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Bottling Mistake - did I oxidize my batch?

Last night I bottled my first batch. I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I was so excited to finally get it bottled. And due to that excitement, I neglected to review the bottling process beforehand and I consequently made a big mistake: I did not use the bottling wand. And worse, I didn’t even use the bottling hose. I simply put each bottle to the spigot, titled the bottle, and opened the spigot letting the beer run down the side of the bottle to the bottom. I was being conscious of oxidation, trying to be as gentle as possible with the flow of the beer into the bottles, but now that I’ve reviewed the bottling process I’m afraid I oxidized my beer. Oh well… that’s what I get for pretending that I knew what I was doing.

Just curious… has anyone else made this mistake, or am I alone on this one? Do you think it will hurt the flavor of my batch? Should I try to drink it faster to avoid the off flavors of oxidation?

Honestly, it’s not a big deal if it hurt the batch. It was basically a crash course to learn the brewing process. I’ve made several newbie mistakes along the way, and despite them, my beer tasted AMAZING for not being carbonated. I’m definitely making more Caribou Slobber in the near future! (and I’ll make sure to bottle it correctly next time)

You should be OK. That’s how Mr. Beer basic kits instruct to bottle (not to make them the word on bottling) but they all turned out OK for me when I used that kit.

Hey, thanks Harpdog! I needed that boost of optimism. I’m hoping I was cautious enough to not cause any oxidation.

If I did oxidize it though, any idea how long it would take for off flavors to show up? I’ve heard it can take a while…

That part is outside my experience…checking some sources I found not much to refer to time, except one that suggested an experiment to make some beers oxidized by storing too warm, then tasting every 5 days. Don’t let them condition at too warm of a temp, and after they are carbonated, store them as cool as you can.

Awesome. Thanks for the advice. They’re conditioning in my basement at about 68-70* F so hopefully that’s cool enough. I’ll taste one every 5 days or so and put them in the fridge as soon as they’re carbonated.

I’ve read some stories about the beer tasting absolutely awful from oxidation - to the point of pouring them - but I don’t know how long they let the beers sit at room temp. I was actually considering drinking my beers uncarbonated so I can at least enjoy them before they become nasty and undrinkable (seriously, it was quite delicious for having no carbonation), but I guess I should be patient and see what happens…

Didn’t mean to say you have to taste every 5 days = that’s just what the experiment to make them oxidize called for. I would leave them for 2 or 3 weeks, then taste.

They will not become undrinkable from what little oxidization you may have caused. You probably will not even notice the taste difference. I have done worse and not been able to pick out any off flavors.

They will not become undrinkable from what little oxidization you may have caused. You probably will not even notice the taste difference. I have done worse and not been able to pick out any off flavors.

You probably did oxidize them a little. Biggest impact will likely be reduction of long term stability. And long term rarely matters for your first batch anyway. Beer will be allright, and everyone will live. :slight_smile:

So, relax, and drink up! :cheers:

The other thing to keep in mind is that you added oxygen right before giving the yeast some sugar to eat. The yeast will absorb most if not all of the excess oxygen. You’ll likely wind up with more yeast at the bottom of the bottles but there could be worse things.

Wow! Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I really appreciate it. Sounds like I’m worrying about next to nothing here, so I’ll just wait patiently 3 weeks and then throw a sixer of 'em in the fridge to see how they’re tasting.

I guess I should listen to Charlie Papazian’s advice of “relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew,” more often. The only problem is, this is my first batch so I can’t have a homebrew yet :slight_smile:

SOOO How was it?

Sorry for not following up on this thread. Despite my ignorance when bottling the batch, it turned out great! I got 46 bottles out of it and they were all delicious. The last one was drank just this past weekend after nearly 2.5 months in bottles and it was the best of them all. I detected no off flavors that would indicate any oxidation from my poor bottling technique. Maybe I would have detected some later if they’d stuck around longer, but I couldn’t resist drinking them :slight_smile:

Regardless, I’ve made sure to use some tubing and my bottling wand ever since. Just in case.

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