Author Topic: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?  (Read 7160 times)

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2017, 05:53:30 pm »
None and none. The point though is that if you have greater than 1 ppm on the hot side, you've negated the effort.

This is the reason that I believe many brewers that have attempted low-oxygen brewing, see no improvement. If your processes and methods are not effective enough to avoid too much oxygen contact at ANY point in the process...the entire result is compromised. You just negated any opportunity to produce a low-oxygen result. For many brewers, that is too steep a penalty and they rightfully and accurately report that the goal is not achieved.

I'm continuing on my quest for low-oxygen results and I believe that my beers have improved. The most important point I'm trying to convey, is that a failure in oxygen control at any point in the process means that no improvements will be achieved. Understanding all the sources for oxygen contact have to be taken for the brewer to make the incremental process improvements that can improve beer.
Martin B
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Big Monk

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Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2017, 06:01:07 pm »
None and none. The point though is that if you have greater than 1 ppm on the hot side, you've negated the effort.

This is the reason that I believe many brewers that have attempted low-oxygen brewing, see no improvement. If your processes and methods are not effective enough to avoid too much oxygen contact at ANY point in the process...the entire result is compromised. You just negated any opportunity to produce a low-oxygen result. For many brewers, that is too steep a penalty and they rightfully and accurately report that the goal is not achieved.

I'm continuing on my quest for low-oxygen results and I believe that my beers have improved. The most important point I'm trying to convey, is that a failure in oxygen control at any point in the process means that no improvements will be achieved. Understanding all the sources for oxygen contact have to be taken for the brewer to make the incremental process improvements that can improve beer.

That's awesome to hear Martin.

Part of the reason I wrote the blog post was to highlight some of that. Understanding where the levers are and when to pull them is important.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 06:08:00 pm by Big Monk »

Offline chumley

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2017, 02:17:17 pm »
Question for you low oxygen brewers.  Are you actually taking dissolved oxygen measurements during the brewing process, or are these numbers just ones reported in the brewing literature?

Followup:  If you are on a well and brewing with well water, could you not skip the pre-boil since ground water has zero dissolved oxygen?  Or does the strike water dissolve oxygen at a faster rate than heating it to pitch temperatures?

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2017, 03:01:35 pm »
None and none. The point though is that if you have greater than 1 ppm on the hot side, you've negated the effort.

This is the reason that I believe many brewers that have attempted low-oxygen brewing, see no improvement. If your processes and methods are not effective enough to avoid too much oxygen contact at ANY point in the process...the entire result is compromised. You just negated any opportunity to produce a low-oxygen result. For many brewers, that is too steep a penalty and they rightfully and accurately report that the goal is not achieved.

I'm continuing on my quest for low-oxygen results and I believe that my beers have improved. The most important point I'm trying to convey, is that a failure in oxygen control at any point in the process means that no improvements will be achieved. Understanding all the sources for oxygen contact have to be taken for the brewer to make the incremental process improvements that can improve beer.
On of the stated benefits is hops flavors and aromas staying prominent longer. The hops generally don't get added until the boil. So, hopefully you still get that benefit even if the mash got too much oxygen.

Offline stpug

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2017, 03:05:56 pm »
Question for you low oxygen brewers.  Are you actually taking dissolved oxygen measurements during the brewing process, or are these numbers just ones reported in the brewing literature?

I do not, nor have I ever, taken any DO measurements.  I also have not, nor have I ever, proclaimed a definitive DO value in my brewing process.  I judge my results based on the beer alone.  It's very subjective and works extremely well for me :D

Followup:  If you are on a well and brewing with well water, could you not skip the pre-boil since ground water has zero dissolved oxygen?  Or does the strike water dissolve oxygen at a faster rate than heating it to pitch temperatures?

Any turbulence that the water experiences on it's journey from the subterranean to your BK has the potential to introduce oxygen, particularly as the turbulence happens above ground.  Certainly splashing water into your BK will introduce oxygen, and the time it takes to get from ground temp to strike temp allows the ingress of oxygen into the water.  As for whether or not it's possible if you're starting from zero DO ground water to get to dough in with near-zero DO, I think it's absolutely possible given some mechanical methods of preventing ingress during those water transfers and long heat-up times.  If you are able to have near-zero DO in your cold BK brewing water, then it may be as simple as dosing your salts/sulfites from the get-go and using a total mashcap to prevent further O2 ingress.  That would be MUCH quicker than the preboil/chill method, or the yeast/sugar method.  A scenario like this would be best served with a DO meter since you'd be stepping into territory that's highly variable to a person's circumstances, or you can do as I do and use the subjective methods of your own tongue when you're finally drinking the beer.  The difference is stark in the finished beer and will be noticeable, but is easier to mentally compare when you pick a recipe you "know by heart".

See above in red

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2017, 05:03:35 pm »
Thank you Big Monk.   Do you know how much of the oxygen that is introduced in the mash survives the boil? And then how much survives fermentation?

I think what Derek is trying to get across is that once a specific amount of dissolved oxygen enters the mash, that the delicate polyphenols of the malt become quickly oxidized and can result in a loss of malt aroma/flavor.
And this can all occur before the boil even happens.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2017, 07:32:27 pm »
I was hesitant at first to add another step, but pre-boiling really doesn't add all that much time as long as you have a decent chiller.  At this point it seems easier to me than attempting any alternate methods of water deoxygenation (yeast + sugar scavenging, for example).

I'm such a dunce I never thought to chill the water after the preboil...

I tried the yeast method on Sunday.  We'll see how that works.

I have to say, I have much better foam then ever before.  Beers are very good, but it's all subjective.  The foam however has been outstanding.

I don't know that I'm doing it all right, but I believe there is something there.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2017, 08:39:35 pm »
Joe, my foam has been great since going with a gentle boil. Love it

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2017, 02:14:47 pm »
I was hesitant at first to add another step, but pre-boiling really doesn't add all that much time as long as you have a decent chiller.  At this point it seems easier to me than attempting any alternate methods of water deoxygenation (yeast + sugar scavenging, for example).

I'm such a dunce I never thought to chill the water after the preboil...



Yeah, after my pre-boil, it literally takes less than 5 minutes to get down to about 165F or so (for dough in). So fast, that if you are not ready, one could easily miss the temps if not paying attention.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2017, 03:40:49 pm »
Joe, my foam has been great since going with a gentle boil. Love it


Yep, big time. Better beer overall IMO.
Jon H.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2017, 03:44:51 pm »
So fast, that if you are not ready, one could easily miss the temps if not paying attention.


I'm with you, Rob -  it chills to strike temp QUICKLY. The first time or two, I reheated the water back up to strike temp because I didn't want a mash temp 10F below target. Now I start closing the faucet as I get close to strike, so I don't overshoot again.
Jon H.

Offline neddles

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2017, 09:09:45 pm »
Joe, my foam has been great since going with a gentle boil. Love it


Yep, big time. Better beer overall IMO.
Joe, my foam has been great since going with a gentle boil. Love it

How are you guys qualifying what a gentle boil should look like?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2017, 06:13:43 am »
Joe, my foam has been great since going with a gentle boil. Love it


Yep, big time. Better beer overall IMO.
Joe, my foam has been great since going with a gentle boil. Love it

How are you guys qualifying what a gentle boil should look like?


I go more on my evaporation rate. Where I used to lose 12+ % to evaporation (well over that at times), I'm down to around 8% now. The gentler boil obviously correlates there, as does partially covering the pot during boil. I've learned by repetition what the boil looks like of course, but it's about the focus on reducing evaporation %.
Jon H.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2017, 06:30:09 am »
How are you guys qualifying what a gentle boil should look like?

I quantify a gentle boil as one in which the liquid surface is moving slightly and I can see that particles or trub and hop are circulating in the kettle. I've found that mostly covering the kettle is very helpful in allowing me to turn down the heating input and reduce evaporation to around 8%.
Martin B
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Offline Bilsch

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Re: Examining Oxygen Ingress: Should I Pre-boil?
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2017, 03:23:56 pm »
If you are on a well and brewing with well water, could you not skip the pre-boil since ground water has zero dissolved oxygen?

I don't believe well water is oxygen free but usually has at least a couple ppm DO, sometimes more.