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Old 01-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Shaking the Carboy Leads to Oxidation?

Twice now I've seen Revvy reply to someone who's been shaking their carboy that that will lead to oxidized beer. While I'm not a proponent of shaking carboys, it piqued my curiosity.

Now I may be wrong here, but this is the way I think about it. The wort has been fermenting and expelling CO2, so there should be no O2 in the head space as it would have been expelled due to the pressure. So, if all you have is CO2 in the carboy, then shaking the fermenter and splashing the contents shouldn't pose a risk of oxidation at all.

Again, just curious.

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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You sure as hell increase the risk of it, especially if you have violated the co2 barrier in some way, like, for example opening it up to take a hydro reading, or move it or any number of things. Your Co2 cushion is only as safe as you make it. If you get o2 in there, and then shake it, you are going to shake that oxygen into the beer.

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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We recommend swirling the fermenters gently to re-rouse the yeast. That's NOT the same thing as shaking the heck out of it, which new brewers think they need to do.

This is the take away message, of my repeated warnings.

From How to brew.

Quote:
2a. If you have a bottling bucket (see Figure 66) gently pour the priming solution into it. Using a sanitized siphon, transfer the beer into the sanitized bottling bucket. Place the outlet beneath the surface of the priming solution. Do not allow the beer to splash because you don't want to add oxygen to your beer at this point. Keep the intake end of the racking tube an inch off the bottom of the fermenter to leave the yeast and sediment behind.
From "Beer Brewing and Dissolved Oxygen" http://www.eutechinst.com/tips/do/09_DO_beer_brewing.pdf

Quote:
Oxygenation: When and How Much?
Before it all begins: Pre-fermentation
Oxygen is introduced to the wort after boiling, and prior to the addition of yeast. ... the oxygenation process should take place before, not after fermentation has commenced. As fermentation progresses towards completion, oxygen uptake is reduced, and any additional oxygen injected into the wort will not be used off. Instead, it remains to react with other compounds in the beer, creating staleness and undesirable tastes.

...Oxygen control after the beer is brewed
At the end of fermentation, the beer is completely free of oxygen. At this point, the beer is highly susceptible to oxidation, which has the following effects on the end-product:
- Undesirable taste
- Cloudy/ hazy beer
- Increased beer astringency
- Darkened beer colour
There are several ways to prevent oxidation of the beer after fermentation, one of which is to blanket tanks with inert gases. Use only de-aerated water for dilutions, as well as to run through beer transfers, and keep the finished product in cool storage during the supply chain.
From BYO magazine. http://www.byo.com/stories/techniques/article/indices/7-aeration/1949-aerating-wort-techniques

Quote:
Oxygen in beer is undesirable except at one point (and only one point) in the brewing process. That lone point is when the post-boil wort has been chilled down to fermentation temperature, but before the yeast has been pitched into it.
Though more recent info also adds that in high grav brews it is ok to add more O2 to the beer within the first 12 hours.

There's nothing wrong with carefully rousing the yeast, but it IS important that the brewer be careful doing it.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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That's what I figured. Theoretically it wouldn't oxidize your beer, but in practice you never know.

Thanks!

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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yeah, I wouldn't really worry about it. even if you disrupted the CO2 blanket and got some air in the head space of the thing prior to shaking it, air is about 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen.

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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Again, I don't shake my carboys, just was curious as the reasoning didn't make sense to me from a theoretical standpoint.

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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Yeah, I don't shake them either. Not because I am worried about oxidation, but because I don't check gravity and don't worry about whether my yeast needs to be roused.

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm lazy like that too with my brewing.

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I'll make my buddy do it with me next time. That'll make me go harder at it.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace_Club View Post
That's what I figured. Theoretically it wouldn't oxidize your beer, but in practice you never know.

Thanks!
If you've read much of my writings, you see I care very little about "armchair theorizing." I care about practical experiences, and preventing people from ruining their beer.

We Know oxygen and fermented beer is bad. We also know that we aren't all fermenting in airtight containers and most of the folks who think they need to shake their beer are 1)going by airlock activity and trying to make their airlock bubble, because they believe that is more important than what the beer is REALLY doing. 2) Their beer is further along the fermentation process than they know i.e. there is more than likely more fermented beer in there than unfermented beer. ANd had they taken an hydro reading they would have known this, and not felt the need to shake anyway. 3) They more than likely HAVE violated the co2 barrier in some way anyway, so it's better to assume there is 02 in the fermenter than not to. 4)Most new brewers don't understand that we're not trying to add more o2 at this time but trying to lift the yeast back into suspension. 5) Most of the brewers starting out thing MORE is better...so More yeast, more oxygen (but oddly enough rarely more time) and therefore more shaking.

So to me it's better to make sure they understand that the need to be careful.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
We recommend swirling the fermenters gently to re-rouse the yeast. That's NOT the same thing as shaking the heck out of it, which new brewers think they need to do.

This is the take away message, of my repeated warnings.

Though more recent info also adds that in high grav brews it is ok to add more O2 to the beer within the first 12 hours.

There's nothing wrong with carefully rousing the yeast, but it IS important that the brewer be careful doing it.
Revvy, I understand about when and when not to add oxygen and the effects it has. But if you have a sealed carboy that has been fermenting (i.e. producing CO2, then if you shake it and splash, there will be no introduction of O2 into the wort.

I agree though, it's not something you should be doing as you don't want to risk ruining a batch of beer.
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I'll make my buddy do it with me next time. That'll make me go harder at it.
"If guns don't kill people, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?" - Ozzy Osbourne

Sent from my iPhone 4s.

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