Too Much Oxygen, Is That a Bad Thing?

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FirefightingBrewer

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So today I created a American Brown Ale and wanted to try my new oxygen set-up prior to pitching the yeast. So I hooked up my medical grade o2 cylinder to the regulator, broke out the 1/4 inch tubing and aeration stone and turned the regulator first to 2lpm and then seeing it was bubbling pretty aggressively, so I backed it down to 1lpm. Took a walk outside to clean up a few things, came back a few minutes later and I had giant foam pillow about 6" above the fermenter pail. I am guessing it got enough o2...LOL

Anyone think this is going to have a negative impact on the brew? Look forward to your feedback. I was patting myself on the back for a quick, error free brew day and hit my numbers spot on just before to little mishap. Beer gods just keeping me in check I suppose. Thanks for your help guys..and gals.

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Kaz

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I have read that over oxygenating can have a negative flavor impact. I don't remember the exact details, I want to think I remember higher fusel alcohol production but I could be off on that. I'm sure someone else will know/remember.
 

eastoak

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over oxygenation is almost impossible to attain with our equipment. i don't have a flow meter on my tank i just turn on the regulator, count to 60 then turn it off. works great. you have nothing to worry about.

high fermentation temps will result in fusel alcohols but i've never heard of O2 having that effect.
 

Revvy

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Airborneguy is right...there's no such thing as too much oxygen BEFORE fermentation happens......After, when beer starts fernmenting is when it is not good....But you could empty an oxygen bottle into your wort before you pitch your yeast and all that would happen is that your yeast would be really really happy.
 

Bobby_M

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Luckily you did this prior to pitching the yeast. You probably temporarily reached an O2 saturation level that would be toxic to yeast.
 

mabrungard

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I have also heard that excessive oxygenation can enhance hot alcohol flavor in beer. I do think there is a consequence to overdoing it. On top of that, all the good brewers I know apply a modest charge of O2 to their wort. I have never heard of a positive aspect of overoxygenation, so I would lean toward moderation.
 

GuldTuborg

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Airborneguy is right...there's no such thing as too much oxygen BEFORE fermentation happens
The most recent Zymurgy had an article by...damn, one of the cofounders of Gordon Biersch. I forget the guy's name. I was surprised to see him state that anything over 12ppm oxygen before fermentation is harmful to yeast. That's not terribly difficult to achieve with an oxygen tank and stone. He strongly urged the reader not to overoxygenate. What's the deal?
 

thegerm

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I have also heard that excessive oxygenation can enhance hot alcohol flavor in beer. I do think there is a consequence to overdoing it. On top of that, all the good brewers I know apply a modest charge of O2 to their wort. I have never heard of a positive aspect of overoxygenation, so I would lean toward moderation.
i've heard jamil zainasheff state this on a few of his podcasts as well. the way I remember him quantifying it was that when giving a 5 or 10 minute burst of O2 there were solventy alcohols, but when backing it down to about 60 seconds the problem went away.
 

TheH2

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I read that article on Zymurgy as well (aside: what a great issue). I was under the impression that the oxygen reading was specific to the German styles he was discussing but if you had higher OG you could go above 12ppm. Of course the American Brown Ale probably had a similar OG, but hey, RDWHAHB. I've certainly done far worse and still made god beer. EDIT: Also, 2 minutes just doesn't seem like that long.

I use the shake and whisk method myself. I thought it was amusing that the author, a professionally educated brewer, thought the shake method was fine.
 
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FirefightingBrewer

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Well the yeast is working and everything seems to be going fine. No blowoff needed as of yet which I was thinking I may have based on the o2, I love buckets as primaries!!

Thanks for everyones feedback, I am no better off than I was yesterday..LOL..just kidding. Thanks a lot for all your information. We will have beer in a few weeks and that's the goal. I will let you know if I have issues or off-flavors when I get her in the keg.

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FirefightingBrewer

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TheH2, I actually have used the shake/wisk method successfully since day one and have made excellent beer. Just thought I would see if I could improve it with more o2. It's that whole get your basics down and then start tinkering thing...you know like the guys that master their water, etc? I should just be happy with my process and not evolve...lol

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TheH2

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That makes perfect sense to me. I wasn't trying to knock on adding oxygen because certainly that is better than shaking. I just wanted to add that a professionally educated brewer supported the shake method (of course he adds oxygen). At some point I plan on doing the same thing, especially since I like to brew Belgian Style beers, I would assume that the extra oxygen would help (I just have to get over the extra cleanup time first).
 

Airborneguy

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When I became interested in proper oxygenation, I read a ton of info and listened to a few podcasts on the matter. There seems to be argument over whether using a stone is really better than some of the so-called "shaking" methods at our level (obviously a pro needs to use an oxygen system for such large batches).

My system is manual, but not exactly shaking. I pour my wort back and forth from the pot to the fermentor about 4 times before pitching the yeast. I get as big, if not a bigger layer of foam doing this than my friends who use an oxygen set-up. It's pretty labor intensive, but I'll stick with it until my back starts to go ;)
 
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