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Hand pump version of a vacuum sealer for mason jars?

 
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Hello permies, I'm interested in vacuum packing dry goods in mason jars (not water bath canning, just dry storage).  I've heard you can use a FoodSaver and get an attachment that will suck the air out of a mason jar and let a standard lid maintain the seal:
Food Saver
Jar Sealer

I've also seen hand pump vacuum sealers but they come with lids.  The lids fit many sizes of jars  But they don't use standard mason jar lids so you need to buy tons of them
VacuWare Lids

Does anyone know of a cheap way (ideally a hand pump) to seal standard lids onto mason jars?  
 
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The only way I can think of to use standard lids would be to heat your jars before adding the ingredients or heat the jar and the ingredients, then tighten the lids.  As the jars cool it seems to me that a vacuum would form.

Here is an article of interest but they use Food Saver Lids.

https://www.tenthacrefarm.com/2014/06/non-electric-mason-jar-vacuum-sealer/

It will be interesting to find what others are doing, other than adding the Oxygen Absorbers.

http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2012/10/dry-canning-the-easy-way.html
 
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You can buy handheld vacuum pumps at auto part stores, harbor freight, amazon, etc.  They use them for bleeding brakes and so forth.  

https://www.amazon.com/HFS-Brake-Bleeder-Vacuum-Tuner/dp/B00NP60URE

Get one of those and use the Jar sealer with it.
 
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I actually use this technique with wine so a bottle lasts over a week but then I have a special top to go on the bottles don't think they are available for bigger jars .
 
Mike Jay
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:You can buy handheld vacuum pumps at auto part stores, harbor freight, amazon, etc.  They use them for bleeding brakes and so forth.  

https://www.amazon.com/HFS-Brake-Bleeder-Vacuum-Tuner/dp/B00NP60URE

Get one of those and use the Jar sealer with it.


That sounds perfect!  Thanks Peter!  I can't seem to find out what diameter the tubing on the jar sealer kit is but I could always thread on a new nipple on the bleeder pump to match.  Yay!

I wonder how much vacuum the FoodSaver creates.  I'd hate to overdo it with the bleeder and implode a jar
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Mike Jay wrote:
I wonder how much vacuum the FoodSaver creates.  I'd hate to overdo it with the bleeder and implode a jar



I don't think it's possible to implode a jar.  Even a perfect vacuum will be less than 30 inches of mercury (14.7 psi pressure) on the jar, you're not going to get down to a perfect vacuum.
There are a couple articles on the web that indicate the foodsaver pulls around 20-22 inches of mercury.

If you have a good hand held pump and work at it, you can pull ~25 inches of mercury.  I'd say 15-20 inches will be fine.
 
Mike Jay
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Thanks Peter!!!
 
Anne Miller
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Sorry, I meant to include the Amazon link from the article.  Peter's link is cheaper!
 
Mike Jay
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Hi Anne, sorry, your links were just as awesome as Peter's.  The video on the Tenth Acre Farm blog show him using the FoodSaver attachment but it still seals with a standard lid.  So it's exactly the same as Peter's suggestion.  I pulled out his youtube video and put it below.  The oxygen absorber seems a bit less sustainable since I'd have to keep buying them.  But it's great to know that they are just normal hand warmers.  I'll definitely keep that in mind.

 
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You might want to investigate building a "Vaccu-Canner" - using a pressure canner vessel connected to a vacuum pump and you can do up to 7 quarts at once - you may have to spend some money to build it but they work great...
 
Mike Jay
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Thanks Jake, good idea!  I ended up getting a cheap food saver type vacuum packer and the standard accessories to do jars.  I'll probably pick up a hand brake bleeder pump some time but the reviews on Amazon were underwhelming when I looked.
 
Jake T Robinson
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Mike Jay wrote:Thanks Jake, good idea!  I ended up getting a cheap food saver type vacuum packer and the standard accessories to do jars.  I'll probably pick up a hand brake bleeder pump some time but the reviews on Amazon were underwhelming when I looked.



I am a member of Jack Spirko's MSB (Membership Support Brigade) for his Survival  Podcast.  I was an instructor at one of his workshops and did a workshop on building pressure canner style drycanners... don't know if you happen to be a member also, but if so, the video of my session is in his video section.  We discovered using a cheap vaccum pump for automobiles for the HVAC system was the cheapest way to get the hoses, connectors and vacuum pressure dial and with one fitting (If I recall) you can convert and be up and running in no time...

cheers,

jake
 
Mike Jay
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That's awesome Jake.  When you say "a cheap vacuum pump for automobiles", I'm assuming you mean a brake bleeder pump?  Do you happen to know what level of vacuum you need?  And how many pumps it takes to get there with a hand pump on a pressure canner?  I'm imagining hundreds
 
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Sorry, I didn't mean pumping by hand... using a low cost pump from Harbor Frieght (catch it on sale for $89 and use 20% discount coupon)  Use existing canner or buy a used one.  The pressure gauge kit like this one... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01617TZ8S/ref=asc_df_B01617TZ8S5486323/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B01617TZ8S&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241928896524&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13940755486661424050&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9013143&hvtargid=pla-501057928277
 
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or heck, even this cheap kit may work... first time I've seen this particular kit...

https://www.ebay.com/i/142563103959?chn=ps&var=441548456029
 
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Here's a quick demo from John Kohler. I wound up here looking for a pump like the one he uses.



This might be the little hand help pump he has:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PXHBMAW

Cheers!
 
Mike Jay
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Thanks Brandon!  Welcome to Permies :)  Your link to the item on amazon is the correct one per the video.  The amazon reviews for it are pretty bad but maybe that's for its intended purpose and it's even better at this job.  The price sure is good.

I've since purchased that same food saver lid adapter.  So I could just get that vacuum pump and do what John was showing.  And if it doesn't work good enough, I've seen some youtube videos of making pumps from pvc pipe and homemade check valves so I could reverse that design to make my own pump.
 
Brandon Abel
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Cheers, glad I could join in.

Here's another one by Lasting Freshness. Looks like the rubber end might be softer (John complained about the one he has).
https://lastingfreshness.com/shop/bags/5-pc-vacuum-food-storage-bags-starter-kit

From what I have seen Ziploc also has a product out that pumps the bags using the same technique.
 
Anne Miller
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I received the hand held vacuum sealer by Food Saver and the zip lock bags to go with it.  It also works with containers.  I am not sure how I will use it so I looked at Food Savers website.  It is currently on sale for $14.88.
 
Brandon Abel
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These pumps are a little harder to find than I first thought they would be. I found one more option people might try:
https://www.amazon.ca/SODIAL-Yellow-Compressed-Storage-Extracting/dp/B00PXZID1A
 
Brandon Abel
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Just a few notes about this manual mason jar vacuum sealing gear. I wound up buying all three of the pumps I posted links to earlier since they were all less than $20 each. Figured I could eliminate the risk of a potential cull plus having an extra one kicking around wouldn't hurt either.

Here's the reviews:
-The longer yellow one is the most powerful but it ships with an ineffective rubber tip. The rubber tip also stinks strongly of toxic chemicals.
-The Ziploc brand pump (which came with a few vacuum bags to use) was the best performer out of box. It has an adequate soft tip for a good seal and pumps stronger than the Lasting Freshness pump.
-The Lasting Freshness pump (which also came with it's own set of bags) fell behind in performance. Though it has the softest tip for the best seal, the body/mechanism just feels flimsy and pumps the weakest of the 3. The color is also a little off but I took what I could get.

(I have not tested the bags for performance but the Ziploc appears to be easier to use with a ready to go airlock valve to place the pump over. The Lasting Freshness bags have little plastic twist caps over top of the airlock valves, a little less convenient but it may be that the bag itself is better. They happen to be labeled Sous-Vide bags so possibly acceptable for use by chefs when cooking in a precision water bath. Also, there are Tupperware style containers available  from Lasting Freshness with vacuum ports built in to the lids.)

Conclusion:
-I left the Ziploc pump as is and put the Lasting Freshness tip on the best pump (generic yellow). The smelly black rubber tip from the yellow one went in the trash rendering the Lasting Freshness pump somewhat useless.

Side note:
The Food Saver jar lid vacuum sealers were not designed to be used with these hand pumps. They have a small hole in which they expect you to attach a hose from their electronic vacuum bag sealing devices. Their branding is printed in raised letters around the surface where we place the rubber seals to pump out the air. This is mildly disruptive to the vacuum seal when pumping. I am in the process of shaving those bumpy letters smooth.

All in all this seems like a fantastic way to store food items (dry or wet) in mason jars for extended short term storage. I found this thread on my search to find out more about how to get all this working. There was very little info available everywhere. Thank you to the OP Mike Jay and all the contributors.

vacuum-pumps-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for vacuum-pumps-1.jpg]
Lasting Freshness, generic and Ziploc hand operated vacuum pumps.
vacuum-pumps-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for vacuum-pumps-2.jpg]
Swapping the rubber tip for a superior pump.
food-saver-jar-vacuum-bumps.jpg
[Thumbnail for food-saver-jar-vacuum-bumps.jpg]
Bumps of the Food Saver lettering interfere with seal.
 
Mike Jay
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Thanks for the pump trial Brandon!  Looks like the Ziploc one is about $20 on Amazon.
 
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Control Garden Pests without Toxic Chemicals
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