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Old 03-17-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
Ale to the Chief
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Default Oxidation in Beer?

Just finished bottling my 2nd batch of brew and had some problems with the auto-siphon which are making me worry about oxidation. I could not get a steady siphon going and had to keep pumping it and every time I pumped it it would shoot airbubbles up into the beer that was already in the bottling bucket. I've learned from this site that this is a bad thing, but I was wondering if this means oxidation will definitely happen or just that I've increased my risk for it. This batch tasted really good and I'll be pissed if I ruined it.

Also...how do you avoid transferring sediment when racking? I seem to always have problems with that.

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Old 03-17-2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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I don't think you need to worry too much about oxidation. I've had similar problems to you in that my autosiphon has occasionally blown bubbles whilst racking the beer during bottling, and the end product has been fine. Obviously, the more air in your beer the greater the risk of it spoiling, but in practice it's hard to avoid some aerating when you move it. In my limited experience it's not reduced the quality of the beer.

As for sediment, the best thing is to leave the beer in a secondary (or clearing) tank for two or three weeks. That way, you leave most of the trub in primary, and far less gunk will end up in your bottles. One other thing I've found that helps reduce sediment: a few days before moving your beer, put a big fat book under one side of the container with the beer in. The sediment will shift to one side of the container, meaning when you rack the beer you can put your siphon on the gunk-free side. That way you end up siphoning less trub with your beer.

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Old 03-17-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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Excellent suggestion with the fat book!!!

One other thought....leave a little beer in your bucket (especially with the primary to secondary transfer)... don't try to suck out every last drop. ... if your making 5 gal. batches, start making 5.5 gal batches and compensate for what you will lose transfering the beer from kettle to primary, primary to secondary and secondary to bottling bucket.

If you incorporate a secondary racking, and don't try to suck out every last drop, you should do very well.

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Old 03-17-2008, 04:10 PM   #4
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Speaking oxidation in beer, has anyone ever had any issues with it when leaving beer in a plastic primary fermenter for two weeks?

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Old 03-17-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polamalu43
Speaking oxidation in beer, has anyone ever had any issues with it when leaving beer in a plastic primary fermenter for two weeks?
I have left it in as long as 3 weeks, and my beer turned out fine.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:48 PM   #6
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2 months fine on the plastic.

Oxidation isn't exactly spoilage. It isn't like one day your beer is suddenly oxidized. It is something that happens after time. So, alas, you should drink lots of that beer, and quickly.

Seriously, just don't try to keep it for 8 months if you are concerned about bubbles.

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Old 03-17-2008, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polamalu43
Speaking oxidation in beer, has anyone ever had any issues with it when leaving beer in a plastic primary fermenter for two weeks?
I never have - all my beers get two weeks in plastic primary and at least two weeks in plastic secondary, and I've never had any problems.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:11 PM   #8
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So even if I introduced enough air to cause oxidation, do you think I will likely be fine as long as I drink it all within a month or 2?

And thanks for the tip about tilting the carboy. I am going to try that with my next batch for sure!

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Old 03-17-2008, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ale to the Chief
So even if I introduced enough air to cause oxidation, do you think I will likely be fine as long as I drink it all within a month or 2?
I guess only time will tell. If you intentionally put as much air into your beer as you possibly could, then my guess would be that it'd spoil before two months. On the other hand, if you accidentally aerated it more than you'd like, but without throwing large rocks into the bottling bucket, I think you'll be fine. There are all kinds of ways to screw up beer, but for all the worry we expend thinking about it, brewing is actually quite forgiving of mistakes - I've made plenty of screw-ups, and none of them have turned out to be major problems. In this case I think the risk of spoiled beer is sufficiently small to wait and see with cautious optimism.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:12 PM   #10
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I actually had the exact thing you described happen to me last Sunday racking to secondary, autosiphon and all. I'm a little concerned about my beer as well. I actually ended up taking the autosiphon off and had to start my siphon with my mouth too though so I have other things to worry about as well. I'll post here once I've seen what the end result is.

Aletothechief stop me if I'm wrong, but did you remove the black cap from the bottom of the autosiphon thinking it wasn't part of the actual contraption? That's what I did, and the end resultwas that the siphon clogged and created a vacuum, pulling in air around the seal in the chamber.

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