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Old 12-14-2011, 03:47 AM   #1
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Default Oxidation

So I meticulously scrub every last inch of my bottling bucket, my siphon tube, my bottling bucket, and of course my bottles. I bother to grab a bottle of Whistle Pig [ten year rye whiskey], to "cleanse my mouth" before siphoning, because I am sophisticated and/or delusional enough to think this will somehow kill the bacteria in my mouth. I've done this several times before. I'm calm and collected.

I then victoriously rip the airlock off my carboy and smell the savory wafting odors of an adequately fermented milk stout. And, in a rush of adrenaline, inexplicably begin pouring my beer directly into my bottling bucket. I can see my siphoning tube. I can see the woefully neglected bottle of Whistle Pig. Yet I continue to pour my milk stout directly into my bottling bucket.

Idiot.

So just how oxidized is my beer? Is my beer ruined? Anyone experience this sort of oxidation before? Should I shame myself by finishing my bottle of Whistle Pig? Thanks.


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:03 AM   #2
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I've poured beer from a fermentor into a keg before (hops kept clogging my siphon so I decided to pour) and I thought for sure it would be oxidized all to hell. It wasn't. Pouring isn't the ideal way to transfer the beer but I was surprised that it still turned out great. Hopefully yours will too.


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:08 AM   #3
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You have to tell us how oxidized the beer is. How bad did it look? I have poured and been just fine, but I was being easy with it. If you stand on the counter and pour into the bucket on the floor then ya you will have some problems.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:28 AM   #4
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A few batches ago I had some lightly ground coffee beans and whole leaf hops in the bucket with my stout. I tied a muslin bag around the end of my auto-siphon to keep that junk out. Somehow, the auto siphon just pulled the muslin in, and somehow began drawing oxygen through the tube instead of beer. After quite a few minutes of bubbles coming up through my beer, I was getting scared. Finally I pulled the muslin bag off and everything continued smoothly.

I was for sure this batch would be oxidized. Sure it's only 5 weeks in the bottle, but it's still one of my best brews yet! I've never poured straight into the bottling bucket, but what else can you do besides try it?
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:34 AM   #5
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With stout I'd say you don't have much to worry about. In generally, darker, more complex beers (and wines) can handle oxidation much better than lighter, highly aromatic ones. Oxidation may still be going on, but you need much more of it to have any ill effects, expecially with the timelines in beer making.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:37 AM   #6
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you can really mess up and still get a good result. If the beer had enough carbonation still in it there was probably minimal oxygen absorbed. You know it had carbonation if it foamed up a little like soda pop when you poured it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
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I had no idea how to spihon before bottling my first brew...got like one pint out before air took over...literally ended up pouring my beer from the carboy into bottles...no issue at all except of course that half of them didn't carbonate. In fact the first beer was the best I've made yet, very chewy and full of flavor
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:30 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the feedback and soothing my raging case of the fantods.

After I crack open the first bottle in a couple weeks, I'll give an 'oxidation status' update as reference for future careless brewers.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:39 AM   #9
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Drink it young. Oxidation is something that gets worse over time.

I too don't use an auto siphon, and provide suction to the end of the tube. I make my hand into the shape of a fist, and put the tube about halfway in one side and suck on the other side. My mouth never touches the tube.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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Okay, so I just wanted to post a quick follow up. The Milk Stout came out fine, despite my oxidation related fears. In fact, it has been about a month since my bottling mishap, and the beer still has not shown any signs of oxidation. Nothing but chocolaty/smokey coffee goodness.


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