Help -- Correct O2 Removal with Mylar?

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by cjconrad, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. cjconrad

    cjconrad Guest

    Please help me. I ordered various grains and legumes in bulk bags from Something Better Natural Food. I also ordered (other sources) 6-gal buckets, large (20x30) mylar bags, and O2 removers. I should note that I am about 700' above sea level.

    We put the bags into the 6-gal buckets, filled them with the food, tossed in O2 removers (which had just come out of their vaccuum-packed bags), and used an iron on a wood board to seal the bags. We had probably 35 pails (this was multiple families doing this together). We let the pails sit overnight unsealed so we could be sure that the bags tightened up as the oxygen was removed.

    The next day, all the bags had "pulled in" to some degree -- some more than others. but none had really "bricked" tightly. We had used 1000cc in the beans (pinto, navy, kidney, soybeans, whole green peas) and corn; 1500cc in the millet; 2000cc in the wheat and rolled oats.

    Panicked that I had messed up, I ordered more O2 removers (this time from another source, with each packet being 1500cc) and some more mylar bags. I also ordered a "hot jaw" iron, as I though that would work better than the clothes iron.

    When I had it all, I cut open a corner on the bags that looked good (no air tunnels), removed the prior O2 packets, placed the new ones in, and used the hot jaw to seal off the newly cut corner. This time, I put 3000cc in most of them, and 4500cc in the rolled oats. In four of the cases, I though that the bag might have been compromised, so I used a new bag as well.

    I noticed that some of the old O2 bags were quite hot. This made me think that the pails they had come from were fine, even though not "bricked", as the O2 removers must have still had capacity in them (hence, they got hot when removed and exposed to the room air).

    Well, the next day I still didn't have bricks on *most* pails. However, one of the corn pails and one of the whole pea pails was bricked, but another corn pail was still loose enough to feel a bit of air pocket at the top.

    I'm frustrated/discouraged -- I don't know if my food is protected or not. Why would two buckets brick, while the others do not, with the same cc of O2 absorber? All of these bags "reduced", but most have definite air pockets. Did I mess up? Do I have bad bags? bad O2 removers? bad luck? Shall I keep sending good money after bad attempting to get it right?

    As these pails are still sitting in the game room awaiting final disposition, my wife is not happy about the continued disruption to her living area! She's actually being very nice about it, but I know what she's thinking.

    Any and all advise welcome.
  2. MaryV

    MaryV Well-Known Member

    I dont think they have to "brick up" to be done right. all the people I know who have used mylar in buckets havent worried about that at all. as far as I can tell you have used enough oxygen absorbers. even without any absorbers that food will keep a long time in sealed mylar bags.

  3. Eamonn

    Eamonn New Member

    I dont think its a problem

    I dont think its a problem that you still have some air in the bags.
    Air contains only 21% oxygen most of the rest is nitrogen.Only the oxygen is absorbed leaving the nitrogen,and a nitrogen atmosphere is good for long term storage.
    I have not tried this yet myself so I'm just talking from the science of the process.
    I am trying to get the gear but its seems more dificult here in England but I'll persevere.

  4. cjconrad

    cjconrad Guest

    Thanks for the responses. Originally, I had not expected them to "brick" for the reason pointed out here -- it is only removing the oxygen, which is 21% of the air (I don't know if that is by volume or mass), so the other 79% still remains. Unless that 79% fails to fill the space between the grains/beans, then there would still be noticable air pockets.

    However, if that logic is good, then why did one bag of corn and one of peas brick at all? Same bags, same O2 removers, same process, done at the same time. Did I just happen to manage to squeeze more air out (not just O2) of them?

    I will probably have to assume just that, and hope that my emergency food is there if the emergency occurs.

    Thanks to everyone for their attention and assistance!
  5. doc66

    doc66 Well-Known Member

    I don't worry about the bricking up myself, As long as I get the O2 absorber in there and a couple bay leaves, I'm ok with it. I've found that about half of the bags I pack brick, half don't and the contents of both have been fine as we rotate through them.

    I wouldn't worry as long as you get a good seal on the bag.