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Oxidation, how long does it take?

I’m kinda curious about the affects oxidation of on beer. I don’t really stress out about it and as a result of that, im kinda curious if I’ve been too lax.

It got me wondering: how long does it take for oxidation to affect beer. I realize there are probably a lot of factors. Just curious if I say stirred my beer to get hop leaves to drop when i was dry hopping (haven’t done this so totally hypothetical). how long would it take for the effects of oxidation to start affecting the flavor of the beer?

I don’t really want to start stressing about it but it seems a lot of people are very scared of oxidation and I want to make sure im not overlooking a huge possibility to hurt the flavor of my beer.

Not the answer you want, but it really depends (on the beer, way oxygen was introduced, etc.).

My example:

I typically quick-force carb my beers by turning the PSI way up and rolling the keg. This works great, however, I got lazy, and forgot to purge the headspace with CO2, so for awhile, I was diffusing O2 and CO2 into my beers. I realized it when I made an IPA for a vet that was coming home. Sent a few bottles to his house after kegging, which people raved about. Brought a bottle to a club comp, which it won. Then entered another sanctioned comp in NYC, which occurred about a month later. The beer was lucky to have scored in the low 20’s. Cardboard, acetaldehyde, diacetyl, lots of bad things. I actually did have one bottle left over, which I tried, and it sucked.

My understanding is that basically O2 can cause some of the intermediate compounds that are produced during fermentation (like the ones above) to redevelop. So it can really be like a hand grenade going off in the flavor of your beer.

I’ve heard that hoppy beers oxidize easier (something to do with the dissolved oils/acids breaking down).

Also, I’m a believer in the O2-absorbing crowns. I’ve done side-by-sides in beers that have been aged for over a year, and the O2 crowns definitely keep the beer more stable than standard crowns, while still allowing the light oxidation/esterification of alcohols that makes aged beers awesome.

Soooooo, to answer you question, with me force-diffusing about a cubic foot’s worth of CO2/O2 together into the beer, it destabilized pretty quickly within a month. A little bit of stirring or splashing: I probably wouldn’t be concerned about it on a homebrew scale.

Just going through my usual steps, i can only think of one instance where I might be introducing a bit of oxygen to my beer. When I’m bottling i tend to fill about 12 at a time then cap. in between each 12 I will close the spigot and drain out the bottling hose into a 13th bottle. The first beer I fill in each group of 12 makes all sorts of obnoxious oxygen/beer mixing noises. I know I should probably set those aside and drink first but I always forget. I haven’t had an issue yet but I’m only on my third batch.

The only oxidized beer I have made was okay until it was in a bottle for a year or more. So it can take a long time. I have some Dubbelbock brewed in 2007 that I am wondering if it oxidized. (Waiting for the righ time to try it.) I am one of those “scared of oxidation” people because I like to drink beers I made a long time ago.

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