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Old 07-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default How harmful is it - really - if you "oxidize" the beer at bottling?

I've just was helping 2 friends bottle 3 batches at once and with 3 people who knew how to brew this was only about 3 hours for everything. However, one thing that seemed to make it faster for them is they got all the beer splashing around and would stir the sugar in a lot with tons of foam being created.

I've always been paranoid about oxidization, but they didn't seem concerned and have been doing it this way for decades. How slow do you siphon? Thoughts?

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Old 07-02-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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oxidation will give the beer a wet carboard taste.

try to siphon as gentle as possible.

foam at bottling time is not good.

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Old 07-02-2010, 08:39 PM   #3
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And, Oxidation can be a slow to occur process.

Maybe your friends throw caution to the wind because the beer does not stay in the bottle long enough for them to know what wet cardboard really taste like.

Or,

They actually like the character. Sortof like the intentional skunking of Corona. It is perceived not as a flaw but as a component of THAT brewers product.

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Old 07-02-2010, 08:42 PM   #4
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Just cause they've been doing it a long time doesn't meant their beer has tasted good. This is not good practice and should not be done. That being said, Oxidation will take some time and a decent palate to become noticeable. If their pounding there beers within a couple-few weeks of bottling day they may not be noticing. Or they don't realize what they're tasting is not suppose to be what they should tasting and are happy with the off taste.

Gently pour your priming solution into the bottling bucket, then gently rack the beer onto it with your racking tubing all the way down a coiled a bit on the bottom of the bucket, this will create a very gentle swirling that will adequately mix the solution evenly into all the beer and "stir" itself. Without splashing.

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:08 PM   #5
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It takes a lot of splashing to do any damage, someone on basic brewing years ago, (Palmer, or Chris Colby of BYO) said that in order to truly provide enough O2 to oxydize our beers it would take pumping an entire one of our red oxygen bottle/airstones into our beer AFTER fermentation is complete.

Most of the splashing intentional or accidental that we do in the course of our brewing will not harm it...

That doesn't mean you want to dump your carboy into the bottling bucket, or do other careless things. You still want to be gentle when moving your beer from vessel to vessel.

BUT it does mean that if we spalsh, or have to use our autosiphon to pump our beer is something goes wrong, that we don't need to panic about it.

I've had all sorts of problems, like bottling a blond ale with peaches in it,that kept jamming the bottling wand and auto siphon, and the beer's still turned out just fine.

And beside Oxygenation damage isn't immediate anyway, most of us would have our beer drunk long before it would happen.
I had some major f-ups with bottling on occasion and still haven't oxydized a batch.

I would just rdwhahb

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:25 PM   #6
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Totally - I mean, I agree with you guys on the process but I've had many of their beers over time and not once has anything resembling wet cardboard come across my palate. They do improvised session brews that consistently turn out delicious. I was just wondering because they seemed quite surprised when I brought up what it seems on here goes as conventional wisdom - to siphon as gently as possible.

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiddleTilDeath View Post
Totally - I mean, I agree with you guys on the process but I've had many of their beers over time and not once has anything resembling wet cardboard come across my palate. They do improvised session brews that consistently turn out delicious. I was just wondering because they seemed quite surprised when I brought up what it seems on here goes as conventional wisdom - to siphon as gently as possible.
But that really goes to show just how hard it is to **** this up. Our beer is hardier than most folks realize, it constantly survies no matter what bone headed things we do.

That's why I collect these stories. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what-some-mistakes-you-made-where-your-beer-still-turned-out-great-96780/ to help the newbs to learn not to panic.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiddleTilDeath View Post
I've always been paranoid about oxidization, but they didn't seem concerned and have been doing it this way for decades. How slow do you siphon? Thoughts?
I siphon pretty slowly and try not to aerate the beer too much, but keep in mind that when you add bottling sugar you're going to restart fermentation, and the yeast will tend to use up any free oxygen and convert it to CO2 anyway. Lots of headspace can be a problem though (i.e. partial fills) because the yeast may not be able to metabolize all the O2 in that space.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:37 PM   #9
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I siphon pretty slowly and try not to aerate the beer too much, but keep in mind that when you add bottling sugar you're going to restart fermentation, and the yeast will tend to use up any free oxygen and convert it to CO2 anyway.
That is a really good point that never occured to me. I'll be sure to pass that on in future threads like this.

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Old 07-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #10
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This was a timely post. I just bottled a batch last weekend and because of an excessive amount of hop gunk (due to my own carelessness) I pretty much had to run my beer through a makeshift filter to clear it up. It splashed a lot at the time, but it's good to know that if I drink it relatively soon I might at least salvage the batch.

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