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Old 10-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #51
/bɪər nɜrd/
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May 2010
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Originally Posted by mattd2 View Post
Wow this Dr Fix seems a bit loose, and the BT guy as well. The artical doens't even state how much H2O2 was used in "Dr" Fix's trial
Yes, Doctor Fix. George Fix had a doctorate from Harvard and, more importantly, has probably contributed more to the science of homebrewing than any other single individual. A second hand account of one experiment shouldn't dissuade you from trying new things, but nor should it activate your snark-organ. Lose the scare-quotes and learn to respect your betters, kiddo.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #52
Apr 2010
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I jumped into this topic late, but I want to input my biology background into this mess. Hydrogen peroxide(H2O2) is one of many molecules known as 'Reactive Oxidative Species' or ROS( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_oxygen_species ). ROS's highly reactive and tend to cause problems for most living organisms. ROS's are highly reactive to many of the molecules within the cell that includes DNA, RNA, proteins, and many others( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18708137 ). Most organisms have a defensive mechanism in the form of proteins that deal with ROS's by catalyzing them into less reactive molecules that are less damaging to the organism.

The issue I see with this is that with the increased ROS's, in the form of H2O2, has the possibility of damaging genes integral the fermentation process and incite increased stress response in the yeast. The stress response comes in the form of activating genes, producing proteins, and catalyzing the ROS all of which requires energy. The yeast will live through low concentrations of H2O2, but will likely activate a stress response pathway in order to deal with it. The problem with this is it requires extra energy from the yeast to facilitate the stress response pathway in order to rid the environment of H2O2. In the case of making beer yeast derive their energy by fermentation of sugar to ethanol, an already inefficient process, which will be made even less efficient if the yeast have to divert that energy to deal with the H2O2 presence. Also there has been studies on the correlation between cell induced death, apoptosis, when in the presence ROS's( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18298957 )

Furthermore if you're an individual who likes to re-use your yeast, I personally wouldn't reuse yeast from a batch that has had H2O2 in it because of the risk of mutations to genes that are important for yeast reproduction and ethanol fermentation. There is not sure way to know if a mutation resulting from the presence of an ROS has occurred, but there is always the risk. You want your yeast as healthy and 'happy' as possible.

There is a ton more we could go into, but I think you're better off finding other ways to aerate your wort than by using an ROS such as hydrogen peroxide.

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:52 AM   #53
Sep 2009
Papamoa, New Zealand
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Originally Posted by insubordinateK View Post
A bio-organic-analytical nobel prize-winning chemist couldn't tell you all the specific reactions that would be happening. The wort is very complex, and the entire point of brewing is to control as much of the process as humanly possible.

1. At low concentrations, H2O2 is still H2O2 and will be involved in the same types of reactions - which have been shown to stress/kill yeast and other single-celled organisms.

2. When we try to calculate precise volumes, gravity, IBU, etc...and then you want to dilute the wort with a strong oxidizer thereby changing concentrations via dilution and chemical reactions?

3. H2O2 is known to react with carboxylic acids forming peroxy acid which can react with alkenes, amines, thioesters, on and on (by the way, every amino acid is a carboxylic acid and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins)

So what are you really doing chemically to the wort? Your guess is as good as mine, but it isn't as simple as a reaction with "water" or "sugar". Which sugar? How many different sugars do you have?

You're not just getting oxygen, you are getting a lot of byproducts which will vary depending on the amount of H2O2, the type of grain, the reaction volume, etc.

Get my point...should I go on?

It's stupid. Keep it simple(r).
Fair enough that it would be near impossible to determine what is actually happening in the wort. And I had already concluded that adding the H2O2 to the wort was not a good idea, but I was just assuming that because there are a lot of other reaction that could (and probably would) take place instead of the decomposition of H2O2. Sugar + H2O2 being was what I guessed (since I am not a chemist) to be a major one. Given that the low likelihood of H2O2decomposing occurring, there is a low likelihood of O2 being released into the wort and if this doesn't happen then there is no point in adding the hydrogen peroxide in the first place. It would have been helpful to have a brief summary of what you just said in you first post, thanks for the additional information.

Originally Posted by MalFet View Post
Yes, Doctor Fix. George Fix had a doctorate from Harvard and, more importantly, has probably contributed more to the science of homebrewing than any other single individual. A second hand account of one experiment shouldn't dissuade you from trying new things, but nor should it activate your snark-organ. Lose the scare-quotes and learn to respect your betters, kiddo.
Yes, I might of misinterpreted the second hand account (and the only account of it I can find) of the experiment . But also that account and the one from pollox don't match up. I would have to guess this was possibly because Pollox added a smaller amount and waited before adding the yeast.
Yes I had no idea who Dr George Fix was before this thread, now I do after searching for him due to your post. I don't see the point of your last comment though. Yes I shouldn't use quotes around the Dr because he does in fact have a PhD in mathematics, but his (again from the only second hand account of the experiment) if the person quoting him states that they did not see the point of calculating what concentration of H2O2 to use Either they did not do enough reading or it was not determined in the first place and an arbitory (and probably excessive) amount was used. I don't see how he is better than me because he has contributed more to the homebrewing community, yes he might of known (and probably did) more than me in regards to homebrewing but I fail to see how that makes him better. And what's with the kiddo? I am 26, married with 3 kids, finished university and working as a professional engineer for the last 5 years, and only I'm 4 years younger than you - kiddo, really? Of course I apologise for ranting on that if the was meant to make that pretty offensive comment a joke.

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