Vitamin C - The Game Changer?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Sam_92

A whimsical brewer.
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
271
Reaction score
581
Location
Spokane
I got my AA in the mail yesterday so today I added about a 1/2 tsp. to my IPA and then 1.5oz of dryhops. I'll bottle Friday or Saturday. I'm going to leave a normal amount of headspace for some and minimal for some to see if that is also making a difference.
 
OP
OP
Miraculix

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,966
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Bremen
I got my AA in the mail yesterday so today I added about a 1/2 tsp. to my IPA and then 1.5oz of dryhops. I'll bottle Friday or Saturday. I'm going to leave a normal amount of headspace for some and minimal for some to see if that is also making a difference.

Great, let us know how it goes!

I just bottled my second vitamin c pre-mash batch last weekend and there was all the maltiness and zero almond. Looking good again. Had one beer after 5 days on the heater (don't judge me, I am impatient :D) it was already carebd and good. If there is almond, the heater beer usually shows it even a bit stronger. There was noen :).

And I found out why I was so prone to having hangovers lately.... after having a hangover after just one beer, I evaluated further and came to the conclusiopn that my previous batch gives me the headache of the champions. It was with vitamin c, zero almond, a bit hot and first time fermented with angel cn36 yeast. This yeast sucks. So much fusels at room temperature, just like 002. Half a batch down the drain and an invaluable lesson learned. Do not use CN36 again, although I still have one pack left. Luckily, it is cheap. Now I know why.
 

yourlastchance89

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
266
Reaction score
142
Hi!

I am quite sensitive to hot side oxidation flavours, mainly this dreaded almond flavour which I sometimes encountered within my brews. Switching back to BIAB lowered the intensity significantly compared to my not so well designed mash ton, but it was still there. To be fair, it was aging out with time, but still a bit of a pain. Sometimes it was there, sometimes it was barely there... but it was a constant companion.

So I started adding vitamin C (ascorbic acid) pre mash to the water, together with my water treatment salts. First beer was a hoppy american brown ale, that one is amazing. The hop flavour is after almost two months still like day one and there is no hint of the almond flavour.

The second one is a Miraculix Best Kitchen sink edition, added even a bit more vitamin c, just to see what happens. Bottled it today, not even the slightest hint of almond.

This shows me, the ascorbic acid really does something against hot side oxidation as well as oxidation in the bottle. I do leave just a small headspace in the bottle, to further lower the oxidation potential in the bottle, I think this is nowadays common wisdom, if not, just do it.

There are still some unknowns regarding vitamin c, this is why I wanted to create this thread, first to share my results and second to ask for the wisdom of the swarm.

My last batch had 3.5g of vitamin c, the final volume in the fermenter was 20l. This results in 0,175g per litre in the fermenter, this worked for me, but I do not have huge boil of rates. I actually add some water to the fermenter to lower the og as my kettle is a bit small and I am boiling with a higher OG than anticipated in the fermenter. This results in more Vitamin C per litre in the kettel, as I am diluting it afterwards a bit, not by much though. Only about 15-20% additional water.

Resulting questions:

1. The dosage should be high enough that there is some vitamin c left after the boil, to do it`s thing in the bottle as well. How to determine the amount correctly? I went with anecdotal evidence, which seems to work. But is there a taste threshhold? Or can one overdo it?

2. There are rumors that vitamin c can become a super oxidiser on it's own. You can read this all over the internet but there is no proof, no idea how this should work, basically nothing specific. I talked to a professional food chemist who is working with vitamin c since the 70s and he said that he never encountered such a behaviour of virtamin c within his whole career. My personal guess is, somebody somehow got his batch oxidised, blamed the vitamin c and everybody else copied what he wrote. I do not know. For me it just worked.

3. How about oxigenation of the wort before pitching yeast? Is the Vitamin C going to be used up by this step? It would be unfortunate. I do not oxigenate my wort, so I have no idea. Maybe the temperature is low enough to slow down the oxidising of vitamin c so much that the yeast has enough time to take in all the oxygen available.

4. How about long term aging, thinking of big beers? What will be going on there?

5. Impact on mash ph? I basically ignored the vitamin c, added the usual amount of acidulated malt and went with it. Efficiency and attenuation were as expected.

For now, I think this stuff is gread. It protects my beer in the bottle, it protects the mash, it is cheap, harmless and easy to use. All good!

What do you guys think?
Didn't read through the whole thread but be warned adding vitamin C hotside as it has very poor heat stability. I remember learning this in regards to nutrition and food sources. For instance potatoes I believe are very rich in vitamin C in raw form, but none of it gets absorbed when eaten because it has all been destroyed in the cooking process. It may provide some benefit hot side in the early minutes of a mash, but that's it. To reap any other benefits it would have to be added at cooler temperatures later.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20220202-035628_Samsung Internet.jpg
    Screenshot_20220202-035628_Samsung Internet.jpg
    193.1 KB · Views: 19

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,758
Unfortunately, there are many assumptions propagated by nutritionists. A lazy field full of opinions 😬 Nor am I convinced simplistic nutritionists’ models (boiling vegetables in water) extrapolate well to a media as complex as barley wort. If you check the literature and focus on reports where it was actually measured using reliable techniques, e.g., by mass spec analysis, a high level of thermo-degradation of AA takes an awful lot of energy (heat) and time or pressure. Even at 120*C under pressure as much as 75% remains intact. When added to the mash, it’s likely most makes it intact into the FV. Just like that boiled vegetable water.
 

RyPA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
461
Reaction score
270
Location
NJ
@Beermeister32 how does carbonation hold up when you fill from your keg? I was planning on filling a few bottles to share with friends.
 

Beermeister32

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
1,189
Reaction score
1,908
Location
Southern California
If I bottle from a keg (using flip top bottles), I raise the CO2 pressure to 20 psi in the keg. I use a counter-pressure filler. I then bottle at about 10 psi. There’s CO2 loss when bottling, that’s why I bump it up to 20 psi.

If I’m going to fill bottles and let them naturally carbonate, I don’t carbonate the keg. Actually if you wanted to add a tablespoon of sugar to the keg as an O2 scavenger, that would be OK, but basically you are using flat beer. I usually use Brewers Best sugar tablets in the bottle. I have a picnic tap with about 8” of racking cane I use at about 1 psi. If you have lagered the keg a long time, sometimes you can use an eye dropper to place a bit of yeast slurry back in the bottle prior to filling.

Carbonation is fine in either case.
 

Attachments

  • 1DA2DD14-3428-4151-BB8A-62F1D2B17229.jpeg
    1DA2DD14-3428-4151-BB8A-62F1D2B17229.jpeg
    1.8 MB · Views: 58
  • 60DD0281-1C7E-4D74-8073-27C8763FC691.jpeg
    60DD0281-1C7E-4D74-8073-27C8763FC691.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 60
Last edited:

RyPA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
461
Reaction score
270
Location
NJ
Do you raise to 20 and let the beer over carb before hand, or does the counter pressure device utilize the excess pressure? Basically trying to figure out how to get drinkable bottles from my standard kegerator
 

Beermeister32

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
1,189
Reaction score
1,908
Location
Southern California
If you are filling just a few bottles off a tap at standard 10 psi pressure it is hit and miss. Sometimes they hold up, sometimes they oxidize, sometimes they are too flat. You’ve probably noticed that with growler fills or those single canning setups at local small breweries. Better to set up the full run correctly.

There are a couple filling wands available for this purpose that can attach to your faucet. Sometimes they work ok, sometimes not so much.
 

yourlastchance89

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
266
Reaction score
142
Unfortunately, there are many assumptions propagated by nutritionists. A lazy field full of opinions 😬 Nor am I convinced simplistic nutritionists’ models (boiling vegetables in water) extrapolate well to a media as complex as barley wort. If you check the literature and focus on reports where it was actually measured using reliable techniques, e.g., by mass spec analysis, a high level of thermo-degradation of AA takes an awful lot of energy (heat) and time or pressure. Even at 120*C under pressure as much as 75% remains intact. When added to the mash, it’s likely most makes it intact into the FV. Just like that boiled vegetable water.
That's a poor argument. That's like me saying I don't believe amylase enzymes denature at high temps because there are many assumptions propagated by brewers.
It's not an assumption, it is a matter of fact that is easily researchable. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat despite your opinions of the field of nutrition or nutritionists in general.
 
OP
OP
Miraculix

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,966
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Bremen
That's a poor argument. That's like me saying I don't believe amylase enzymes denature at high temps because there are many assumptions propagated by brewers.
It's not an assumption, it is a matter of fact that is easily researchable. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat despite your opinions of the field of nutrition or nutritionists in general.
Well, quite some assumptions that you are making there!
 

hopjuice_71

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
355
Reaction score
345
I did some poking around regarding the stability of ascorbic acid. The results are from peer-reviewed journal articles. To summarize, ascorbic acid is reasonably stable at higher temperatures. The half-life is on the order of hours at mash temps and approaching an hour (or more, depending on the study) at boil temps. And this was tested in the context of a variety of foodstuffs. Mostly it is not actually destroyed, it is oxidized, but dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized ascorbic acid) can decompose to some extent.
 

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,758
That's a poor argument. That's like me saying I don't believe amylase enzymes denature at high temps because there are many assumptions propagated by brewers.
It's not an assumption, it is a matter of fact that is easily researchable. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat despite your opinions of the field of nutrition or nutritionists in general.
It’s like saying, if you check the literature, I thought. Not only does much survive the hot side, additions to the mash also seem to increase the level of other antioxidants post boil, like polyphenols. I’m a little skeptical about the need to worry about O2 during the mash and boil, HSA, but AA additions might be good brewing practice to limit malted barley derived oxidants. I don’t know, I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll probably get my AA order in the post next week 🤞
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
2,096
Reaction score
1,930
Location
VA, USA
It may provide some benefit hot side in the early minutes of a mash, but that's it. To reap any other benefits it would have to be added at cooler temperatures later.

I still have not quite figured out if the idea of adding Ascorbic Acid to the mash is to reduce oxidation reactions on the hot side (which some claim lead to staling and oxidation later in the processes) or if the Ascorbic Acid actually sticks around to prevent cold-side oxidation. My gut tells me that it does not survive through to the cold side, especially after we have intentionally added oxygen to the wort prior to fermentation.
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
1,060
Location
Minnesota
My gut tells me that it does not survive through to the cold side

As only a follower of this thread, I'm thinking that as well. It's a reasonable thing to think for now until proven either way. So, I think it was a good point / question but likely overstated that AA doesn't survive the mash. But it's believable it doesn't survive the boil.
 
OP
OP
Miraculix

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,966
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Bremen
Yes, this is basically where it all started, and to my knowledge, why AA has been kind of ditched by the lodo folks, because of gut feelings without much proof behind it. Don't get me wrong, I am not claiming to have the answer to the question of the degration over time at mashing and/or boiling temperatures, but my gut feeling tells me, that at least a part of the AA survives these steps while already providing protection during these steps. So whos guts are right? We don't know, that is why gut feelings do not bring us an inch further here I'm afraid.
 

Bilsch

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
1,573
Reaction score
1,383
The way I see it, if you take several kg of malted barley, crush it then make a solution with it, you’re going to have a degree of redox reactions going on, even if mashed in a vacuum. But this is the norm. Most people are accustomed to it, culturally and genetically, so it stays below a sliding threshold above which it becomes a flaw/off flavour for some people. These people are more closely grouped with those weirdos who don’t like beer.

It may be the norm in your country (where I hear :) they have been known to store yeast dipped on a Birch wreath hung on the wall) but not all places and people share your taste for oxidized beer. I guess it's human nature that 'the other guy' is always the wierdo.
 

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,758
It may be the norm in your country (where I hear :) they have been known to store yeast dipped on a Birch wreath hung on the wall) but not all places and people share your taste for oxidized beer. I guess it's human nature that 'the other guy' is always the wierdo.
I’m British 🤫
 

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,758
It‘s incredible what intricate detail and ‘significance‘ some people seem to be able to conjure up and colourfully weave, from the stingiest evidence. Most of us call it what it is, BS. Brew like a Viking? That ignores what a Viking was. A Norse pirate. A scoundrel. A pillaging Neanderthal. He evidently had no impact on brewing culture in Europe. I found the comparison with ancient Egypt, the cradle of civilsation, rather entertaining. Thousands of years before Vikings learned how to swim, ancient Egyptians were figuring out astronomy, mathematics and pulling off remarkable engineering feats like the pyramids; cultivating barley and brewing on an industrial scale, to reward the workers. A highly successful culture based on cooperation and more equity than we have today. Meanwhile, back in Europe, the Europeans were throwing rocks at each other mainly. Goodness knows what they were up to in Norway. Scared of the dark and hiding from wolves perhaps. Other European populations excelled at brewing, once they started figuring out astronomy, mathematics and pulling off remarkable engineering feats. Late comers, mind. Oddly, Norway never really turned up in any meaningful way. That’s what’s so quaint about Norway. Unremarkable, being on the periphery of civilisation, Whatever next? A blog reporting, with intricately woven detail based on beliefs, and a survey conducted in the 1980s, Norwegians breathe air, like everyone else. Not only that, it’s possible this behaviour, some view as unique and special to Norway, goes back as far as Viking times. Some even believe Norwegians invented breathing in Europe. Others even claim to be breathing like Vikings today. How incredible!

Edit: Sorry, I’m getting bored waiting for my AA to arrive 😬
 
Last edited:

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,758
Ah ok, that explains a lot!
This is what happens when a German and a Brit discuss beer.
Well I made a sneaky little brew yesterday while the kids were at school. A German Pilsner with Weyermann Barke pilsner malt, Northern Brewer, H. Mittelfrüh and WLP833 ;) For research purposes only, of course, associated with my new journey brewing lagers. Next up is an English lager 😬
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
4,473
Reaction score
3,827
That ignores what a Viking was. A Norse pirate. A scoundrel. A pillaging Neanderthal.

But some hung up their horns (if they had any) and settled down. Some of my Derbyshire ancestors were them. For the record, I'm not a fan of Kviek strains for the most part.

BTW, Neanderthals probably were no more warlike than contemporaneous sapiens, but they certainly lived in Britain, and much less certainly maybe in Scandinavia. Modern English (the people and possibly the band) carry a healthy dollop of Neanderthal genes.

ETA: As this (off) topic is a hobby of mine, I disagree with some of what McMullan says below, but am reluctant to go forward with an off topic debate. If anyone wants details, PM me.
 
Last edited:

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
1,758
But some hung up their horns (if they had any) and settled down. Some of my Derbyshire ancestors were them. For the record, I'm not a fan of Kviek strains for the most part.

BTW, Neanderthals probably were no more warlike than contemporaneous sapiens, but they certainly lived in Britain, and much less certainly maybe in Scandinavia. Modern English (the people and possibly the band) carry a healthy dollop of Neanderthal genes.
The Norse who settled in Britain and Iceland were refugees escaping Vikings. Neanderthals? Who knows, lots of gaps in the data, but they most likely migrated west from Siberia. Taking the same route(s) as early Scandinavians did after the last ice age. For some reason, a group colonised Norway. I don’t think it was out of choice. It’s far too harsh to set up a permanent camp. Maybe they were on the run? It’s just a theory. Apparently, Europeans are supposed to have 1-2% Neanderthal genomic elements. And about 98% chimpanzee, funnily. The proposed Neanderthal genomic fragments in sapiens are just as likely to have originated in a common ancestor than Neanderthal-sapien interaction in Europe. Especially as proposed Neanderthal genetic markers are now being detected in Africa. It’s a fascinating topic. I wonder if they added AA rich fermenting fruit pulp to their brews?
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Miraculix

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,966
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Bremen
The Norse who settled in Britain and Iceland were refugees escaping Vikings. Neanderthals? Who knows, lots of gaps in the data, but they most likely migrated west from Siberia. Taking the same route(s) as early Scandinavians did after the last ice age. For some reason, a group colonised Norway. I don’t think it was out of choice. It’s fat too harsh to set up a permanent camp. Maybe they were in the run? It’s just a theory. Apparently, Europeans are supposed to have 1-2% Neanderthal genomic elements. And about the same for chimpanzee, funnily. The proposed Neanderthal genomic fragments in sapiens are just as likely to have originated in a common ancestor than Neanderthal-sapien interaction in Europe. Especially as proposed Neanderthal genetic markers are now being detected in Africa. It’s a fascinating topic. I wonder if they added AA rich fermenting fruit pulp to their brews?

Although interesting, and kindly led back to the topic with the last sentence, let's keep the topic here AA within the brewing context. :D
 

cmac62

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
2,556
Reaction score
1,039
Location
Menifee, CA
All I know is AA appears to work in reducing oxidation of hops. A little in the mash, a little in the boil and a little more when kegging/bottling seems to keep the hop flavor and aroma around longer. I currently have a keg of IPA that has been pouring for 2 months and the hops are still popping. I know this was not the case prior to using AA and some other stuff. :mug:
 
OP
OP
Miraculix

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,966
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Bremen
All I know is AA appears to work in reducing oxidation of hops. A little in the mash, a little in the boil and a little more when kegging/bottling seems to keep the hop flavor and aroma around longer. I currently have a keg of IPA that has been pouring for 2 months and the hops are still popping. I know this was not the case prior to using AA and some other stuff. :mug:
I have similar results with one addition prior to doughing in. Looks like that also does it.
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
1,060
Location
Minnesota
All I know is AA appears to work in reducing oxidation of hops. A little in the mash, a little in the boil and a little more when kegging/bottling seems to keep the hop flavor and aroma around longer. I currently have a keg of IPA that has been pouring for 2 months and the hops are still popping. I know this was not the case prior to using AA and some other stuff. :mug:

OK, you win. I'll have to try it too. I don't have any pales or IPA's up soon but will do it on the next of either.

When you say "a little", what are you talking per gallon?
 
OP
OP
Miraculix

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,966
Reaction score
4,551
Location
Bremen
OK, you win. I'll have to try it too. I don't have any pales or IPA's up soon but will do it on the next of either.

When you say "a little", what are you talking per gallon?
I used 3.5g for 20 litres ending up in the fermenter. But I boil with less volume then I have in the fermenter, so my numbers might not perfectly translate to your system, as people usually have boil off rates. I have topping off water amounts instead :D
 

cmac62

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
2,556
Reaction score
1,039
Location
Menifee, CA
OK, you win. I'll have to try it too. I don't have any pales or IPA's up soon but will do it on the next of either.

When you say "a little", what are you talking per gallon?
I use about 1/4 tsp per 5 gallon batch at each addition. I think it is less than a gram, like .5 of a gram each time.
 

seatazzz

Well-Known Bloviator & Pontificator
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
5,591
Location
Seattle
Does anyone have any formula for how much AA to add to, say, a 12oz bottle filled from the keg? Just ordered mine the other day and I've got a competition coming up, sending an IPA and a Pale that I want to stay fresh and hoppy.
 

Sam_92

A whimsical brewer.
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
271
Reaction score
581
Location
Spokane
Does anyone have any formula for how much AA to add to, say, a 12oz bottle filled from the keg? Just ordered mine the other day and I've got a competition coming up, sending an IPA and a Pale that I want to stay fresh and hoppy.
I would think it would be a very tiny amount. I think the benefit of AA is that it won't contribute off flavors unlike k-meta which I've read can contribute a sulpheric taste. If it were me I would do "a pinch" for a 12oz bottle.
 
Top