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At what point do hoppy beers start to have oxidation issues?

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nreed

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Hi,

Just getting into brewing and playing around with recipes etc making small 7.5l batches. I've read a lot about beers with higher hop contents having oxidation issues like NEIPAs, I'm just wondering at what level of hops to I need to worry about this? I'm currently mashing ready for a Mosaic IPA similar to @Dgallo 's single hop recipe so works out at 60g of hops in a 7.5l batch - is this a lot? Or is it more about when you add them that causes issues? The profile is 5g @ 60, 5g @ 10, 10g @ 0, 20g steep @ 75C for 30 mins, 20g dry hop.

I bottle and dont have the ability to do close transfer - I have previously gone from primary to bottling bucket with priming solution then bottle with a stick.
 

RM-MN

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Any beer done with dry hops will have an oxidation problem with bottling. NEIPA's are more prone with much higher dry hops. I find that my IPA's or APA's will be best consumed fairly quickly as the hop aroma dissipates soon. I feel like mine are good for the first month, OK for the second, but lacking the aroma by the third month.
 

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My understanding is that nobody is quite sure why NEIPAs are so extremely oxygen sensitive. I think it's more than just the sheer amount of hops and may have something to do with the biotransformation going on when people dry hop during active fermentation.

Other hoppy beers are also oxygen sensitive but you shouldn't need to resort to the extreme measures required for a NEIPA. I have had oxygen issues with one IPAs and a DIPA, but those were caused by equipment issues that let a ton of oxygen in when I bottled. I fixed it and haven't had problems with those beers again. In my opinion, if you follow standard practices (don't open the fermenter too much, don't shake or stir after fermentation has begun, bottle fairly quickly), then you'll probably notice the hop flavor in your IPAs fade away before you notice serious oxidation issues. You should still be conscious of oxygen, as with any beer, but unless you're trying for low oxygen brewing, you can reserve the extreme measures for NEIPAs.
 
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nreed

nreed

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Have you seen the recent topics where people talk about how they are successfully bottling NEIPAs?
I have but my question was more about at what point does a hoppy beer become NEIPA style and therefore require extra careful measures and specialist equipment. I'm on my 4th brew so very much still learning the basics and at this point I've not got an inclination to buy more equipment or add additional steps such as purging CO2 - I'm doing this in between working long hours, studying on the evenings and balancing the rest of my time with family and hobbies! I'm sure i'll get to that stage but for now, I just want to know if I have a limit on how hoppy I should go.
 

palmtrees

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I have but my question was more about at what point does a hoppy beer become NEIPA style and therefore require extra careful measures and specialist equipment. I'm on my 4th brew so very much still learning the basics and at this point I've not got an inclination to buy more equipment or add additional steps such as purging CO2 - I'm doing this in between working long hours, studying on the evenings and balancing the rest of my time with family and hobbies! I'm sure i'll get to that stage but for now, I just want to know if I have a limit on how hoppy I should go.
There's no need to purge with co2 and all that with almost any other beer. Sure, it might improve your brews marginally, but you can make excellent hoppy beers without owning any co2 stuff. I've dry hopped within an inch of a beer's life using my normal bottling process without issues. Go as hoppy as you like, just avoid NEIPA recipes for now.
 

Kickass

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More dry hops = more opportunity for oxidation. It’s not binary so it’s not like at 25g you’re ok but at 26g you should be worried. Once you start getting over about 4-5g/L you’ll need to be more diligent about O2 exposure. Below, you still need to be but the affects won’t be as noticeable.
 

Dgallo

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Oxidation happens immediately and the effect continues to worsen overtime. The first thing to go is the brightness of hop Aroma. Then the overall hop aroma/flavor seems to get muted in general. Once you see color change, you are severely oxidized
 
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nreed

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Can you outline (or explain) your normal bottling process?
Sure, I siphon from the tap on the primary into another bucket through the air lock hole with lid closed and priming solution already added. I put the end of the siphone right at the bottom to minimise splashing as it transfers. I then fill the bottles with an auto siphon thing and cap straight away.
 

palmtrees

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I have a similar process. I ferment in carboys, so no transfer port for me. I use a sterile siphon to minimize the aeration I was getting from an auto siphon. Like nreed, I make sure the tubing is curled into the bottom of the bottling bucket with the priming solution already added. Then I use a bottling wand on my bucket spigot to fill the bottles. Try to have everything already done before transferring the beer. Don't let it sit in the bottling bucket while you finish prepping bottles or whatever. And I typically rest a cap on top of each bottle as I go. Then cap immediately upon finishing the transfer.
 

palmtrees

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Oh and put hose clamps on your siphon! It's a small thing, but you can sometimes get oxygen ingress where the tubing meets the racking cane. If you see bubbles there while you're transferring, it means air is coming in.
 

Dgallo

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Oh and put hose clamps on your siphon! It's a small thing, but you can sometimes get oxygen ingress where the tubing meets the racking cane. If you see bubbles there while you're transferring, it means air is coming in.
You get oxygen ingest on the surface of the beer during the entire time you are racking to the bottling bucket and the entire time you are bottling.
 

kh54s10

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More dry hops = more opportunity for oxidation. It’s not binary so it’s not like at 25g you’re ok but at 26g you should be worried. Once you start getting over about 4-5g/L you’ll need to be more diligent about O2 exposure. Below, you still need to be but the affects won’t be as noticeable.
I would say that more dry hops = more effect due to oxidation. The opportunity does not change.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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To prevent a step where oxygen is introduced is there any benefit in just adding sugar to the bottles and bottling straight from the primary?
Among those who talk about how they successfully bottle NEIPAs, these two ideas are pretty well known and are always described as a benefit. More ideas can be found in this topic: Limiting oxidation: effect of purging headspace O2 in a bottle conditioned IPA


update for future readers: see also NEIPA Bottle Oxidation and alternatives?.
 
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mashpaddled

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My understanding is that nobody is quite sure why NEIPAs are so extremely oxygen sensitive. I think it's more than just the sheer amount of hops and may have something to do with the biotransformation going on when people dry hop during active fermentation.
There are other factors causing it but two big issues are:

1. The beers are full of oxygen sensitive oils from hops and adjuncts like oils that oxidize easily; and

2. Brewing NEIPA is a process that reduces the antioxidant compounds present in other beers, specifically by reducing bittering additions which add antioxidant polyphenols that would otherwise protect the beer from oxidative reactions. The more hop extracts are used the less opportunity to put those compounds in the beer later in the process.
 

Dgallo

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There are other factors causing it but two big issues are:

1. The beers are full of oxygen sensitive oils from hops and adjuncts like oils that oxidize easily; and

2. Brewing NEIPA is a process that reduces the antioxidant compounds present in other beers, specifically by reducing bittering additions which add antioxidant polyphenols that would otherwise protect the beer from oxidative reactions. The more hop extracts are used the less opportunity to put those compounds in the beer later in the process.
Your statement 2. Is not true. Polyphenol are in higher concentration During dryhoping than boil additions. So if that were true NEIPAS would have more oxidation protection, which they clearly do not
 

moreb33rplz

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If you want to make a NEIPA, make a NEIPA. Oxidation is bad and you should try to minimize it, but you'll still make great beer unless you do something crazy.
 

Bilsch

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"At what point do hoppy beers start to have oxidation issues?"

Well, it starts right about the moment the water hits grain. ;)
 

josephort

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I've bottled a couple of NEIPAs with no special techniques or equipment. These were 5-6 gallon batches which took me about three months to consume. I would say that for the first month they were really good, for the second month they were fine but had somewhat muted hop flavor/aroma, and in the third month they developed noticeable off-flavors and became somewhat darker. So I ultimately had 10-15 bottles that were still perfectly drinkable, but not super enjoyable. Not the end of the world, and I definitely don't regret brewing those beers (though I'll probably keg the next one).

If you're brewing only 7.5L batches, I think you could safely bottle a NEIPA and just drink it all before the oxidation causes any significant degradation.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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As I mentioned earlier (see #3), people (here and in /r/homebrewing) are taking about techniques that reduce or delay the impact. OP mentioned they have seen those topics (see #5), so I don't see a need to repeat the list here.

I've bottled a couple of NEIPAs with no special techniques or equipment.
Can you outline (or explain) your normal bottling process?

If you're brewing only 7.5L batches, I think you could safely bottle a NEIPA
Yup. Oxygen ingress is immediate. Oxidation shows up later.
 

josephort

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Can you outline (or explain) your normal bottling process?
I think it's pretty much the basic technique we were all taught for our first brews. I rack from the fermenter into the bottling bucket (either using an autosiphon out of my glass carboy or the port on my Big Mouth Bubbler), add priming sugar dissolved in a small amount of boiled water, stir gently to incorporate, and then fill bottles from the bucket spigot with a length of hose attached. I take a few basic steps to avoid oxidation- I generally try to avoid splashing, I never use a secondary fermenter, I typically don't cold crash, and I use O2 absorbing bottle caps. But I don't do CO2 purges or closed transfers or anything fancy like that. I may experiment with more advanced techniques on my next NEIPA, but I think that is only necessary to keep the beer good longer, not to make good beer for quick consumption.
 
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One possible thing you could do to help cut down on oxidation at bottling time is add1 campden tab per gallon a couple days before bottling. The metabisulphite scavenges O2, so at least in theory should help.
 

Nubiwan

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Among those who talk about how they successfully bottle NEIPAs, these two ideas are pretty well known and are always described as a benefit. More ideas can be found in this topic: Limiting oxidation: effect of purging headspace O2 in a bottle conditioned IPA


update for future readers: see also NEIPA Bottle Oxidation and alternatives?.
I actually started the second link above which has some useful tips that I am incorporating into my NEIPA that I wanted ready by Christmas.

My fermentation started last Thursday, 19th, and it is just about done now, at 1.012 SG. On advice of something I read somewhere else, I have decided to dry hop today, after just 5 days. I am going to let it sit 4-5 more days, then package.

I also bottle, and use a bottling bucket. Do not have CO2 purging technology. To mitigate oxidation in the process, I have added a teaspoon of Ascorbic Acid (AA) - during Dry Hop, which came highly recommended, and is essentially a variant of Vitamin C, that is used to reduce oxidation in wine also. I also plan to fill my bottle necks a little higher than I would normally do, to reduce oxygen at the neck. Will be ultra careful not to disturb my beer when bottling, but I am rather hoping AA will help me out.

AA addition made sense to me as this stuff is also used to stop fruits browning. Think adding lemon juice to Guacamole for example. I have made IPA's before, but nothing as hoppy as this NEIPA, and my other IPA's have generally faded over time. What can it hurt?

I plan to post results back in the thread listed above over time with some pictures. Might do a couple of controls too. Some bottles less full etc. See how the AA holds out.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I actually started the second link above which has some useful tips that I am incorporating into my NEIPA that I wanted ready by Christmas.

[...]
Thanks for the update. Looking forward to reading about what you find.

And another visual +1 for ideas that moves the discussion (how to bottle NEIPAs) forward.

I suspect that in six to twelve months, people in the forum will be posting replies like
Oxygen ingress is immediate.

Oxidation shows up later.

Here's how to bottle IPAs / NEIPAs that stay fresh for ___ months.
in response to
At what point do hoppy beers start to have oxidation issues?
 

ncbrewer

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One possible thing you could do to help cut down on oxidation at bottling time is add1 campden tab per gallon a couple days before bottling. The metabisulphite scavenges O2, so at least in theory should help.
I was under the impression that this would stop fermentation and prevent bottle carbonation. I could be wrong.
 
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I was under the impression that this would stop fermentation and prevent bottle carbonation. I could be wrong.
Campden won't stop fermentation by itself, but it does scavenge excess O2. But rereading my post above, I've added 1 tab per 5 gallons. At that dose it has not caused any problem with bottle carbonation. Sorry for the doseage mistake.
 

mattdee1

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Of course I have no way of knowing for sure, but I'm pretty skeptical when I read stories of people "just following a normal bottling process" on a NEIPA and getting anything but thoroughly disappointing results. It certainly never worked for me, to the point where I, as a rule, eventually implemented a strict moratorium on brewing hoppy beers until I could identify some meaningful process change that might have a hope of producing a hoppy beer that didn't completely suck.

That answer turned out to be closed transfers to kegs. Moratorium lifted.
 

palmtrees

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implemented a strict moratorium on brewing hoppy beers
I hear you on bottling NEIPAs, but I do want to stress for the OP that a NEIPA is different from other really hoppy beers. Sensitivity to oxygen is a sliding scale, of course. But in my experience, a west coast IPA is less oxygen sensitive than a NEIPA with the same (or fewer) IBUs. I would expect that most folks on this forum have successfully bottled a hoppy IPA, but the same can't be said for a NEIPA.
 
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