether using the valve packs and tossing in a scavenger 
pack would be any better than the valve packs alone.  (Probably not once 
you open the valve pack for the first time.)
<Snip>
That's great, thanks.  I'll be interested in the results.
-- garyZ
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21) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Christian Wiedmann" 
<Snip>
whether
<Snip>
see
<Snip>
Probably not for a couple of reasons. First the Fresh Paks are designed to
scavage residual small amounts remaining oxygen after vac and or nitrogen
flush. If you used enough of them then maybe yes. But then the second
problem, the zip-lock bag itself. Is it virtually 100% airtight seal? If not
Fresh Paks would be useless in them no matter what continually absorbing
oxygen from outside the bag until saturated. Seal simple to test I think.
Put a piece of bread in the zip-lock bag and seal, put the bag in a
tupperware bowl, add chopped onions and cover, leave in 'frig for a couple
days. Remove, take out bread, does the bread smell and taste like onions. If
yes then zip-lock sealing effectiveness no good...
MM;-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Miss Silvia brewin'
Limping along with Solis Maestro grindin'
Christmas is coming!!!
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22) From: Christian Wiedmann
Actually I think that the use of oxygen absorbers may be more ambitious
than you say:http://www.sorbentsystems.com/o2absorbers_1.html. These
instructions do not mention a requirement to use vacuum (in fact they seem
to imply that using them without vacuum is normal).
The small absorbers seem to be able to absorb about 25cc of oxygen.  How
much residual air is in a ziplock after it is squeezed?  If 25cc is not enough,
surely 500cc would be, wouldn't it?  I wouldn't be looking for an indefinite
storage.  I would be happy if I could add a week or two to the shelf life of
roasted beans.  If a ziplock leaks 10cc a day, a 100cc oxygen absorber could
offset the leakage for 10 days (ignoring the initial residual oxygen as well
as the oxygen let in each time you open the bag).
I may run the test myself to see.  I'm not sure I trust my taste, though.
For sure, I am not as qualified as most on this list.
	-Christian
On Thu, 10 Oct 2002, Mike McGinness wrote:
<Snip>
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23) From: Mike McGinness
Christian,
You're right, I stand corrected. Using vacuum must have come from their
webpages about their vac sealers in conjunction with Fresh Paks and talking
about more efficient or when I talked to them on the phone. So yes it would
make sense just using a larger one should work. Guess that's why I got the
smallest size they offer, I'm already evacuating the majority of the oxygen.
Hey, go for it. And trust your taste. It is your tasting your coffee that
counts after all!:-)
MM;-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Miss Silvia brewin'
Limping along with Solis Maestro grindin'
Christmas is coming!!!


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