Low Oxygen Brewing

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Mad_Scientist
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Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by Mad_Scientist » 3 months ago

One of the guys on the low oxygen brewing site has started a thread on HBT under Brew Science.

Bryan Rabe of http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/ posted a link to a german brewing site http://www.germanbrewing.net/  There he is pointing out the PDF which outlines the methodology for low oxygen brewing (LODO) where you mitigate oxygen ingress at all stages of brewing.

Anyone hear of this before?
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on 02 Feb 2017, 02:53, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by Primavera » 3 months ago

Sounds like a potential XBMTS from the Brulospher.

I would want to see a controlled comparison before accepting a lot of what is offered there.

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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by ShorePoints » 3 months ago

Interesting topic, MS. At first, I thought this dissolved oxygen issue was settled and for home brewers there was relief because a)Hot Side Aeration (Oxidation) is a myth and b) there is not much one can do without going to extremes. 
I read the referenced paper It is clear to me that they are primarily concerned with Helles and Bavarian brews (lagers), the most sensitive to oxygen’s influence. Extrapolation to ales is assumed, not proven. I also read the links you provided. The first article has some things that are not exactly correct, especially, “A no-sparge mash would avoid potential aeration from sparging, but lower potential mash efficiency.” We know that is wrong and there is no mention of water volume or time for mashing to make it seem right. You may have seen posts about it on the forum here and here.

The pdf proposes using sodium metabisulfite (SMB) to adjust dissolved oxygen levels to below 1 ppm, or down to 0.5 ppm, without having to use a closed system. Dissolved oxygen (DO) levels get lower as the water temperature rises and they are decreased as other dissolved things increase. With 5 ppm as a starting point for untreated real world dough-in, their claim that it is detrimental may have some validity for Helles lagers. They add a reducing agent, SMB, before grains are added in the mash step to get the DO down.

Yes, but… For the lighter flavored beers they are making, adjusting the DO below 1 ppm might have a positive effect, but they give subjective interpretations of flavor as their mark of success. I would like to see analyses that measure aldehydes (i.e. some flavors subject to oxidation) with SMB and without it. Also, they are adding a reducing agent to a complex mixture and it may be reacting with components other than just oxygen. Note that the SMB levels they add are slightly in excess of the DO measured. Excess SMB can do more, perhaps even create the enhanced flavors they mention.

They did not seem to have investigated the closed system they mention. You may not need a fully closed system to lower the oxygen level while avoiding the addition of SMB. I think that would be a better test. If one bubbled nitrogen or carbon dioxide through hot strike water for a few minutes, DO would be gone by displacement. Adding grist blanketed with CO2 while continuing the bubbles in the strike water would probably work to keep DO low enough for comparison. One could keep bubbling through the mash, even during the boil (boosting the evaporation rate). Then we might find that SMB is not necessary or it creates new flavors. Of course, they seem to say that all the good stuff would be transported away as volatiles and this wouldn't work (Ha!). I no longer have access to all the neat tools that I would use to check this out. I would rather go brew another ale and not be concerned about 5 ppm of DO.
And for anybody using BIAB to make Helles bock, good luck. If you find lowering DO helps let us know.
Last edited by ShorePoints on 02 Feb 2017, 11:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by Mad_Scientist » 3 months ago

Thank you Lumpy !  You're the bomb :smoke:  That HBT thread was doing my head in. :headhit:... very contentious...

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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by Lumpy5oh » 3 months ago

What thread was that? I'm not sure it was me posting .
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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by ShorePoints » 3 months ago

MS & Lumpy, I did it.
I am bothered by the dissolved oxygen articles bringing up hot side aeration again for a couple of reasons.  :think: The test method using sodium metabisulfite (SMB) to lower DO is not a clean test method. By that I mean that SMB can and probably does do other things while lowering their measured DO levels. Different results in the subjective taste test of their products tell me that they did something that looks like it made a difference, but it does not mean that DO was the sole reason.
I can think of several additional experiments to check their theory; lower DO levels by other methods, use different anti-oxidants, assay for levels of flavor components in products (this allows for testing the theory about DO with reagents that one does not want to ingest). SMB is not a bad reagent, it just doesn't make for a conclusion that DO is the cause of lower flavor levels in the Helles bock or Bavarian pilsner they brewed. Does excess SMB make bisulfite addition products of flavor component carbonyls, thereby reduce their vapor pressure, allowing them to be carried through to fermentation and then they get freed to present their flavors? Who knows? Not mentioned or tested in the article. :nup:

There are lots of things written about hot side aeration and I agree that intentionally aerating hot wort can introduce unwanted flavors. However, having DO at 5 ppm in the mash (and perhaps minimizing introduction of fresh air) has created almost every award-winning beer ever.  Adding chemicals to get DO below 1 ppm is not going to destroy the competition. [/rant] 
Last edited by ShorePoints on 04 Feb 2017, 08:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by Mad_Scientist » 3 months ago

Well, I'm embarrassed. :blush:   :sneak: I thanked Lumpy instead of ShorePoints.  ShorePoints you're the bomb.  :shoot:You have put this to bed, I'm no longer interested in this LODO thing.

Is there anything on the cold side that you are passionate about on this subject?  One thing I read in the PDF is pitching the yeast first, then hit it with oxygen.  I've always done it the other way around.

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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by ShorePoints » 3 months ago

Thanks, MS  :thumbs:
I have much to learn about the cold side, especially yeast. You and Scott recently had something to say here. For now, I go along with the old saying, "The brewer makes the wort, the yeast makes the beer." It is fascinating that what gets turned over to various yeasts can come out so differently, and that the mysterious black box works so well. 
I have read that aerating (oxygenating) the wort at pitching time helps the yeast in the reproductive phase where their numbers go up and they later work anaerobically. I have also read that it is unnecessary to aerate wort, but I don't recall that it was meant to apply to all yeasts. If you make a starter, get big yeast counts and then pitch a large healthy population, how important is aerating the wort then? I also do not know if aerating before pitching or after pitching makes a difference. I'd say I do both because I stir the yeast (liquid, dry not hydrated, starter) into aerated wort. 
I currently have to focus on yeast pitching temperatures and early fermentation temperatures because my notes tell me that I have wide ranges. I guess I'll have to pay attention to aeration practices at the same time.  :think:

Rats, I just want to make beer. Those darn variables and their challenges keep coming up again and again.

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Re: Low Oxygen Brewing

Post by Mad_Scientist » 1 month ago

Primavera wrote:
<span title="02 Feb 2017, 09:03">3 months ago</span>
Sounds like a potential XBMTS from the Brulospher.

I would want to see a controlled comparison before accepting a lot of what is offered there.
lol, they did one.

http://brulosophy.com/2017/04/10/the-lo ... t-results/

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