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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:23pm
Subject: Sealing jars
 

I looked for jars with sealed lids for storing coffee beans.  I found them to be quite common-place (Walmart, Zellers, Loblaws).  They have a rubbery seal around the rim of the lid, and a spring latch to exert pressure on the lid.

Unfortunately, both the jars I got (different brands and stores) are not hermetically sealed.  My apartment smells of the coffee that is stored in the "sealed" jar.

Is the ineffectiveness of "sealed" jars very common?  I do not relish the idea of doing an empirical saerch for an effective sealing jar.
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__________
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 3:30am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

Because of their design, they won't let the outside air in (a higher pressure outside than inside will compress the seal further giving a tighter seal) but can leak outwards (only the spring latch is holding the seal down).

This isn't a bad thing especially if the beans are very fresh.

I wouldn't worry, unless you don't like the smell of coffee.  In that case, keep it in your freezer (about which there are many discussions on here).
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CMIN
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 5:28am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

You need the Ball Canning Jars which are at Walmart as well. Sounds like you got hinged mason jars which aren't as good, especially if used for freezer storage.
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__________
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 9:39am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

I never use glass jars for freezer storage, but what's the specific problem with using the hinged ones ?
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CMIN
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 10:02am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

Hinged ones just don't seal as well. Ball glass canning jars have a sealed lid and seperate screw piece to create an air tight seal. They have canning jars that are freezer safe as well, I use the pint size. I usually have a couple pounds of beans so keep one jar out usually about half full, and rest in freezer till needed.
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__________
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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:32am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

I've only used the clip top jars made by Le Parfait or Kilner, but I think they seal very well in terms of not allowing air to enter which is the important aspect of storage. Perhaps the ones available in the US are different.

Both makes are designed to let gases escape a little when preserving so you can clip the top down immediately when still hot at sterilizing temperature, and leave things to cool, as they are designed to release pressure.  With the screw-top type you need to back the screw off a little to allow steam to escape before finally sealing down.  (Instructions received from my Mother...)

I would have thought that allowing CO2 to escape would not be a bad thing when storing coffee, especially when it's fresh.  

Not a fan of using glass jars in the freezer though. I think good quality non gas-permeable plastic bags are easier to store, and let you remove more of the air.

But the whole subject of freezer storage is contentious enough anyway, and probably getting off-topic ;o)
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Posted Tue Oct 2, 2012, 9:41pm
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

Keepitsimple wrote on 1 Oct 2012 3:30am:
> Because of their design, they won't let the outside air in (a higher
> pressure outside than inside will compress the seal further giving a
> tighter seal) but can leak outwards (only the spring latch is
> holding the seal down).
>
> This isn't a bad thing especially if the beans are very fresh.
>
> I wouldn't worry, unless you don't like the smell of coffee.  In
> that case, keep it in your freezer (about which there are many
> discussions on here).

I like the smell of coffee, but I prefer to keep the flavour in the coffee.  I don't freeze the beans, I just keep in a cupboard with the door closed.

There is nothing that I do that would create a negative pressure inside, so either the inside in equilibrium with the outside or there is out-gassing, which would create a temporary high pressure on the inside.  The excess gass would leak out and result in equilibrium again.  I wonder how good the seal is at equilibrium.

CMIN wrote on 1 Oct 2012 5:20am:
> You need the Ball Canning Jars which are at Walmart as well. Sounds
> like you got hinged mason jars which aren't as good, especially if
> used for freezer storage.

OK, thanks.  I looked up Ball canning jars, which is a kind of Mason jar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_jar.  Those were the 1st jars that I thought of long ago, but I went with the hinge/latch jars for convenience (not realizing that they were that different).  I shall reconsider.  However, lately, I found the smell to have abated.  Not sure why.

Keepitsimple wrote on Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:32am:
> I've only used the clip top jars made by Le Parfait or Kilner, but I
> think they seal very well in terms of not allowing air to enter
> which is the important aspect of storage. Perhaps the ones available
> in the US are different.

I checked the jars.  One said Indonesia, the other is no-name.  I wouldn't be surprised if there use to be a sticker that said made-in-China.

> Both makes are designed to let gases escape a little when preserving
> so you can clip the top down immediately when still hot at
> sterilizing temperature, and leave things to cool, as they are
> designed to release pressure.  With the screw-top type you need to
> back the screw off a little to allow steam to escape before finally
> sealing down.  (Instructions received from my Mother...)

If you clip things down when hot, wouldn't that create immense negative pressure inside as hings cool?

> I would have thought that allowing CO2 to escape would not be a bad
> thing when storing coffee, especially when it's fresh.  

I am not sure how "fresh" it is.  I bought it from a coffee shop, where they are kept in sealed bags with a valve so that one can sniff the coffee.  However, the staff said that even in the sealed bags, the shipment smelled very strongly of that flavour.  Speaking of which, I'm not even sure how to account for the age of the beans (or conversely, the "freshness") when the beans spend time in a hermetically sealed environment.

> Not a fan of using glass jars in the freezer though. I think good
> quality non gas-permeable plastic bags are easier to store, and let
> you remove more of the air.
>
> But the whole subject of freezer storage is contentious enough
> anyway, and probably getting off-topic ;o)
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__________
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Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 2:10am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

JustAcoffeeDrinker Said:

If you clip things down when hot, wouldn't that create immense negative pressure inside as hings cool?

Posted October 2, 2012 link

If you achieved a perfect vacuum it would only be normal atmospheric pressure on the outside. Not immense. ~ 100 kPa (or ~15 psi in non metric units). They're manufactured for that to happen.

JustAcoffeeDrinker Said:

I bought it from a coffee shop, where they are kept in sealed bags with a valve so that one can sniff the coffee.  However, the staff said that even in the sealed bags, the shipment smelled very strongly of that flavour.  

Posted October 2, 2012 link

The valve isn't there to let you smell the coffee. It's a one-way valve to let the (hopefully) newly roasted coffee outgas without blowing up the bag.
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 7:21pm
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

__________ Said:

If you achieved a perfect vacuum it would only be normal atmospheric pressure on the outside. Not immense. ~ 100 kPa (or ~15 psi in non metric units). They're manufactured for that to happen.

Posted October 3, 2012 link

That's true.

__________ Said:

The valve isn't there to let you smell the coffee. It's a one-way valve to let the (hopefully) newly roasted coffee outgas without blowing up the bag.

Posted October 3, 2012 link

Hmm, OK.  That would explain why it smelled strongly.  Perhaps it's an indication of the freshness, which would explain why there might be out-gassing after I put them in the jar with hinge/latch/gasket.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2012, 5:54am
Subject: Re: Sealing jars
 

Fresh coffee ALWAYS out gasses and you need to account for that. Freezing the coffee (properly) can arrest most of the out gassing and when unfrozen, the out gassing will continue.

I have found that for me, canning jars take up too much room. I prefer zip top bags and to freeze the coffee asap.
If there isn't a roasted on date on the bag, likely as not the coffee is stale. It isn't mandatory that it is true but there is no way to know when it was roasted if the date is not on the bag, thus no way to know if it is stale.

If there is a best by date, walk on by and do not buy the coffee.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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