Aeration experiment results
After some threads and thinking about HSA, aeration and oxidation I decided to perform a couple experiments.
One was unintentional...the porter that I brewed and let splash during sparging into my kettle to snap a pic that some folks cautioned would/could suffer from HSA. That was mid July. When I was bottling my Belgian Golden Strong ale and decided to intentionally aerate 4 bottles. Two got a special mark on the cap. This was bottled the weekend after the porter was brewed.
I just opened one of the marked bottles. Holy carbonation! This brew is over carb'd by design but this example was just insane with a massive fluffy bubble ridden foam. Taste? CRAPTASTIC! The nasty cardboardy flavor was immediately noticeable and made the beer unpleasant and IMHO undrinkable.
OTOH, I have been drinking the porter over the past few months with zero noticeable off-flavors or negative effects to date. I have one in the fridge chilling right now for next up.
.....Ryan_pa: Your bottles are going out this week and I apologize in advance if you get one of the unmarked experiments :D
Hot side aeration (HSA) is very different from post fermentation aeration (PFA). HSA is a problem for long term stability and shelf life of beer. This is much more a problem if the beer does not have any strong flavors (eg American Lager or Helles) to cover the defects. Also the darker kilned grains, like your choclate and black malt, should help with shelf life issues. It sounnds like your beers are bottle conditioned, this will help the your beer last as well.
As for the PFA this is what give the instant wet cardboard flavor. If you are indeed bottle conditioning, you must have aerated the living crap out of those bottles. Reasonably small amounts of O2 in the bottle will be scavenged by the yteast durring refermentation. With a massive amount of O2 in there I would expect a yeasty cardboardy flavor, becoming oily and fetid. Give them a few month and you will have wonderful presents for people you dislike.
The HSA/Porter is a waiting game, waiting to see when off flavors could develop as a result of wort splashing. It was brewed mid-July and has been in the bottle since the second week of August. I have a couple bottles stashed away to sample down the road to see what happens.
The bottling aeration was really interesting from the prospective of how easy it was to spoil these bottles. All I did was allow air to enter the line as I was bottling the last four. Drain pour all the way.....
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