First Failure and Lessons Learned

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7 years 11 months ago #2893 by rdbeschererjr
First Failure and Lessons Learned was created by rdbeschererjr
After some amazing success with dry aging I had my first failure, which seems multifactorial. I came home after a business trip to find that:

1) Although my repurposed cooling device maintained the exact temperature I had programmed, thanks to the fancy electronics I installed, the humidity was all wrong (way too high) despite the dessicant I put in there.

2) The vacuum sealer failed to properly remove all the air (known beforehand - ribeye is a challenge for it) AND it failed to properly seal.

Given these issues, my 18 lb piece of USDA Prime ribeye is now full of mold.

With that said, I'm going back to the regular refrigerator and USDA Choice grade for the time being. I don't think a "freezerless" refrigerator is going to work for dry aging unless I come up with a much more exotic solution for the humidity issue.

Also, I found a better way to seal the bags, which may work for those of you who want to get absolutely all the possible air out and don't yet have a chamber sealer. It requires a Harbor Freight vacuum pump (used for automotive air conditioner servicing), some food-grade hydraulic oil, some adapters, and a sacrificial FoodSaver accessory hose. The food-grade hydraulic oil is probably overkill on my part, you can probably run the pump with regular vacuum oil. I cut the hose to attach it to the adapters and tubing from the vacuum pump, plugged it into the accessory port, and used the vacuum pump to pull the vacuum instead of the FoodSaver vacuum pump. While it was doing that I massaged all the air out of the bag. When I was done I sealed it using just the "seal" button and shut off the vacuum pump. I then made a backup seal as is my typical practice since the failure. Prior to this I have always had a particularly difficult time with sealing ribeye due to the shape.

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7 years 11 months ago - 7 years 11 months ago #2894 by RRP
Replied by RRP on topic Re:First Failure and Lessons Learned

First of all welcome aboard!

Sorry to hear of your first failure and I can understand your concern if the mold was inside the bag.

Your solution seems quite ingenious and probably beyond many of us here. May I offer another simpler solution to exacting the air? Take a vessel large enough to submerge the meat inside a Drybag and fill the vessel with clean water. The water will cause the air to escape and then you can seal the bag tightly with a simple bread twisty.

Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by RRP.

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