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German Brewing • Bottling a lodo helles
Page 1 of 3

Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 3:16 pm
by Owenbräu
One of the most difficult phases for controlling oxidation and flavor stability is bottling and packaging. When using the spunden method, it largely eliminates that problem. However, there are times when you need to bottle, like when sending off for competitions, freeing up keg space, etc.

Here is one of my early lodo helles batches (100 mg/l SMB) where I measured sulfite at different stages. The first is after EVG was hit post-spunding on February 27th. I bottled that helles for some comps on April 15th, and set some back to evaluate at a later date to see how my bottling method faired. Well, I guess today is that later day. The second photo is from today, a few days over one month after bottling. (btw, goat was our code for SMB).

I bottled using a MoreBeer couterpressure filler (CPF) with a 3 way valve. Bottles were sanitized, rinsed with helles, flushed with CO2, pressurized with CO2, then beer coming in pushed the CO2 out and was capped on foam. All rubber o-rings in the system were prepped with keg lube as well. That's about as good as I can do.

The initial measurement was between 25-50 ppm (I also originally compared this to a non-lodo helles I had cold fermented and spunded.)

Helles sulfite strip @ spunding.jpg
Helles sulfite strip @ spunding.jpg (27.46 KiB) Viewed 3675 times



After sitting in a bottle for a month in a walk-in cooler, the reading was 10-25 ppm.

Helles sulfate strip @ 1 month.jpg
Helles sulfate strip @ 1 month.jpg (163.97 KiB) Viewed 3675 times



Here is how the beer looks today. On a scale of 1-10 for freshness and lingering malt, it originally was a 9-9.5. Now, I would put it at a solid 7.5-8. The residual sulfites seem to be doing their job, and clearly not all of the oxygen was removed during bottling. At the same time, it's not expected that all of the oxygen collided in solution with sulfites; it's bound to be random and some of the malt compounds would certainly be oxidized as well, which explains the loss of fresh, lingering malt. I will say, this beer has taken 5 medals so far and is headed to the NHC finals. Take it for what its worth.

Helles Bottled 1 month.jpg
Helles Bottled 1 month.jpg (183.57 KiB) Viewed 3675 times

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 3:20 pm
by Owenbräu
For reference, I have been taking reading from commercial examples of helles. They seem to be utilizing sulfites for flavor stability as well. I am making absolutely no claims as to whether the sulfites are residual from fermentation or added during bottling. As you can see above, a cold fermentation with spunding and without SMB will still have residual sulfites in the finished beer.

Commercial sulfite strips.jpg
Commercial sulfite strips.jpg (222.75 KiB) Viewed 3675 times


Bitburger sulfite strip.jpg
Bitburger sulfite strip.jpg (181.11 KiB) Viewed 3675 times


Edel sulfite strip.jpg
Edel sulfite strip.jpg (186.05 KiB) Viewed 3675 times

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 3:21 pm
by Owenbräu
Jahr sulfite strip.jpg
Jahr sulfite strip.jpg (167.74 KiB) Viewed 3675 times


Mahr's sulfite strip.jpg
Mahr's sulfite strip.jpg (172.42 KiB) Viewed 3675 times


Riegel sulfite strip.jpg
Riegel sulfite strip.jpg (186.75 KiB) Viewed 3675 times

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:24 pm
by ajk
Sorry if I skipped a cog, but did you add SMB at bottling?

Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:37 pm
by Owenbräu
No. Just monitoring it as it goes. If I had, I would have needed to establish a new baseline level at bottling. It might be worthwhile to do that comparison now.

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:38 pm
by ajk
May the best bier win :-)

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 9:39 pm
by Eddievxx
I am wanting to try LODO but not sure if I will be wasting my time; I don't have a counterpressure filler or have the ability to purge with CO2 etc.

I don't have any kegs; I bottle all my beer but perhaps in an unusual way: I bottle my Lagers straight from the primary fermentor (with priming sugar), carbonate at about 20C for a couple of weeks, then lager the bottles for however long the style dictates.

With that in mind, is there any particular issues I need to be aware of when bottling with LODO in mind? Will the presence of yeast (active enough to carbonate the bottles) effectively scrub the oxygen picked up in the transfer and in the bottle headspace? Or Is kruesening essential? Or are there many issues so will I be wasting my time?

Cheers!

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:18 am
by Owenbräu
Bottling conditioning and spunding are essentially the same thing. Yeast are your best protection against oxygen. Krausen isn't essential, but it can be more reliable since the yeast are more active.

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:19 pm
by Bilsch
Does testing dark beer tint the test strip and throw off the readings?

Re: Bottling a lodo helles

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:58 pm
by bjanat