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Old 06-27-2011, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Has anyone oxidized their beer?

It is my belief that it's actually quite hard to oxidize your beer. However, I constantly hear discussions demonstrating mass paranoia regarding oxidation: it seems many brewers are quite worried about it.

I've also heard discussions on here claiming that you'd actually have to pump a great deal of O2 through the beer to experience the effects of oxidation. This is my feeling.

I'd like to see how often this actually occurs and the brewers' mistake in each instance.

1. How many people have thought they oxidized their beer and it turned out fine?
2. How many people have actually experienced off-flavors due to oxidized beer?
3. What was the flaw in your racking/bottling/kegging process that caused the off-flavor you experienced due to oxidation?

Thanks.

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Old 06-27-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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The issue is more about shelf life. The more oxygen in there, the quicker it will go bad. If you drink all of your batch in a couple of weeks, then you will probably never taste the oxidation. There are a lot of things that oxygen affects. The hop flavors will go away faster for example.

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Old 06-27-2011, 02:20 PM   #3
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I have some. 2nd batch of beer. I thought the auto-siphon was a pump and I went nuts trying to get the last of it out of the carboy. (Apparently all the great home brewers do this!)

The issue IMO is amplified with time. The beer in question above has it but it was not detectable when it was young. (at least to me) This has more to do with extended aging/storage than anything else. Most new homebrewers drink up their beer before they can taste the oxidation. The style also has a lot to do with this. A stout or IPA can hide this for a long time.

If you really want to see if you are right, make up some light cream ale or a lager in 1 gallon batches. Transfer 1 perfectly, transfer 1 with a gentle stirring (to simulate mixing in priming sugar, pump an auto-siphon in another and shake the crap out of the last one. Bottle them up then taste each one every month until they are gone. If you are correct they should all taste identical.

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Old 06-27-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
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I agree, it has more to do with long term storage. It just seems that every time I've had a problem racking (air bubbles, etc.) the beer comes out fine even in cases of long term storage ie. 6+ months.

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Old 06-27-2011, 02:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nefarious_1_ View Post
I agree, it has more to do with long term storage. It just seems that every time I've had a problem racking (air bubbles, etc.) the beer comes out fine even in cases of long term storage ie. 6+ months.
Those are probably not air bubbles in the line during racking. That would be CO2 that was in suspension in the ale that was "knocked out" during the transfer.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:03 PM   #6
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I had a pilsner where the star-san solution got sucked into carboy when it went into the cold storage fridge for lagering. Took me a while to realize it, so it lagered for several days with no barrier to oxygen getting in. The beer tasted fine, but had a definite cardboard-like off flavor that seemed clearly consistent with oxidation.

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Old 06-27-2011, 03:34 PM   #7
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I did an IPA a little while ago where I had some issues near the bottom of the bottling bucket and ended up getting some oxidation in the last few bottles. I can pick out which ones they were, but it's fairly subtle. It's sort of like if you order a pitcher at a bar and take a little too long drinking it... the first pint is tastier than the one 30 minutes later, but it's not undrinkable or ruined really.

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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I experienced wet cardboard flavors in a 2 hearted clone I made as my first AG brew. It was a 3 gal batch that I fermented in a 6 gal carboy and transferred to secondary into a 5 gal carboy. All I can think is the huge amount of head space in secondary with little to no CO2 after primary. The flavors did not go away with time. They only got worse.

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamial View Post
Those are probably not air bubbles in the line during racking. That would be CO2 that was in suspension in the ale that was "knocked out" during the transfer.
I'm not sure it was CO2. These were large bubbles, almost certainly air. It happened to a couple batches before I realized that I needed hose clamps to get a tight connection around my bottling wand when I first started brewing. I still notice the CO2 bubbles you describe though, but that doesn't worry me. Those two batches were around for quite a while and I didn't notice anything.

Another time I pulled a good deal of air while transferring an IPA to the bottling bucket because of a dry hops clog. That beer actually turned out to be one of the best beers I've made! Of course, I drank it in just a couple months so I can't really say if it effected the taste in the long run. Now I always use a paint strainer bag to prevent this.

Evidently, it does occur though. There's enough people on here who've had problems. I guess I've been lucky the few times I had O2 issues. It would be nice to hear from other people who've had similar experiences to me though, so I know I can actually detect wet cardboard!
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:54 PM   #10
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I think home brewers love to obsess about problems that aren't there. Not saying oxidation is a myth - but we get a bit freaky when it comes to managing around these things.

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