Author Topic: Low Oxygen Conclusions?  (Read 11877 times)

Offline yso191

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Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« on: December 22, 2016, 01:39:25 AM »
My intent is to ask a simple question to elicit a simple answer.

The question is: What can be conclusively said about the benefits of Low Oxygen brewing?

I have not been following the conversations here because frankly it seems like a lot of hassle for what may be debatable results... but that is just my first impression.

There are other threads for the how-to.  I'm just curious about the payoff: the why-to.  Someone enlighten me.
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 01:44:59 AM »
The smoothest tasting and the longest lasting fresh malt and hop flavors you have ever tasted. Period.

Offline bboy9000

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 05:03:03 AM »
I have not been following the conversations here because frankly it seems like a lot of hassle for what may be debatable results... but that is just my first impression.
My first impression was similar.  I haven't tried it yet either but I plan on it.  I had to get over the lack of readily available data, the additional time to my brew day, overcoming my simple system, and facing the fact that everything I preached about HSA not being an issue might be wrong.  After thinking it through LODO is likely a real issue and might add 30 minutes to my brew day.  Seems like hassle at first but so was moving from extract to all-grain and going from dry yeast to making yeast starters.  Sorry I couldn't give a simple answer.
Brian
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 06:03:28 AM »
My answer is...too soon to answer your question, sorry.  But maybe soon.  I have 2 batches of LODO beers (a pils and a best bitters) that aren't quite mature enough yet to judge.  Like BBoy, it only seems to add about 30 minutes to my brew day and I'm retired, so not a problem.  Taste so far...has not hurt but dunno if there's an improvement that my ancient taste buds can detect.  Will report better in a week or two.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 06:05:47 AM by Philbrew »
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 03:40:25 PM »
I've made it a standard practice and my lager brewing has improved tremendously from the input of the GBF. Honestly it's not that tough to implement most of the stuff.

On the hotside the key points are pre boil then chill (or add some yeast and sugar if that's a PITA on your system) then SMB dose which is not a huge hassle. Cold side everyones been worrying about already.

Upon doing a side by side the color difference on a Helles was reason enough for me to continue the practice. Also, I never really revamped my system, I'm still doing BIAB on propane, and even so have noticed a material difference.

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2016, 04:31:53 PM »
I tried the mini mash they recommend to test the difference and didn't find reason to alter my brewing methods.

Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2016, 05:17:42 PM »
Other than www.lowoxygenbrewing.com, is there a Dummy's Guide to Low Oxygen Brewing?  Would like to see something delineating all the steps involved from beginning of brew day to kegging/bottling and how those could be incorporated into my normal brew schedule.   Just as the OP stated, I'm not really seeing much on how this is going to change my end product.  It just seems like more things to fuss about instead of RDWHAHB.

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2016, 05:19:33 PM »
We crafted the website to serve as the comprehensive, digestible guide. There are individual posts going over many of the process points.


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Offline narcout

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2016, 08:48:27 PM »
Would like to see something delineating all the steps involved from beginning of brew day to kegging/bottling and how those could be incorporated into my normal brew schedule.

Below is my current process for ales.  It assumes a single temperature rest with no sparge.  While I've been brewing since 2005, I have only brewed 2 low oxygen batches to date, so it's a new thing for me (by which I mean you should take my process with a grain of salt).


Heat entire volume of strike water in kettle, add water minerals, bring to a boil and hold for 5 minutes, chill with stainless immersion chiller to desired strike water temperature, add SMB, Brewtan B and, if necessary, acid

While water is heating, condition grain with 2% water by weight, mill, and add to mash tun

Using ball valve on kettle and high temp tubing, fill mash tun from bottom, stir gently to break up any dough balls and even out temperature

Shut cooler and mash for desired time

Vourlauf gently and minimally, drain wort into kettle through ball valve and high temp tubing (I tie a fine mesh hop bag around the end of the tubing to catch any excess grain particulate)

Boil for 70 minutes targeting 10% evaporation, add hops, Brewtan B and whirlfloc at requisite times

Chill with stainless immersion chiller to desired pitch temperature (which for me requires recirculating ice water through the chiller with a pump), let trub settle for 15 minutes while sanitizing fermentor, transfer tubing, etc.

Add yeast to fermentor, drain chilled wort on top, oxygenate, place into fermentation chamber and ferment to completion

Purge serving keg by filling with Iodophor solution and pushing out with CO2, add priming solution, purge again by continually filling with CO2 and releasing through the PRV

Transfer beer into serving keg under CO2 pressure, purge any remaining headspace in keg after transfer, top off with a few psi to seal lid (not actually necessary on most of my kegs)

Wait a few weeks while monitoring pressure build up with spunding valve, place keg in kegerator, hook up gas and liquid lines, dispense when serving temp is reached


There are a couple places I could tighten up (utilize a mash cap, transfer to serving keg while fermentation is finishing up rather than priming), and I might make some changes to my process and equipment next year, but this is where I’m at now.

Really, the only things I had to purchase were the SMB and the stainless chiller.  The Brewtan B and the spunding valve are possibly optional.
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Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 01:31:39 AM »
Thanks for that!

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Offline kgs

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2016, 05:16:51 PM »
Very helpful and clear synopsis of one brewer's approach to LODO. I already do some of these steps, including draining into the tun through the ball valve and doing a no-sparge mash. If SMB is what I think it is, I use that as well.

Water: "bring to a boil and hold for 5 minutes" -- I usually get my water ready to boil the night before, so this step would be simple enough. Can this step be done a few hours earlier than the brew, or would oxygen sneak back in during the dead of night?

Mash: "drain wort into kettle" -- sometimes I mash the night before, drain into the brew kettle, put the lid on and then turn the BK on as soon as I wake up. Would holding the wort overnight reintroduce oxygen?

SMB -- sodium metabisulfite -- to be clear, this is what's in Campden tablets, right?
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Offline kgs

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2016, 05:28:23 PM »
We crafted the website to serve as the comprehensive, digestible guide. There are individual posts going over many of the process points.

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Re the website -- lots of good info! Take the following with a huge grain of salt--just one brewer's take. Consider moving the section that has a "simple list of areas of improvement in equipment and process" toward the top of the main page, preceded by a one- or two-sentence explanation of dissolved oxygen, culled from the paragraphs on DO:

This website offers techniques for minimizing dissolved oxygen (DO) in the homebrew process. Controlling DO preserves the fresh malt flavors inherent in the grains by guarding them against oxidation.

Save Winston Churchill and the paragraph that follows for elsewhere on the website, maybe a "mission statement" page. The list of questions is good, but it makes more sense if it follows what you're arguing (controlling DO is good) and the basic outline of your method (here's how to do it).

But it's just my 2 cents (or 2 grains)... I have been working on a huge writing project for an eternity, with two advisors who are keen-eyed journal editors... I cannot read anything without wanting to take out my red pen.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 11:55:38 PM »
Water: "bring to a boil and hold for 5 minutes" -- I usually get my water ready to boil the night before, so this step would be simple enough. Can this step be done a few hours earlier than the brew, or would oxygen sneak back in during the dead of night?

Mash: "drain wort into kettle" -- sometimes I mash the night before, drain into the brew kettle, put the lid on and then turn the BK on as soon as I wake up. Would holding the wort overnight reintroduce oxygen?

SMB -- sodium metabisulfite -- to be clear, this is what's in Campden tablets, right?

I'm not the expert, but I don't think either of those practices is compatible with low oxygen brewing.

I believe some Campden tablets are SMB and some are potassium MB.  According to the original lodo paper, one campden tablet contains 440 mg of SMB.
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Offline braufessor

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2016, 01:57:57 AM »
I am totally new to this process.  Read about it, thought the same - seems like a lot of trouble for what I personally think could be questionable benefits.  That said - I brewed 2 batches of LODO lager today for the first time.  Got some basic introductory advice from The Beerery.

I cannot comment, obviously, on how any of this translates into a finished product.  However, following some basic suggestions that honestly took no additional time or effort, there were VERY distinct differences from previous beers I have brewed.  Without any question what-so-ever there was a huge difference in the wort that came out of my mash tun - there was an obvious "grainy-sweet" quality to the wort as opposed to just a sweet or caramelly/sweet flavor I am accustomed too. 

Also, the break throughout the boil was very different.  Kettle looked like egg-drop soup - literally. 

Again - I cannot say how this will translate yet into the finished product at this point.  However, I am intrigued by my initial attempt at this process.

Offline riceral

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Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2016, 02:14:28 PM »
I am totally new to this process.  Read about it, thought the same - seems like a lot of trouble for what I personally think could be questionable benefits.  That said - I brewed 2 batches of LODO lager today for the first time.  Got some basic introductory advice from The Beerery.

I cannot comment, obviously, on how any of this translates into a finished product.  However, following some basic suggestions that honestly took no additional time or effort, there were VERY distinct differences from previous beers I have brewed.  Without any question what-so-ever there was a huge difference in the wort that came out of my mash tun - there was an obvious "grainy-sweet" quality to the wort as opposed to just a sweet or caramelly/sweet flavor I am accustomed too. 

Also, the break throughout the boil was very different.  Kettle looked like egg-drop soup - literally. 

Again - I cannot say how this will translate yet into the finished product at this point.  However, I am intrigued by my initial attempt at this process.

Could you share the advise and what processes you used? Especially interested since you mentioned it took no additional time or effort.

Ralph R.