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Old 06-19-2008, 05:04 PM   #1
Hikeon3
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Default Aerating hot wort

I'm venturing into partial mashes but i have no MLT. I'm basically doing the hour-in-an-oven technique and then straining the wort into my brewpot. My question is if aeration at that stage will cause staleness or off flavors in the final product. I've read it somewhere that it will, but it is boiled soon after that which removes the oxygen anyways.

Can anyone weigh in on this for me?

Thanks.

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Old 06-19-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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You'll get people on both sides of the Hot Side Aeration argument. Personally, I don't think aeration pre-boil is an issue...

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Old 06-19-2008, 05:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikeon3 View Post
My question is if aeration at that stage will cause staleness or off flavors in the final product. I've read it somewhere that it will, but it is boiled soon after that which removes the oxygen anyways.
Oxygen that is bound as a result of HSA will not be boiled off. It's chemically bound to trans-2-nonenal (IIRC, straight out of Principles of Brewing Science). BUT...there's no empirical data that says just how much splashing and under what conditions will cause HSA.

Does it exist? Yes.

Can you differentiate HSA oxidation from oxidation occurring in later stages of brewing (ie. packaging, aging, etc)? I can't.

Should you worry about it? Probably not. RDWHAHB and all that.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:17 PM   #4
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Short answer: If it's the difference between doing partial mashes and extract/specialty brewing, keep on doing what you're doing and RDWHAHB.

My opinion is simple: Homebrewers needlessly worry too much about hot-side aeration. You've really got to work to get enough oxygen into the sweet wort to oxidize the lipids that are the precursors to staling compounds. See this Mr Wizard column.

Here's the most important paragraph:


"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."
It depends on the style. The vast majority of the HSA literature comes from megabreweries producing light American lager-style beers, where A., any off-flavor is impossible to hide; and B., mid- and long-term shelf stability are crucial to product throughput.

Can HSA impact homebrew? Yes. But here's the thing:

1. The vast majority of homebrew styles have flavor which will do much to mask the off-flavors associated with HSA (when's the last time you brewed anything in BJCP Category 01?)
2. The amount of time we permit our beer to remain in the package is generally too short (the Big Boys are worried about months and months of shelf time under less-than-optimal conditions, like temperature fluctuations, sunlight, etc.)
3. The manner in which we package - generally in the presence of live yeast, unlike the megas, who filter and pasteurize - means our homebrew changes flavor over time (even the light stuff). Once megabrews hit the package, nothing changes.

So relax. You really should build/buy a proper mashing vessel, though.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for weighing in everyone. I figured it might not be as dramatic as I'm making it out to be. I was just out in the garage today and found a 3 gallon cooler that I could be mashing my PM grains in so I don't have to use the oven anymore. But I'm nervous about the straining.

Usually I'm straining the wort directly into a few gallons of heating water in the brewpot anyways, so I figure that reduces it at least a bit compared to just splashing it through the strainer and into my empty brewpot.


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So relax. You really should build/buy a proper mashing vessel, though.
Workin on it. Looking for an appropriate insulated cooler at the moment.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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Listen to the following podcasts for some interesting info and experimentation on the HSA subject:

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=60

November 2, 2006 - HSA Experiment: Final Chapter
September 28, 2006 - Our Chat with Charlie Papazian
June 22, 2006 - Two Homebrew Experiments

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hikeon3 View Post
Workin on it. Looking for an appropriate insulated cooler at the moment.
http://byo.com/feature/1536.html - "Countertop Partial Mashing".

Bob
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