Author Topic: Vacuum bag machines  (Read 1007 times)

Offline ukdavid

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Vacuum bag machines
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:38:50 AM »
Like all that are new to a new hobby, we tend to buy inappropriate pieces of equipment in our quest to get on as quickly as possible, it usually hits the wallet far more effectively than the learning curve. I have been there many times, and hope to short cut that route by listening to others that have been down that path before me.
Having read as much as I could find on this fine portal ( I am no Hercule Poirot, and so may have not been able to find all the threads that I have been searching for) about vacuum packing, I would like a little more advice.

Do I follow the recipe for airing times exactly the same for vacuum packing?

Will I still get a crust on the cheese, albeit not as thick as a none Vacuum cheese?

 How long can I store sections of a wheel when it is cut open, resealed and replaced back in the Cave, and will it still age without adverse effect?

I also assume that the cheese will have a different flavour  dependent on which way it is stored?

Any other advice would be of great help no mater how insignificant it may be to you, it will probably be a treasure to me
 And no doubt you will pass on threads that I have totally missed.

Lastly, the vacuum bag machine. Any advice on these, there seems to be so many out there and I would hate to buy a wholly inappropriate one. Preferably one we can find here in the UK. I guess there must be one or two UK cheese makers here that use them.

It may be also worth saying that we are now moving up from making 1lb cheese wheels to 3lb to 4lb wheels as we have now bought a small 27 litre temperature controlled pasteuriser.

We are loving our new adventure in cheese making and one again would like to thank you all for making it a relatively stress free hobby.   
Regards David
 festina lente, make haste slowly;


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Offline tnbquilt

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 11:08:24 AM »
I don't vacuum seal the cheese. I did a few and they tasted sour, so I went back to doing whatever the recipe says. If it says to wax, I wax. I have started to cloth band a few, and my Swiss has a natural rind on it.
Tammy

Offline Banjoza

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 01:41:19 PM »
There are many posts on this site regarding the pros and cons of vaccum sealing - I recommend you keep looking for them @ukdavid, because while searching you will (as I did) find LOTS of really good and helpful information along the way.  :D

From my browsing though, it seems that a cheese must be dry to the touch before you vaccum seal it. Then you still flip and inspect it and when (if) you see moisture in there, you remove the cheese from the bag, wipe it dry (and even salt it or surface treat it as per the cheese type you are aiming for) then re-seal. 

You still need to keep the cheese in the cave or fridge at the temp appropriate for it.  Check out anything written on this site by Tomer, Linuxboy, Sailor or any of those other hot-shots (sorry for missing out your names).


Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 02:41:23 PM »
I usually vacuum pack after a month or so in the cave. We go away a lot and therefore I'm unable sometimes to keep check on unwanted moulds.  I've had a couple of instances of moisture gathering in the bag, when that happens I open the bag, leave the cheese to dry out for a day or three, and reseal. I do turn the cheeses over regularly. I'm not enough of an expert cheese taster to notice anything unpleasant in the cheese as a result.  I think Sailor said in a post that he vacuum packs all his cheeses after a month, and his advice is always spot-on. I've  got a Sunbeam but I can't tell you the model as our kitchen has been packed up as we're painting it right now. It cost about A$200. It has both an automatic vacuum and seal setting for both wet and dry material, and seal only. It works well.
Margaret

Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 09:24:34 PM »
I am new to this vacuum packing as well.

However, the biggest tip I can give you is leave a lot of tail on the bag so if you need to cut it open and reseal you don't waste the bag.
-Bill
One day I will add something here...


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Offline ukdavid

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 05:38:48 AM »
Thank you for your replies, they are a great help. I will continue searching the forums. Shame there is not a booklet on the subject (or is there?)
I have been searching for vacuum bag machines on the internet here in the UK and have found this

http://www.andrewjamesworldwide.com/Product.asp?Product=vac1c

I am not sure if it would fit the bill as I have no experience of vacuum bagging. I would appreciate any comments. Positive or negative. I also assume that the vacuum pressure is important. This particular model is up to 50 kpa.
Regards David
 festina lente, make haste slowly;

Offline Banjoza

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 12:43:25 AM »
Actually, while we are on the subject (and rather than start a new question) can anyone out there make any suggestions about how to vaccum seal WITHOUT a specialised facility on the heat sealer?

I have an excellent heat sealer but it does not have a suction device - I am trying to "jimmy" up something using a small vaccum cleaner - my first attempts failed. Partly because the bags collapsed onto themselves at the top but I have subsequently learned that one needs a sort of channel that permits the top of the bag to stay open until the bottom of the bag has been sucked.  I have read a few suggestions on the web about how to make your own bags.

The other problem was one of coordination. Trying to hold the tube in the bag, the bag against the heat-sealer and keep the switch pressed until the deed was done resulted in heat-sealing my finger, dropping the machine onto an indignant cat and getting the tube up my nose at one point.

There has to be an easier way. Buying a specialised machine is out of the question at the moment.

Online Gobae

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 08:45:44 PM »
Partly because the bags collapsed onto themselves at the top but I have subsequently learned that one needs a sort of channel that permits the top of the bag to stay open until the bottom of the bag has been sucked.

You might want to try purchasing the bags made for a vacuum sealer even though you're "MacGyver'ing" your own machine. These bags have a series of crisscrossing ridges that take care of the problem you're describing.

Offline ukdavid

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 08:42:39 AM »
I usually vacuum pack after a month or so in the cave.
Margaret

Hi Margret
Do you just air dry the cheese for a month before sealing it?

I have now cracked the mysteries of the search engine  on here, so was able to do more research, I found one of the answers to the question "how long can I store sections of a wheel that has been cut open and resealed" in a post by Sailor Con Queso, Thank you.

I ended up buying the vacuum machine quoted above after chatting to the tec guy, so we will be giving it a go after Christmas.

Regards David
 festina lente, make haste slowly;

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 07:43:07 PM »
Do you just air dry the cheese for a month before sealing it?
My apologies, I should have been more explicit - I air dry for a day or two until the cheese no longer feels wet, then I put it into the cave in its own box with or without a little bowl of water, depending on how quickly it seems to be drying (depends on what kind of cheese of course).
Margaret


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Offline ukdavid

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Re: Vacuum bag machines
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 06:26:30 AM »
Thanks Margaret

Have a good weekend
Regards David
 festina lente, make haste slowly;