I've been looking at 1/2 pound bags for home roasting. Initially, I liked the thought of the super decked out bags the big companies seem to use. They are all foil lined with degasser valves and a slick...what vinyl outside? 

 

I recently developed a liking for the really simple bags coava, blue bottle, and stumptown use. They are recycled (or can be), and are just super plain old style "popcorn" like bags with a poly..something lining. 

 

Question: Do they seal the bags? Wouldn't they burst? Are the valves really THAT necessary?

 

It seems to me that you could let them degas a bit, then package them up. It seems simple, especially since you should be drinking your coffee before you need to worry about how long it stays fresh. I leave my coffee in the bags always, and I also don't buy a lot so I can drink it within two weeks or so.

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Sorry they are PLA lined. 
I use the simple tin tie bags like you showed with no valve at home for my roasts. If I'm going to ship coffee right after roasting I use a valve bag and a clothes iron to seal. This keeps the bags from puffing or blowing open during shipping. Yet allows me to send right out so they arrive just after at a normal rest time.

We have de-gassing valves on our 1 and 5lbs bags, and I think there it makes sense because we also flush the bags with nitrogen before we seal them.  This way the off-gasses get pushed out and the beans stay fresh longer in the sealed bag due to the lack of oxygen.  If you don't flush the bags, then I don't really see the point of the valve (other than ensuring the seal doesn't rupture.)

 

I'm with you though, I always leave my beans in a bag exactly like you pictured above because I end up drinking them before too long anyway.

If you are just home roasting for yourself, I do not think it should matter... so long as you only roast what you will use.  If you are roasting for customers I think that you have to take into account that, even if you educate them to buy what they will use soon, they won't always take your advice.  I would just make sure that you educate them so that when they finally open up the bag 4 months later and the coffee tastes boring, they will remember that it is their own fault, not your skills, that led to their substandard coffee.

 

Take note, I am no expert on roasting.  Just a casual observation.

Can you seal these types? Or do they have to be foil?

farmroast said:
I use the simple tin tie bags like you showed with no valve at home for my roasts. If I'm going to ship coffee right after roasting I use a valve bag and a clothes iron to seal. This keeps the bags from puffing or blowing open during shipping. Yet allows me to send right out so they arrive just after at a normal rest time.

kraft paper bags can't be sealed. There's nothing to seal. They are just paper with a glassine (or plastic) liner.

 

The stumptown bags you're talking about are not recyclable. They are kraft on the outside, with a poly liner on the inside and valve.

What he said. 

Matt B said:

kraft paper bags can't be sealed. There's nothing to seal. They are just paper with a glassine (or plastic) liner.

 

The stumptown bags you're talking about are not recyclable. They are kraft on the outside, with a poly liner on the inside and valve.

Matt, I'd say that's a pretty important function, wouldn't you?

 

Matt Anderson said:

...If you don't flush the bags, then I don't really see the point of the valve (other than ensuring the seal doesn't rupture.)

Much depends on the time frame your working with. If your getting beans to someone within 3 days out of the roaster and they know how to manage them at that point theres enough degassing going on to keep things simple. The more you go towards "best by" the more complicated it gets.

What I meant was that if you are leaving 20% oxygen in the bag you are not preserving freshness so the only thing you are really doing is creating a semi tamper evident seal.  Which Brady I would also say is a useful function :)

 

As for the kraft bags, we use a kind that are made from recycled paper, and can be composted.  You just have to remove the tin-tie, but the lining is plant derived and fully compostable.

OCD much?  

 

As the coffee outgasses, the proportion of oxygen in the gas reduces as the concentration of CO2 increases.  It's a matter of dilution.  I would be surprised if there were more than 5% oxygen left 2 days after roasting in a valve bag sealed the day of roasting. 

 

But now I'm genuinely curious.  Can you really taste the difference?  I can understand nitrogen flushing if shipping overseas, but for domestic purposes, I just can't see it making enough of a difference to justify it.  

Matt Anderson said:

What I meant was that if you are leaving 20% oxygen in the bag you are not preserving freshness so the only thing you are really doing is creating a semi tamper evident seal.  Which Brady I would also say is a useful function :)

 

As for the kraft bags, we use a kind that are made from recycled paper, and can be composted.  You just have to remove the tin-tie, but the lining is plant derived and fully compostable.

That's the part that I never quite understood about Nitrogen flushing. I can see it for greens or for repackaging beans several days off roast, but fresh stuff?

 

Let's also remember that the CO2 that the beans are kicking out is coming from the beans themselves, so should tend to displace the gas mixture remaining between the beans... and if I'm not mistaken, CO2 is more dense than "air" so, if the gas valve is at the top of the bag (often the case) should fall to the bottom of the bag and force the remaining "air" out the valve? Curious to see responses to these questions.

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