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Old 08-18-2008, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default Who is afraid of HSA?

This month's BYO has an article on whirlpooling in which i take it they are suggesting you can whirlpool before or after chilling the wort. I'll need to reread tomorrow as I have been mixing a pale ale and a robust porter all evening. But I digress...

On one hand, I'd think the before cooling would push a lot of panic buttons. On the other hand, looking back I definitely stirred the bejeebus out of the first batch of beer I ever brewed before it reached pitching temperature and I just had a bottle of that brew yesterday that was very smooth and malty.

My only wet cardboard tasting beer has been at the bottom of a keg from the first batch I kegged not knowing that I needed to purge the head-space with co2. This makes me wonder... Just how important is it really to avoid exposing unfermented wort to oxygen? Has anyone really ever hosed a brew that they can look back and say "Yeah I stirred the heck out of that hot wort"?

As for me, I usually only whirlpool after cooling, but this just makes me think that that aeration from stirring while cooling is one less thing to worry about.



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Old 08-18-2008, 03:25 AM   #2
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I always stir vigorously to get maximum effect from my chiller. I just take care that I don't splash while I do it. I don't imagine that a surface in motion would absorb much more O2 than a stationary surface.



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Old 08-18-2008, 03:26 AM   #3
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Agreed. My current "pumpless" system has me using a pair of 5 gallon buckets as lauter grants. I dump those buckets directly into my keggle - splashing hot wort all over the place. No evidence of HSA yet, and that includes my 888 RIS which has now aged for 8+ months.

A little splashing during stirring no longer frightens me.

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Old 08-18-2008, 03:35 AM   #4
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I do a hot-side whirlpool before gravity draining through my CFC. I've never had a problem - but I do take care not to splash while getting the whirlpool going.

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Old 08-18-2008, 11:19 AM   #5
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HSA is a bogeyman for home-brewers. You have to work really hard to develop HSA-derived staling compounds in a home brewery. Minimize oxygen pickup during the brewing process, but don't sweat the odd bit of splashing.

If you can't whirlpool without aerating, you shouldn't be whirlpooling. Inlet and outlet should both be beneath the surface of the wort.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 08-18-2008, 11:50 AM   #6
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I agree, you'd have to really try to see any affects from HSA. I remember listening to a podcast on bbr (at least I think it was bbr) and they did an experiment where they beat the crap out of the wort and as I recall it was barely noticeable.

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Old 08-18-2008, 12:15 PM   #7
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Read Ashton Lewis's Mr Wizard column found here:

"Hot-side aeration can be demonstrated in medium and large commercial breweries because the brewing equipment is so big that splashing is a really dramatic event. Think of liquid flowing through a six-inch pipe at 400 gallons per minute and cascading 12 feet through the air before hitting the bottom of a tank. This — not roughly stirring a five-gallon mash with a wooden spoon —is what commercial brewers are trying to minimize."

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 08-18-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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From my experience, oxidation post fermentation is a much more valid concern than HSA.

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Old 08-18-2008, 02:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNQ3X View Post
Read Ashton Lewis's Mr Wizard column found here:

"Hot-side aeration can be demonstrated in medium and large commercial breweries because the brewing equipment is so big that splashing is a really dramatic event. Think of liquid flowing through a six-inch pipe at 400 gallons per minute and cascading 12 feet through the air before hitting the bottom of a tank. This — not roughly stirring a five-gallon mash with a wooden spoon —is what commercial brewers are trying to minimize."

Cheers,

Bob
+1 ^^^^^^

This is my usual answer to the HSA Homebrewing Boogeyman as well...

Cardboard (oxydation) flavors take a long time to develop in beer, if they develope....Most of us will have long finished drinking a beer long before it would develop.

People have mentioned on Basic Brewing that the amount of O2 needed to cause oxygenation is quite higher than even the most boneheaded mistake that we can make during "normal" brewing processes.

And Chris White and Whitelabs are coming up with some interesting new data as well, and suggest things like, for higher grav beers, hitting the beer with 2 minutes of O2 betwenn 10 and 12 hours after piching yeast...

All of this lends one to believe that our beer is heartier than we give it credit....Even post fermentation.

Anyone got that video from Youtube of the cascade of wort falling from one tank to another? I think it's dogfish head or stone.

So it, like so many things in homebrewing that is of concern to BMC breweries where ANY flavors, off or otherwise, are a big concern...it doens't necessarily mean we have to lose any sleep over it.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:32 PM   #10
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Afraid? No.

Respectful? Sure. As others have noted, it's OK to stir - but be careful while the wort is still hot. Once it's below 120° or so, I'll start stirring real aggressively and not stress HSA at all; at that point, "splashing" = "aeration".



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