Author Topic: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing  (Read 41345 times)

Online The Beerery

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Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: October 17, 2016, 12:11:24 PM »
Since many of the other threads have gone derailed, I thought I would create a place to answer questions on low oxygen brewing. This goes in part with a podcast I will be going on outlining some of the most critical, and hopefully some of the easiest ways to delve into this method. I will open it up in the true spirit of openness, to try and answer any and all questions. Lets keep this positive and open.

Prost

BR
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 12:14:59 PM »
I have SMB on the way, so I'm looking to try this on a Helles.

My biggest concern is keeping things O2 free during the mash. I know to underlet the grains, no sparge, etc, but my concern is headspace in my cooler. Aside from buying (yet another) cooler, what's a good way to solve this issue? Is saran wrap a "good enough" oxygen barrier?
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Online Stevie

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 12:18:51 PM »
My concern is the all or nothing approach. For those that would like to try some steps, do you feel making some adjustments would yield some improvements? Example, would removing splashing help at all? Would spunding create any improvement?

Online The Beerery

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 12:19:46 PM »
I have SMB on the way, so I'm looking to try this on a Helles.

My biggest concern is keeping things O2 free during the mash. I know to underlet the grains, no sparge, etc, but my concern is headspace in my cooler. Aside from buying (yet another) cooler, what's a good way to solve this issue? Is saran wrap a "good enough" oxygen barrier?

I can't speak personally to the details of the actual hard numbers, but I know folks who are using coolers, either have done nothing (Bigger SMB dose) or used some type of foil. I know at least one use a tight fitting rigid foam piece covered in foil. Please keep in mind if you are no sparging I would start at the 50mg/l doasge as to not get too much sulfur in the finished product.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 12:27:41 PM by The Beerery »
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Online The Beerery

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2016, 12:27:13 PM »
My concern is the all or nothing approach. For those that would like to try some steps, do you feel making some adjustments would yield some improvements? Example, would removing splashing help at all? Would spunding create any improvement?

Indeed, this is probably the MOST voiced concern there is. There are varying degrees of "it" and those varying degrees are how much polyphenols in the malt are being consumed by oxygen.


Example:
A preboil only and no SMB, you will get a noticeably paler wort and you will notice a increase in flavor. however its going to be not nearly as much as a preboil and SMB treatment. The SMB is a very nice way to control these reactions, but its not fool proof.


The easiest way I would have a go at it is this:
Use the yeast method(personally I find the flavor to be a little more flat with this method, but for this purpose its pretty fail safe).
If no sparge use a 50mgl dose, if not use full. Minimize all splashing and stirring
Target less than 10% boil off
Ferment cooler with no ramping, keep that fermentation at 50f or below.
Either spund with some extract remaining OR ferment to gravity and sugar prime the keg.

You should net some EASILY identifiable results from this, and its pretty easy peasy with what most have on hand.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 12:29:23 PM by The Beerery »
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 12:44:12 PM »
THANK YOU for writing that incremental approach! 

A few more questions: any noticeable improvements with the hops?  I am trying to get a little more "alpine" or more authentic hop signature.  Also, I assume post ferment clarifiers like gelatine are out? 
Sam
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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 12:52:20 PM »
THANK YOU for writing that incremental approach! 

A few more questions: any noticeable improvements with the hops?  I am trying to get a little more "alpine" or more authentic hop signature.  Also, I assume post ferment clarifiers like gelatine are out?

I think there are a few different ways to do hops. My personal opinion that I like is a 60/30 addition. Its puts me where I want to be. But whirlpool and other options are far from out, you will have to get a feel for your own personal style. I can tell you that Low oxygen brewing has a definite influence on hops( for the better) much like the malt I get much more fresh and interesting flavors.
Clarifiers...Yea this is a tough one. I have had success with them, but in many cases its not worth the effort involved. Find a nice lager yeast with decent floc (I use 2206), and its only a few weeks until clear beer. The beer is not ready to drink until that point anyways.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 12:53:06 PM »
Brewed an American Blonde yesterday in a Speidel Braumeiser. Used the yeast scavenging method to remove oxygen and added 50 ppm smb with no-sparge. No detectable sulphur, so that's good. The only problem is with the mashing mehod. The Braumeister is a kind of biab system that pushes the wort up through the grains. Unfortunately, when there is not enough liquid in the mash, the wort overflows in the basket and then flows down again. So there will be oxygen pickup. Next time I need to increase the volume so that the liquid level is higher that the basket. Boiling goes very well as one can set the boiling temperature to 99C and get a nice simmer. I'm fermenting in a keg and will use a spunding valve in a couple of days. As to wort color and flavor, this is my first American blonde, so the jury is still out in Biasland.

The other day my 16 year old son had a chemistry test about  redox reactions, and so I explained him a bit about the supposed effect of low oxygen brewing. 10 minutes later he referred to it as "The Whatever Effect", and so that's what I'll be calling it from now on ;)
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 12:54:45 PM »
Brewed an American Blonde yesterday in a Speidel Braumeiser. Used the yeast scavenging method to remove oxygen and added 50 ppm smb with no-sparge. No detectable sulphur, so that's good. The only problem is with the mashing mehod. The Braumeister is a kind of biab system that pushes the wort up through the grains. Unfortunately, when there is not enough liquid in the mash, the wort overflows in the basket and then flows down again. So there will be oxygen pickup. Next time I need to increase the volume so that the liquid level is higher that the basket. Boiling goes very well as one can set the boiling temperature to 99C and get a nice simmer. I'm fermenting in a keg and will use a spunding valve in a couple of days. As to wort color and flavor, this is my first American blonde, so the jury is still out in Biasland.

The other day my 16 year old son had a chemistry test about  redox reactions, and so I explained him a bit about the supposed effect of low oxygen brewing. 10 minutes later he referred to it as "The Whatever Effect", and so that's what I'll be calling it from now on ;)

More than a few people have had a devil of a time adapting the BM to Low O2
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Online The Beerery

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2016, 12:56:13 PM »
Brewed an American Blonde yesterday in a Speidel Braumeiser. Used the yeast scavenging method to remove oxygen and added 50 ppm smb with no-sparge. No detectable sulphur, so that's good. The only problem is with the mashing mehod. The Braumeister is a kind of biab system that pushes the wort up through the grains. Unfortunately, when there is not enough liquid in the mash, the wort overflows in the basket and then flows down again. So there will be oxygen pickup. Next time I need to increase the volume so that the liquid level is higher that the basket. Boiling goes very well as one can set the boiling temperature to 99C and get a nice simmer. I'm fermenting in a keg and will use a spunding valve in a couple of days. As to wort color and flavor, this is my first American blonde, so the jury is still out in Biasland.

The other day my 16 year old son had a chemistry test about  redox reactions, and so I explained him a bit about the supposed effect of low oxygen brewing. 10 minutes later he referred to it as "The Whatever Effect", and so that's what I'll be calling it from now on ;)

I don't have a Braumeister, but perhaps a purge with co2 at the start of mashing, and using the lid would help with o2 mitigation.
Check us out at www.lowoxygenbrewing.com (Now with forums)
"Consistently successful brewers are invariably the ones who operate low oxygen systems." -George Fix Circa 1999
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2016, 01:03:30 PM »
Somebody suggested taping the lid airtight to the kettle, sticking in a tube and letting a tiny amount of CO2 flow in during the mash, with just a small hole so that the excess amount of oxygen/CO2 can escape.
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Offline jja

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 01:51:36 PM »
Somebody suggested taping the lid airtight to the kettle, sticking in a tube and letting a tiny amount of CO2 flow in during the mash, with just a small hole so that the excess amount of oxygen/CO2 can escape.

Cask breather? Maybe plus an airlock?

Online The Beerery

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 01:54:42 PM »
If you can create a reasonable seal, one purge should be good enough.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2016, 04:06:30 PM »
OR ferment to gravity and sugar prime the keg.

What method are people using to add priming solution to a purged keg without introducing too much air?

The best I can think of is adding a sampling port to your transfer tubing and using a syringe to dose the beer in-line.  Maybe someone else has come up with an easier solution?
 
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Introduction to Low Oxygen Brewing
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2016, 04:13:36 PM »
OR ferment to gravity and sugar prime the keg.

What method are people using to add priming solution to a purged keg without introducing too much air?

The best I can think of is adding a sampling port to your transfer tubing and using a syringe to dose the beer in-line.  Maybe someone else has come up with an easier solution?
You can inject the priming solution through the liquid out fitting.  If I were to add speise or Krauesen to a beer, I would put it into a 2.5 gallon keg (have 2) purge 12 times with 30 PSI CO2, then jumper out to out, and inject into the purged keg.

That is how I would give it a try.
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