August 28, 2012 at 4:07 am #1431
Hello, all! I recently purchased some drybags to try out, but I’m having some issues. I’m not getting the bags to seal at all; they do stay somewhat closed but can easily be pulled apart. The seal is poor enough that the vac was lost in less than 20 minutes.
I’m using a VacMaster VP215C. Does anyone out there use this machine? The bags feel thin to I backed off the seal- big mistake. With the machine set to 30 secs vac/ 1 second seal/ 1 second cooling (with the seal bar voltage set to low) the seal could be easily pulled apart by hand. Raising the sealing time to 1.5 though melts the bags, even on low voltage.
Can anyone with this machine suggest a setting that’s TNT for them?
Thanks!August 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm #6203Ron PrattMember
Rob, welcome aboard even though your first post is due to disappointment with your brand of sealer. Regular posters pop in from time to time so if you’re patient someone with the same sealer or close to it will be along to help. In the meantime may I suggest the same as I did to Rudolph last week and that was:
…another simpler solution to exacting the air? Take a vessel large enough to submerge the meat inside a Drybag and fill the vessel with clean water. The water will cause the air to escape and then you can seal the bag tightly with a simple bread twisty.
RonAugust 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm #6204
Thanks! I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed with the sealer- I think you misunderstand me. The sealer is great, just having some issues with the bags. I’ve found that when you deviate from the 3 & 4 mil barrier bags it can sometimes take some work to figure out the correct combo of voltage, seal time and cooling time.
I did a bit of messing around with some material cut from a Drybag that’s too large for my sealer (my error, forgot to measure) and it seems that about 1.2 seconds of sealing time with 4.0 seconds of cooling time (on Low voltage) seems about right. At this setting I can’t pull the stuff apart by hand yet it doesn’t seem to want to tear. I’ll test to see if holds the vac when I get to work. Lucky for me I have my own VP215C at home, same machine we have at the restaurant.August 31, 2012 at 4:09 am #6205
Okay, I’ve settled on a setting of 1.1 seconds sealing, 4.2 seconds cooling with the seal bar set at LOW voltage. I left the bag as long as I could to allow an extra safety seal or two. To be safe I laid down three seals closely spaced, being sure to not handle the bag until each seal had at least 15-20 seconds to completely cool. So far it looks like the seal is holding; the previous failure had lost vacuum within 20 minutes, to I’m optimistic that I’ve got the right settings figured out. I’ll update this over the next few days. Obviously if it holds for a few days I would think the crust would be formed well enough to make sure it ages properly.
Again, if there’s anyone out there with this same machine, please chime in with your experiences. And to anyone trying the Drybags in the VacMaster I hope this gives you a good starting point.September 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm #6247
I’ve got the VP112. It’s the home model of chamber sealer, and I love it. Single seal bar (which means that I have to seal twice most times).
This isn’t scientific but it seems that the drybags need a longer seal time to get the right seal. For a regular vacuum bag I use a setting of 6. For a drybag I use a setting of 9. I get great seal quality.
I found that at 6, the drybags didn’t really seal. And 9 worked. I didn’t try 7 or 8. And of course there’s no way to correlate what I got with my 112 to what you get with your 215. I think you get the better vacuum pull. I get something that works on the countertop!
ToastySeptember 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm #6250quote toasty” post=2958:
I think the controls must work a little differently on mine than yours. First I must select the vacuum time. IIRC that can range up to 99 seconds. Then I choose the sealing time; that it the amount of time, in seconds, that the seal bar heats. Next I choose a cooling time, also in seconds, that the heat bar is held against the material before the lid opens. Lastly, independent of those controls there’s a separate setting for the voltage applied to the seal bar. You can select HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW or OFF (with off being handy for doing flash pickling where you’re not using a bag, just an open container).
As you’ve probably noticed it’s maddeningly difficult to get all the factors to align on every kind of bag. If I use a lower setting the bag pulls apart. A higher setting burns through the material cutting the top off the bag. I had thought I found success with a second or two of heat and a long cool but after a couple of days those seals too have failed. I’ll keep fiddling with it but I’m not optimistic. My “Plan B” is to seal them per my best guess, then apply a SealStix or Banana Seal ahead of the seal. And on the way home from work tonite I stopped by Wally-World and picked up a few pairs of panty hose. That raised the eyebrows of the checkout lady!
My initial experiments show that both the SealStix or Banana Seal will hold a good tight seal. The Banana Seal sealed bag held up overnight to a bag sealed with 29″ of vacuum with no heat seal applied. That’s at least as good of result as I’m getting heat sealing drybags. With luck, a heat seal + a sealing stick + panty hose to keep it all compressed until a good crust is formed will = dry aged beef!
Not sure how to explain the panty hose to the health dept, though… :blink: 👿September 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm #6251
BTW, I’ve heard nothing but good about that VP112. I almost purchased it instead of the VP215. Ultimately, being a pro chef, I decided to “go big or go home.” According to one resource I found, the VP112 vacuum pump will outlast a Foodsaver by a factor of ten. But supposedly the rotary oil pump of the VP215 should outlast the ‘112’s dry rocker piston by a factor of ten! Since I have two sous vide units and also use my sealer to pack dried food and camping supplies I figured the extra money would be worth it. I also like the fact that it has dual seal wires.
Are you getting good seals that hold a vacuum for weeks with drybags? I have barrier & mylar bags I sealed back in March that are still holding like new but my luck with the drybags hasn’t been good. Although I haven’t tried many yet, I have to admit.September 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm #6255
The VP112 has fewer decisions, especially about sealing. One gets a vacuum time, and then a sealing time. It’s a single-line seal, which is not my preference, and there’s no holding time. When the seal is done the vacuum is released right then. I don’t think it is rated for (and have never tried) the mylar or barrier “survivalist” bags. I admit it’s an intriguing idea but I’ve never done it – and I don’t think that the VP112 was designed to do it.
Clearly, the VP215 is a heavier-duty unit. But where do you put it?
Depending on what’s happening, I use up to six sous vide units, ranging everywhere from germinating tomato seeds through cooking beef through cooking poultry through cooking root vegetables. Or for reheating. Gotta love being able to vac-pac almost anything and then toss it in one of the sous-vide baths to reheat it. I’m fortunate in that my basement is so cold that any residual heat from the sous vide units is a blessing. And, probably, I’m unfortunate in that it’s never enough, and I shiver at work most of the time.September 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm #6260
I did a remodel in my kitchen, installing new counters, a new stove and fridge, etc. At that time I added a reinforced section of countertop with drawes underneath to hold all my barrier bags. I keep the SousVideSupremes on the same counter. Down the road I would like to get a Polyscience but not because I think it’s more accurate- I suspect it’s not. But occasionally I’d like more capacity than I can get with my units. But I also have a Smokin-It Model #3 smoker and a Traeger pellet grill as well as a gas grill, plus access to two extra SVS’s if needs be. 👿
My VP215 does a great job with mylar, etc. Occasionally I run across something I can’t figure out how to seal…Drybags? [cough cough!]…but for the most part I’m very happy with it. I don’t think it pulls any more vacuum than yours but it has more advanced sealing capability. Yours has a slightly larger chamber, though, if I’m not mistaken. Either one is a great choice for home use.
FWIW, yours is lighter but I believe mine actually has a smaller “footprint” on the counter.September 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm #6261
Kinda the thing we are here for is — drybags. How do we get things to work for sealing drybags?
I choose to turn the sealing time up to 9. I get fantastic, glorious results. I get drybags that adhere to the subprimals. They stick and last for, well, months. Your VP215 is almost certainly a better unit than my VP112. But the job in question, here, is getting a drybag to properly adhere to a subprimal. That’s what we are here to discuss. And I say that the VP112 is adequate to the job.
The point is not what vacuum machine you use to drybag. The point is to drybag.
Drybag your beef. Invite your friends.
ToastySeptember 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm #6262
Hey, I’m tryin’, man! :laugh: 😉 Just having issues dialing it in. So many people have sealed them successfully that there must be a “magic combination” that works on my machine. The frustration is figuring it out. That’s why I wish I knew more folks that use drybags + my machine.
Just for the record I have nothing against anyone’s machines. These threads just tend to drift a bit, especially in the wee hours. No offense was meant.September 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm #6263
No offense taken! I think I have an easier job, in that I only need to pick the amount of time for heat seal and I don’t have to worry about heat temp or cool-off time before the vacuum is released. I’ve worked with a fair selection of bags and I agree that “nobody’s happy when you melt one clean through” Plus you have to clean the sealer bar.
In terms of beef, so far, I’ve only been able to use the VP112 when sealing Top Sirloins. The chamber isn’t large enough to hold a ribeye or strip loin and I’ve been so danged miserly about trim that I have never been willing to cut a subprimal in half so it’d fit in the chamber. So for anything other than Top Sirloin, I use the Sinbo. I’ve actually got two of them, and I think I need to run through the cleaning procedure for both of them. There’s kind of a direct conflict between the goal of keeping sticky protein (juices) on the meat and the goal of not running juices through the vacuum sealer.
Maybe, in order to make them fit inside the chamber sealer, the correct solution would be to cut a couple of steaks off the end so it’d fit – but I’m also danged stubborn now about eating unaged beef! Maybe if I was making soup for a sick neighbor…
ToastySeptember 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm #6264Mike EaketMember
Thanks for all the great information, I am very interested in getting a chamber sealer this has been very helpful.
MIkeSeptember 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm #6271
A chamber sealer is the bomb. And, yes, it’s somewhere between $600 and $1000. And then you can vac-seal ANYTHING. Including soup. And it’s safe for weeks. It’s a bit of an investment, and if you get the right one it Does Not Disappoint.
I agree that the initial cost is daunting. But look at the cost of vac-bags for the various kinds of sealers. Think long-term.
ToastySeptember 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm #6275
I agree! I seal meats, cheeses, frozen food, dried food, etc. I use mylar, plastic, and sometimes the same bag the product is stored in. Obviously it’s expensive but when you can buy a bag for $.03 vs. the $.25 I sometimes paid for channel-type bags the cost of ownership is lower.
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