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Old 07-05-2012, 03:18 AM   #1
looneybomber
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Default Sulfur hexafloride to prevent oxidation?

I see it said many times when racking to secondary or bottle bucket, or just transporting the fermenter to keep agitation to a minimum to prevent oxidation. Well what if you covered the beer with a layer of dense gas (much more so than CO2) which kept oxygen away?

A person could do a quick shot of SF6 into any container they were racking in to or fermenter and so long as breezes were kept to a minimum, oxygen would not touch the beer. You could also put a tiny bit in bottles when bottling.



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Old 07-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #2
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I'll let you try it and report back, but I wouldn't do it. People have been making beer without SF6 for ten thousand years. At the least it's an unnecessary expense. Unless you have a very great deal of headspace the offgasing of dissolved CO2 when you rack your beer will protect it. Additionally, if you're racking to 2ndary in order to actually have a 2ndary fermentation, such as with fruit, you'll be generating a surplus of protective CO2. Similarly, unless you're reckless when bottling there should be a minimum of O2 in the bottle if bottle conditioning and virtually none if bottling from a carbed keg. You can use oxygen barrier caps as well. Lastly, without prior knowledge, I'd be wary of deliberately introducing sulfur anything to an acidic environment like beer.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Damage View Post
Lastly, without prior knowledge, I'd be wary of deliberately introducing sulfur anything to an acidic environment like beer.
Most food is acidic. Foods like garlic, onions and shallots have high levels of sulfides that give them their pungent character. Furthermore, some strains of yeast produce specific sulfur characteristics (which may be acceptable in some styles). Vintners may add sulfer dioxide to wines as a preservative.
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