Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

zeuspaul
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Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#1

Post: # 48371Unread post zeuspaul
Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:12 pm

This is a work in progress which started as a quest for healthy snacks.

This involves besting what I can find commercially, 15 dollars per pound for organic dried apples. https://www.bellaviva.com/dried-apples I prefer organic because of the stuff they spray on apples. If non organic I intend on soaking in a vinegar solution.

Considerations are peeled or not, thickness of slice, labor, dehydrating how long and what temp, which tools?

I have done my first batch. It was a mix of an apples peeler which peels, cores and slices in one operation. This was the easiest but I thought the slices were a little thin. My target is a minimum of 1/4 inch. I'll try slices up to 1/2 inch. Also tried hand peeling and slicing with a mandolin and also slicing with a deli slicer. The deli slicer was the only tool which I can get slices larger than 1/4 inch. I tried to keep the slices near 1/4 inch to keep the same drying time.

I dried over night because I thought it would take longer than it did. They are ok but a little too dry for my liking, definitely room for improvement.

Then I vacuum sealed in wide mouth canning jars. I am also working on improving this process.

Overall the snack was a success so I am going to go forward with this.
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zeuspaul
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#2

Post: # 48429Unread post zeuspaul
Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:16 pm

I am using the FoodSaver® Jar Sealing Kit for vacuum sealing jars and wanted a spare and one for my son but it has been among the missing for a long time just like many other preserving supplies.

It just showed up on the Foodsaver site but I had to buy 3 to get free shipping. They currently have a site wide 30% off (code SAVE30) With the 30% off I basically got 3 for the price of 2 so I jumped on it. I just got the shipping notice and it is FedEx which wasn't stated with the purchase.
https://www.foodsaver.com/


Then it showed up on Amazon for the same $25 but only for a day. It is very popular judging from the 7500 ratings and 300 questions. Now it is on Amazon for $40.
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worth1
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#3

Post: # 48431Unread post worth1
Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:24 pm

We dehydrated apples on a table under a screen outside in the sun.
Put them in bags and froze them for such goodies as apple pie later on.
I always kept a bag in my room for snacks.
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Worth
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The only things we have to fear in the kitchen are hot oil and falling knives.

zeuspaul
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#4

Post: # 48469Unread post zeuspaul
Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:19 pm

I am using the Foodsaver handheld vacuum pump. It is handy and easy to use. It fits in a drawer. A hose is not required, just press it against the top of the jar sealer. The batteries started to weaken but it could still be used while plugged in. Then it totally failed.

The batteries are not user replaceable. I found a YouTube video with instructions. Unfortunately my model is slightly different. I was able to get the thing open and expose the batteries by using a one edge razor blade to cut through the seam. I replaced the two flat top AA rechargeable batteries which had to be soldered into place. Now it works again. I measured the vacuum 29 inHg which is about 70% of full vacuum.

I like the convenience of this pump but not the batteries.

I think this may be discontinued as I don't see it anywhere except eBay at two or three times the $17 I paid five years ago. There are other hand held pumps available but I have no idea how good they are.

The bag sealers with an auxiliary port can be used with the provided tube in the jar sealer kit but one might have to adapt it to a particular sealer.
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zeuspaul
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#5

Post: # 48538Unread post zeuspaul
Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:15 pm

In my search of a replacement for my battery powered FoodSaver pump I purchased a 1/4 HP Stark HVAC vacuum pump from Home Depot.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stark-1-4-H ... /308442652

The vacuum port is a bit of an odd ball. I can't figure out what it is. 3/16 flare? It is smaller than 1/4 in but larger than 1/8 in. I can't find any 3/16 female flares.

I epoxied two drilled rubber stoppers together to increase their length. Pushed it onto the vacuum port taped it to the pump handle for support and inserted a barbed fitting (5/16 or 3/8 barb?) with 1/4 in female thread. I assembled a hose similar to this which I had available I used these 1/4 x 3/8 connectors

Then attached a barb with 1/4 female thread ( I think the barb is 5/16 ) and inserted into a pre drilled #7 rubber stopper.

It works very well! Just press and hold the stopper to the top of the jar sealer and turn the pump on. It takes just a few seconds to evacuate the air from the jar. It is almost a complete vacuum. I measured it to be 29+ inHg. This should also work very quickly with my 1/2 gallon jars. This will likely become my preferred pump

Inserting the stopper into a one inch PVC coupling and pressing the end of the coupling against the top of some of my fermentation lids also works.

I don't like the little puff of smoke (oil) when I turn it off. I place a rag over the exhaust port to catch the oil. Also I would rather have a more standard vacuum port. I noticed it is currently out of stock. They also have a 1/3 HP model and if it has a 1/4 port it would be worth $20 more.

Amazon has several HVAC pumps which state 1/4 in port. I was scared away by the many reviews complaining of oil leaks.
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zeuspaul
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#6

Post: # 48588Unread post zeuspaul
Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:32 pm

I reuse ( not recommended ) the canning jar lids, most of them are wide mouth. It can be difficult to remove them without damaging them and even more difficult with a stronger vacuum. I purchased this jar opener which works well for removing the lids from a vacuum sealed jar.

It is not what it is designed for but it works. Place one end on one side of the jar and the other just under the outer lip of the lid and lift. The lifting ridge is about an inch wide so it does a good job of distributing the lifting force minimizing the risk of damaging the lid.
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zeuspaul
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#7

Post: # 48642Unread post zeuspaul
Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:30 pm

I finished my second batch. I chose to use a peeler that peels, slices and cores the apple in one operation to minimize labor. I thought my peeler sliced too thin so I researched and bought the Johnny Apple Peeler which was supposed to cut 1/4 inch slices. I measured a stack of 4 slices and it was very close to an inch so 1/4 could be an accurate statement although they are slightly smaller.

My problem is the eccentricity of the apples. It takes some effort to mount the apples so the core is centered. Then on some apples the peeler doesn't get the entire peel and also doesn't slice all of the apple. Manual labor is required to fix the mistakes.

I dipped in diluted lemon juice to reduce discoloration.

I dried at 110 degrees F to save enzymes. https://deeprootsathome.com/dehydrating ... m-storage/ I dried them in the Excalibur for 6 1/2 hours. This is the low end of drying time estimates. This seems to indicate the efficiency of the dehydrator. The fan and my dry climate probably contribute to this.

I like this batch better than the first which was too dry.

I'll probably try a more manual method for my next batch. Peeling apples by hand isn't that much work. I can find and cut out bad spots as I go. Coring is a problem. I have difficulty cutting through the center of the core of some apples and miss it completely on the far end of several apples.

I'll use the deli slicer and cut peeled apples larger than 1/4 inch. Then I will cut the core after they are sliced. I think I can get a better end product. The question is will it be too much labor?
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#8

Post: # 48697Unread post zeuspaul
Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:34 pm

Percent dehydration following these guidelines. https://www.healthycanning.com/dehydration-weight-test/

The target for apples is 20 % of the total amount of water remaining.

My prepared apple weight for the second batch was 33.5 oz after deducting 8.5 oz. peels and 8.8 oz. cores.

Apples are 84 % water.

Need to drive out 80% of the water which is 22.5 oz.

The target weight is 33.5 oz initial weight of apples minus 22.5 oz. of water to be driven out which equals 11 oz.

The actual weight of the dried apples was 6.2 oz. Based on my measurements I over dried the apples. I am suspicious of my results. I will try again with my next batch. I am currently out of apples and will have to wait for my next Instacart order.
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#9

Post: # 49085Unread post zeuspaul
Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:11 pm

I hand peeled the third batch using Fuji apples. They were sliced to 5/16 inch thickness with the deli slicer then dipped in diluted lemon juice. I cored them after slicing resulting in a good cut every time. They were dehydrated for 6 hours @107F degrees in the Excalibur removing them 1 time to check their weight. I used a thermometer inside the dryer to fine tune the temp because the thermostat only gets me close.

The results are promising. My better half thinks they are very good. She wants to serve them with whipped cream and call it apple pie.

I sealed them in wide mouth canning jars with standard wide mouth lids using the HVAC vacuum pump and the FoodSaver jar sealer attachment and my customized vacuum hose.

I like 5/16 inch slices but slightly smaller or slightly larger might be an option. The extra time processing them is worth the effort. The final product is much more consistent.
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worth1
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#10

Post: # 49089Unread post worth1
Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:29 pm

I use a wee little pairing knife to peel apples.
Razor sharp.
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#11

Post: # 49109Unread post pepperhead212
Tue Jun 22, 2021 11:57 pm

I use the Foodsaver for countless things, both in bags and jars. The jars I use to keep a lot of dried chiles, as well as grains and legumes, and the ones I don't use as frequently are the ones I seal with the vacuum seal. I use some Slipit on the seals - a food grade silicone lubricant, which makes them seal well, but it peels off easily, then re-seals easily, too.
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worth1
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#12

Post: # 49115Unread post worth1
Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:22 am

Anybody consider purging with nitrogen or argon gas?
I have.
Might do a little experiment.
What have I got to lose?
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Worth
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#13

Post: # 49123Unread post pepperhead212
Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:18 am

worth1 wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:22 am
Anybody consider purging with nitrogen or argon gas?
Argon might work - it's heavy, and will sink into the jars, to sort of push air out.
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worth1
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#14

Post: # 49125Unread post worth1
Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:31 am

One quart holds 0.0335 cubic feet.
I'll do a test this weekend with an apple.
One half in a jar full of argon and one with just air.
We'll see which one oxidizes first.
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Re: Dehydrated apples, peelers and vacuum sealing.

#15

Post: # 49127Unread post worth1
Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:42 am

Also the apple is acidic so I wouldn't be setting myself up for botulism.
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Worth
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