Off-topic but I think I picked up some good information when I looked into LO even if the hardcore LO guys wouldn't consider my processes to be LO. Deoxing the water with yeast + sugar, underletting the mash, using a mashcap, purging the keg with CO2 from active fermentation, doing closed-transfers from fermenter to keg, etc. have all helped me make better beer. Is it LO? Probably not but the processes make better beer, IMO. I may have been HIGH-oxygen at some point and now I'm LOWER-oxygen. You are Low Oxygen!
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Sounds like some of the same processes I picked up and implemented along the way. I probably fit in the “O2 Avoidance” or Ken’s “Low(er) O2” Brewer category.
I try to take a Common Sense Approach to Brewing. Low Dissolved Oxygen (Low DO) in beer is always a concern to inhibit staling. Some take this to extreme IMO but I choose to relax and not sweat the small stuff.
I do stuff not because it’s Low DO but for a variety of other reasons. If it helps lower O2 pickup, well that’s an added benefit.
1. I underlet because I don’t want to lift a kettle of hot water, ladle it in, splash it, and it eliminates dough balls.
2. I use Brewtan B because it makes clear beer. The fact that it chelates ions that cause the oxidation reaction in the mash tun is a plus.
3. I mash with a cover on my MLT because it reduces steam in the brewery (aka laundry room) and helps maintain mash temp. My vent is only over my boil kettle.
4. I boil at 2 kW which creates a nice, gentle, asymmetrical, rolling boil because I have predetermined my post boil volume, hop schedule, post boil salt concentration and post boil SG on this energy level.
5. I close transfer because it’s easier to leave the fermenter in place, attach a hose, and open the spigot vs move it to a higher location to open transfer thru the keg lid.
I do return the wort under the liquid level as I recirculate the entire mash and purge my kegs for no other reason than O2 avoidance. Post fermentation my goal is to reduce O2 intake and keep it cold.
I’d like to test my beer for DO some day just to see how far off I am.
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