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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: boapiu on June 22, 2012, 08:27:20 PM

Title: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: boapiu on June 22, 2012, 08:27:20 PM
My next system upgrade may be an aquarium pump for aerating the wort. At present I am pouring from bucket to bucket a couple times and results are fine. But along with implementing yeast starters I figured an aeration system would be a logical step. Opinions on pros and cons and good ideas about technique are welcome. I already bought a stone and HEPA filter a while back, got ahead of myself in the beginning. Now with harvesting yeast and making starters to help things get going, well, the hobby can be a self licking ice cream cone. I wonder what kinds of different methods folks are using and what the various opinions are.
ps. My transition to batch sparging has yielded excellent results and I can't see going back to trying to fly sparge. I'm still using my pump to vorlauf and am pleased with how clear the wort is.
Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: wissota on June 22, 2012, 08:49:12 PM
Different aeration methods were actually tested scientifically.  Google "Effectiveness of Various Methods of Wort Aeration."  The study basically showed that rocking/shaking the wort for 2 minutes was as effective or better at aerating your wort than any other method.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: paul on June 23, 2012, 05:06:23 AM
I just glanced at the article.  That seemed to compare just aeration, not oxygenation.  I've heard the same thing about aeration methods--that shaking as as good as an aquarium pump--at a presentation by a rep from Wyeast.  But he also stated, and I've heard elsewhere, that oxygenation will get more O2 into your wort.

Ah, here it is on their web site: http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_oxygenation.cfm.

I usually shake, then hit the wort with a little O2.  More for a bigger beer, less for a smaller one.  I'm not too scientific about it since I have no way to measure flow rate anyway.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: sparkleberry on June 23, 2012, 06:45:44 AM
i've recently been cooling, gravity draining into a bucket, mixing the hell out of it with my stirring spoon, transferring into a carboy and pitching yeast.  my fermentation has been kicking off within two hours.  i feel like it's working pretty well so far.

cheers.

ryan
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on June 23, 2012, 08:13:11 PM
I usually shake, then hit the wort with a little O2.  More for a bigger beer, less for a smaller one.  I'm not too scientific about it since I have no way to measure flow rate anyway.

If you purge the carboy head space with oxygen before shaking, it will be more effective.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: tom on June 25, 2012, 03:56:42 PM
Shaking the bejeebus out of it for a few minutes is fine.  And at the colder lager temperatures oxygen is more soluble, so shaking is fine for lagers too.  Big beers and bigger batches get harder to do this with.  Pure oxygen can be used, but you can also use too much.  1-2 minutes is enough.  Or measure by liters/minute.  You really need a dissolved oxygen meter to be sure.  I use pure O2 which is attached directly to the output of my chiller a' la MB.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: davidgzach on June 25, 2012, 08:21:48 PM
I've found that using a sterilized whisk and beating the hell out of the wort while whirlpooling is just fine.  However, now that I've moved to 10G batches, I think I'm finally going to break down and buy an O2 system.  It's just too much work on 10G's.

Dave
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 26, 2012, 02:42:03 PM
I just bought an oxygenation system (~$50 total) this weekend because I was brewing a big imperial stout (1.115 OG).

I followed the instructions and was blown away by the reduced lag phase. The fermentation was VERY active in 6-8 hours. I'm only 2 days into the fermentation, but I'm sold on O2. Its a pretty cheap way to encourage yeast health and reduce fermentation times.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: tonyp on June 26, 2012, 04:14:15 PM
I just bought an oxygenation system (~$50 total) this weekend because I was brewing a big imperial stout (1.115 OG).

I followed the instructions and was blown away by the reduced lag phase. The fermentation was VERY active in 6-8 hours. I'm only 2 days into the fermentation, but I'm sold on O2. Its a pretty cheap way to encourage yeast health and reduce fermentation times.

I just bought an o2 system as well and used it for the first time this weekend with 001 in an ipa, took off like a rocket compared to the batch a week earlier, good stuff.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 26, 2012, 04:16:02 PM
I have to say that I don't know that I've noticed any difference in lag times going from an aquarium pump set up to bottled O2.

I suppose this is an opportunity for a side-by-side fermentation just to see...
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 27, 2012, 03:48:41 PM
I have to say that I don't know that I've noticed any difference in lag times going from an aquarium pump set up to bottled O2.

I suppose this is an opportunity for a side-by-side fermentation just to see...

I doubt you would in average-gravity beers, but I'll bet it makes a difference in REALLY big brews.

I just went with O2 because it was basically the same price AND I could buy it from the LHBS instead of Lowe's, etc.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: tom on June 27, 2012, 03:55:33 PM
Sterile air from an aquarium pump should be fine.  It just takes longer and thus more foam.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 27, 2012, 03:56:57 PM
I have to say that I don't know that I've noticed any difference in lag times going from an aquarium pump set up to bottled O2.

I suppose this is an opportunity for a side-by-side fermentation just to see...

I doubt you would in average-gravity beers, but I'll bet it makes a difference in REALLY big brews.

I just went with O2 because it was basically the same price AND I could buy it from the LHBS instead of Lowe's, etc.

I'm due to brew up some of my stout, which is typically around 1.080 so it might be a decent candidate for a comparison.

I went to the O2 system (over the aquarium pump) as my I typically brew bigger beers and I wanted to be sure I get a good fermentation, particularly in my old ale and my tripels.  And my quad, and my big stouts... And my BDS.  Etc...

I never had poor fermentation with the aquarium pump, but I suppose I had $$ I was looking to spend and went with the O2.

I use the aquarium pump now to start my siphons when I keg, which is very handy.  I suppose I could use CO2, but the pump works fine for my needs.

If I do a side-by-side I'll take notes and post back.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: denny on June 27, 2012, 05:04:18 PM
It's the results that matter, not the method.  My $20 MixStir works as well as an aquarium pump or O2 system.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: euge on June 27, 2012, 05:22:29 PM
And I use a $3 paint stirrer for my drill. Works well and is a multitasker.

As far as I know with a big pitch you really don't need to oxygenate anyway.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: kramerog on June 27, 2012, 05:45:36 PM
And I use a $3 paint stirrer for my drill. Works well and is a multitasker.

Euge, do you ever use your paint stirrer to decrease cooling times with an immersion cooler.  Or did you mean "multitasker" to mean stirring paint with your paint stirrer?
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: euge on June 27, 2012, 05:51:09 PM
And I use a $3 paint stirrer for my drill. Works well and is a multitasker.

Euge, do you ever use your paint stirrer to decrease cooling times with an immersion cooler.  Or did you mean "multitasker" to mean stirring paint with your paint stirrer?

I use a spoon to stir the wort when it is cooling.

Also use the paint stirrer on water-based paint and it is cleaned stringently after use.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 27, 2012, 10:37:57 PM
I use venturi tube with great success. No problem to ferment 17 Plato beers.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: boapiu on June 28, 2012, 04:40:28 PM
Mixstir, paint stirrer, never heard of the first and didn't think of the second. what a great wealth of info these forums are. I will have to give these a try my next batch. Thanks a bunch.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: denny on June 28, 2012, 04:42:49 PM
Mixstir, paint stirrer, never heard of the first and didn't think of the second. what a great wealth of info these forums are. I will have to give these a try my next batch. Thanks a bunch.

Here's a MixStir...

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/mix-stir-agitator-rod.html
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: davidgzach on June 28, 2012, 06:47:56 PM
Mixstir, paint stirrer, never heard of the first and didn't think of the second. what a great wealth of info these forums are. I will have to give these a try my next batch. Thanks a bunch.

Here's a MixStir...

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/mix-stir-agitator-rod.html

OK, just had one added to my Oktoberfest ingredient order from my LHBS.  Got the stainless version.  Seemed to make sense to spend 1/3 less than an O2 system for pretty much the same result.

Dave
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: oly on June 28, 2012, 07:47:48 PM
I use venturi tube with great success. No problem to ferment 17 Plato beers.

I like this idea, seems simple and elegant.  I like the results using mixstir just fine, but it's messy and generates a ton of foam so have been thinking about other methods.

Are there any data showing how much ppm O2 gets disolved with the venturi? Can you point me to where you got yours?
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: thcipriani on June 29, 2012, 12:50:01 AM
Different aeration methods were actually tested scientifically.  Google "Effectiveness of Various Methods of Wort Aeration."  The study basically showed that rocking/shaking the wort for 2 minutes was as effective or better at aerating your wort than any other method.

Glanced at that article it seems like the experiment they conducted was using boiled and cooled water.

From my limited experience I've seen some varience based on gravity of wort.

I have the Milwaukee entry-level DO meter to do some testing – what's been getting me about 11ppm to 12ppm (which may be too high – I like the results though) is pure oxygen in the headspace of a carboy (wort at 62*F) at 2LPM for 10 seconds and then a mix-stir for 1 minute.

Works for me. Maybe could exclude the headspace O2. Atmospheric oxygen at my elevation (~5000ft) is still up around 8.2 mg/L

In case you were wondering the little red tanks of O2 run about 3.5 LPM wide open with most oxygen setups you buy (read: morebeer setup)
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: ukolowiczd on June 29, 2012, 01:20:31 AM
O2 all the way. I bought mine and yeast starts activity in less than 4 hrs. And that whole "don't use too much" is fiction. I left pure O2 on once for 3 min by mistake and other than awesome fermentation (and some obvious wort overflow) there were no off favors what so ever. I think over oxygenation only happens with the big boys.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: ccfoo242 on July 04, 2012, 03:40:16 AM
If I already have a 5 micron stainless stone that I use with an aquarium pump, do I really need to go with a 2 micron one for O2 or is 5 micron OK?
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: tom on July 04, 2012, 03:15:25 PM
Here is some info on various aeration methods from Wyeast:  http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_oxygenation.cfm

Are you sure that it's 5.0 micron?  I have seen 0.5 and 2 micron stones.
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: ccfoo242 on July 04, 2012, 03:21:41 PM
Are you sure that it's 5.0 micron?  I have seen 0.5 and 2 micron stones.

Oh you're right.  It's a 2 micron stone. So do I really need a 0.5 micron stone for O2?
Title: Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
Post by: kramerog on July 04, 2012, 04:41:19 PM
Are you sure that it's 5.0 micron?  I have seen 0.5 and 2 micron stones.

Oh you're right.  It's a 2 micron stone. So do I really need a 0.5 micron stone for O2?
No, unless you want to duplicate exactly what someone else is doing and that person uses a 0.5 micron stone to sparge oxgen into the wort. If you are just planning to fill the headspace of a carboy with oxygen then there is no difference.