Author Topic: Anti oxidation ideas  (Read 4399 times)

Offline -Liam-

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Anti oxidation ideas
« on: August 03, 2015, 06:25:11 PM »
As things stand, I am not in a position to start kegging; I can only bottle for now. My wife and I are expecting our first child in December and I can't see my brewing setup changing for a good while. So, what I need are your tips and ideas that you have found to work for you, from experience, when it comes to keeping your bottled beer from oxidizing. My last IPA started out so good in the bottles and really began deteriorating in a matter of a couple weeks. I just can't get through my batches that quickly and I have about a dozen left that just seem to be getting worse and worse. (They are definitely still drinkable, but not great). I'm also not really keen on the idea of making batches less than 5 Gallons, as I don't really see the pay off being as good when I spend the same amount of time to brew so little beer. I just want my beers (IPAs especially) to taste good for longer.
I've gotten great advice and ideas from these forums and there is so much knowledge here, so thanks in advance...
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 12:26:34 PM by -Liam- »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 06:50:28 PM »
IPA's don't last, that's about as assured as death and taxes. Hops drop off rather precipitously, especially dry hops.

If you really want fresh IPA's, I'd urge you to reconsider brewing smaller batches. If you're not able to drink them before the quality drops off, then what's the gain in brewing extra beer that you're going to dump (or at the very least, not enjoy as much)?

My only other recommendation is to move a significant portion of your dry hops to a hop stand/whirlpool addition instead. These types of additions tend to last longer before dropping out. They still don't give the same punch of aroma that you get from dry hops, but they're passably close in many instances. It won't buy you a bunch of time, but my beers with heavy whirlpool additions still retain quite a bit of hoppy goodness for 6+ months.
Eric B.

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Offline cascadesrunner

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 06:57:20 PM »
Congratulations!  I still struggle with this from time to time.  The biggest difference I saw was when I started incorporating CO2 purging anytime I transferred(bucket & bottles).  I also set up my operation in a manner that keeps splashing to a minimum and spend a little more money on caps.  These things have really helped me buy more time in the bottle.  Even with those steps you will lose aroma over time, it's just the nature of the beast.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 07:06:14 PM »
Good advice from all. Be totally focused on reducing as much O2 contact as humanly possible via thorough CO2 purging as mentioned. I use a sure screen on the keg diptube for dry hopped beers - this gives me the option to add more dry hops to the keg ( in a fine mesh nylon bag) and not have any hop particles in my glass. Win-win.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 07:44:21 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.
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Offline denny

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 08:09:12 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.

But that has nothing to do with oxidation.  In fact, there's one school of thought that says crystal can help prevent oxidation.   I have np problem with beers with larger amounts of crystal if the rest of the recipe balances it.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 08:34:47 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.

But that has nothing to do with oxidation.  In fact, there's one school of thought that says crystal can help prevent oxidation.   I have np problem with beers with larger amounts of crystal if the rest of the recipe balances it.

"One of the big detriments to using crystal malt in an IPA is that, as beer ages, the flavors from crystal malt can oxidize into heavy dried fruit, raisin..." (Steele, IPA).
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Offline denny

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 08:50:19 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.

But that has nothing to do with oxidation.  In fact, there's one school of thought that says crystal can help prevent oxidation.   I have np problem with beers with larger amounts of crystal if the rest of the recipe balances it.

Well, I don't necessarily agree.  I have tasted examples of beers with what would be considered large amounts of crystal that don't exhibit oxidation.

"One of the big detriments to using crystal malt in an IPA is that, as beer ages, the flavors from crystal malt can oxidize into heavy dried fruit, raisin..." (Steele, IPA).
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 08:55:07 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.

But that has nothing to do with oxidation.  In fact, there's one school of thought that says crystal can help prevent oxidation.   I have np problem with beers with larger amounts of crystal if the rest of the recipe balances it.

Well, I don't necessarily agree.  I have tasted examples of beers with what would be considered large amounts of crystal that don't exhibit oxidation.

"One of the big detriments to using crystal malt in an IPA is that, as beer ages, the flavors from crystal malt can oxidize into heavy dried fruit, raisin..." (Steele, IPA).

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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 11:32:39 PM »
I do use oxygen barrier caps (whether or not they make a difference, I'm not sure). I use little crystal malts and I minimize my splashing etc. I do not however, purge in any way. I've always assumed that I need a keg setup to be using CO2 and then purging kegs. So I ask - what is the cheapest way to purge/rid my bottling bucket/bottles etc. of O2 without splashing out on a whole load of new gear? I could perhaps buy some cheaper items that I might need for this.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2015, 12:12:30 AM »
It has always been my understanding that with bottle-conditioned beers, the yeast will scavenge what little bit of oxygen has been introduced.  It would take quite a bit of excess oxygen to be a noticible flaw in a short period of time.  Are you sure that's what you are tasting?
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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2015, 12:44:14 AM »
It has always been my understanding that with bottle-conditioned beers, the yeast will scavenge what little bit of oxygen has been introduced.  It would take quite a bit of excess oxygen to be a noticible flaw in a short period of time.  Are you sure that's what you are tasting?


I'm pretty sure that's what it is. The colour starts to get a little darker and it starts to get a slight unpleasant sweetness and kind of flat tasting.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2015, 05:20:28 AM »
I use these small CO2 cartridges used to inflate bike tyres. Not sure whether they help a lot but I sleep better at night.
Frank P.

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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 12:29:38 PM »
Congratulations!  I still struggle with this from time to time.  The biggest difference I saw was when I started incorporating CO2 purging anytime I transferred(bucket & bottles).  I also set up my operation in a manner that keeps splashing to a minimum and spend a little more money on caps.  These things have really helped me buy more time in the bottle.  Even with those steps you will lose aroma over time, it's just the nature of the beast.
Thanks! Can you explain your purging process a little bit? What equipment do you use etc?

Offline majorvices

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Re: Anti oxidation ideas
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2015, 12:17:23 PM »
Avoid large quantities of crystal malts. The other day I had to dump an IPA from The Kernel, one of the best new breweries in the UK. Hadn't checked the date, had been brewed six months before. Undrinkable, I think because of the crystal malts.

But that has nothing to do with oxidation.  In fact, there's one school of thought that says crystal can help prevent oxidation.   I have np problem with beers with larger amounts of crystal if the rest of the recipe balances it.

This is something I have to disagree with. Everything I have read regarding recent information says that crystal malts, especially darker crystal malts, reduce shelf life due to oxidation issues. And usually hoppy beers paired with dark crystal malts are just plain bad. I would say "every" but I will leave out a few possible exceptions for beers I haven't tried.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 01:52:57 PM by majorvices »