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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Old England (UK)
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    314

    Vacuum Packing Coffee

    I thought I would share this with you, I have posted on another forum, but it was quickly buried and I suspect has been largely ignored. I also want to make it clear that I have no commercial interest in the Packmate Vacu Seal System, it's simply the one I chose to buy.

    All the conclusions are backed up by quite strong observational data and perhaps challenge some of the accepted notions of what happens to coffee (and how it should be treated) after roasting!

    I also think that the usual industry practice of packing roasted coffee is reasonably flawed and that a better system could, and should perhaps be designed.

    The detailed information is not in this Wiki, but in mine, below is a copy of the post from my own forum.
    =======================================
    I couldn't make any scientific sense out of the accepted knowledge and reasons for the Coffee Beans degassing CO2. I read a lot about the various reactions that happen during roasting, but very little about what happens post roast and I actually think the time after roasting and what you do to the coffee is critical. I thought I might also share the results here.

    When I use the term vacuum packing, I do not mean keeping the beans under reduced pressure, but rather using a flexible bag from which all excess air is sucked out of using a Vacuum pump. Packing the beans in what I would term a "hard" vacuum e.g. rigid container, I think would not be good for coffee. The hard container stores coffee under reduced pressure, a flexible bag does not.

    I have performed a number of experiments, which I am sure could easily be reproduced, using the "vacu seal" packaging system, basically a flexible, reusable one way valve bag, from which all the air can be sucked out forming a coffee brick. To summarise the key points of my findings.

    1. If you vacuum pack coffee after roasting, less gas is produced than would be produced in a 1 way valve bag (and I have packed 1000s of 1 way valve bags)

    2. If you get the coffee vacuum packed ASAP after roasting and I mean as soon as it's just cool enough to pack (5 mins after roasting), then the coffee will hardly degass for quite a while. I have Daterra and Mexican Topacio in my cupboard both Med-Med Dark roasted. They were packed 42 hours ago and vacuumed, both plastic bags are still "coffee bricks", the coffee has produced almost no gas.

    3. If the coffee is kept in the bags and re-vacuumed each time you take some out, then new CO2 is formed as the beans degass, if you keep re-vacuuming (without removing any more coffee) the coffee will again stop degassing after a few days and the bag will remain a solid brick.....you can leave this bag as a solid brick for 3 or 4 days, open it and take some coffee out, re-vacuum.... and it starts to degass again

    4. Flavour development does not seem to be impaired, the important reactions for flavour development that occur within coffee seem to happen in the absence of oxygen. I also believe oxygen to be incredibly damaging to the compounds that impart many of the flavours to coffee.

    5. The smell of "oldness" is not present in the coffee even after 18 days if kept vacuum packed or re vacuumed after use (although in the second scenario, it does degrade faster)

    6. The coffee extracts exactly as you would expect it too after normal resting periods.

    7. The flavour of the coffee is noticeably better, the difference is so great that it is easily detectable by anyone who knows the particular coffees and how they should taste.

    The only conclusion that I can reasonably make is that Roasting coffee produces compounds that in the presence of oxygen will produce CO2. If the supply of Oxygen is limited, CO2 production is reduced (in some cases drastically). The CO2 is not actually present within the coffee itself in any significant quantity. The degassing process will go on as long as there are compounds in the coffee subject to oxidation reactions, even if the coffee is weeks old and degassing appears to have stopped because of vacuum packing.

    Much more information about what I have been doing and how is posted in the Wiki, and I strongly recommend you consider trying this technique. I should also stress that I don't use this as a method of extending the keeping time of coffee, but rather lifting the sweet spot and extending the period of time the sweet spot lasts although it would surely extend the keeping time of the coffee.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    23
    My contribution:

    I roast and degass for 5 days in vented container. I then vacuum in ball jars.

    I sometimes grind the night before and put in ball jars on a vacuum.
    Coffee has no stale or woody attributes the next morning.
    Without the vacuum, it goes south pretty quickly.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico
    Posts
    1

    Bags for this????

    Absolutely, that process reduces a lot the co2, I have a question, hope you can help me...

    ¿What kind of bags do you recomend for this? I did many tests using metalic-plastic bags with and without valve but in every case my bags didn´t work... I think I need special bags do you have any recomendation???

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Old England (UK)
    Posts
    314

    Re: Bags for this????

    Quote Originally Posted by MKOFFE
    Absolutely, that process reduces a lot the co2, I have a question, hope you can help me...

    ¿What kind of bags do you recomend for this? I did many tests using metalic-plastic bags with and without valve but in every case my bags didn´t work... I think I need special bags do you have any recomendation???
    There is not a suitable bag for commercial roasters. The main problem with commercial roasting is that the coffee is packaged many hours after roasting and much of the damage will have been done...and it's almost certainly the reason why the coffee produces so much CO2 in the bag.

    For a commercial roaster to be able to do this, they would need to pack the coffee within minutes after roasting, or cool the coffee in an inert gas atmosphere..and keep it there whilst awaiting packing

    I do think that the Myth of coffee containing CO2 after roasting that somehow slowly seeps out will be perpetuated for many years to come.

 

 

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