Author Topic: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration  (Read 6551 times)

Offline mpietropaoli

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Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« on: October 17, 2012, 07:27:30 PM »
So I have been trying to pinpoint a flavor that is coming through in the majority of my beers.  Some people, BJCP-certified in my club even, can't pick it up.  But I know it.  Well.  And haven't really been able to pinpoint it. 

After tasting my latest IPA experiment, I noticed it AGAIN.  Its a somewhat cardboard, tart, papery off flavor. 

When my boil is complete, I have been immersion chilling, as for a 5 gallon batch, my plate chiller is just not worth the trouble.  Until recently, I would cool it down to pitching temp or near it with the immersion.  Lately, I've been partial chilling below 140 to stave off DMS, then placing in the fermenting fridge to get the beer exactly to pitching temp (albeit a bit more slowly).  In both methods though, I have been directly dumping out of the kettle into the fermenter, sometimes a bit vigorously.  I will leave as much trub as I can behind (I don't whirlpool), but after my wort has chilled to pitching temp, I will vigorously dump into a new clean, sanitized fermenter before pitching, and decant off the trub. 

Either way though, aldehydes are forming from introducing the beer to too much oxygen when its above 80 degrees right?  (it is rare that I will chill with my IC below 80...usually more like 100-110). 

Has anyone else made this mistake, or corrected it and noticed improvement??

I need to read How to Brew all over again....I spent my first 10 batches boiling with the lid ON because I had it in my head that I didn't want to lose volume (this is before Ray Daniels schooled me that the TOTAL GRAVITY in the pot cannot change!!  Ie, no you are not losing WORT with boil off!!)
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 04:06:42 AM »
I don't recall every transferring beer over 80 degrees in the fashion you are describing, but you should really try not to. :)  I use my plate chiller for five gallon batches all the time.  To me it's worth knowing that the wort is chilled down below 80.  With my tap water I usually get between 60 and 65 degrees.  Try it and see if you can detect a ifference.  My guess is you will.  Good Luck!
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 05:25:41 AM »
Euge has a good method where he gets it down pretty low and then puts in frozen water-filled sanitized 2 L coke bottles around 90/80 degrees. That'll cool it down plenty.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 05:59:13 AM »
It's been my understanding that hot side aeration, if it even exists, will cause premature staling in finished beer, but that it wouldn't show up right away.  How fresh is the beer you are tasting with the off-flavor?
Lots of people chill their wort in sanitized containers in a fridge before pitching.  It's just a matter of meticulous sanitation.  Perhaps you may have a particularly hardy bug that lives in the first vessel you put the wort into after the kettle.
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Offline euge

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 09:27:25 AM »
Euge has a good method where he gets it down pretty low and then puts in frozen water-filled sanitized 2 L coke bottles around 90/80 degrees. That'll cool it down plenty.

It works better when the bottles are smaller. I threw out the 2L and went with 20oz bottles. I'm now putting them in @105F. It only takes 5 bottles to drop the wort to 65F in a reasonable amount of time. Ten does it rapidly but it's easy to overshoot your target temp.

How long are you conditioning the beers for? I used to not worry about HSA and dumped hot wort all the time, but never felt there was a problem. Then again beer doesn't last very long around here... :o
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 09:49:48 AM »
i am not convinced you are having a hot side problem. but i set up something  similar to euge.  the bucket in this picture has my immersion coil in it. i can pump wort through it and chilled water goes in the top of the bucket and drains back in to what was my mash tun.  i pull the grain and put in foam gel ice packs.and a submersible pump.   this kind of cleans the tun some.  i am going to probably tear it back down and just use the immersion cooler and submersible system and skip the heat exchanger format as it is not necessary.


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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 10:17:09 AM »
  (it is rare that I will chill with my IC below 80...usually more like 100-110). 

I think this could be a problem, especially if he is dumping the wort from the kettle into the fermenter.  I cool my lager worts down to 65 with a plate chiller then stick them in the fermenting chamber to chill down to 45, aerate, then pitch and have not had oxidation issues.  There may be some differences of opinion on HSA, but why risk it?
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Offline euge

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 10:25:16 AM »
  (it is rare that I will chill with my IC below 80...usually more like 100-110). 

I think this could be a problem, especially if he is dumping the wort from the kettle into the fermenter.  I cool my lager worts down to 65 with a plate chiller then stick them in the fermenting chamber to chill down to 45, aerate, then pitch and have not had oxidation issues.  There may be some differences of opinion on HSA, but why risk it?

+1 When you've been brewing a certain length of time you tend to stick to tried and true methods. I'd rather not risk a batch because of being inattentive, in a hurry or riskily experimental.

But this is how we develop our methods- no? I have to remind myself that convention exists for a reason as many others have gone before me.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline weithman5

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 11:08:51 AM »
before i used a chiller i would let my kettle sit out until it was about 80-90 degrees. then dump it through a strainer into my fermentation bucket. throw that in the fridge till the next day. 
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Offline prccap

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 07:08:32 PM »
sounds like the normal flavors as a result of oxidation, and you did say it was an IPA that would show these off-flavors even easier.

when you are cooling the wort are you also recircing the wort? this will help you get it down quicker. transferring the wort at warmer temps will allow it to grab onto more O2 then at colder temps. we normally pitch yeast pretty quickly and the yeast uses up the O2. since you are leaving overnight to cool the O2 is oxidizing the hops that whole time. Not to mention that if you take to long to cool your wort it can cause a haze 

Offline mpietropaoli

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Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 07:07:13 AM »
I’ve never really known what recirculating means.  Is this just taking a mash paddle and stirring it in the opposite direction of the coils?  Wait, that’s whirlpooling.  My wort is sitting in the boil kettle during chilling.  How do I recirculate without buying/building more gear?
 
This twist in my process came from me wanting to simplify process and equipment.  I read a lot about no-chill brewing, and thought I might try it.  Then a guy over @ HB Chatter was telling me about this ‘partial chill’ method, and that he got great results.  I do have to say that clarity has not been a problem with this method, and it allows me to pitch cold, especially for lagers.
 
The people that claim HSA is a myth (and I listened to the Brew Strong episode where Dr. Charlie Bamforth) discusses it) are partially correct.  Typically for homebrewers, the ‘hot side’ process ends at flameout.  The boil will drive off most of the compounds that form as a result of oxygenating/aerating hot wort.  However, with my partial chill-process, my ‘hot side’ goes a little longer, and there is POST BOIL activity on the hot side….so I probably need to be a little more careful about aerating since it is post boil….AND since it is above 80 degrees and aldehydes can still form.
 
The reality is, it’s a pretty simple fix in hooking up a sanitized hose to the valve to transfer from the kettle to the fermenter.
 
@jeffy, this beer was bottled barely a week before my sampling.  So it could just be ‘green beer’.  But the flavor is something I recognize in old and young beer of mine.
 
@ Redbeerman, really not hating on plate chillers, but in my little rowhouse, it almost seems to be more trouble than its worth.  My IC will chill it in 20 minutes or so, and for the hassle of sanitizing the chiller and pump, hooking it all up, only to have my wort drip out a bit too warm and have to adjust flow, I will just stick to the
 
Finally, HEEEERE IS THE WEIRD THING…I just pulled a pint of my Oktoberfest last night, which has been conditioning in the keg for about 4 weeks.  This flavor is not present.  (FYI, I only keg occasionally since I don’t have a dedicated serving fridge, but have 2 kegs and a CO2 tank)….And the beer was done with my weird partial chill method and vigorous dumping.  Maybe I could be getting oxidation at bottling?
 
Bottling process is this:
-rack to bottling bucket, figure out final volume of beer
-calculate desired volumes CO2, dissolve appropriate weight of corn sugar in water, ADD THIS to the beer in the bottling bucket (I try to do it gently, but there is some splashing…I do it this way because I can’t be totally sure of final volume in the primary fermenter, as I will leave trub, etc. behind).
-bottles:  fill each with a few grains of oxy clean and water, let sit for a few hours or overnight; spray each with carboy/bottle sprayer/blaster thingy, spray each with star san, let sit for another 10-15 minutes, drain
-fill with bottling cane
 
I don’t CO2 purge the bottles.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 10:11:09 AM »
Do you taste the off flavor in the green beer at bottling time?
A little O2 when bottle conditioning can't be that bad, since the yeast will scavenge it.
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Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 04:34:34 PM »
Do you taste the off flavor in the green beer at bottling time?
A little O2 when bottle conditioning can't be that bad, since the yeast will scavenge it.

not really.  Its almost like it happens in the bottles.
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Offline euge

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 05:38:42 PM »
Do you taste the off flavor in the green beer at bottling time?
A little O2 when bottle conditioning can't be that bad, since the yeast will scavenge it.

not really.  Its almost like it happens in the bottles.

Time to start evaluating your racking and bottling methods. Or move to kegs... ;)
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Holy Hell....its hot-side aeration
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 11:05:39 AM »
I'm a firm believer that pre-boil HSA doesn't exist. However on the other side of the boil I'm not as adamant.

My suggestion would be to change your process and eliminate all sources of aeration until the wort is relatively cool (say less than 80F). Then evaluate your beers and see if they have changed significantly. Now don't change anything else or you'll never pinpoint the reason for what you are tasting.
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