Oxidized beer problems

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vin8n1

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Im having trouble with my beers oxidizing within just a couple weeks of bottling. Not just hoppy beers, but malty styles too. Beers get that cardboard sweetness and hop flavor disappearing as quickly as one week. Yes, i bottle, but 1) other people bottling dont seem to have this problem as quickly 2) i have been using the best process i can, such as bottling straight from the fermenter, priming bottles, reducing headspace, capping instantly after filling, O2 absorbing caps.
Is this typical? Is there something im missing?
Thanks!
 
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vin8n1

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I use a bucket fermenter with a rubber gasket and sanitizer-filled airlock. I only dry hop during active fermentation. I use a siphon with spring loaded bottle filler and try to minimize any splashing or air bubbles.
 

CascadesBrewer

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hmmm...what non-hoppy beers are you finding oxidation character in? I have gotten a bit anal about avoiding cold side oxidation with hoppy beers. I have noticed oxidation character in even lightly hopped Pale Ales that I bottled, but I have to say that I bottle most of my Belgian beers these days. I don't take any extra steps to avoid oxidation in the bottle, and I don't notice any oxidation characters on those beers.
 

madscientist451

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I've noticed the spring loaded bottle fillers leak some air where the tubing fits on it, I don't use them. Also check your auto siphon tubing connection for air leaks. I noticed a big improvement in my beer when I switched to kegs.
You could also try using a better bottle or similar carboy instead of a bucket fermenter.
 

GoodTruble

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First, are you sure oxidation is the issue?

If so, it is likely leaking into the bucket. Small leaks in the siphon or bottle filler are possible, but it probably wouldn't be enough to make a large difference across the board (and you would probably see air bubbling in).

Capping on foam should prevent most oxidation in the bottles. But also, if you are transferring non-carbed beer, how much foam do you have? (Shouldn't be much unless air is leaking into the transfer line somewhere).
 
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vin8n1

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@CascadesBrewer i have read your article on NEIPA bottling oxidation. I tried the plastic bottle and squeeze technique and noticed less (but still plenty) oxidization in that bottle. Recently made an Imperial IPA that tasted just like DB’s 16 Point IPA the first week. Next week it faded into oxidized grossness. I have even had a Saison oxidize!
 
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vin8n1

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I have not noticed any bubbles or leaking air in my siphon/bottle filler connections. How can check that to be sure? Also if its not oxidation, what could it be? I just started homebrewing a year ago so thats just the first thing i thought it was.
 

Bassman2003

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If you have yeast activity in the bottle after filling any remaining O2 should be consumed by the yeast. So long term oxidized flavors should not be allowed to show up and grow over time unless your capping is letting some O2 in? How is your carbonation level in the beers? Did they carbonate well? - i.e. good yeast activity?

Seems like a strange issue as oxidation risk reduction is one of the long standing strengths of bottle conditioning. O2 before bottling would have flavor impacts but there is not enough time between the end of fermentation and transfer to bottles to really get towards sugar sweet/cardboard imho.
 
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vin8n1

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The ability of yeast to scavenge a significant amount of oxygen is debateable. If it was true, bottling should be essentially equal to kegging in terms of oxidation.
But yes, yeast are active at bottling. I dont cold crash for that reason. Carbonation is good and finishes in less than a week.
 
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vin8n1

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Is there anything i can improve in my processes? Should i look into getting a fermenter with a spigot so i can bottle directly off of that? Should i look into adding ascorbic acid or SMB at packaging?
 

Bassman2003

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The ability of yeast to scavenge a significant amount of oxygen is debateable. If it was true, bottling should be essentially equal to kegging in terms of oxidation.
But yes, yeast are active at bottling. I dont cold crash for that reason. Carbonation is good and finishes in less than a week.
I would say bottle conditioning is better than force carbing kegging in terms of oxygen reduction/oxidation. If one is naturally carbonating in a keg then they would be equal. Yeast eat a lot of O2. Plenty to take care of the amount in a bottled beer. If you are getting good levels of carbonation then the yeast are in there eating O2.
 

Miraculix

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The siphon with spring loaded bottle filler sounds like the issue to me. Replace it with a spigot and a bottling stick and see if things improve, would be my suggestion.

And maybe have a look in the vitamin C thread I just started. Maybe that's an easy fix and you could contribute your findings to the thread.
 
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vin8n1

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@Miraculix excuse my ignorance, are you saying to just attach the bottle filler directly to the spigot? Or is a bottling stick something different than a bottle filler?
 

MaxStout

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I think the siphon is a bigger source of O2 ingress than the spring-loaded bottle filler. If you bottle from a spigot and connect the bottle filler with the shortest length of tubing possible (i.e., a couple inches long), you shouldn't find much O2 getting in at that stage.
 

ncbrewer

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I'm assuming you use an auto siphon. Those have been known to leak around the plunger seat. It seems like I've read about brewers pouring a little beer into the auto siphon to stop air from leaking in.
 

Miraculix

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@Miraculix excuse my ignorance, are you saying to just attach the bottle filler directly to the spigot? Or is a bottling stick something different than a bottle filler?

I have a spiggot and directly connected to it is my spring loaded bottling stick. There are no visible bubbles inside, it works pretty well.

This one:

attached to this one:
 

CascadesBrewer

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Yeast eat a lot of O2. Plenty to take care of the amount in a bottled beer. If you are getting good levels of carbonation then the yeast are in there eating O2.

In my experience, and experience of others that have posted trials, yeast does not consume all of the oxygen in the headspace of a standard bottle fill. Or at least not fast enough to avoid visible and sensory damage to hoppy beers. I am not positive how much other styles are damaged, or if the damage is there but hard to detect.

There is also no correlation between carbonation and the yeast consuming oxygen. In fact it might be the opposite. I do not believe that the yeast pathway that consume oxygen produces CO2. During fermentation, yeast produce plenty of CO2 without oxygen being present and oxygen is not needed to bottle condition a beer. I have read that some yeast have a hard time switching between anaerobic and aerobic states.
 

Bassman2003

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I agree, the headspace is the main area of danger, but filling techniques can minmize this. I mentioned the carbonation as evidence of the yeast being active in general. If they are active and there is O2 in the wort, odds are the O2 will be consumed over time. If the beers turned out undercarbed, well maybe the yeast was spent.
 

BeerAndTele

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I have a spigot and directly connected to it is my spring loaded bottling stick. There are no visible bubbles inside, it works pretty well.
+1 on using a spigot. My bottling wand is hard plastic, so I cut a short 2" piece of tubing and attach it to the end of the wand ... then attach the other end to the spigot. I elevate the fermenter when bottling in this setup so gravity is doing the work; since it doesn't rely on a siphon as an auto-siphon does, air bubbles don't get pulled in at the seams.

I've also started putting a shot of gas under the cap before capping as suggested in this thread:
This slows the oxidation effects for me. The results are visible.

Cheers.
 
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vin8n1

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Thanks all for your advice and wisdom! Great ideas, i never would have thought the siphon and such could be a source of oxidation. I will be be putting a spigot w/bottling wand on my fermenter and keep y’all updated on how it turns out. Cheers!
 

Bilsch

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Remember that you can be picking up oxygen at anytime after the main ferment has completed even with an airlock in place. Therefore try your best to limit the time your beer sits around after final gravity has been reached and proceed immediately to bottling. The next thing I would recommend is fermenter priming and bottling straight from said fermenter. This way you will be racking actively fermenting beer which has a much greater tolerance for any oxygen ingress. Lastly you could try bottle spunding which is the best we as homebrewers can do to eliminate TPO.
 
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vin8n1

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Okay, so i already had a beer fermenting so i couldn’t yet add a spigot to it. Anyways i fermenter primed and bottled straight out of there, filled the siphon with sanitized water to hopefully prevent oxygen intake, filled bottles to brim and immediately capped with oxygen absorbing caps! Bottled a black ipa. No perceivable oxygenation yet, but always harder to tell with dark beers. Will be trying a hazy IPA in the future, that should really expose any flaws. Thanks again!
 

wsmith1625

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How are you adding the priming sugar? Are you mixing it in the fermenter out priming each bottle?
 
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