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Freezing beans - recommended approach


kennyboy993
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I apologise as I know there's many threads on this - though I wanted to ask a specific question for my context:

I'm drinking less caffeine these days though still treat myself once or twice a week - I do want to have caffeine beans in the house for my occasional use and also for guests (special guests that deserve something other than illy that most would prefer).

Because of low usage a typical 250g back is lasting maybe 10 weeks and in summer I find them pretty much 'off' by my definition within 4 weeks. 

Question is if I were to freeze how would I do it specifically?

I'm assuming I'd freeze as soon as they arrive even if roast date is 2 days prior. Sort of thing I'm confused about is:

  • Would I freeze all of them, or in 18g batches
  • What would I freeze the batches (or all of them) in - I don't have the option of vacuum packing
  • Can I use straight from the freezer
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Hi Kenny, firstly you can use straight from the freezer but I prefer to take them out an hour or 2 before I need them and just leave them on the side in the kitchen.

 

In your position I would wrap each individual 18gram pack in cling film. Get as much air out as you can and twist the end and wrap them. Then put your individual doses in a ziplock bag, squeeze out as much air as possible once again whilst zipping it up and pop into the freezer.

 

You can freeze as soon as they arrive which is fine but I prefer to freeze them about 5 days after roasting but each to their own. This way they have degassed a bit prior to freezing. In your position I would freeze them 5-7 days post roast.

Whatever state they are when they freeze will be the state they come out of freezing so if you freeze them 5 days after roasting, when you take them out the freezer they will be like 5 days post roast.

 

HTH :-)

Tony

 

 

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I've been freezing beans for a few months now, I wouldn't go back. I most often freeze 250g portions but sometimes I do single doses as below.

For freezing single doses I'd do one of two things:

Invest in a cheap vac pac machine (circa £20) and make small single dose sachets like this (ignore the abdorbant pads in that picture) to freeze or buy some small   50ml centrifugal tubes which will hold 18-20g with minimal headroom, they're air and moisture tight.

Freeze after they're rested to the point you'd usually use them. Use single doses straight out of the freezer, grind size will be slightly different, usually a touch finer I find.

20191026_161246.thumb.jpg.0380f69a99f8836a513910418f2d01bf.jpg

Edited by catpuccino
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Thanks Tony and catpuccino - really valuable tips, especially those links 😉

 

I'm erring towards the centrifugal tubes solution though I'd rather just freeze them all for the less hassle. Am I right in thinking if I freeze them all then when I make a drink - get them out, scoop 18g out, put the remaining back in.... I have compromised the beans going back in the freezer somewhat by allowing air to get to them?

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Afraid so @kennyboy993. If you freeze, say, a 250g bag then really you need to let it come up to room temperature before opening it to avoid moisture/condensation building up. I usually leave mine out overnight though in a pinch I'd say 3-4 hours in enough.

That said, could always give it a go and see if it works for you. If you're quick and don't notice a meaningful degradation then all good.

Edited by catpuccino
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Could you not use something like an airscape? And then stick that in the freezer and only take out when you need when you need it?

Not sure I could bring myself to do the vac pack thing as that’s a whole lot of plastic waste. I’m lazy and I just tape the valves up and stick the bag in the freezer, but I’ll then take a bag out and use it all. I guess if you wanted to have multiple coffees on the go, those tubes would be a good option, or ziplock bags but you’re going to constantly reintroduce more oxygen every time you go in the bag.


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35 minutes ago, ThePeginator said:

Could you not use something like an airscape? And then stick that in the freezer and only take out when you need when you need it?

Not sure I could bring myself to do the vac pack thing as that’s a whole lot of plastic waste. I’m lazy and I just tape the valves up and stick the bag in the freezer, but I’ll then take a bag out and use it all. I guess if you wanted to have multiple coffees on the go, those tubes would be a good option, or ziplock bags but you’re going to constantly reintroduce more oxygen every time you go in the bag.


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The plastic use is a real concern, I justify it personally against my offsets elsewhere and the fact I get maybe a dozen uses out of an A4 sized vac bag (they don't degrade, and can be cut to size, I use for my sous vide too etc). But it's not for everyone.

I don't have an Airscape, there might be materials that'd from temperature extremes e.g. any rubber seals?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
The plastic use is a real concern, I justify it personally against my offsets elsewhere and the fact I get maybe a dozen uses out of an A4 sized vac bag (they don't degrade, and can be cut to size, I use for my sous vide too etc). But it's not for everyone.
I don't have an Airscape, there might be materials that'd from temperature extremes e.g. any rubber seals?
 

Are they single use or reusable? And are they recyclable?

Think in the future I might go down the lab tubes route, start freezing in doses and grind straight from frozen.


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I agree with much of what’s already been said. My strategy is a wee bit different, but same idea overall.

When I get a bag of freshly roasted beans, I wait a few days for whichever day yields the optimum taste (anywhere from 4 to 10 days, depending), then I divvy them up into small baggies, putting about 4 doses in each baggie, suck out all the air *with a straw* (don’t laugh!😉), seal the bad, and drop in freezer.

When  I remove a dose, I do it quickly, seal baggie back up quickly & put it back in freezer. (Because there are so few doses in each baggie, I haven’t found this quick back & forth in & out to cause condensation or deterioration.)

I re-use those wee baggies for as long as they perform well, too!☺️

I grind frozen beans, direct from freezer to grinder, no delay.

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On 28/04/2020 at 13:32, catpuccino said:

I don't have an Airscape, there might be materials that'd from temperature extremes e.g. any rubber seals?

 

I’ve wondered about this, too... it would be so much simpler to use if it worked!  I have an airscape but don’t want to risk ruining the seals with an experiment.🤔

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I roast my own and use glass canning jars and standard canning lids in either pint or half pint sizes. They keep out freezer smells and seal well enough that they pop when you open them the first time.

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