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Wine Preserver

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RobbyBeers

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Anyone have any experience using a "wine preserver" with their fermenting beer? It's basically a spray bottle that contains argon, nitrogen, and CO2. People use it to extend the shelf life of wine or liquor after opening...a few sprays chases out all the oxygen.

I am trying to dial in my process so that I can minimize oxidation (e.g., when changing the airlock, taking gravity samples, etc.). It seems logical that a wine preserver would work to keep the oxygen out of the carboy until the CO2 blanket can build back up.
 

McKBrew

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There is really no reason to worry about oxidation from general tasks like you mentioned. There is always a layer of CO2 over the beer, and the amount if any of oxygen that would infiltrate the beer through a carboy opening would be very minimal.

You are worrying about something that you don't need to worry about.
 

JuanKenobi

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McK's right. No need to worry. I had a hard time with this concept at first since you can't see any of the things involved. Just remember that CO2 is heavier than air and that layer WILL protect the beer. Sanitizing you're equipment and working with clean hands is what's important.
 
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RobbyBeers

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I appreciate the input. I dig the concept of the CO2 blanket; however, I feel like there is still some potential for oxidation---for example, when you are past the initial fermentation and you are dealing with a carboy where the bubbler in the airlock isn't even floating anymore. The CO2 blanket has to be pretty weak at that point, no?

I've had beers where I did feel that oxygen had done some damage. I'm not sure where it entered the process, so I'm looking to patch up any leaks I can find. And in general, I'm trying to move a little bit past RDWHAHB and get more scientific about my process.

A lot of people strive for totally oxygen-free systems. At what stages do you think it's appropriate to be concerned? And do you think I can take an "it can't hurt" approach to the wine preserver?
 

PavlovsCat

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It's called Private Reserve, sells for about 9 bucks a can and is supposed to be good for 250 uses - for wine bottles to prevent oxidation once the bottle has been opened. I thought about this same problem, but only after transfer to a secondary where there is initially no protective CO2 layer, presumably because the fermentation is over. Sometimes you get a little airlock activity from stirring up the yeast and warmer temps, but usually I don't. I tried using the Private Reserve. I put the dispensing straw down one limb of the carboy cap sprayed for 1 second, then 4 short bursts until the airlock started to produce bubbles. I've only done it on one secondary, so we'll see how it goes.
 

FlyDoctor

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I was wondering the same thing. I would like to buy another carboy for either primary fermentation or to use as a secondary if the need arises (and I see this only rarely).

So, I was leaning towards a 5-gal beter bottle to reduce headspace in a secondary, but this is small for primary unless I use a blow off assembly (seems like a pain).

This private reserve would potentially allow a large primary fermenter to be used as a secondary in a pinch - without the concern about the headspace.
 

bja

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I'm trying to move a little bit past RDWHAHB and get more scientific about my process.

A lot of people strive for totally oxygen-free systems. At what stages do you think it's appropriate to be concerned? And do you think I can take an "it can't hurt" approach to the wine preserver?
Your time and money will be much better spent looking at other steps in your process like bottling for instance.
 
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