From the HBD Archive
From: m14051@mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo)
Subject: Oxidation and Wort Cooling
Date: 1989-10-26 14:16:44 GMT

>From: Dave Sheehy <dbs@hprnd>

>Whoa! Wait a minute here. According to Miller oxidation is a problem
>with hot wort. Yes, you want to oxygenate the wort before it's pitched
>but only after it's been cooled so that oxidation is not a problem. In
>fact, that's one of the reason's for using a wort chiller (as well as
>getting a good cold break). If the wort is allowed to cool slowly then
>it will subject to more oxidation according to Miller.

Hmmm, it was my impression on reading Miller (have to go back and check)
that the major problem with a slow cooling of the wort was twofold:

1) More time for wild yeasts, bacteria, and other nasties to get at the
wort before the yeast is pitched.

2) Not much of a cold break.

(Anyway, that's what my notebook says, my copy of Miller is currently
lent to someone.)

>While we're on the subject of oxidation, I'd like to discuss Miller's
>contention that the typical 1 - 2" headspace in a bottle of beer has
>enough oxygen present to cause significant oxidation. Miller recommends
>using a 1/8" headspace to prevent this. I'm not sure I believe him or
>not. I remember some discussion a few months ago about headspace. Has
>anybody experimented with a smaller headspace and if so did you notice
>any differences one way or the other?

Actually, I have a question on this. How do you measure headspace?
>From the very top of the bottle? From the bottom of the lip? I don't
know if I am measuring the same as anyone else, but I am trying to
keep the level above the smooth part of the bottle and into the curved
top area. Although I haven't been completely successful, and the beers
have all turned out roughly the same. (Now I go back and level off
the ones that seem too low.)


John "And what about this automatic bottle filler stuff I have heard
about? I'm semi-tired of spilling good beer on the floor :-)" DeCarlo

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