Hands on Review: Inkbird Vacuum Sealer!

Why would you want a Vacuum Sealer for homebrewing?

Vacuum sealers are indispensable for storing hops.  You can save money by getting in on bulk hop buys – See: Recent Hop Finds. Use your vacuum sealer to break these up and to preserve freshness.  You can also store specialty grains in vacuum bags.  Other uses include: storing base grains, partial dry yeast packs and storing and preserving other beer ingredients.


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Hands on Review: Inkbird INK-VS01 Vacuum Sealer

The boxSide of the box. Lists the model #, INK-VS01 and some of the electrical specifications. This is the 120V, apparently a 220-240v version is also available.A first look inside the box.Here’s what came in my box. The sealer, a selection of bags, power cord, spare gasket and an accessory hose. I was surprised by the accessory hose, this is usually a FoodSaver specific thing, so it’s really nice to see this as an included component. My first thought is… that does not look compatible with FoodSaver accessories. Stay tuned for more on that.My sealer came with a small selection of bags. A few 8″ x 12″ bags and a 79″ roll of 8″ bags. These are Inkbird brand bags, but this sealer should work with FoodSaver, Seal-a-meal, Avid Armor and more.Here’s the front of the manual. Link to a complete electronic copy is below.


PDF Manual: Inkbird INK-VS01 Manual


A top down look at the Inkbird VS-01 Vacuum Sealer. It’s a nice looking machine. Stainless steel top and black case. Well designed control panel and an integrated bag cutter.Close up of the control panel. A moist/dry button, seal button, vac+seal button and a stop button.A look at the bag cutterA look at the bag cutter in action. You just place the bag on top of the unit and slide the cutter across.The power cable. If you’re on a countertop right by an outlet, this is fine. I found it a little short.Easy fix. I keep a short extension cord coiled up on the pegboard in my home brewery.Here’s the sealer with the top lid up.Top down view with lid up.Front view with lid up.The front most metal strip is the heat sealing strip. This seals bags. The drip tray is where the very end of vacuum bags will go during the vacuum sealing process. This tray is not removable, you wipe it out to clean it. If you’re sealing something most, you’ll want to make sure to choose that setting on the control panel to minimize liquid being drawn out. For hops you can select dry. That gets you a stronger vacuum.  The round button toward the left engages the vacuum pump. This is used in combination with the accessory hose.Side view. To engage a bag for vacuum sealing you place it in the machine and press down on the lid until it locks into place. The button toward the right side is used to disengage the lid after it’s been locked.Back of the unit. AC port with protective cover.The bottom of the unit features four rubber feet and a sticker with model specific information.Here’s the accessory tube. As mentioned previously 1: This is a different design compared to FoodSaver and 2: There’s a button toward the left that engages the vacuum pump.Inkbird accessory hose the right, FoodSaver accessory hose to the left. One of these things is not like the other. Jar sealing attachment skulking in the back just looking at these two hoses. 🙂The FoodSaver jar sealing attachment is available in two sizes, standard and wide mouth, corresponding to standard Mason jar sizes. It fits on the top of these jars and the connects to compatible FoodSaver vacuum sealers using this tube. The jar sealing attachment and FoodSaver tube in on the right.Does the Inkbird accessory hose work with a FoodSaver jar sealing attachment?  Well, it did for me. The hose does not plug into the the attachment the same way a FoodSaver accessory hose would. I just put the opening over the hole, pressed down and engaged the vacuum sealer using the aforementioned button. After a couple seconds there was enough vacuum to hold the hose on without any assistance. I held the vac button down, it ran for several seconds and then automatically stopped. Whammo!A vacuum sealed wide mouth Mason jar. Great for storing hops and other ingredients,Sealing a wide mouth 64 ounce Ball Jar full of hops.Sealed jar… $0 in vacuum bag cost and resealable.A quart jar holds around 14 ounces of hops. Related: Mason Jars For Homebrew Ingredient Storage, Yeast Starters and MoreNow to seal some hops in a vacuum bag. This is about a lb of pellet hops on one of the included 8″ x 12″ bagsLocked in place and ready to seal

That sweet, sweet sealing action! 🙂Done sealingA close look at the pack. Nice and tight.A closer look at the heat sealed stripTo show you something else besides hops – and a shout out to the BBQ’ers in the group – here’s some of my BBQ rub, again in the 8″ x 12″ bags.

Related: My BBQ Rub Recipe

Side note: If you’re a BBQ-er or general outdoor cooking enthusiast, check out my BBQ site… BBQ Finds

SealingFinished product

Conclusions

I started out with a FoodSaver years ago, by my count I’ve owned two FoodSavers and three other machines for a total of 5 vacuum sealers.  I find them very helpful for sealing hops, other brewing ingredients and lots more.

This is a generally well priced machine and well built. The accessory tube is really nice touch and the ability to interface with FoodSaver’s Jar sealers, whether intended or not, is a really nice feature. If you’re looking for a well equipped reasonably priced vacuum sealer, the Inkbird VS-01 deserves a close look.

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Note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at these links

Hop Deals!

Inkbird VS-01 User Manual

PDF Manual: Inkbird INK-VS01 Manual

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Recent Deals!

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Special Thanks to Inkbird for providing the unit used for evaluation in this review

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. review:inkvs01 tag:tpr

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