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  1. #1

    Ascorbic acid in beer

    It appears that when creating a hop foreward beer like IPA's and NEIPA's where there is a lot of dry hopping post fermentation that there is an increased chance of oxidation. The guys at Genus Brewing add ascorbic acid to their brews during mash time:

    I watched this video while my Scott Janish West Coast IPA was fermenting away.. managed to get some unflavoured ascorbic acid couple days later and added 4gr/5gal at bottling time with the priming sugar.. Let's see if this has any impact.

    I'm thinking of a NEIPA soon (Jitters sample left me graving for more ..)

    Regardless, I know some of you have made neipa's before - thought this might be good stuff for the latest buzz..

  2. #2
    Good post. I have done a bit of research on this and they usually hit it with a bit of ascorbic in the mash and then with a .3g of smb or pmb when they bottle.

    All of this helped keep oxygen at bay but the ways to bottle that worked the best was to either bottle in a pet bottle and to squeeze out all the air or to purge the headspace with a bit of co2, or they filled a glass bottle right up to the brim.

    good luck please let us know how it comes out. I think it's a worthwhile experiment to attempt.

  3. #3
    Never had any issues with hop forward beers and NEIPA in this regard.
    Everyone must beleive in something, I beleive I'll have another beer

  4. #4
    Ahh sorry forgot to mention. It looked like most beers were fine for about 1-1,5 months before rapidly starting to show the effects of oxidation over about a 2 week period.

    I think if you polish a batch within a month you should be fine to bottle without issue

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, is a strong antioxidant. It's also a preservative, and in the food industry it's used in an identical way as potassium metabisulfite. Both work by having free oxidizing particles floating in the solution, which then binds with oxygen as soon as it comes in contact with it.

    Now, I'm not sure how well ascorbic acid works, but with k-meta you want to have a certain level of free sulfites in solution at all times. This means that during the cold crash, once your beer is done fermenting and taken off the yeast cake, you want to give it a dose. You'll dose it again every time you move the beer - in other words if you do a secondary aging or lagering, and then move to a keg or a bottle. There are online calculators you can use to determine the dosage to give. Overdosing is a bad idea, although I suspect in beer it wouldn't make a huge difference.

    Finally, both are preservatives, so best used with kegging. If you add it to the beer and then expect the beer to carbonate in the bottle - you're going to struggle a bit.

  6. #6
    I personally think to much ado about nothing.
    I keep 12 beers from every batch I brew so I usually have about 4 to 6 different beers, so I always have beers about 3 months old including hop forward beers and no issues there.
    Everyone must beleive in something, I beleive I'll have another beer

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Hartbeespoort/De Wildt
    Due to our water profile, with a high pH, highly hopped IPAs can become astringent. So we add citric acid to the mash water. Smooths out the hop profile and the slight citrus tang complements the IPA.

  8. #8
    Look .. I haven't had a problem with oxidation yet. I try and practice proper technique and thus far haven't had infections nor oxidation issues.. but then again the bulk of my beers don't last that long to manifest any issues .. but that said I do keep my last bottles for a long time and when consumed they are still good. Had last of my SAPA over the weekend brewed 31/08 - 2.5 months old and was beautifull. Still have a 750 bottle of Goose Island IPA clone in fridge .. brewed 13/07 - I'm confident it will be good and well matured.

    The topic of ascorbic acid fell on my lap as I did this recent West Coast IPA which required double dry hopping. Usually when I dryhop I add a bag w hops in just at the tail end of fermentation, so that the yeast can still consume any added o2.. thing is that with the 2nd dry hop addition, fermentation is about complete by then..

    Anyway, points noted. If I have issues with bottle carbonation, then I know where the issue lies. Will post pics of this beer with a nice frothy head

    EDIT: Also I'm planning a NEIPA so this ascorbic acid topic is quite relevant to ensure the best result. Possibly a way to think about it is that the ascorbic acid add a bit of an insurance policy.
    Last edited by AlexBrew; 23rd November 2021 at 09:07.

  9. #9
    Made several NEIPA with no issues, however if I do, I know to add ascorbic acid. Till then I won't bother.
    Thanks for the info.
    Everyone must beleive in something, I beleive I'll have another beer

  10. #10
    Senior Member JIGSAW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Cape Town

    Yea, after NEIPA stepped into the world of beer ... people got weird
    The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind.!

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