Author Topic: First Low Oxygen Brew  (Read 4178 times)

Offline narcout

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First Low Oxygen Brew
« on: November 05, 2016, 04:52:13 PM »
Last night, I brewed a Belgian Pale using the full low oxygen method.  It was actually pretty easy.

I underestimated how long it would take to bring 7.75 gallons of water to a boil.  Next time, I'm going to split it between two pots and combine them when they are close to a boil.

My usual efficiency on this recipe is in the low 80's.  Not being sure what to expect, I targeted 70%, but ended up hitting 73%.  I can live with that for now.

I did have to do some gentle stirring to break up dough balls.  Hopefully, it didn't burn through too much SMB (I used 50 mg/l).  I may need to order some sulfite test strips.

Typically, I heat my strike water to 13 degrees above my target mash temp, and then I gently stir for about 5 minutes to even the temp and break up dough balls.  Given the increased volume of strike water and not being able to stir, I guessed 11 degrees would work.  It turned out 8.5 degrees would have been the correct target.  On this beer, I doubt mashing at 152 instead of 150 will make any difference, and I'll get it right next time.

That said, I've been hitting my mash temp on the nose every brew for the last 10 years, so it's a bit irritating.   If I get really into low oxygen brewing, I'll probably switch to a RIMS.

I did a 70 minute boil targeting 10% evaporation.  Actual evaporation was 11.5%, which is pretty close.   

The ground water here is warm.  I usually chill to 90 or so and then let the chest freezer bring it to pitching temp overnight.  Last night, I chilled the wort to 100 and then started recirculating 4 gallons of water I had chilled to the low 40s in the freezer while brewing.  That got me down to 80 at which point I pitched the yeast into the fermentor, racked the wort on top, oxygenated, and put in the chest freezer to bring it down to 68.  Next time, I'll pick up a bag of ice.  That should get me where I need to be, at least for ales.

Overall, it was a pretty smooth process, and I learned what adjustments I need to make for next time.  It was a long brew day, but it's nice to get everything done in one shot rather than having to chill overnight and oxygenate/pitch yeast in the morning.

This was also the first time I conditioned the grain before milling.  I don't think the crush really looked all that different though.




 
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 08:57:51 PM »
On my first attempt, with some kludgey hacks, I noticed no, as in zero, malt aroma when mashing. The beer has turned out pretty good.
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Online The Beerery

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 09:11:40 PM »
Last night, I brewed a Belgian Pale using the full low oxygen method.  It was actually pretty easy.

I underestimated how long it would take to bring 7.75 gallons of water to a boil.  Next time, I'm going to split it between two pots and combine them when they are close to a boil.

My usual efficiency on this recipe is in the low 80's.  Not being sure what to expect, I targeted 70%, but ended up hitting 73%.  I can live with that for now.

I did have to do some gentle stirring to break up dough balls.  Hopefully, it didn't burn through too much SMB (I used 50 mg/l).  I may need to order some sulfite test strips.

Typically, I heat my strike water to 13 degrees above my target mash temp, and then I gently stir for about 5 minutes to even the temp and break up dough balls.  Given the increased volume of strike water and not being able to stir, I guessed 11 degrees would work.  It turned out 8.5 degrees would have been the correct target.  On this beer, I doubt mashing at 152 instead of 150 will make any difference, and I'll get it right next time.

That said, I've been hitting my mash temp on the nose every brew for the last 10 years, so it's a bit irritating.   If I get really into low oxygen brewing, I'll probably switch to a RIMS.

I did a 70 minute boil targeting 10% evaporation.  Actual evaporation was 11.5%, which is pretty close.   

The ground water here is warm.  I usually chill to 90 or so and then let the chest freezer bring it to pitching temp overnight.  Last night, I chilled the wort to 100 and then started recirculating 4 gallons of water I had chilled to the low 40s in the freezer while brewing.  That got me down to 80 at which point I pitched the yeast into the fermentor, racked the wort on top, oxygenated, and put in the chest freezer to bring it down to 68.  Next time, I'll pick up a bag of ice.  That should get me where I need to be, at least for ales.

Overall, it was a pretty smooth process, and I learned what adjustments I need to make for next time.  It was a long brew day, but it's nice to get everything done in one shot rather than having to chill overnight and oxygenate/pitch yeast in the morning.

This was also the first time I conditioned the grain before milling.  I don't think the crush really looked all that different though.


Good job!  How did the wort taste?
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Online The Beerery

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 09:12:31 PM »
I noticed no, as in zero, malt aroma when mashing. The beer has turned out pretty good.

Exactly as it should be!  Glad to hear the beer is good.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2016, 11:12:42 PM »
I noticed no, as in zero, malt aroma when mashing. The beer has turned out pretty good.

Exactly as it should be!  Glad to hear the beer is good.
I have more brews planned that will be less kludgey. Have a SS chiller put together. It might be 10-11 days until I brew again.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2016, 11:18:36 PM »
On my first attempt, with some kludgey hacks, I noticed no, as in zero, malt aroma when mashing. The beer has turned out pretty good.


Yeah, I noticed no aroma in my mash either. And the wort I tasted was delicious. It was an APA with mostly Briess 2 row which (being very mild) probably didn't ramp up in flavor much. But the 20% Maris Otter and 7% C40 tasted vividly good. Final product to get tapped in a couple weeks.
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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2016, 11:39:44 PM »
On my first attempt, with some kludgey hacks, I noticed no, as in zero, malt aroma when mashing. The beer has turned out pretty good.


Yeah, I noticed no aroma in my mash either. And the wort I tasted was delicious. It was an APA with mostly Briess 2 row which (being very mild) probably didn't ramp up in flavor much. But the 20% Maris Otter and 7% C40 tasted vividly good. Final product to get tapped in a couple weeks.

Awesome guys!
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Check us out at www.lowoxygenbrewing.com (Now with forums)
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Offline narcout

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2016, 02:23:21 PM »
How did the wort taste?

Round, rich and full

I'm looking forward to seeing how the final product comes out. 

I'm going to try fermenting to completion and then naturally carbonating in the serving keg using the method you outlined in the other thread.
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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2016, 03:37:40 PM »
That got me down to 80 at which point I pitched the yeast

80 seems pretty high.
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Offline narcout

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2016, 03:53:23 PM »
The chest freezer brought it the rest of the way down pretty quickly.  With 3787, I don't think it will cause any problems.

That was the first time I tried recirculating cold water through the chiller with my new pump.  I'll get some ice next time.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2016, 07:16:51 PM »
Round, rich and full

I have to wonder if the slightly elevated sodium level due to the SMB addition, has anything to do with that? Sodium at modest levels is not a negative in beer. I would like to see the results of a double test in which one used SMB and the other used NaCl to create a similar sodium content in the water. I'm still in the camp that believes that oxygen reduction should be a good thing.
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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2016, 07:18:07 PM »
Round, rich and full

I have to wonder if the slightly elevated sodium level due to the SMB addition, has anything to do with that? Sodium at modest levels is not a negative in beer. I would like to see the results of a double test in which one used SMB and the other used NaCl to create a similar sodium content in the water. I'm still in the camp that believes that oxygen reduction should be a good thing.

That's the question I've had since I first heard of the method.  I also believe oxygen reduction is a good thing, but question this method of achieving it.
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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2016, 07:52:32 PM »
Round, rich and full

I have to wonder if the slightly elevated sodium level due to the SMB addition, has anything to do with that? Sodium at modest levels is not a negative in beer. I would like to see the results of a double test in which one used SMB and the other used NaCl to create a similar sodium content in the water. I'm still in the camp that believes that oxygen reduction should be a good thing.

That's the question I've had since I first heard of the method.  I also believe oxygen reduction is a good thing, but question this method of achieving it.

I guess the question is whether you believe that <= 24 ppm of sodium was enough to give these results. Try a mini mash test and see what you think.

Offline natebrews

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 08:38:52 PM »
So I brewed a pale ale today and I followed the LODO stuff as much as I could with my setup.  I did the yeast scavenging of O2 from the strike water (I did no sparge), with the prescribed amount of SMB and then was gentle gentle not to get any air into things. 

As others have reported, there was almost no mash aroma.  My guess is that this has more to do with the lack of agitation and the cap that I put on the mash (just a ziplock bag with some water in it and a bubble to keep it at the top).  When I was running it off, it still smelled like the mash runnings usually do. 

When tasting the wort, maybe it tasted a bit different.  A bit more grainy, or a bit more like putting a handful of the grain in your mouth.  Or maybe I'm making that up, I really wasn't sure when I was in the middle of doing it and I don't feel any more confident now. 

The big take away that I got was using the underletting technique for putting the water into the grain.  I also covered my false bottom with a grain bag and put a scrunched up one under that to act as a filter to make it not require much/any recirculation.  These aspects of what I did were a big improvement and I really liked how they worked.  I suspect I will reuse those items in the future. 

We'll see how the final product turns out. 
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Offline pkrone

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Re: First Low Oxygen Brew
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 11:43:18 PM »
Did my first LoDo today as well as my usual technique for the same recipe.  Did the yeast scavenge w/ SMB and used Brewtan B for the first time too.    I know, too many variables at once to really know which made a difference...     The LoDo wort tasted pretty awesome.   It's a slightly different hue from the other as well.  It was my first time doing no sparge too.   Worked pretty well and certainly was a time saver.   I'm very curious to compare the two beers.
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