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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: homoeccentricus on November 14, 2016, 01:25:00 PM

Title: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: homoeccentricus on November 14, 2016, 01:25:00 PM
My next brew, and probably my first 99% low oxygen (last time had problems with mashing in the Braumeister) will be another shot at a fictitious Rochefort 4 clone. My question: do Belgian breweries, and Rochefort in particular brew lodo? My assumption is no. http://www.bloggen.be/belgische_brouwerijen/archief.php?ID=808813 (http://www.bloggen.be/belgische_brouwerijen/archief.php?ID=808813) is a list of pictures of Belgian breweries. It's a long page, look for "Rochefort". Is it correct to assume just by looking at the photos that Rochefort is non-lodo? And, of course, the question becomes: will lodo brewing improve a Rochefort clone?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: homoeccentricus on November 14, 2016, 01:35:07 PM
BTW, it is of course very well possible the the monks at Rochefort preboil their water, which, straight from the well  (I first wrote hell) has 245 ppm bicarbonate. That would make at least the first step lodo.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 14, 2016, 01:58:04 PM
BTW, it is of course very well possible the the monks at Rochefort preboil their water, which, straight from the well  (I first wrote hell) has 245 ppm bicarbonate. That would make at least the first step lodo.
They could use slaked lime, or acid (no RHG)to neutralize the bicarbonate, or RO to remove the minerals. Hard to say from the pictures, no water treatment was evident.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: beersk on November 14, 2016, 02:42:06 PM
Yeah, it's difficult to say with such yeast driven beer. There is a lot of copper in their system though, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: Big Monk on November 14, 2016, 02:50:21 PM
I would say that it is safe to assume that in organizations where prior approval is required for lay Brewers to even alter the components of a recipe, that major overhauls to brewing systems are not common. With that said, even the Trappists have updated various components of their systems but as was stated above, with such a yeast forward beer, the nuance may be lost.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: homoeccentricus on November 14, 2016, 02:58:44 PM
It might be interesting to know the factors that make a beer more or less oxygen sensitive.  You mention "yeast forward". Would that be the yeasts with either extreme ester (trappist) or phenol (saison) production? How about alcohol tolerance? How about dark malt complexity?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: Big Monk on November 14, 2016, 04:12:57 PM
It might be interesting to know the factors that make a beer more or less oxygen sensitive.  You mention "yeast forward". Would that be the yeasts with either extreme ester (trappist) or phenol (saison) production? How about alcohol tolerance? How about dark malt complexity?

I just meant to say that Trappist beers in general are a yeast showcase. Much of the Low O2 character may be overshadowed by the yeast.

Although I'd like to experiment in the near future with some out of the ordinary Trappist style recipes and play with fermentation temps (i.e. Lower).
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: majorvices on November 15, 2016, 01:41:07 AM
Fascinating blog. I really enjoyed looking at those pics. Thanks.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 16, 2016, 12:43:26 PM
Really cool.  Still wondering about what was the deal with the wooden beam-looking pieces suspended above the cool ship in the one brewery?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: beersk on November 16, 2016, 01:34:21 PM
Really cool.  Still wondering about what was the deal with the wooden beam-looking pieces suspended above the cool ship in the one brewery?
I noticed that too and had the same question.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 16, 2016, 01:50:11 PM
Really cool.  Still wondering about what was the deal with the wooden beam-looking pieces suspended above the cool ship in the one brewery?
Raw wood to harbor the bugs and critters? You will see raw wood beams in some of the other breweries.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: majorvices on November 16, 2016, 05:50:54 PM
Really cool.  Still wondering about what was the deal with the wooden beam-looking pieces suspended above the cool ship in the one brewery?
Raw wood to harbor the bugs and critters? You will see raw wood beams in some of the other breweries.

Also, sometime if they open a new brewery at a new location they bring in some of the old beams from the old place for the reason mentioned above. don't you guys ever pick up a book? ;)
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: beersk on November 16, 2016, 06:56:47 PM
Really cool.  Still wondering about what was the deal with the wooden beam-looking pieces suspended above the cool ship in the one brewery?
Raw wood to harbor the bugs and critters? You will see raw wood beams in some of the other breweries.

Also, sometime if they open a new brewery at a new location they bring in some of the old beams from the old place for the reason mentioned above. don't you guys ever pick up a book? ;)
Huh? *slobbers* Why read when there's TV?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: jjflash on November 24, 2016, 03:56:18 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: Big Monk on November 24, 2016, 04:31:24 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

I would say that ultimately it's less about who's doing what and more about what the process can do for you. I'm going to be starting a Belgian run (Trappist ales) very soon and trying to replicate these ales with less reliance on syrups.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: homoeccentricus on November 24, 2016, 04:43:20 PM
Still haven't found any sign of low oxygen brewing in Belgium. Maybe our friends in Leuven do it to brew pils, but otherwise? People laugh at you when you explain the concept.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: The Beerery on November 25, 2016, 03:27:56 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

One of the most missed points is that LARGENESS of the brewery(batch sizes) basically automatically makes it Low oxygen. The larger the brewery, the lower oxygen it is(naturally by doing nothing).
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 25, 2016, 04:40:53 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

One of the most missed points is that LARGENESS of the brewery(batch sizes) basically automatically makes it Low oxygen. The larger the brewery, the lower oxygen it is(naturally by doing nothing).

At what size do you consider a brewery to be large? I know it would be a curve decreasing with size, but where would the knee in the curve be?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: The Beerery on November 25, 2016, 04:51:58 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

One of the most missed points is that LARGENESS of the brewery(batch sizes) basically automatically makes it Low oxygen. The larger the brewery, the lower oxygen it is(naturally by doing nothing).

At what size do you consider a brewery to be large? I know it would be a curve decreasing with size, but where would the knee in the curve be?

Something like a 100hl brewery will have like 10X better protection, and 1000hl will have 20x better. Or something like that
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: dilluh98 on November 26, 2016, 12:36:09 PM
On a strictly surface area to volume argument, you'd see a 1/r trend. r being the radius of a sphere and since a cow can be approximated as a sphere, so too should beer.  :D
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: brewinhard on November 26, 2016, 06:43:21 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.

One of the most missed points is that LARGENESS of the brewery(batch sizes) basically automatically makes it Low oxygen. The larger the brewery, the lower oxygen it is(naturally by doing nothing).

At what size do you consider a brewery to be large? I know it would be a curve decreasing with size, but where would the knee in the curve be?

Something like a 100hl brewery will have like 10X better protection, and 1000hl will have 20x better. Or something like that

Is this simply due to output then?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: The Beerery on November 26, 2016, 06:48:47 PM
Chimay uses the Meura mash filter system.  I can't think of a more oxygen rich mash system.  Grist hammers to pulverize the grain to a powder, which then gets loaded into the filters.  We all know what excellent beer Chimay produces.  It's just not used in big Belgian beers with Belgian yeast.  Even Coors Light is made with a Meura mash filter system. Not sure this low oxygen mash is real issue.



One of the most missed points is that LARGENESS of the brewery(batch sizes) basically automatically makes it Low oxygen. The larger the brewery, the lower oxygen it is(naturally by doing nothing).

At what size do you consider a brewery to be large? I know it would be a curve decreasing with size, but where would the knee in the curve be?

Something like a 100hl brewery will have like 10X better protection, and 1000hl will have 20x better. Or something like that

Is this simply due to output then?

Surface to volume of the liquids. Generally when vessels grow in size the bulk of the Growth is vertical. Which means you have much less surface for the air to infuse into. Square cube law.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: brewinhard on November 26, 2016, 06:49:44 PM
Thanks. Then they almost are lodo by default.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: The Beerery on November 26, 2016, 06:51:52 PM
Thanks. Then they almost are lodo by default.

Exactly. The larger the brewery the more low oxygen it naturally is. We have to use the crude albeit very effective hack of SMB to emulate basically.
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: narcout on November 27, 2016, 10:27:17 PM
If a particular brewery doesn't use de-oxygenated water for mashing, does the smaller surface to volume ratio really matter?
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: dilluh98 on November 28, 2016, 03:16:43 PM
If a particular brewery doesn't use de-oxygenated water for mashing, does the smaller surface to volume ratio really matter?

This is something I've wondered about. Also, can I assume that if a brewery reeks of mash, that their beer is probably not low oxygen?

I did the mini-mash test for myself yesterday and it was strange to not smell that typical mash smell on the pre-boil/SMB sample. I've always associated that smell with home brewing. Wort color and taste were also night and day - triangled in red cups to disguise color and also without smelling the wort, it wasn't even close for myself, my wife and my neighbor who was curious what I was up to. No one preferred the taste of the non-SMB sample. My wife's comment about the pre-boil/SMB sample was, "I distinctly taste honey and graham crackers. It's dynamic - like there's more than one thing going on."
Title: Re: Belgian breweries low oxygen?
Post by: The Beerery on November 28, 2016, 04:59:36 PM
If a particular brewery doesn't use de-oxygenated water for mashing, does the smaller surface to volume ratio really matter?

This is something I've wondered about. Also, can I assume that if a brewery reeks of mash, that their beer is probably not low oxygen?

I did the mini-mash test for myself yesterday and it was strange to not smell that typical mash smell on the pre-boil/SMB sample. I've always associated that smell with home brewing. Wort color and taste were also night and day - triangled in red cups to disguise color and also without smelling the wort, it wasn't even close for myself, my wife and my neighbor who was curious what I was up to. No one preferred the taste of the non-SMB sample. My wife's comment about the pre-boil/SMB sample was, "I distinctly taste honey and graham crackers. It's dynamic - like there's more than one thing going on."
Glad you saw some results... pretty night and day isn't it?

I guess it all depends on the water treatment side. They certainly won't be picking more up, after mash in but it all matters what it is on the hot side. ~3ppm is really the break point of not noticing any flavor improvements. You will still see color improvements though.