Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

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aamcle
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Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by aamcle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 12:38 pm

I hope there a good number experienced brewers here who bottle and bottle condition their beers. So many people have moved exclusively to Corny kegs.

I find that bottles suit me better than a Corny n Tap set up although I do have two Cornys, Co2 and the ability to cool the kegs.
My personal experience of using counter pressure fillers is that they are a pain in the ass. I had a beer gun, it was dreadful long lines dragging about and I still had foaming issues even with everything chilled.
My current filler is the common Stainless type mounted on a stand I made, it's much better than the gun but…

However I do it using a CP filler adds complication hassle and time to the bottling process that I would prefer to avoid.

I normally cold crash, transfer to a bottling bucket to bulk prime then fill my bottles using a Little Bottler. Obviously I avoid splashing the beer about.

I find this quite satisfactory except for very hop forward styles and possibly lager.

Getting to the point of this post, what I'd really like is to find out what other members do to reduce oxidation in their bottle conditioned beers.

If you have any suggestions, hints of tips would you please share them.

Thanks All. Aamcle

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by vacant » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:07 pm

WIth my last brew I skipped the bottling bucket. I cold crashed then attached the bottling wand to the FV tap. The bottles had previously been loaded with sugar solution via syringe. I work out the carbonation I want then make up a solution such that 5ml is correct for a 500ml bottle. I saw a bit of trub going into the first bottle but couldn't tell which one it was at drinking time.
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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by Jocky » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:29 pm

I always found it hit and miss bottle conditioning, following the same process as you. Oxygen scavenging caps helped, but only to a certain amount. I can only think that the problem was the filling of the bottling bucket and/or the oxygen left in the headspace of the bottle.

If I had to go back to bottling I'd probably try and set things up so I could partially carbonate in the fermenter (adding a spunding valve to a pressure capable fermenter once the krausen starts to drop). The bottles could at least then be filled with a bit of foam on top, purging the headspace.
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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:09 pm

A combination of the 2 approaches could work, especially if the priming solution is hot/warm and is added in at the end.

You don’t need a lot of co2 in the beer, but hot liquid goi g into the neck will start some foaming - I think this is how industrial bottlers work to induce cap-on-foam

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by aamcle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:34 pm

Mmmm.... Most of the beers I make don't give a problem, stout, bitter and so on its just high hop beers and lager.
I'm not sure I want to go to much bother.

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by Cobnut » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:09 pm

I can't say I've every had any problems with oxidation of my bottled beers, be they bitter, stouts, lager, hoppy ales.

My process is much the same as has been outlined above: transfer beer to bottling bucket, add sugar syrup to required carbonation level, bottling wand, cap, shake to incorporate the air, somewhere warm ish for a few days to a couple of weeks, somewhere cool for a week or two (longer for the stronger beers), start to drink.

Also agree that (for some beers), kegs are better, but I like to share bottles with fellow brewers (when I'm able) and agree also that bottling carbonated beer from a keg is a PIA! Don't mind doing to occasional bottle using a carbonation cap, but it's less than perfect!
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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by aamcle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:56 pm

That's interesting Cobnut my process is as yours but I don't shake the bottle, but they always carbonate.

Aamcle

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by Cobnut » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:37 pm

RE: shaking the bottle

I'm sure I read about it somewhere that the secondary fermentation will consume a small amount of oxygen in the transferred wort.

Obviously, when transferring to bottling bucket, aim to avoid splashing as this increases the oxygen content and therefore risks oxidation, but the small amount in the headspace of the bottle shouldn't be an issue. I shake it to help get it into solution for the yeast to use up.

Might be utter b******ks, but seems to work OK.

I've never noticed oxidation in any of my beers and I don't recall it being commented on in any beers I've entered in competitions or shared with fellow HB'ers.

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by aamcle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Like you Cobnut I don't usually taste oxidation but I brewed MM's Intensely Hopped Lager (1) and that did oxidise. So I want to follow the very best procedure when I'm bottling.


aamcle

1, It was horrible anyway, totally out of balance.

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by Jocky » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:23 pm

I don't want to divert the thread from its primary purpose to improve bottle conditioning... but if the CP filler is your main issue with bottling from a keg then there is a good alternative:

I've had great success bottling from a corny keg just using a party tap and about 1.5-2m of 3/16" line. Put it in the fridge with the keg well in advance. You'll be able to pour beers down the side of a bottle with minimal foam, usually just enough to have foam up to the lip of the bottle so you're capping on foam. I've done this successfully with NEIPAs that have over 300g of hops in them with no deterioration (and I shipped bottles to several BJCP judges to check :D).
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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by aamcle » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:12 pm

Thanks Jocky.

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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by orlando » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:20 am

Cobnut wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:09 pm
Also agree that (for some beers), kegs are better, but I like to share bottles with fellow brewers (when I'm able) and agree also that bottling carbonated beer from a keg is a PIA!
An old problem this and Beer gun's have always been a PITA. There has been an answer to this for sometime now. Have you come across a PEGAS? In my view it is not an alternative to bottling in the traditional manner because bottling from the keg is effectively bottling largely yeast free Beer, reducing the protection to oxidation that offers. It's a perfect way of sharing the odd bottle or using for competition to ensure clear Beer at the end of its travel. There will be a lot more information on these using the search box above. :D
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Re: Bottling, Bottle Conditioning and Oxidation?

Post by aamcle » Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:13 pm

Seen them and tried a nasty cheap copy, I'm using (when I must) :-


IMG_20190224_104200.jpg
CO filler

Aamcle

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