Learning about oxidation...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews

    Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews Well-Known Member

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    I've come to the conclusion the self-priming racking set-up I built is oxidizing my beer. Had a Blonde Ale and a Boh Pils that tasted wonderful when I bottled them...and like dank cardboard now that they are carbed up...meanwhile the Pale Ale that was racked with gravity from the spigot tastes fine.

    Think I'm going to stick to gravity from now on.
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #2 HighVoltageMan!, Apr 25, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
    I have been working on this for a couple of years. Post fermentation oxidation is a tough problem to deal with for both pros and homebrewers. I started with gravity transfers from a carboy to the keg, skipping any secondary. I pushed the beer out of the carboy with Co2 and replaced the beer with Co2. It helped a lot, but I took it one step further by fermenting in a modified Sanke keg and forcing it out with Co2. The receiving keg is filled with a starsan solution and pushed out with Co2 to eliminate all atmosphere as a mean of flushing the keg. This also reduces the amount of Co2 I use compared with trying to purge the keg with just Co2 alone.

    Since I started doing this my beers are much improved. Although I made some great beers in the past, this new method makes my beers more consistent. It’s a big hill to climb, many say it not necessary, but I know my beers are better. I brew a lot for competition and any edge to help win is worth while. Low oxygen ingress post fermentation is a must if you want beat your competition.
     
  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    My beers are so much better with a pressure transfer. My method is the same as yours basically. I transfer from my pressure fermenter to keg that has been filled to the brim with Star San, then pushed out and pressurized with Co2. It takes a bit to get the method down pat but well worth it. I tried just sanitizing my kegs and purging with o2 but it just never worked that well.
     
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  4. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    More details please Thunder/HighV....maybe video or links to video you like?
     
  5. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Here a good start.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I'm drinking a hoppy blond ale that has got to be my freshest for longest hop forward beer I've made to date. The aroma which I think is the most volatile behind flavour is still there welcoming my hop sniffing nose.
    In was pushing out sanitizer into next keg both just switched to just sending all fermentation co2 through recieving keg after 1st complications with having second keg available and acidentily pushing some beer into sanitizer mix my bad lol:confused:.

    To echo Thunderwagon my beers are fresher happier for longer dude get on the closed fermentation route.
     
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  7. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Would you mind expanding on that? Very interested in closed transfers and have good access to Sankey kegs
     
  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    It was a long drawn out process, so I will show some highlights to the Sanke keg mod. I fermented a beer in a corny keg and like it so much I wanted to do it again, but the corny keg is only 5 gallons, so I looked to 1/4 barrel tall Sanke kegs. I added 2 gas and one liquid corny ports to the Sanke keg and got rid of the Sanke connection completely. The second gas port allows me to vent through an air lock and inject Co2 at the same time. This keeps a positive in the keg if I take of the cap to add dry hops or clarifying agents and once the cap is back on I can contiue to vent the keg to reduce any oxygen that may have gotton in from the hops or whatever.

    I found Corny keg post fittings and add them to the top of the Sanke keg (gas) by brazing them with 56% silver braze/solder: upload_2020-4-25_11-7-3.png

    Here's the website I got them from: https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/kegpostweld.htm
    It's a little tricky brazing the posts, you have to make sure the post is brazed on both side and has flowed nicely to avoid crevasses on the inside that may hide particles and bacteria. I think there is a no solder version available as well. Cleaning the inside of the the keg after brazing was a complete PITA, but once it was done it was beautiful, not to mention permanent.

    Then I made a cap for the top of the keg. The spear was taken out and I gave it to a local brewery since I wouldn't use anymore.
    The opening on the Sanke keg is 2 inches and a tri-clamp cap fits on it perfectly. I added a liquid post and pressure relief valve on to it. Both were brazed in place for a hermetical fitting.
    upload_2020-4-25_11-19-59.png
    upload_2020-4-25_11-25-55.png

    The second picture is the bottom side (inside the keg) show this is no open threads or places for bacteria to hide. I didn't use a tri-clamp seal because they are too thick, so I use a silicone seal (size dash 928) so the clamp would fit better and it still had a good seal. The pressure relief valve was a commonly found relief valve. It's a 1/4" NPT valve, so I drilled and tapped the cap with 1/4" NPT tap, disassemble the valve and screwed in just the body. Just a note, the clamp itself works better if the groove in the clamp is made slightly larger with a grinder.

    I then brazed it in place to seal the threads. Here is wear I got the valve: https://www.grainger.com/product/CONTROL-DEVICES-Brass-Air-Safety-Valve-with-45MG91 The valve has a dimple on the side that prevents it from being dis-assembled, so I drilled it out and the poppet screwed out. This helps with cleaning too. It's no longer a 50 psi relief valve, it's slightly lower because the pressure can be adjusted by compressing the spring, I don't screw it in as far for safety's sake.

    I then bought a floating pick up from Williams Brewing : https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Top-Draw-Beer-Pick-Up-Tube-P4643.aspx
    It fits through the 2" hole in the Sanke Keg:
    upload_2020-4-25_11-59-51.png upload_2020-4-25_12-0-40.png upload_2020-4-25_12-1-36.png

    The picture to the right shows how I put a Corny post seal on the base of the base adapter to seal the posts. This seal insures a good seal because 2 post are gas ports with no tubes inserted.

    So why did I do all this? Because no one make a tall 1/4 barrel Sanke fermenter. They make a 1/2 hectoliter here: https://kegfactory.com/products/keg...VzhNidRzPzOS1kC-WT5xxDqj5sn_JLFRoCn9AQAvD_BwE but it was too big and I would have to add another gas post. Corny kegs are too small and have almost no head space. Tall 1/4 barrel Sanke is perfect. The same height as corny kegs, but slightly larger in diameter. They fit beautifully in my kegerator.
    upload_2020-4-25_12-22-35.png

    They can be used for a keg or a fermenter. You can pressurize the fermentation and spund. Closed transfers are easy, the beer never touches air until it's poured in a glass. I serve right out of the fermenter too.

    It's a lot of work I'll admit, I made 4 of them. But once it's done they will last a lifetime. They have made brewing easier and the beer is way better because of lower oxygen ingress. It's not for everyone, but if your little handy, it can be done.
     
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  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'm messing around with a half campden tablet per keg for O2. Metabusulphite seems to be an anti-oxidant and if this works it makes my like a lot easier.
     
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  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I use to do a closed transfer when I had the evil glass carboys. Since I have speidel HDPE fermenters now with spigots on the bottom, I am doing gravity transfers. I just purge the kegs thoroughly with C02, and have also added C02 to the headspace in the fermenter. This is probably overkill as there should be a layer of C02 on top of the beer. My last brew was a super hoppy, super hazy NEIPA, no issues with oxidization.
     
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  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Commited to the Cause of outstanding beer there high voltage man congratulations paving the way to make it easier for other hombrewers to do the same. Very cool.
     
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  12. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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  13. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    When you ferment in you very cool 1/4 kegs, do you serve right out of them? If so any problem pushing the yeast/tribe out? Those are super nice, I have an acetylene setup and might try this out.
     
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  14. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I do for a short while after I crash cool. I end up with around 7 gallons, so if I drink them down to 5 gallons, it then goes into a corny keg and the fermenter is freed up.

    With the floating tube, you pick up only the very top, so when I spund a lager, I can drink it within 24-48 hours after crashing. It’s still green, but I’m always impatient to taste the beers. Ales are way faster and you can serve out of the fermenter directly, plus the top of the keg clears vert fast. I don’t leave it on the trub too long, but if you kick a keg in 2 weeks after crashing it, you could skip kegging completely.

    This method can be done with 5 gallon corny kegs or if you have the money, 10 gallon corny kegs. That’s what I look in at first, but 10 gallon corny are rare and expensive.
     
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  15. The Beerery

    The Beerery Active Member

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    Look at you Wayne all fancy and stuff :)
     
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  16. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Just trying to keep up with you, Brian.
     
  17. rolandblais

    rolandblais Member

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    How has that turned out? Been reading about ascorbic acid as an antioxidant, and that it should be combined with a campden tablet to be effective, so it doesn't act as a "super oxidiser" (but I can't find the reference at the moment). I've got a NEIPA fermenting in my Catalyst right now, and was thinking of combining the 2 with a LODO transfer at kegging time...
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Metabisulfite is a very effective antioxidant. You might notice a slight sulfur note if you use it and some people are sensitive to it so don't share a sulfited beer unless you warn people - the sensitivity is why it's not used in beer. Never read about ascorbic acid and meta used in combination - ascorbic acid is vitamin C, has antioxidant properties but breaks down rather quickly (hence, the antioxidant). In my experience, IPAs in general are fragile beers and need to be drunk quickly, no matter how careful you are with oxygen.

    I've been using Brewtan B in my beers as an antioxidant. It seems to help somewhat.
     
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  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'm not entirely sure if it worked or not, I've been told it will make no difference while it seems like it should make a difference so I'm up in the air about it.
     
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  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    The guys at Genius Brewing use Ascorbic Acid in a lot of their beers.
    I've tried using a tiny bit of crushed Camden tablet sodium meta in a hoppy blond recently no negative impacts percieved from me not sure about any positives either didn't have anything to compare it too...
     
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