Transfer IPA to Bottling Bucket During Active Fermentation? (oxidation issue)

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oikoeco

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Hey y'all! Hear me out on this one and let me know if you think this might help. I've tried to brew 3 IPAs with dry hop additions and each one turned out oxidized. I wouldn't go as far as calling all of these NEIPAs, but they're similar. So far I have followed the general guidelines: 2 weeks of fermentation (single primary vessel, with one dry hop addition), transfer to bottling bucket and bottle, 1-2 weeks bottle condition, >24 hours cold crash, then drink. The beer tastes fantastic on bottling day but like so many others have pointed out, the effects of oxidation from transferring and bottling take effect soon after its in the bottle. I want to make a few tweaks with my next batch to see if I can minimize the oxidation without major equipment upgrades (no CO2 injection, no kegging):

1. When active fermentation in the primary starts to slow (~day 3-4), transfer to bottling bucket to complete fermentation. This is also when I'd do my dry hop addition (so I'd be taking the bung off the carboy anyways). My rationale here is that since the yeast are still active, they will hopefully consume the oxygen in the bottling bucket, thereby having a lower risk of oxidation than if I waited to transfer a few days later on bottling day when the yeast are less active. Plus, by waiting until day 3 or 4, I'm hoping that most of the trub will be left in the carboy and won't be an issue with the spigot in the bottling bucket.

2. Add ascorbic acid (and maybe some sodium metabisulfate) to the bottling bucket when I transfer.

3. Speed up bottling day, and bottle on Day ~7, which will be 3-4 days after transferring to the bucket. Again, rationale here is that getting yeast in the bottle when they're more active will help them consume any oxygen in the bottles. That, plus the ascorbic acid will hopefully minimize oxidation in the bottles. On bottling day, no need to do any major transfers that expose a lot of O2. I'll use a bottle wand and carb tabs to prime each bottle. I'll also be more diligent to fill each bottle and cap it with an oxygen absorbing cap immediately after it's been filled.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this might improve things? I'm particularly interested in #1 above as I've never touched a beer in active fermentation before. But most of what I've read suggests to speed up the process with IPAs and NEIPAs. Lemme know what you think! Thanks! :)
 
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Dgallo

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If you do this you’ll end up having a vdk or acetaldihyde issue. Proper/healthy fermentation is the most important factor in making good beer
 

Immocles

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Personally, I would just start the fermentation in the bottle bucket. But I'm not exactly sure how much lower the spigot is positioned on a bottle bucket vs a fermonster or big mouth bubbler when they're already equipped with one. Bottling straight off the fermenter eased my process a ton, plus takes away that extra transfer.
 

Jag75

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How are you transferring to your bottle bucket ? Is the transfer hose long enough to rest on the bottom ? Are you mixing the priming sugar too aggressive?

If I had to bottle an IPA I would bottle prime and bottle directly from the fv via spigot & bottling wand .

Just like @Immocles
 
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oikoeco

oikoeco

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Thanks @Jag75, @Immocles & @Dgallo. I may revise my approach and bottle straight from the FV using the bottling bucket as the fermenter. Fingers crossed I don't get more than 3.5" of trub! Maybe I'll figure out a way to tilt the bucket so that the trub settles away from the spigot.
 

Dgallo

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Thanks @Jag75, @Immocles & @Dgallo. I may revise my approach and bottle straight from the FV using the bottling bucket as the fermenter. Fingers crossed I don't get more than 3.5" of trub! Maybe I'll figure out a way to tilt the bucket so that the trub settles away from the spigot.
Tilt your bucket during fermentation on an angle with your spigot up so that the trub settles below it
 
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