"A blanket of CO2"

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LVBen

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I get oxidation in all of my bottled beers. I might have to start purging the bottles with CO2 first.
 

Mpavlik22

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I use a bottle filler also. The last 2 inches in the neck I pour from above the top of the bottle. That causes the beer to foam then I cap immediately.
 

unionrdr

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I just let the bottling wand fill till it comes up even with the top. swish an o2 cap in star-san, & place it on the bottle till I have 12 or so. Then go over them with the Red Baron. Perfect heads space every time,great beer flavors that improve a couple weeks longer than before!
I get only a trace of foam on the surface. No need to induce it. Commercial bottling machines do that only because of the speed they're run at.
 

PseudoChef

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I just let the bottling wand fill till it comes up even with the top. swish an o2 cap in star-san, & place it on the bottle till I have 12 or so. Then go over them with the Red Baron. Perfect heads space every time,great beer flavors that improve a couple weeks longer than before!
I get only a trace of foam on the surface. No need to induce it. Commercial bottling machines do that only because of the speed they're run at.
Commercial machines do it because they are bottling beer that is already carbonated, not because of the speed. It is good to induce in this case to flush the bottles of any possible O2.

When you are bottling uncarbed beer with a bottle wand, even though the beer crests the top of the bottle, once you pull the wand out, O2 is going back in. However, this O2 should then be reabsorbed by the yeast once they start fermenting the priming sugar.
 

unionrdr

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Commercial machines do it because they are bottling beer that is already carbonated, not because of the speed. It is good to induce in this case to flush the bottles of any possible O2.

When you are bottling uncarbed beer with a bottle wand, even though the beer crests the top of the bottle, once you pull the wand out, O2 is going back in. However, this O2 should then be reabsorbed by the yeast once they start fermenting the priming sugar.
That's called volume displacement. It gives the proper head space for our application. They fill those bottles so fast,they only stop for a second or two. You can't help but get some foam. Besides,I used to be able to fix my own machines (automation machines) that had to run like that. So I know something about them. I can see your point about force carb. It just comes down to taking advantage of something the machine would do at that speed anyway.
The o2 caps help absorb that little bit in the head space over a couple days,as I currently understand them. So it's all good. Just can't help making that observation after working with big machines for nearly 31 years.
 

jrg42

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i don't doubt anything you have posted, but I think the key concept is that CO2 is constantly being produced during fermentation.

For your water and alcohol example. If you started with 50/50 water to alcohol and then stuck a water hose in there and left it on, the water % would eventually approach 99%. Sure you could likely never get rid of 100% of the alcohol, but practically, it would be all but gone.

By the time fermentation is complete, I would think that C02 is the predominant gas in a carboy.
 

AnOldUR

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I've always wondered about the push on HBT for long primary fermentation by some of the same people who say that their air-locks never bubble. Once active fermentation is over, if not sealed, your vessel breathes in and out with changes in temperature and pressure. That O2 being introduced does not take long to disperse throughout the headspace. And being in a primary with the beer being exposed to a lot of surface area only compounds the situation.

The conditioning effects of the yeast cake only last a few days to a week after you've reached final gravity. If you have the capability to purge your secondary with CO2 and push with CO2, your beer is much better off bulk aging in a sealed secondary with minimal headspace. There is still plenty of yeast in suspension to handle further conditioning.
 
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Once active fermentation is over, if not sealed, your vessel breathes in and out with changes in temperature and pressure...
...The conditioning effects of the yeast cake only last a few days to a week after you've reached final gravity. If you have the capability to purge your secondary with CO2 and push with CO2, your beer is much better off bulk aging in a sealed secondary with minimal headspace. There is still plenty of yeast in suspension to handle further conditioning.
Thats why I try and maintain a constant temperature, but I have no control on the barometric pressure. But I do agree with what you are saying.

On my current brew this is my plan, to try and purge an empty carboy w/ CO2, place a stopper w/ a tube and an air lock on it, then push the cider from the primary to the secondary using CO2
 
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muse435

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i don't doubt anything you have posted, but I think the key concept is that CO2 is constantly being produced during fermentation.

For your water and alcohol example. If you started with 50/50 water to alcohol and then stuck a water hose in there and left it on, the water % would eventually approach 99%. Sure you could likely never get rid of 100% of the alcohol, but practically, it would be all but gone.

By the time fermentation is complete, I would think that C02 is the predominant gas in a carboy.
Correct, I was referring to the secondary where there is no/little fermentation, therefore not introducing CO2 to purge any trapped O2.
 

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I've always wondered about the push on HBT for long primary fermentation by some of the same people who say that their air-locks never bubble. Once active fermentation is over, if not sealed, your vessel breathes in and out with changes in temperature and pressure. That O2 being introduced does not take long to disperse throughout the headspace. And being in a primary with the beer being exposed to a lot of surface area only compounds the situation.

The conditioning effects of the yeast cake only last a few days to a week after you've reached final gravity. If you have the capability to purge your secondary with CO2 and push with CO2, your beer is much better off bulk aging in a sealed secondary with minimal headspace. There is still plenty of yeast in suspension to handle further conditioning.
In most cases, if people leave their fermenter alone, there is enough give in the airlock system to account for temp fluctuations. But I don't dispute your point that a sealed container would be best.
 

gr8shandini

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I'm with Homer on that one. When I pull the airlock after cold-crashing, I can tell that it's holding a small amount of vacuum, so I doubt that there's much of a gas transfer on a day-to-day basis. Of course, that's with a 3-piece. An "S" type airlock might be a little more free breathing.
 

PseudoChef

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That's called volume displacement. It gives the proper head space for our application. They fill those bottles so fast,they only stop for a second or two. You can't help but get some foam. Besides,I used to be able to fix my own machines (automation machines) that had to run like that. So I know something about them. I can see your point about force carb. It just comes down to taking advantage of something the machine would do at that speed anyway.
The o2 caps help absorb that little bit in the head space over a couple days,as I currently understand them. So it's all good. Just can't help making that observation after working with big machines for nearly 31 years.
I'm not trying to argue semantics here, but pour, quickly (as your argument) a flat beer side by side with a carbed beer and tell me how much foam each gives. Speed is a miniscule factor compared to the carbonation of the beer, hitting various nucleation points in a bottle.
 

unionrdr

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My point was strictly in regard to commercial applications only. The HB part is just my personal observations. As I said,automation equipment has many things in common that can't be avoided entirely.
 

Mpavlik22

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AnOldUR said:
The conditioning effects of the yeast cake only last a few days to a week after you've reached final gravity. If you have the capability to purge your secondary with CO2 and push with CO2, your beer is much better off bulk aging in a sealed secondary with minimal headspace. There is still plenty of yeast in suspension to handle further conditioning.
+100 I completely agree with this. Most people will argue this point. But I stand behind ya.
 

bovineblitz

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i've always though that if the airlock is removed after fermentation is complete, there is no 'co2 blanket'. It only exists if fermentation is active/the container is sealed after fermentation
 
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muse435

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If you have the capability to purge your secondary with CO2 and push with CO2, your beer is much better off bulk aging in a sealed secondary with minimal headspace. There is still plenty of yeast in suspension to handle further conditioning.
like this

ClosedXfer.jpg
 

AnOldUR

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like this
Nice! The only thing I'd show different is the smaller size of the secondary and its conical shape at the top that allows it to be filled to the neck reducing surface area. In theory there shouldn't be any O2 in there, but it's better to be safe. If you cold crash before you keg you'll probably get some suck back.

Wonder if anyone has ever put a balloon on one of the stems of a carboy cap and forced CO2 into the other to blow it up. As the beer cooled from cold crashing it'd only suck in CO2.

I know! OCD at its best. :drunk:
 

makomachine

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Nice! The only thing I'd show different is the smaller size of the secondary and its conical shape at the top that allows it to be filled to the neck reducing surface area. In theory there shouldn't be any O2 in there, but it's better to be safe. If you cold crash before you keg you'll probably get some suck back.

Wonder if anyone has ever put a balloon on one of the stems of a carboy cap and forced CO2 into the other to blow it up. As the beer cooled from cold crashing it'd only suck in CO2.

I know! OCD at its best. :drunk:
I'm not debating that oxidation happens. Remember I said that. Not picking on you but this is the perfect example of how we as home brewers will create a problem to fret about. If you had proposed a clean room filled with CO2 for your bottling and fermentation operation, someone would bring up the fact that your air hose on your Air Tank is oxygen permeable plastic so the beer is exposed to oxidation.

:mug:
 
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muse435

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Nice! The only thing I'd show different is the smaller size of the secondary and its conical shape at the top that allows it to be filled to the neck reducing surface area. In theory there shouldn't be any O2 in there, but it's better to be safe. If you cold crash before you keg you'll probably get some suck back.

Wonder if anyone has ever put a balloon on one of the stems of a carboy cap and forced CO2 into the other to blow it up. As the beer cooled from cold crashing it'd only suck in CO2.

I know! OCD at its best. :drunk:
I know the pic isn't great but i maid it quick in paint.

My plan to avoid suck back on my current batch is to attach a CO2 line (@ 2 psi) to a drilled stopper, cold crash for two days at 39 deg f, then transfer using the above design. Hopefully this will minimize any O2 that will come into contact with the batch.

One other advantage of a forced transfer will be that I wont have to reliy on gravity to siphon, I will be able to leave the primary in my keezer.

IMG_2330.jpg
 

rexbanner

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If 1/3 of all homebrews are oxidized, I think this might just be symptomatic of a larger problem...a lot of homebrewed beer might just really suck. I've only judged one competition and I am not certified but I was amazed...1/3 of the beers I had were literally undrinkable they were so horrendous, and all the rest had serious flaws ranging from slightly bad tasting to just plain weird. Sorry if I sound snobby, but why the hell would you enter your cascade hop bomb in an English mild comp? You're not going to pull a fast one on a judge and win.

I remember when I first got into brewing I talked to quite a few people who had stories of trying wretched beer made by friends, too.
 
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muse435

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Since none of my friends brew I have only ever tasted my own home brew. So what does oxidized beer taste like? I have only read that o2 is bad for the beer so I have tried to minimize the exposure. Everything I have said is based on my education. Does oxidized beer taste "undrinkable"?
 

Homercidal

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Since none of my friends brew I have only ever tasted my own home brew. So what does oxidized beer taste like? I have only read that o2 is bad for the beer so I have tried to minimize the exposure. Everything I have said is based on my education. Does oxidized beer taste "undrinkable"?
Possibly at a certain level. Usually it's just a stale, cardboard taste. Almost a feeling rather than a flavor. It may be easily detectable if someone were looking for it, but still not strong enough to keep someone from drinking the beer.
 

LVBen

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Possibly at a certain level. Usually it's just a stale, cardboard taste. Almost a feeling rather than a flavor. It may be easily detectable if someone were looking for it, but still not strong enough to keep someone from drinking the beer.
Oxygen reacts with a very wide range of substances. Depending on what is in your beer, it can have very different flavors.

Hoppy beers (like APAs) get muted hop and malt flavors, and smell and taste like cardboard. They can also taste watered-down. I've had APAs that had oxidation. They were made with Simcoe, Cascade, and Centennial. They lost all of the citrus hop aromas and tasted very minty and piny. Many people could not tell that there was oxidation. They just thought I made a low-malt APA with spicy hops even though I used very citrusy American hops. I stopped bottling and switched to kegging, because I don't like losing my hop flavors and aroma.

Lightly hopped, low malt beers (American Lagers, cream ales) get very watered down and have a very pronounced cardboard flavor and aroma.

Very Malty beers (like barleywines) get muted hop flavors and sherry-like flavors. Not a problem for English barleywines since this still fits the style, but you really do lose the big hops flavors that are desired in American strong ales/barleywines.

Also, oxidation takes time to affect beers. The amount of time depends on how much oxygen got into your beer. A beer can taste awesome for a few weeks and then slowly start tasting worse and worse. Many people may not even notice the off flavors until it is very pronounced. Usually not a problem for many homebrewers, because we tend to drink the good beers way before they go bad.
 
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