Managing Dissolved Oxygen in Beer Production
Dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in beer can greatly impact its taste and shelf life. Here are tips for monitoring and minimizing DO levels during the brewing and packaging process to ensure your beer tastes just as you intended.
DO Basics: DO refers to the amount of oxygen incorporated into beer during brewing. The amount of DO can change based on how the beer is handled during and after fermentation. Monitoring DO levels is important, especially for packaged beers that have a longer lifespan.
Measure DO: Testing for DO should be done methodically, starting after primary fermentation and continuing through packaging. Keep a log of DO levels to identify any sources of oxygen in the process. Check for DO at various points in the packaging process and measure temperature, carbonation, and pressure to ensure consistency.
DO in Packaging: DO pickup during packaging can vary due to temperature, pressure, and other factors. Monitor DO levels at various points in the process, including the tank, beer manifold, and both shaken and unshaken cans to determine where oxygen is being introduced.
Minimize DO: To maintain low levels of DO in packaged beer, consider the following:
- Minimize incoming DO in the bright tank
- Check for leaks in hoses and valves
- Keep beer at ideal temperature (34°F/1°C)
- Use degassed water for rinsing/sanitizing
- Control CO2 purges
- Minimize exposure to air during filling.