Vacuum Packing Green

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Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Phil Robertson on Wed May 06, 2009 9:56 pm

Has anyone experimented with using Argon (as opposed to Nitrogen) in combination with their green vacuum packaging? Are most using Nitrogen when flushing green/roasted coffee? Or some other gas mixture?

Has anyone used oxygen absorbers to grab the remaining O2 in the bag?

-Phil

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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Mike Perry on Mon May 11, 2009 6:17 pm

I don't know what gasses are being used with green coffee but I just returned from many days of wine tasting, and having closed a few down saw them gassing the bottles. I asked what gas and was told Argon. For what thats worth.
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Andy Schecter on Tue May 12, 2009 3:03 pm

Phil Robertson wrote:Has anyone experimented with using Argon (as opposed to Nitrogen) in combination with their green vacuum packaging? Are most using Nitrogen when flushing green/roasted coffee? Or some other gas mixture?


Why use any gas flush at all when vacuum packing green coffee? Why not use a straight vacuum pack?
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Klaus on Sat May 16, 2009 12:48 am

Andy, from what Daterra says a really hard vacuum could potentially damage the beans closest to the wall and they have experiences that the beans end up puncturing the packaging foil (not sure if that's the correct word). We've also found when we've been re-packing coffee from jute to vacuum ourselves after the coffee has arrived here that a complete vacuum is quite hard to get with our equipment. So flushing will help eliminate that problem.

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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Andy Schecter on Sun May 17, 2009 4:27 am

Hi Klaus, thanks for the information.

Klaus wrote:Andy, from what Daterra says a really hard vacuum could potentially damage the beans closest to the wall


That's interesting, they are the experts. I'm surprised, though, because green coffee beans seem hard enough to resist crushing damage.

Klaus wrote:they have experiences that the beans end up puncturing the packaging foil (not sure if that's the correct word)


That should be easy enough to solve with the right vacuum pouch. Meat processors vacuum pack millions of packages a year of products containing sharp bones with few problems. Search: "vacuum pouch" "puncture"

Klaus wrote:We've also found when we've been re-packing coffee from jute to vacuum ourselves after the coffee has arrived here that a complete vacuum is quite hard to get with our equipment. So flushing will help eliminate that problem.


You should easily be able to find a vacuum pump that can pull down to 0.5 torr (67 pascal). I use this kind of pump (not for coffee, for the food products that my company manufactures).
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby JaanusSavisto on Sun May 17, 2009 11:03 pm

I`m prettu sure i am already way off here, but i cant figure out whether it is imperative to get all the oxygen out when handling greens (does oxygen have a big-scale effect on greens?), or to better protect the green coffee from moisture and possible aromas that might contaminate em during shipping or storage. If the latter is more important a mild underpressure in the bag should work, right?
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Jack Hanna on Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:49 am

What we've found, is that packing with Argon really doesn't make a difference big enough comparatively compared with nitrogen (in roasted coffee).
Financially however, nitrogen is far more feasible compared to argon. IF the difference was big enough in terms of ratio to the cost then it would be worth it.

Has anyone ever experimented with flushing \ vacuuming over a long period of time?
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby jdavidwaldman on Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:05 am

we have been tooling up for converting over from jute/hemp/burlap/sisal/etc; in speaking with folks at IMPAK/Sorbent and GrainPro - they both have lots of experience in this area, not only with coffee but also with other pharmaceutical and foodstuffs - it seems the goal with coffee is to create a high barrier (low permeability) membrane to stabilize the environment, thereby preserving the volatile organoleptics, not necessarily to create as pure a vacuum as possible. grainpro's clear position is that nitrogen flushing is a waste, and a decent but not overkill vacuum suystem is fine for making a tidy looking stackable package; in fact, grainpro claims vacuum is not really necessary; they advocate burping as much air out as possible, then tying off each bag with cable-ties. [they recommend a 4-6 mil polyethyene for sub-packing within the grainpro outer high barrier bag, no vacuum, just cable ties.] our current plan is to subpack 26-pound bags (more or less) in the daterra-type heat sealed mylar (possibly overkill and perhaps a bit pricey overall), eliminating the need for lidded cambros, and also eliminating additional weighing and handling in prep for the roasting. we would have to upgrade to a wider jawed impulse sealer, no big deal. [we have a 15-kilo probat and typicaly charge 25-26 lbs max.] a 60 KG jute bag will fit into the grainpro bag, comprised of 5 mylar subbags, and, in the case of a 69-70 KG bag, 6 subbags. while stackable rectangular cambros are reuseable (that's what we currently use), they are not airtight, and i do feel bad about using the mylar once then tossing - wasteful and not environmentally friendly. the dutch cur-tec kegs (with retrofitted pressure-relief valve, probably not necessary for green) are nice, but way too expensive as an overall inventory solution for green.
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Andy Schecter on Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:43 am

jdavidwaldman wrote: it seems the goal with coffee is to create a high barrier (low permeability) membrane to stabilize the environment, thereby preserving the volatile organoleptics, not necessarily to create as pure a vacuum as possible. grainpro's clear position is that nitrogen flushing is a waste


Hmmm...maybe, but it sure seems like you owe it to yourself to take couple bags of each origin, remove all oxygen, nitrogen flush, and seal . Wait 4-6 mos, then see for yourself how nitrogen-flushed beans compare to burped and cable-tied beans.
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Philip Search on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:51 am

Some questions for all you re packers of green.

1. are you considering the and taking moisture readings before you repack?

2. are you checking water activity?

If not, be prepared for some issues, especially with any coffees with microbial activity and a high water content (above 11.5 %), and the grain pros.
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby jdavidwaldman on Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:15 pm

andy - yea, i agree - other than geo howell (whom i believe has walt disney's head cryogenically stored right next to his washed sidamo...just kidding), who can give us evidence, preferably scientific, of the benefits of some combination of vacuum, gas flushing -v- burp & cable tie?
... but how does it taste?
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby Philip Search on Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:42 pm

I guess this is sort of what I was getting at in my poorly worded last post. I have been privy to two major experiments with different storage methods of green, and I am not authorized at this point to be able to share alot of the details, but what I can tell you is that most (not all) of the people repacking coffee at its landed location are not exactly getting some of the science of what is going on. I feel like it is a trend at this point, and quite mis-understood. If your not flash freezing, and stopping water activity, you could actually be hurting your green if you aren't careful. I can tell you that the grain pros can act in a similar manner to a survival still, and actually add moisture to the coffee... something to think about.

Dattera is a good example of someone doing it right, but it is a combination of things they are doing: 1. extremely low moisture/proper resting time 2. very, very meticulous sorting 3. insulation (a huge one here...i.e. that cardboard box surrounding the coffee) as well as a few other things.

I'm very not convinced that oxygen is the first thing to worry about...
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby PatrickSmith on Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:42 am

I know that Jamin Haddox from Cafe Imports was tooling around with vacuuming and freezing for a while. His tentative findings were that the green would preserve amazingly well & that the coffees would be exceptionally vibrant for about 36-48 hours off the roast. However, he noted that the roasted coffee was staling at an alarming rate after the 36-48 hour window. He was surprised by this, and made a rough guess that it might be owing to the weakening/breaking of the cell walls during freezing. Once thawed and roasted, the CO2 took the path of least resistance out of the coffee--it was just that the path of least resistance now put up less resistance.

As a disclaimer for Jamin, we discussed this in very casual conversation. He was not attempting to portray his observations as highly scientific nor his conclusions as ironclad.
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Re: Vacuum Packing Green

Postby jdavidwaldman on Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:12 am

yup, i am all in favor of a truly independent and qualified tech group [membrane PhD, food sensorial PhD like staffer at Monell Center, well accepted neutral coffee expert, etc. (no agendas to sell a particular solution, perhaps, in fact, test all current alleged solutions) to evaluate and perhaps even proffer a set of tiered solutions: (1) money no object, (2) cost effective approach, and, finally, (3) everyday practices everyone can take in green handling and storage to improve status quo. can we identify any such people? gulp, is tech committee in position to do this all considered? any names?
... but how does it taste?
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