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Airtight lids not airtight

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Jean, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Jean

    Jean Washington New Member

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    I've tested the "airtight" gamma lids for 5-gallon buckets. Though friends have used for years with no mold, etc., they have a relatively dry basement, so no big challenge. I put a hydrometer into a bucket, sealed it with a gamma lid (with collar in place and gasket checked), and took it outside overnight. The next morning, the hydrometer showed a big difference; it was no longer the 40% humidity in the house, but the 75% humidity from outside. So... that tells me, they are not airtight. They might be the best that's available, but the reality is.... The best option seems to be to seal a mylar bag, but how does one do that? That handwarmer oxygen remover doesn't last forever. How does a person seal a mylar bag? The only other option is to get a FoodSaver seal-a-meal machine that sucks the air out; I did that, too, but most of the sealed bags eventually leaked. Want to use mylar, if there's a RELIABLE way to seal.
     
  2. tfbit

    tfbit Eugene, OR Active Member

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    I bought a used clothing iron from a Goodwill type store and use the edge of a long aluminum level. Fill your mylar bag, throw an appropriately sized oxygen absorber in, get as much air out as you can, wrap the bag around the edge of the level, and seal with iron. The next morning you should have a relatively hard, sealed oxygen free bag of food. I then put the sealed bags in a plastic bucket with lid to prevent damage to the bag. For larger bags of things like rice, beans, or wheat, I put the bag/bags in a bucket, fill it/them, and seal it/them while in the bucket so they are more form fit to the bucket. Check again in a few days and if the sealed bag still looks/feels the same you've got a good seal.

    Here's a thread to look at:

    https://www.northwestfirearms.com/threads/vacuum-sealer-with-mylar-bags.130382/
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
    jbett98 likes this.
  3. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Hydrometer's measure Relative Humidity (RH).

    As the temperature decreases, the air can not hold as much water and the RH rises.

    (Salt or Sugar in warm or cold water is a decent comparison)

    It's because you took the RH reading in a warm house and then took the bucket outside to cool all night that the RH in the bucket went up, not nessecarely that the lid's are not air tight.



    I am not sure if they are or are not air tight but I wouldn't call it definitive based on what you described.
     
  4. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Oh, After looking at your profile pic I just wanted to add, Welcome to the forum;)
     
  5. Jean

    Jean Washington New Member

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    Thanks for that info. I am happy to be wrong on this one. Can you tell me a definitive way to check the "airtight" claim for the lids? I don't want to lose whatever I store in the 5-gallon buckets due to false manufacturer claims.
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  6. Jean

    Jean Washington New Member

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    Many thanks, though sealing a bag in the bucket with an aluminum straight-edge and a hot iron sounds a bit tricky. You put only partially into bucket, right? Or...?
     
  7. Jean

    Jean Washington New Member

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    Thanks. Just found the site this morning!
     
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  8. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I put the mylar bag in the bucket, fill with whatever dry goods you're trying to store, drop in the appropriate number of O2 absorbers and then suck out as much air using the rubber tube on my seal a meal vacuum machine.
    The aluminum level I use has four groves on the bottom and I position it upside down across the bucket and drape the mylar across the upended level.
    I then use my wife's clothing iron with the water removed and start ironing from the center of the bag to one side.
    Then with the vacuum tube in the other corner, I start ironing from the center towards the tube and then pull the tube out as soon as I get near it.
    The four grooved level gives me four separate sealing joints, instead of just one big one that might leak.
    Starting from the center helps keep any wrinkles from forming in the mylar.
     
  9. tfbit

    tfbit Eugene, OR Active Member

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    This is pretty much my method minus the seal a meal machine. It's not that hard to do. I like 4 gal square buckets as they stack and store with a minimum of wasted space. They are food grade buckets and lids that I bought from a guy on craigslist for around $1 each.

     
  10. ikemay

    ikemay WA Well-Known Member

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    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=sealing+mylar+bags

    ;)
    Mike
     
  11. Foreverlost

    Foreverlost South of LesbianVille, OR. Active Member

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    Jean,

    You never stated what you are trying to preserve or why the sealing issue. For food purchase the freeze dried stuff and rotate the stock. Best long time solution.

    In another life long ago, we were switching from a gas chromatograph analyzer that could measure down to PPM (nice play toy) to a mass spectrometer. The mass spec could measure down to PPB with ease and spit out 2000 analysis per second.

    The technician tried to cut corners on the installation and used cheap tubing for the sample gas and calibration gasses. When measuring at the PPB levels, air can be shown/measured to pass thru just about every tubing except stainless steel used with special fittings. Over 15 cylinders of expensive cal gas were contaminated, cheap was a failure. Even with 40 psig sample gas/cal gas pressure; air at or near sea level pressure passed thru the cheap tubing. In other words air at a lower pressure passed into tubing which was at a far greater pressure.

    Your chances of getting a good seal are slim, storage life questionable. Some of the freeze dried stuff has a proven record. Hope this helps....................

    Foreverlost,
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
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  12. ikemay

    ikemay WA Well-Known Member

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    I think the gamma lids might be fine. The idea is to store your food in a somewhat climate controlled manner. But if you are really concerned, this is what I would do. By 50 lbs of sand, flour ........ something relatively inexpensive. Fill your bucket, seal the lid. It should now not float. Now, submerge it in water overnight, 24 hours, however long you want. Take it out, towel off the outside so as not to get any water dripping onto the contents and open the lid and inspect the contents. If the contents are wet, check the seal. You may need to put a little mineral oil or non-toxic plumbers silicone grease (cheap from hardware store) on the seal and try again. You could lube up the seal first too, either way.

    If you really, really just can't trust the bucket and gamma lids or mylar sealing try #10 cans with oxygen absorbers for dry packing things like rice, flour, beans, etc. The Mormons used to allow people (non-members) to use their canneries (Home Storage Centers) to do this. The government started messing with them so I don't know if they still do this. But they do sell pre-canned items to the public at reasonable prices. Tell you what the Mormons (LDS= Later Day Saints) have preparedness down to a science. Worth looking at what they do. I'm not Mormon, but do respect their approach.

    Links:
    http://store.lds.org/webapp/wcs/sto...839595_10557_3074457345616706237_-1_N_image_0

    https://providentliving.lds.org/self-reliance/food-storage/home-storage-center-locations?lang=eng


    Best of luck,
    Mike
     
  13. Foreverlost

    Foreverlost South of LesbianVille, OR. Active Member

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    The water test: Water, H2O is a larger molecule than oxygen (O2) or nitrogen (N2). Where either oxygen or nitrogen will pass thru certain barriers, water might not.

    My SHTF freeze dried foods are in sealed metal 1 gallon cans. The shelf life is 25 years if the metal can is not opened. Shelf life is 18 months if can is opened.

    Hope this helps.............................

    Foreverlost,
     
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  14. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    You would have to put the bucket under a vacuum and monitor it over some time.

    Would take a fitting, vacuum pump and gauge.

    If you didn't want to get to it unless you had too, a 'very thin coat of 100% silicone would seal a regular lid pretty well.
     
  15. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Other way around... Water being H2O with a molar weight of 18, and O2 with a molar weight of 32, the water is the smaller molecule.

    In general, the added pressure of the water is going to contribute more to potential for leakage, or possibly for better sealing (added pressure compressing the seals more).

    In many ways, I tend not to worry too much about the potential for what is and isn't "air tight" as these are very much relative measures. I generally prefer to purge storage food with CO2, or Argon (Laser mix anyone?) any of these coming from a tank are going to be functionally "dry", the benefit of either CO2 or Argon is they are heavier molecules and are less likely to diffuse out of the pores in the plastic, and keeping a slightly positive pressure is going to make it slightly less likely for things to diffuse in at a high rate.

    Metal, and mylar are really the best defenses against oxygen and water intrusion. Plastic is good for short term, but if you really want the maximum, canning is the best way to go.
     
  16. Foreverlost

    Foreverlost South of LesbianVille, OR. Active Member

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    Apples vs Oranges............Please consider the physical size of the molecule. Not the molar weight. The issue is contaminants passing thru a barrier and making your food not eatable.

    Once again.......being this is a Preparedness & Survival thread: With out any fuss or muss and taking up very little space; not stored in glass jars that might break when falling off a shelf..........................etc.

    My freeze dried fruits & vegetables are good for 25 years and are in sealed metal cans,18 months if opened. The freeze dried meats are good for 15 years in an unopened container. The freeze dried cereal & powered milk is good for 10 years in its unopened container.

    Just add water..............don't give me BS about not having water. U gonna die in 3 days without.

    If I survive the first BANG of the SHTF................I'm good. No need to rotate stocks for a long time. You will not find me wasting time doing it cheap. My life depends on getting it correct the first time.

    Foreverlost,
     
  17. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    1) Airtight and water tight are not the same thing.
    2) Make sure you are using Food-Grade Buckets.
    3) Make sure that the bucket is off the dirt and off the concrete.
    4) Make sure the bucket is out of direct sunlight.

    Lastly, you can seal a Mylar bag with anything...a clothes iron, a hair straightener, anything that produces enough heat to melt the Mylar lining.

    Hope this helps.
     
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