The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › UMAi Dry® Sealing › Sealing Tips & Tricks › help improving seal
October 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm #1466Ron LewinMember
So I just tried sealing my first subprimal. (Really half a subprimal, I decided to cut it in half and drybag only half (and freeze the other half) in case I screw it up.
I had two problems (using a sinbo snorkel sealer):
1. I was unable to get a good seal. I practiced a bit with the sample (non-drybag) bags, it took me some time to get a good seal even with those. I found making sure the bag was taut before starting the seal really improved the seal/
But the drybag material is quite different, and I dont have so many that I can afford to waste them with practice attempts. So I used one small one for practice and it worked OK.
But when I went to seal the meat, which was in a much bigger bag, I had to do the corners first and I ran into problems. It was hard for me to get the corners flat enough to seal well. And then when I got both sealed well, the hole in the center was uneven… there was more drybag material on one side than on the other. (If I pulled the bottom half of the bag taut, the top half was not taut). I tried an additional seal but it still didnt help.
In the end I gave up the first bag and put the meat into a second bag. That bag also seemed to not have a great seal (even after I made another seal), but at that point I was playing with this too much and decided to use what I had rather than wasting another bag and maybe getting the meat contaminated.
In case the seal is not good and air gets into the bag, how will I know whether it is a failure? Simply if the bag does not bond to the meat well enough? Or is it possible that the bag bonds well but the mean could still spoil due to a bad seal?
2. During the process of vacuuming, the vacuum seems to suck a huge amount of blood out of the bag, resulting in a pool of blood under the simbo. (there was a lot of blood on the mean to begin with, but I understood that was good). The problem seemed to be that getting the air out meant pushing air bubbles through the “veins” in the bag towards the snorkel, and we got a lot of blood together with the air. How bad is this? Does it mean I was too aggressive about getting the air out?
One more question: in the process we got the other drybags in the sampler kit a bit wet (with water and not blood). I saw that where they got wet the material started to contract. Are those bags ruined now? Can they still be used?
Thanks for your advice,
RonOctober 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm #6329Ron PrattMemberquote lewinr” post=3055:October 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm #6331TheaKeymaster
Ron and Ron,
Thank you both for your exchange regarding the Sinbo. Ron’s first time experience with the Sinbo sounds altogether familiar. It can be tricky to master. So long as you can achieve a bond of 70-80% of overall meat surface with UMAi Dry, you should have good results.
As for the corner sealing and center opening, yes, it can be tricky to align the corner seals in such a way that you have a flat center opening.
As for an mis-alignment making it yet more difficult to get a good seal, yes, it makes it more difficult.
If care with making either one or two corner seals does not eliminate the problem, the use of a VacMouse strip can help. Though created for channel sealers to create a small air space, they can also help with Sinbo sealers as they hold the opening AND provide some extra “glue” for the sealing process. See the video on the DrybagSteak.com “Watch” page.
As for creating a pool of blood under the sealer by taking in so much of the blood–warning! You will have taken a great deal of meat protein into the snorkel and the tubes to the vacuum pump. If you do not clean these out quickly, they will turn to concrete and block the air channel completely.
First, clean the snorkel–with the unit unplugged. Remove the clear plastic cap on back of the unit and the black rubber stopper from the back end of the snorkel. With the lid open, look through from the back to see how much of the thin “line” of the snorkel is blocked. Using a thin blade from the front of the snorkel, loosen any hardened blood. Then using a cotton swab, rinse the snorkel clean from the back using either a light bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide.
Next, you need to clean the rest of the air passage by drawing in enough clean water to flush out the snorkel and tubes. As this is not a “wet-vac,” we recommend you wet a strong sponge with water that has been wet with a light solution of bleach. Holding the sponge to the end of the snorkel, turn on the device and gentle squeeze liquid from the sponge into the snorkel allowing small amounts of the bleach solution to pass continuously through the air channel until you find the water pooling under the unit is clean.
If your unit has been sitting awhile since use, it can take quite a while to soften proteins previously taken in.
To prevent the uptake of blood into your Sinbo, there are three ideas we can offer:
1) drain the blood sufficiently before starting your process
2) use a VacMouse to provide both a light barrier to the uptake of blood and extra “glue” for the sealing
3) freeze the meat just briefly before sealing so that the outer proteins will not be liquid
We hope these instructions help prolong the life of your Sinbo, and the success of your UMAi DrybagSteak experience.
You will appreciate the results in a couple of weeks–and soon forget the frustration of this first application!
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