HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Nitrogen purge vs. vacuum for maintaining freshness (12 msgs / 238 lines)
1) From: Eric B. Stauffer
In addition to being a coffee fanatic I am somewhat of a wine geek. I've 
found it quite interesting the stark similarity and intensity of debate 
regarding storage of coffee and storage of an opened bottle of wine.
Rare is the evening when my wife and I have any leftovers from our 
nightly bottle of wine we open just before dinner. However, on that 
occasion when we do have leftovers I purge the bottle with a shot of 
nitrogen. The most common brand/delivery device is Private Reserve -- a 
smallish cylinder of primariy compressed N2. It pretty common to see it 
in use at wineries and I have used it in the headspace of carboys when I 
homewbrew.  It's about a tenner for a 1/2 lb of N2 (you can buy in bulk 
if you have your own cylinder).
I digress....
It reasons that preserving beans -- either roasted or green -- via this 
method would be better than pulling a vac via foodsaver. Anyone tried 
this? Any comments?

2) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 06:02 12/9/2003, Eric B. Stauffer typed:
I can only comment on the wine.  I found overwhelmingly (over years of 
testing and sometimes opps) that the best order of preserving wine is: 
unopened (correct temp), nitrogen purged (room temp), nitrogen purged and 
vac sealed (refrigerated), just refrigerated (not good), vac sealed (room 
temp, not good ).  I assume (I know that will get me is LOTS of trouble) 
beans are the same.  I can not comment directly though.
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting and Blending by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/

3) From: Rick Farris
I think I've heard Barry Jarrett speak to the subject.  Barry is the one
with the most scientific facts at hand wrt vac-sealing (he's a
non-vac'er) and he usually is the one that sends us vac'ers running home
with our tails between our legs.
But to address your question Barry usually points out that (I hope I
don't mis-paraphrase him here) chemical reactions that cause coffee to
rest need air to occur.
-- Rick

4) From: Rich Adams
So we have outgassed, but not *rested* coffee when freshly roasted vac
sealed coffee pillows in a day or two?  Does the resting start when the vac
is broken, or is it too late at this point?  Can outgassed coffee even
*rest*?  Is outgassing not part of the *rest* cause we know outgassing
definitely occurs in a vac.
Rich Adams

5) From: Ken Mary
I determined this for myself almost 3 years ago. It is why I nearly always
store my beans in an *open jar* in the cupboard. Recently I adopted a
strategy of resting open for a day or two then refrigerating in a closed jar
depending on the quality of the roast. Those less desirable in flavor or
showing little improvement remain in the open jar. Refrigeration almost
doubles the shelflife.

6) From: Rick Farris
With any luck Barry will be around pretty soon and will tell us all we
want to know about it.  Barry, btw, believes in freezing, but not vacuum
sealing.  My experience with freezing vacuum sealed coffee in mason jars
is that if you put them in the deep freeze they don't outgas much.
-- Rick

7) From: Dan Bollinger
Eric, You forgot my most common method, vac sealed (refrigerated).  It keeps a
bottle fresh for 5-7 days. Plenty of time to dispatch that last glass or two.
How would you rank it?  Dan

8) From: Rick Farris
What size bottles are you guys talking about?  I can't imagine having
any wine left over from one (or two) of those little 750ml jobbies.  :-)
-- Rick

9) From: Eric B. Stauffer
I dunno. I got a vacuvin (vv) about four or five years ago. Dunno if 
it's power of persuasion or what, but I find the VV'd wines lacking in 
depth as compared to when freshly opened.  But that is also the case 
when stoppered normally and 'fridged.  I think Matt Cramer (of wine 
expectorator fame) alluded to a study that found the vacuum pulled is 
quite weak overall.
Oddly enough, a number of wines I find distinctly better when left open 
in fridge overnight. Recently we've been drinking through some Italians 
that I picked from North Berkeley Wines during their 50% off sale that 
are clearly much better with a day of air.
As for ranking vv'd/fridge wines, that's the way I go in the event I 
actually have some left in the bottle and I can find a vv stopper. I 
like private reserve N2 but it's not inexpensive especially if you're 
purging air from a nealry empty bottle.  I also make my own vinegar 
which is where a lot of the dregs go!
Dan Bollinger wrote:

10) From: rnkyle
ship from RickFarris:
I'm getting awany from vac sealing roasted coffee for personal use. I still
vac seal and freeze some for a rainy day. I have found that stored in a
Mason Jar with the lid tight keeps coffee nice for at least 7 days, and I
find that coffee really peaks after 3 days rest. Just one coffee drinkers
Mind you I once was a reglious vac sealer. but not so much lately. I still
beleive in vac sealing greens for long term storage.
rnkylehttp://rnk10.tripod.comRoasting drums for gas grills.

11) From: AlChemist John
Dan, that is my post, not Eric's, and vac sealed refrigerated is the third 
one down.  It is the best "opened bottle" way to store it IMO.
Sometime around 10:23 12/9/2003, Dan Bollinger typed:
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting and Blending by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/

12) From: Dan Bollinger
Thanks, I read that as "nitrogen purged and vac sealed (refrigerated)"  not "vac
sealed and refrigerated."  I have found it to be sufficient, too.

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