Author Topic: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort  (Read 5402 times)

Offline jjflash

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observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« on: April 28, 2013, 06:50:30 PM »
Just finished brewing today and have an interesting observation to share/discuss.

Brewed an Imperial Stout OG 1.094. I use an in-line oxygen system into a 7.5 gallon glass carboy with a Hach luminescent dissolved oxygen meter in the carboy.  Wort is at 65 degrees.  I use the standard 1ppm/degree Plato oxygen per the "Handbook of Brewing", Priest and Stewart.  I have been running this identical oxygen set up for about 2 years now.  I run the wort into the carboy and adjusted the oxygen flow to hit my desired number, then immediately pull the Hach LDO out of the carboy.  Today for the first time I decided to leave the LDO in the carboy and take a few readings over the next couple hours. Initial reading upon filling the carboy 20+ppm O2. Did not pitch the yeast.  Over the next hour the oxygen saturation is down to 5.2!  No yeast, carboy sitting at 65 degrees in the refrigerator.  I was blown away how quickly the oxygen came out of solution. Pitched the yeast and thirty minutes later oxygen saturation of zero!

Appears to me that my in line oxygen set up is near worthless as most all the oxygen came quickly out of solution in the carboy. I always thought an in line oxygen system was the most efficient method.  I now suspect any other delivery system would suffer this same problem. Perhaps a better way is to rack to the carboy and run a very slow, continuous oxygen flow via airstone into the carboy for the first 24 hours?
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Offline majorvices

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observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 06:58:09 PM »
I'm just impressed you have a DO meter!
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Offline narvin

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 07:28:18 PM »
Sounds expensive  ;)

I had expected that O2 would come out of solution quickly, especially above its saturation point, but it is surprising that it got down to 5ppm so quickly.  Still, you're fermenting beer, not growing yeast... I'd stick to continuous aeration in the starter.  Unless you're fermenting an ultra-high gravity beer, too much oxygen in the wort could have a deleterious effect.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 09:08:02 PM »
I would not oxygenate after pitching the yeast.  How confident are you that the DO meter is accurate for long periods of time?

If the temp is 65 the max O2 is higher than 5.2 for water, but I'm not sure how the presence of sugar affects that.  You may be better off corking the carboy when you are done filling it - any O2 that comes out of solution will be sitting in the headspace and be reabsorbed given time, assuming the wort is not at saturation.  Once the yeast is pitched and the dissolved O2 is taken up, some of the O2 in the headspace will dissolve into the beer until fermentation is vigorous enough to drive it out of the carboy.

I think you need to do some more testing :)
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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 03:48:13 AM »
I have heard before that yeast consume all dissolved oxygen within the first half hour. So wouldn't it simply be most efficient to oxygenate after the yeast has been pitched (and acclimated?)?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 09:22:12 AM »
Only if you can tightly control how much O2 you are adding.  Wort saturated with O2 is fine for pitching yeast, but continually adding O2 as the yeast are taking it up can lead to oxygen toxicity.
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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 09:53:20 AM »
What I mean to say is to still apply just one dose of O2 but to do it fairly soon after pitching rather than to oxygenate, lose some O2, and then pitch.
For instance, if I brew a lager, I like to chill and rack off the break material before pitching the next morning. So if I oxygenated the night before pitching, I'd lose much of my O2 by the time I did pitch. If I wait until after I pitch, the yeast take it up immediately. No waste. Right?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 10:11:45 AM »
If you can control how much you are using then it is no issue.  But you could just wait to oxygenate after you rack, right before pitching.  It is safer that way, with no risk to the yeast.  I typically oxygenate and then pitch immediately, as opposed to pitching and oxygenating immediately.
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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 01:09:22 PM »
Am I missing something? A Google search of "oxygen toxicity in yeast" turned up nothing related to brewing. And in the "yeast" book, it says,"Generally you do no want to add oxygen later, as it can disturb the delicate balance of flavor and aroma compound creation." It also suggests, in high gravity beers, "adding oxygen between 12-18 hours after pitching can make a tremendous difference in attenuating the beer." But nothing about oxygen toxicity. Doesn't spinning fermenting wort on a stir plate introduce oxygen continually? Why would 30 seconds of oxygenation be a good thing for the yeast 10 minutes before pitching, but be a bad thing 10 minutes after pitching?

I don't mean to be a smarty pants but I'm suddenly cornfused about something I thought I understood!  ???

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 02:48:13 PM »
Am I missing something? A Google search of "oxygen toxicity in yeast" turned up nothing related to brewing. And in the "yeast" book, it says,"Generally you do no want to add oxygen later, as it can disturb the delicate balance of flavor and aroma compound creation." It also suggests, in high gravity beers, "adding oxygen between 12-18 hours after pitching can make a tremendous difference in attenuating the beer." But nothing about oxygen toxicity. Doesn't spinning fermenting wort on a stir plate introduce oxygen continually? Why would 30 seconds of oxygenation be a good thing for the yeast 10 minutes before pitching, but be a bad thing 10 minutes after pitching?

I don't mean to be a smarty pants but I'm suddenly cornfused about something I thought I understood!  ???

spinning on a stir plate is very different than introducing pure o2 which is what is being discussed.
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Offline majorvices

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observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 03:01:48 PM »
Am I missing something? A Google search of "oxygen toxicity in yeast" turned up nothing related to brewing. And in the "yeast" book, it says,"Generally you do no want to add oxygen later, as it can disturb the delicate balance of flavor and aroma compound creation." It also suggests, in high gravity beers, "adding oxygen between 12-18 hours after pitching can make a tremendous difference in attenuating the beer." But nothing about oxygen toxicity. Doesn't spinning fermenting wort on a stir plate introduce oxygen continually? Why would 30 seconds of oxygenation be a good thing for the yeast 10 minutes before pitching, but be a bad thing 10 minutes after pitching?

I don't mean to be a smarty pants but I'm suddenly cornfused about something I thought I understood!  ???

Pure o2 can be toxic to yeast. I have actually killed yeast in yeast starters before by adding pure o2 directly to the starter after pitching yeast.
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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 03:07:38 PM »
Wouldn't that be considered "continually adding oxygen"? It's still oxygen molecules, just less ppm than pure O2?

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 03:33:07 PM »
Am I missing something? A Google search of "oxygen toxicity in yeast" turned up nothing related to brewing. And in the "yeast" book, it says,"Generally you do no want to add oxygen later, as it can disturb the delicate balance of flavor and aroma compound creation." It also suggests, in high gravity beers, "adding oxygen between 12-18 hours after pitching can make a tremendous difference in attenuating the beer." But nothing about oxygen toxicity. Doesn't spinning fermenting wort on a stir plate introduce oxygen continually? Why would 30 seconds of oxygenation be a good thing for the yeast 10 minutes before pitching, but be a bad thing 10 minutes after pitching?

I don't mean to be a smarty pants but I'm suddenly cornfused about something I thought I understood!  ???

Pure o2 can be toxic to yeast. I have actually killed yeast in yeast starters before by adding pure o2 directly to the starter after pitching yeast.

Are you sure it was the o2? Before I got a stir plate I occasionally oxygenated starters without any apparent harm to the yeast.

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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 03:53:29 PM »
Wouldn't that be considered "continually adding oxygen"? It's still oxygen molecules, just less ppm than pure O2?

If you are adding pure o2 you can super saturate the liquid with o2. particularly right where the o2 is going in. if you are adding o2 from the atmosphere you are never going to achieve anything like the ppm of DO that you can with pure o2. it's the ppm that makes for a toxic situation.
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Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2013, 04:16:19 PM »
Wouldn't that be considered "continually adding oxygen"? It's still oxygen molecules, just less ppm than pure O2?

If you are adding pure o2 you can super saturate the liquid with o2. particularly right where the o2 is going in. if you are adding o2 from the atmosphere you are never going to achieve anything like the ppm of DO that you can with pure o2. it's the ppm that makes for a toxic situation.

So adding pure O2 before pitching is good. And adding excessive o2 before pitching will negatively affect the flavor. And aerating after pitching can be ok in certain situations like starters and high gravity beer or mead. But pure o2 after pitching is always bad. Is that right?