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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through January 07, 2008 * How much air is too much?? < Previous Next >

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ChriSto
Intermediate Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 271
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 08:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We held a BJCP exam here 2 weeks ago which I administered. I used 2 of my homebrewed beers - a Scottish 70/- (yes, Skot, the JZ recipe) and an Oatmeal Stout as evaluation beers. One of the proctors mentioned that both of these had tremendous oxidation and papery notes to them. While I was using these as "not perfect" beers, I wasn't looking for the 20 he gave me on one of them either (I had doctored the other beer to get it in a lower score and expected the other to be about a low 30's beer). This same judge had dinged a bitter of mine at a comp some time back for oxidation.

Each of these beers used Fuggles hops and I noted this to him after the exam. He still said it was not an earthy flavor but a definite papery note. While I don't sense the high oxidation, I trust his opinion, and he says he is very sensitive and attuned to oxidation thresholds in beer. It got me to wondering though if it's him, my ingredients, or my process to give off this much oxidation.

So, (after 10 years of brewing - I guess it's never too late), I'm wondering how much splashing can occur when you are racking your beer. My SOP is to siphon about 4' up on a counter into my carboy and/or keg sitting on the floor. I'll typically take a cup's worth for a hydrometer reading above the carboy, pinch the hose to stop the flow into the cup, and then drop the tubing into the carboy as quick as possible. There is invaringly going to be some splashing as the hose is lowered and beer is still coming out, but this lasts maybe 2-3 seconds. Depending on how the hose is situated (sometimes it will drop perpendicular to the bottom), it may take a couple more seconds to shift it to a more horizontal/laminar flow. Seems like this is about how most folks do it (at least the RDWHAHB method). I clamp my hose to the racking cane now as I used to see some air get pulled in during siphoning.

Other than racking, I don't see where I'm adding a whole lot of air. Two of the beers were kegged versions and one was bottle conditioned. I'll typically do 5.5 gallons in plastic for primary (8, 8, and 12 days for these 3 beers) and rack to glass for secondary (0, 8, & 12) so not a lot of head space. the Scottish 70/- was only 10 days in the keg after 16 day ferment. The bottle-conditioned OS was about 2 months old. The bitter was racked straight to a keg, though the beer was pulled for the comp about a month later.

Anyway, long explanation. Just trying to give some background. How do you guys limit air entrainment post-ferment? Oh yeah, I'm also pretty good about limiting hot-side aeration as well.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 5152
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 09:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is unusual for homebrew to be oxidized, especially compared to filtered commercial beers.

Do you evacuate the head space in your kegs?
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5191
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>It got me to wondering though if it's him, my ingredients, or my process to give off this much oxidation.

I would vote for, in order of preference:

1. Its him. If you and no one else tastes oxidation, who cares?
2. Its your ingredients. Brewing those gawdawful Jamil Z recipes with 5 different ingredients is probably muddling the beer to the point that the judge can't figure out whats wrong with them, so he calls it oxidation.
3. Its your process. But given your description, I'd say this is a very low probability.
 

ChriSto
Intermediate Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 272
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yep. Purge it thrice.

Maybe it's just the judge. He was kind of all over the place with comments on exam day, not always matching the other proctor or my notes. Each of those beers to me had a Fuggles-like earthiness but I wouldn't call it cardboard or papery. And each were relatively young. Just wondering if I'm doing something wrong (after pride trampled on).
 

Skotrat
Intermediate Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 434
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 24.34.40.158
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Christo,

I would not worry about the comment. I would however find a few other judges and have them eval the beer if it really bothers you.

remember that it is a subjective process
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 5153
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What do you mean by "young?"
 

ChriSto
Intermediate Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 273
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Brewing those gawdawful Jamil Z recipes with 5 different ingredients is probably muddling the beer to the point that the judge can't figure out whats wrong with them, so he calls it oxidation."

OK, OK, I won't brew JZ recipes anymore (hand over heart). It's only the Scottish style because it's easy.

Skot - I'll have to redo as a "blind" judging and not give any hints because I asked another judge if he tasted oxidation (after initially not detecting), then he said, "oh, yeah . . . " - it may have been the power of pursuasion. The "evil proctor" has in the past been on the money with very subtle flavors/aromas, so I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, but as I said his scores were all over - quite different than the other proctor (or most of the judge examiniees as well).

Dan - the OS was 2 months in the bottle, the 70/- was 10 days in keg after 16 day ferment, the bitter was one month in keg after 8 day ferment.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 5156
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 02:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For the styles, I would not consider those ages "young."
 

ChriSto
Intermediate Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 275
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 03:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan-that's why I said "relatively", at least in terms of oxidation. You don't consider 10 days still fresh? The bitter needed more time but I also needed it for a party. It seemed to improve over the next 2 weeks in the keg (basically its secondary time), so you could say it was 2 weeks old at the time of the competition. I saved the last for the comp and actually took 1st place with it (even though dinged for oxidative notes by said judge). He gave me a 32 while the other two judges gave it 38's. While not "fresh" I'd say a 1.065 Oatmeal Stout is about at its peak at 2-3 months.