Sealing issues

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8 years 1 month ago #2895 by Rob Babcock
Sealing issues was created by Rob Babcock
Hello, all! I recently purchased some drybags to try out, but I'm having some issues. I'm not getting the bags to seal at all; they do stay somewhat closed but can easily be pulled apart. The seal is poor enough that the vac was lost in less than 20 minutes.

I'm using a VacMaster VP215C. Does anyone out there use this machine? The bags feel thin to I backed off the seal- big mistake. With the machine set to 30 secs vac/ 1 second seal/ 1 second cooling (with the seal bar voltage set to low) the seal could be easily pulled apart by hand. Raising the sealing time to 1.5 though melts the bags, even on low voltage.

Can anyone with this machine suggest a setting that's TNT for them?

Thanks!

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8 years 1 month ago #2896 by RRP
Replied by RRP on topic Re:Sealing issues
Rob, welcome aboard even though your first post is due to disappointment with your brand of sealer. Regular posters pop in from time to time so if you're patient someone with the same sealer or close to it will be along to help. In the meantime may I suggest the same as I did to Rudolph last week and that was:

...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.

Ron

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8 years 4 weeks ago #2897 by Rob Babcock
Replied by Rob Babcock on topic Re:Sealing issues
Thanks! I wouldn't say I'm disappointed with the sealer- I think you misunderstand me. The sealer is great, just having some issues with the bags. I've found that when you deviate from the 3 & 4 mil barrier bags it can sometimes take some work to figure out the correct combo of voltage, seal time and cooling time.

I did a bit of messing around with some material cut from a Drybag that's too large for my sealer (my error, forgot to measure) and it seems that about 1.2 seconds of sealing time with 4.0 seconds of cooling time (on Low voltage) seems about right. At this setting I can't pull the stuff apart by hand yet it doesn't seem to want to tear. I'll test to see if holds the vac when I get to work. Lucky for me I have my own VP215C at home, same machine we have at the restaurant.

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8 years 4 weeks ago #2898 by Rob Babcock
Replied by Rob Babcock on topic Re:Sealing issues
Okay, I've settled on a setting of 1.1 seconds sealing, 4.2 seconds cooling with the seal bar set at LOW voltage. I left the bag as long as I could to allow an extra safety seal or two. To be safe I laid down three seals closely spaced, being sure to not handle the bag until each seal had at least 15-20 seconds to completely cool. So far it looks like the seal is holding; the previous failure had lost vacuum within 20 minutes, to I'm optimistic that I've got the right settings figured out. I'll update this over the next few days. Obviously if it holds for a few days I would think the crust would be formed well enough to make sure it ages properly.

Again, if there's anyone out there with this same machine, please chime in with your experiences. And to anyone trying the Drybags in the VacMaster I hope this gives you a good starting point.

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8 years 1 week ago #2958 by toasty
Replied by toasty on topic Re:Sealing issues
Rob,

I've got the VP112. It's the home model of chamber sealer, and I love it. Single seal bar (which means that I have to seal twice most times).


This isn't scientific but it seems that the drybags need a longer seal time to get the right seal. For a regular vacuum bag I use a setting of 6. For a drybag I use a setting of 9. I get great seal quality.

I found that at 6, the drybags didn't really seal. And 9 worked. I didn't try 7 or 8. And of course there's no way to correlate what I got with my 112 to what you get with your 215. I think you get the better vacuum pull. I get something that works on the countertop!

Toasty

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8 years 1 week ago #2961 by Rob Babcock
Replied by Rob Babcock on topic Re:Sealing issues

toasty wrote: Rob,

I've got the VP112. It's the home model of chamber sealer, and I love it. Single seal bar (which means that I have to seal twice most times).


This isn't scientific but it seems that the drybags need a longer seal time to get the right seal. For a regular vacuum bag I use a setting of 6. For a drybag I use a setting of 9. I get great seal quality.

I found that at 6, the drybags didn't really seal. And 9 worked. I didn't try 7 or 8. And of course there's no way to correlate what I got with my 112 to what you get with your 215. I think you get the better vacuum pull. I get something that works on the countertop!

Toasty



I think the controls must work a little differently on mine than yours. First I must select the vacuum time. IIRC that can range up to 99 seconds. Then I choose the sealing time; that it the amount of time, in seconds, that the seal bar heats. Next I choose a cooling time, also in seconds, that the heat bar is held against the material before the lid opens. Lastly, independent of those controls there's a separate setting for the voltage applied to the seal bar. You can select HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW or OFF (with off being handy for doing flash pickling where you're not using a bag, just an open container).

As you've probably noticed it's maddeningly difficult to get all the factors to align on every kind of bag. If I use a lower setting the bag pulls apart. A higher setting burns through the material cutting the top off the bag. I had thought I found success with a second or two of heat and a long cool but after a couple of days those seals too have failed. I'll keep fiddling with it but I'm not optimistic. My "Plan B" is to seal them per my best guess, then apply a SealStix or Banana Seal ahead of the seal. And on the way home from work tonite I stopped by Wally-World and picked up a few pairs of panty hose. That raised the eyebrows of the checkout lady!

My initial experiments show that both the SealStix or Banana Seal will hold a good tight seal. The Banana Seal sealed bag held up overnight to a bag sealed with 29" of vacuum with no heat seal applied. That's at least as good of result as I'm getting heat sealing drybags. With luck, a heat seal + a sealing stick + panty hose to keep it all compressed until a good crust is formed will = dry aged beef!

Not sure how to explain the panty hose to the health dept, though... :blink: :evil:

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