Author Topic: Am I being too anal?  (Read 2523 times)

Offline yso191

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Am I being too anal?
« on: May 18, 2014, 01:52:20 PM »
In my ongoing quest to make my brewing process as perfect as possible, I've hit an impasse - I can't figure out if it even is a problem.  And then, I don't know how to fix it anyway.  Here's the essence of it:

Cold crashing wort after fermentation causes the beer to condense; the consequence of which is the intake of air (or starsan).

Obviously installing a filter will prevent any spoilers from getting in, but I also think about staling brought on by post-fermentation exposure to oxygen.

So is the amount of oxygen so small as to be insignificant?  If true then yes indeed, I am being too anal.

Do pro-breweries address this?  If so, what do they do?

No, I have not experienced any of the negative effects this post is concerned with, I'm just trying to fine-tune my process.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 07:50:50 AM by yso191 »
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 01:54:14 PM »
I use a solid stopper for this reason... A little bit of a vacuum created in the fermenter but I've never had an issue with it.
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Offline bbesser

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2014, 02:01:24 PM »
I think you are probably being a little too anal.  The addition of a little starsan is no problem, and the amount of oxygen that may be pulled in is negligible when compared to the amount introduced when racking to a bottling bucket or keg (assuming they are not purged).

It is honestly something that I have never considered in the past and would not worry too much about it, but that is me.
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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2014, 02:08:18 PM »
I cold crash in the keg while I force carb - when the outside air gets a chance to find equilibrium, that means the keg just kicked and I'm cleaning it.  But when I crashed in the fermenter I always felt that the air must've been sitting on top of the heavier blanket of CO2, because my beer wasn't oxidized from it. I'm just more confident crashing in the keg now.
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Offline denny

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2014, 02:13:24 PM »
I think you are probably being a little too anal.  The addition of a little starsan is no problem, and the amount of oxygen that may be pulled in is negligible when compared to the amount introduced when racking to a bottling bucket or keg (assuming they are not purged).

It is honestly something that I have never considered in the past and would not worry too much about it, but that is me.

I agree with all of this.  In addition, by the time you;re ready to crash it, there's no need to use an airlock.  Use a stopper like Dan suggested, or do what I do...rubber band some foil or plastic wrap over the top.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2014, 02:55:12 PM »
Glad I read this post from you Denny. I will use this process the next I cold crash: hopefully 2 batches 2 weeks from now


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Offline guido

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2014, 02:59:18 PM »
I think you are probably being a little too anal.  The addition of a little starsan is no problem, and the amount of oxygen that may be pulled in is negligible when compared to the amount introduced when racking to a bottling bucket or keg (assuming they are not purged).

It is honestly something that I have never considered in the past and would not worry too much about it, but that is me.

I agree with all of this.  In addition, by the time you;re ready to crash it, there's no need to use an airlock.  Use a stopper like Dan suggested, or do what I do...rubber band some foil or plastic wrap over the top.

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Offline gmac

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2014, 03:50:24 PM »
RDWHAHB was coined for a reason.

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2014, 04:02:27 PM »
It is absolutely best to limit o2 exposure wherever possible. But as I learned from a conversion with another forum member recently, on unfiltered beer oxidation damage is much less of a concern. I don't think the vacuum you are creating is a problem. I do think that lagering in stainless with positive co2 pressure is your best option, however.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2014, 06:11:42 PM »
There is only so much you can do about it if you are using a carboy. Even if you use a solid stopper then as soon as you take the stopper off it will suck in the ambient air. I guess you could put on a solid stopper, then crash cool and then let it warm back up before you transfer it. Also, you can use a solid stopper, then crash cool and then open the carboy and shoot in a few blasts of co2 before you close it back up. Not sure it is something to worry about, but if you are trying to save beer for a long time, the less oxygen the better.

Professional breweries have pressurizable conical tanks. Usually you will cap off the tank with just a little bit of fermentation left to go to start building up some pressure inside the tank. This allows the pressurized co2 to just be absorbed into the beer once it cools down, and even when you open the tank after chilling there is positive pressure.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2014, 07:06:48 PM »
This problem is not a problem.  I'd be more concerned about having lacto infested malt within 500 meters of my fermentor.

Offline hoser

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2014, 07:32:25 PM »
If you really want to be anal, wort after fermentation is called "beer."  :P

All that being said.  Don't worry about the star san and limit the 02 and you'll be fine.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2014, 04:42:05 AM »
If you really want to be anal, wort after fermentation is called "beer."  :P

All that being said.  Don't worry about the star san and limit the 02 and you'll be fine.

If you really want to be anal, add another "o" in your title.  ;)

I don't think the O2 makes much difference in your case, but I suppose you could add a blanket of CO2 before crashing cooling to limit it.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 06:07:25 AM »
If you really want to be anal, wort after fermentation is called "beer."  :P

All that being said.  Don't worry about the star san and limit the 02 and you'll be fine.

If you really want to be anal, add another "o" in your title.  ;)

I don't think the O2 makes much difference in your case, but I suppose you could add a blanket of CO2 before crashing cooling to limit it.


...or purge your entire fermentation chamber with CO2 before you crash. I'd recommend wearing a respirator around the brewery if you go this route.
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Offline porterpounder

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Re: Am I being to anal?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2014, 07:49:51 AM »
I heard somewhere recently of a guy using a cask breather on his fermenter during cold crash to avoid oxygen influx. Seems a bit of overkill, but then again, that's what we do.