Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 5:44pm Subject: co2 gas flush / infusion in order to lengthen shelf life?
I just read Netphiloshopher's "crazy things with coffee" thread and came up with a question: Does anyone gas flush their beans? It seems like it would be a great thing for people who are about to pull a vacuum and then freeze. It would even be good for room temp beans as it would slow rancidification. If we went a step further and _pressurized_ the beans then it may even end up giving more crema, due to the dissolved gasses (based on my amateur understanding of crema) I could see doing this two ways:
#1 use something like one of these bike tire inflators in order to flush the o2 out of a half filled mason jar -or- #2 use something like this whipped cream maker (but with co2 cartridges) in order to actually pressurize the beans in the tank. here is an example of people using something similar in order to carbonate fruit.
The point of both really is to get rid of oxygen. I have no idea if the injected co2 in the pressurized idea would have any benefit. It certainly would do a good job of displacing o2 though!
Side note: as much as I have heard of people freezing to prevent beans from going rancid, I have also heard of people storing beans in mason jars. AFAIK, sunlight will turn fats rancid just as fast as oxygen will.
Posted Tue Mar 26, 2013, 5:48pm Subject: Re: co2 gas flush / infusion in order to lengthen shelf life?
Two quick followups:
dry ice might be a good replacement for the first method. Put a piece in a mason jar and wait for it to fully sublimate. The c02 is heavier that air, so it won't leave the jar unless it is very windy. cap the jar and then freeze it. BE CAREFUL TO NOT MAKE BOMBS. Dont put the lid on with solid dry ice in the jar still!
If the coffee is going to sit out at room temp, then it will probably still off-gas. I don't know if that is enough in order to dangerously pressurize a glass vessel, but I'd be worried about it.
Posted Wed Mar 27, 2013, 10:36am Subject: Re: co2 gas flush / infusion in order to lengthen shelf life?
I don't do this, but if I were to try a gas flush, I'd probably use the products sold for wine recorking. It's inert gas, predominantly, I think Argon. They come in compressed cans without too much pressure, so one can safely pulse a less than full wine bottle. Supposedly, they don't change the flavor of the wine, but my wife swears she can tell, so I stopped using them. I think they're worth checking into, if one is inclined to pump a gas product into a jar or bag of coffee beans.
My approach is to loosely cap the canning jars and allow the degassing CO2 drive out the room air for several hours (typically overnight), then tighten down the lids and freeze.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Posted Thu Mar 28, 2013, 5:03pm Subject: Re: co2 gas flush / infusion in order to lengthen shelf life?
Netphilosopher I am always excited to read your posts, because you are probably the best example of a person who has a hypothesis, tests it, and then reports back for our benefit!
I couldn't agree more on almost everything that you said. The only thing that I can add is that while light may not help to stale the coffee it is a definite cause of rancidity. I wouldn't keep my beans in a mason jar on the windowsill for example. I don't know many people with windows on their freezers, as you pointed out.
The only use case I can think of is if someone has an amazing roast or gets their Hands on some "collector grade" beans. Other than that, we're mostly just playing around with science. That's fun on its own merit,
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 8:05am Subject: Re: co2 gas flush / infusion in order to lengthen shelf life?
I think a combo could be the best method. Beans second could end up causing turbulence and letting more fresh air in. Beans first could have a lot of trapped air, and that might take longer to dissipate. I think that ice beans ice would seem to have the best chance at having a good flush.
The other question is: are you trying to pressurize your vessel? If not, then add as much as you want, let it sublimate and then cap it. you have basically co2 flushed your container. if you want to pressurize it, then do the same and at the end add a TINY bit more dry ice and then cap it. I would be very selective in what containers I was willing to pressurize.
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