I recently bought a Blichmann Therminator counterflow chiller (I know, extravagant, but it is the awesome).

The instructions say to operate it with the hot wort input facing down, so that gravity causes the wort chamber to fill correctly. They say that if you get a bubble in the wort, it will oxidize your beer.

Really? One bubble? I don't worry much at all about hot-side aeration when moving hot wort around. Why should I worry about a bubble?

  • I was actually rethinking this last night. What about passing hot wort through a hop back? How much oxidation is occuring there?
    – brewchez
    Commented Apr 21, 2010 at 12:16
  • Exactly. I think with a plate chiller, the greater danger is the wort "falling" out of the chiller without having connected with the cooling water. Commented Apr 21, 2010 at 12:44
  • fyi regarding hot-side aeration; I've read that oxygenating hot wort can trigger chemical reactions which produce off-flavors, not sure how much of an effect it has (or how valid that statement is)
    – STW
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


Only till that one bubble is depleted of oxygen. So I guess its a function of the size of the bubble or bubbles. Of course a lot little bubbles will have more surface area and the wort if being spread over a lot of surface area too. Its a wonder there isn't pure cardboard coming out of the outflow.

I think you are probably fine. Certainly where there is hot wort, oxygen and turbulence there is oxidation happening. But its probably minuscule otherwise I would have heard of some many great reviews.

I'd still work my hardest to minimize the flow issues as they describe.

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