The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › UMAi Dry® Sealing › Sealing Tips & Tricks › Use of a Check Valve for sealing
- This topic has 18 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 7 months ago by Anonymous.
January 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm #1186AnonymousGuest
I am a newbie to the forum. I am a homewinemaker and got into a discussion about Dry Aging beef on the winepress.us forum and was pointed to the DryBag technology. One of the guys on the WP forum indicated that he had success using a small Check Valve and his FoodSaver Sealer. After mounting the small check valve in the bag, he then sealed the bag and then pulled the vaccuum on the bag through the check valve. It sounds like he then resealed the bag between the check valve and the meat and then cut off the excess and retrieved the check valve.
Here is a link to the check valve.
I assumed he had discussed it here but was unable to find a thread on it. Can anyone comment on this technique?
DoyleJanuary 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm #4291
I don’t recall having seen that suggestion here, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t work. I also know people who use the suction tube that comes with come models of Food Savers used in conjunction with FS food storage canisters. Obviously the trick is to maintain the vacuumed down condition until the final seal is made after removing the tube or in his case that check valve. One trick that helps achieve that is using a sleeve of tight fitting material cut from a woman’s panty hose and then removing it after sealing of course.January 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm #4292AnonymousGuest
I have a note off to him to find out the details. It seems that if you left the check valve in place, that you could always repull the vacuum if needed. Anyway, I have ordered some check valves and plan to give it a try with my FoodSaver.January 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm #4293
how do you intend to seal the hole in the bag to make it airtight so that it can be left in? My experience is once you have a good seal and tight contact between the Drybag and the meat surface the bag bonds with the meat in just a material of days so no additional vacuuming is needed. By the time the aging is over and you are peeling off the bag I find it is similar to peeling the back off contact paper.January 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm #4294AnonymousGuest
The check valve has a threaded fitting on one side and a nipple on the other. The threaded side is put through a small hole in the bag and then secured with I believe and O-ring and nut to create a hermetic seal. Once in place it strikes me the only place to leak would be the actual diaphragm in the check valve. For me it is an interesting way that I could use my FoodSaver and the Dry Bags. Having not tried any of this, I can’t speak from experience. It also sounds like the DryBags are much thinner than FS bags so I am not sure if the FoodSealer gets too hot during sealing and possibly burns through the bag. I really appreciate your feedback though and am looking forward to my first Dry Aging runs.January 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm #4295
Let me try to explain – the Food Saver doesn’t get too hot and burn the Drybag product it’s just that the Drybag flattens only quickly triggering the FS to seal as it “thinks” the vacuum has been achieved. So you have a lot of trapped air still in the bag which you don’t want. Even using a check valve you will need to coax air out by holding each side of the Drybag apart to allow extracting air flow.
I understand the principle of the thread and the sealing nut, but the Drybag material is thin and while it is tough to some degree it’s not going to take a lot of abuse. My suggestion would be to leave the bag long by not trimming so if you don’t get a good seal you can keep moving closer to the meat for your next attempt.
You might also want to sanitize the check valve so that you don’t introduce some funky bacteria from the manufacturer’s assembly line worker.
BTW some people here just use a straw and suck out the air and seal with a twisty.January 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm #4296AnonymousGuest
Thanks, I think I understand the process now and my options. You have been most helpful.January 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm #4297AnonymousGuest
There are perhaps many ways to assist the drybag sealing. I am a advocate of using the principled vaccum machine recommended for this process. Its quick and easy and easily applied.
Friend Ron, first used the “raft” method of extracting the air from the bag. I later developed the “toothpick” and then the bent metal paper clip..small to medium sized, into a arrow shape with short 1/8″ shaft’s that fit into the outside inner edges of the snorkel tube. The metal clips also are applied on or over the edge of the meat leaving the bag material clumped wherever it may gather.
The idea here is to prevent the material from drawing into snorkle tube and cutting off the air flow and preventing the vaccum.
You DO NOT NEED to do the 45 degree angle seals on the sides of the bag material, with the exception of the extra large bags that lay past the sealing bars.
Then, YES you do need to do the 45 degree small seals. The reason for this is the very ends of the sealing bars will heat higher and melt the bag material causing air leakage. By making this small extra seal you allow the last seal to complete the vaccum.
Remember.. the smaller bags DO NOT need this proceedure.
I sealed two large ribeye steak yesterday, using the smallest bags, and they sealed perfectly.. and resting comfortably on a small bread rack in my fridge.
They will remain there for about 7 to 10 days.
I hope to do a video for the full loin sealing later and present it here with the approval of Thea, the master of the drybag processes.
If this has been discussed earlier, my apology to any and all concerned.
Its been some time since I posted, but blame it on computer crashes and lost passwords…or sumptin better. :unsure:
PS…thanks TheaJanuary 24, 2011 at 12:42 am #4342AnonymousGuest
Today I sealed a choice Angus 12 pound New York Primal using the Check Valve.
I first put the Primal into the DryBag. I wiped any moisture out of the end of the bag to facilitate sealing. I then mounted the tiny check Valve in the bag about 2 inches from the Primal. I put a piece of Dimpled Foodsaver bag into the DryBag so that the checkvalve would have a path to draw. Then I sealed the end of the DryBag with my old FoodSaver. I had found by testing that about 3 seconds gave me a good seal. I double sealed the end. Next I hooked up a small vacuum pump that I use in my winemaking to the check valve and slowly pulled a vacuum while massaging the bag. The only problem I ran into was the wicking of blood towards the check Valve. Next time I will use piece of paper towel between the check valve and the Primal. With the check Valve in place, I do have the option of pulling more vacuum at any time during the process if needed. The check Valve is Nylon and on the inside of the bag is a small O-Ring between the DryBag and the nut that secures the Check Valve. At this point the Primal is in the 2nd Frig at 35F and the countdown begins.January 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm #4344AnonymousGuest
One thing I found interesting. I have had a temperature and humidity sensor in this garage refrigerator for about 2 weeks to get the temperature at the optimum level and it sits between 34 and 38 degrees and the humidity is rock solid at 26%. 4 hours after putting the Primal into the Frig, the temp is at 35F but the humidity was up at 60%. This morning it is still at 61%. Can I assume that this is the moisture being released from the meat?January 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm #4346
That would be my conclusion as well as it seems quite logical assuming that primal is the only thing in the refrigerator. I know when I was first monitoring humidity in mine I was seeing higher readings initially, but OTOH my refrig is in the kitchen and has many other foods stored causing humidity variables.January 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm #4357AnonymousGuest
Another quick question this being my first DryBag attempt.
I have noticed a few small airpockets forming between the bag and Primal. Since I still have the check valve in place, I just slipped the vacuum hose onto the valve while it is in the Frig and pulled the bag tight again. So, my question is whether it would be helpful to keep the small vacuum pump running for a few days as the meat to bag bond forms. The hose is small enough that it does not really disturb the seal on the door of the refrigerator and after 2 days, at this point there is no more liquid coming into the check valve or hose. I suspect that the initial bloody liquid may have partially impacted the seal of the check valve on this first run.January 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm #4358
If I understand you correctly you are saying the bag started out tight to the meat, but in a day or two there are air pockets inside. If that is the case then clearly there is a leak either in your seam or that check valve itself. Continuously running the pump may work to allow the bag to adhere to the meat during the transfer of moisture out, but I’d try to find the leak myself. BTW if you are using a boneless primal then the valleys where the bones had been are prone to pull away as the meat shrinks so slight air pockets may be noticeable after 2 or 3 weeks but certainly not this soon as you have experienced. Good luck!January 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm #4359AnonymousGuest
thanks, I will leave the pump running as that is pretty easy to do and I’ll make sure I have a better seal the next time.January 31, 2011 at 12:35 am #4377AnonymousGuest
Ok, so I am 7 days now on my first New York Strip. The bag is very tightly bonded to the meat and the surface is pretty hard and dark. It is really the only thing in the outside refrig other than a few cans of soda. Temp ranges from 35 to 38 F and humidity has been around 50% the last few days. If I sniff closely, I can smell it. Not sure what it should smell like at this point. I had a lot of goo one it when it sealed and that is clearly all gone or dried at this point. It seems to me the smell is somewhat like old meat but not sure.
Is there a change in smell with time? This is the first I really noticed it. The frig has been closed at this temp for days. I am planning on about 21 days for the first trial but open to recommendations and suggestions.
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