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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: sbruening on July 23, 2014, 05:56:34 PM

Title: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: sbruening on July 23, 2014, 05:56:34 PM
As the subject line implies, what are some techniques that you've used in the past or currently that has worked well to aerate wort before fermentation?

Thanks
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 06:06:21 PM
As the subject line implies, what are some techniques that you've used in the past or currently that has worked well to aerate wort before fermentation?

Thanks
I use pure oxygen now but I used to use a venturi tube when transferring my wort to the fermenter... then for awhile I was using a fish aerator...  The aerator has been repurposed to continuously blow air on to the top of my yeast starters.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: Slowbrew on July 23, 2014, 06:10:31 PM
I started using an bucket and just stirred really aggressively.  At some changed to a 6.5 gallon carboy and used the shake like h#$% method and now use a stone and pure oxygen.

They all worked but the oxygen route is so easy I'll probably stick with that method.

Paul
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: morticaixavier on July 23, 2014, 06:20:15 PM
I use a balloon whisk and whip it till the foam rises close to the rim of the bucket. good forearm exercise too.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: Stevie on July 23, 2014, 06:22:09 PM
I have been using a mix stir for the last 5 batches. So far I like it.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: yso191 on July 23, 2014, 06:26:27 PM
I went on craigslist and got a medical oxygen bottle on a roller stand with an awesome adjustable regulator.
The little number 1 on the left indicates the flow rate which in this setting is 1 liter of O2 per minute!  It can't get any easier.  This tank will last me for years and then is only $15 to exchange.  No more messing around with those little red cans and the horrible regulator that I've been using on it.

Then I use a .05 micron stone on the end of a stainless tube - easy to clean and easy to put where I want it.

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy153/yso191/1E895EE5-5E8E-4261-9F5D-965856561DA8-1533-000000F52BF3B04A_zps3aa4d5ec.jpg
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: beersk on July 23, 2014, 06:43:21 PM
I use an aeration stone in the end of a wand (William's Brewing) and the red O2 canisters. I don't like doing that as much though because the O2 canisters are disposable and can't be recycled...waste of materials. But I still use them. I have a mixstir that I use occasionally, but the pure O2 route is just so much easier and more reassuring that the wort will have adequate O2 absorption.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 23, 2014, 06:48:50 PM
I have been using a mix stir for the last 5 batches. So far I like it.

+1.  I've made many batches with a mix stir and love it. I still use O2 for a really big beer (1.090+), but occasionally I'll use the mix stir on one that big if I'm out of O2 and I'm hard pressed to tell the difference in lag time, attenuation, or beer quality. I mix stir the foam near the top of the bucket, pitch, and let 'er rip.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 06:50:38 PM
Man I can't believe you guys are stirring to aerate... Use a venturi tube it's simple and you get to let physics do all the work for you.  You just need to stick a T in your current line you run from your kettle (or after the plate/counterflow chiller) and stick a sanitary air filter on the part of the T that sticks out.  Done.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: theDarkSide on July 23, 2014, 06:58:19 PM
Here's my progression:
  1.  Shake method
  2.  Mixstir (now use it only to de-gas meads)
  3.  Aquarium pump with filter inline
  4.  Finally, the aeration stone on the wand from Williams.  I like being able to put the stone exactly where I want it.

For those who use to/currently stir the heck out of the wort, did you ever have issues with head retention?  I think I heard on Brew Strong that once the head forming proteins created that foam, they are gone.
Title: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: Stevie on July 23, 2014, 07:04:45 PM
Funny. I went from the pump and stone to the mix stir. I was tired of cleaning the stone and tubing. I rinse the mix stir after use and clean and sanitize before use.

As far as the head retention, haven't noticed a difference. I figure that would also cause issues when using the shake carb method. Ehh. I am pretty sure Denny uses, or at one time used, the mix stir method. A buddy of mine has been using on or 5+ years.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: morticaixavier on July 23, 2014, 07:05:36 PM
Man I can't believe you guys are stirring to aerate... Use a venturi tube it's simple and you get to let physics do all the work for you.  You just need to stick a T in your current line you run from your kettle (or after the plate/counterflow chiller) and stick a sanitary air filter on the part of the T that sticks out.  Done.

you assume it's reasonable or even possible to get your wort to pitching temps before or while transferring to the fermenter. During the winter I could probably get an ale down to pitching temps with my chiller alone but no dice during a 100+ degree day in summer. Every brew I make I stop chilling around 80-90 f and let my ferm chamber take it down the rest of the way before pitching. o2 does not dissolve well at those temps and will off gas again well before I get to pitching temps. my whisk is simple and it's still using physics. pretty sure EVERYTHING uses physics ;)
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 23, 2014, 07:06:31 PM
Here's my progression:
  1.  Shake method
  2.  Mixstir (now use it only to de-gas meads)
  3.  Aquarium pump with filter inline
  4.  Finally, the aeration stone on the wand from Williams.  I like being able to put the stone exactly where I want it.

For those who use to/currently stir the heck out of the wort, did you ever have issues with head retention?  I think I heard on Brew Strong that once the head forming proteins created that foam, they are gone.

Nope.  For me, the only head retention issues I've had came back when I was learning to brew and fermented too warm. Since then I've gotten pretty darn good foam.

EDIT - I went from the stone to the mix stir as well.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: morticaixavier on July 23, 2014, 07:09:13 PM
no worries about head retention. if you are doing everything else right you will not use up all the foam positive proteins while aerating. There should be a lot of them.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 07:09:17 PM
Man I can't believe you guys are stirring to aerate... Use a venturi tube it's simple and you get to let physics do all the work for you.  You just need to stick a T in your current line you run from your kettle (or after the plate/counterflow chiller) and stick a sanitary air filter on the part of the T that sticks out.  Done.

you assume it's reasonable or even possible to get your wort to pitching temps before or while transferring to the fermenter. During the winter I could probably get an ale down to pitching temps with my chiller alone but no dice during a 100+ degree day in summer. Every brew I make I stop chilling around 80-90 f and let my ferm chamber take it down the rest of the way before pitching. o2 does not dissolve well at those temps and will off gas again well before I get to pitching temps. my whisk is simple and it's still using physics. pretty sure EVERYTHING uses physics ;)

Yes you would not want to aerate your wort at 80-90F that's for sure.  If I couldn't cool below that I would be using a pre chiller... I didn't say it's easier because it uses physics... I said it was easier because the physics does all the work for you (vs you having to expend energy whipping the hell out of it ;-))
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: denny on July 23, 2014, 07:10:25 PM
Man I can't believe you guys are stirring to aerate... Use a venturi tube it's simple and you get to let physics do all the work for you.  You just need to stick a T in your current line you run from your kettle (or after the plate/counterflow chiller) and stick a sanitary air filter on the part of the T that sticks out.  Done.

Dan, I've tried that.  The MixStir is much more effective.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 07:11:26 PM
The main reason I stopped mixing of splashing etc was because your are indeed aerating the wort... but you're also putting whatever is in that air INTO your wort (and probably a good deal of what is on your arm?)  Maybe not a huge concern (I never had an infected batch from it or anyting) but I do reuse yeast pretty often... Anytime I can increase sanitation without more effort I'm happy.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: denny on July 23, 2014, 07:11:46 PM
Funny. I went from the pump and stone to the mix stir. I was tired of cleaning the stone and tubing. I rinse the mix stir after use and clean and sanitize before use.

As far as the head retention, haven't noticed a difference. I figure that would also cause issues when using the shake carb method. Ehh. I am pretty sure Denny uses, or at one time used, the mix stir method. A buddy of mine has been using on or 5+ years.

Still a MixStir user and advocate.  I stopped using the O2 setup for the same reasons as you, combined with the fact that I got equivalent results with the MixStir.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: kramerog on July 23, 2014, 07:11:57 PM
I saw a study indicating that an aquarium pump wasn't that effective and that shaking the carboy (or bucket) to create a vortex for 40 seconds worked.  Now I shake the carboy.  I have always racked the wort so that it trickles down the side of the carboy (or bucket) to get some aeration there too.  I usually use a mix stir while wort chilling to get faster cooling and a little aeration.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: morticaixavier on July 23, 2014, 07:12:10 PM

Yes you would not want to aerate your wort at 80-90F that's for sure.  If I couldn't cool below that I would be using a pre chiller... I didn't say it's easier because it uses physics... I said it was easier because the physics does all the work for you (vs you having to expend energy whipping the hell out of it ;-))

Just messin. If I could I would totally use a venturi. pretty sure that's what leos uses, or did. at some point I will build a prechiller but I am cheap and lazy, or at least when it comes down to it I always spend my limited brewing dollars on ingredients.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 07:13:08 PM
Man I can't believe you guys are stirring to aerate... Use a venturi tube it's simple and you get to let physics do all the work for you.  You just need to stick a T in your current line you run from your kettle (or after the plate/counterflow chiller) and stick a sanitary air filter on the part of the T that sticks out.  Done.

Dan, I've tried that.  The MixStir is much more effective.
Hmm not sure what you may have been doing wrong then... I often would have to 'plug' it towards the end due to foam overflowing from the fermenter lol.  Perhaps the T you were using didn't reduce the diameter of the tubing enough... The more you narrow that the harder it will 'suck'.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: denny on July 23, 2014, 07:13:30 PM
The main reason I stopped mixing of splashing etc was because your are indeed aerating the wort... but you're also putting whatever is in that air INTO your wort (and probably a good deal of what is on your arm?)  Maybe not a huge concern (I never had an infected batch from it or anyting) but I do reuse yeast pretty often... Anytime I can increase sanitation without more effort I'm happy.

If I had problems I'd stop doing it.  But I've used the MixStir hundreds of times without problems.  For me, the low cost, effectiveness and ease of use outweigh concern about things that haven't happened.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 07:14:46 PM

Yes you would not want to aerate your wort at 80-90F that's for sure.  If I couldn't cool below that I would be using a pre chiller... I didn't say it's easier because it uses physics... I said it was easier because the physics does all the work for you (vs you having to expend energy whipping the hell out of it ;-))

Just messin. If I could I would totally use a venturi. pretty sure that's what leos uses, or did. at some point I will build a prechiller but I am cheap and lazy, or at least when it comes down to it I always spend my limited brewing dollars on ingredients.

For sure... I have my old immersion chiller that I say I will use for a prechiller if needed... but I never actually use it for that with my plate chiller... Even though right now my water is like 68F... and I can't fully chill...Laziness is always a factor ;-)
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: Stevie on July 23, 2014, 07:17:31 PM
I spent $60 on the copper and parts for a pre-chiller. I will never see that money again. It saves me time and saves everybody water. I guess the 20-30 minutes it saves per brewday is worth a lot.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 23, 2014, 07:40:12 PM
I spent $60 on the copper and parts for a pre-chiller. I will never see that money again. It saves me time and saves everybody water. I guess the 20-30 minutes it saves per brewday is worth a lot.

For sure... My main issue with the pre-chiller is always Ice... I don't have an ice maker so I would have to go buy Ice every brew day in the summer... I'm just too lazy/busy for that during the brew day.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: Stevie on July 23, 2014, 08:04:23 PM

I spent $60 on the copper and parts for a pre-chiller. I will never see that money again. It saves me time and saves everybody water. I guess the 20-30 minutes it saves per brewday is worth a lot.

For sure... My main issue with the pre-chiller is always Ice... I don't have an ice maker so I would have to go buy Ice every brew day in the summer... I'm just too lazy/busy for that during the brew day.

Didn't even think about ice. I get 20lbs for $2 at a local self serve ice shack. I also by my RO there, though I might start buying it from the grocery store since they have the last service date listed on the machine.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: sbruening on July 23, 2014, 08:10:10 PM
Wow, okay, this is a crap more information then I expected within only a few hours of making the post.  As of right now I've just been stirring the wort while in the kettle when the wort chiller is cooling it down.  I then pour the wort through a strainer into my fermenter, then pitch the yeast.  I think I might be wanting to pay more attention to aerating and looking into some of these methods.

Thanks
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: morticaixavier on July 23, 2014, 08:25:25 PM
Wow, okay, this is a crap more information then I expected within only a few hours of making the post.  As of right now I've just been stirring the wort while in the kettle when the wort chiller is cooling it down.  I then pour the wort through a strainer into my fermenter, then pitch the yeast.  I think I might be wanting to pay more attention to aerating and looking into some of these methods.

Thanks

we like to help ;D

Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: theDarkSide on July 23, 2014, 08:25:47 PM
Wow, okay, this is a crap more information then I expected within only a few hours of making the post.  As of right now I've just been stirring the wort while in the kettle when the wort chiller is cooling it down.  I then pour the wort through a strainer into my fermenter, then pitch the yeast.  I think I might be wanting to pay more attention to aerating and looking into some of these methods.

Thanks

It's like you thought we had anything better to do, huh?

To follow up on what others have said about getting the wort down, I use my immersion chiller until it's under at least 90, then transfer to the carboy and stick it in my fermentation chamber until it is pitching temp.  Then I aerate and pitch.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on July 23, 2014, 09:05:28 PM
I went on craigslist and got a medical oxygen bottle on a roller stand with an awesome adjustable regulator.
The little number 1 on the left indicates the flow rate which in this setting is 1 liter of O2 per minute!  It can't get any easier.  This tank will last me for years and then is only $15 to exchange.  No more messing around with those little red cans and the horrible regulator that I've been using on it.

Then I use a .05 micron stone on the end of a stainless tube - easy to clean and easy to put where I want it.

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy153/yso191/1E895EE5-5E8E-4261-9F5D-965856561DA8-1533-000000F52BF3B04A_zps3aa4d5ec.jpg

THIS. IS. FREAKIN. SWEET.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: BrewBama on July 23, 2014, 11:32:41 PM
I drain the chilled wort thru a handheld fine mesh strainer into the fermenter splashing it into the fermenter. Seems to work great so far. Of course, I am not a competitor. I drink what I brew and I have no complaints!  LOL


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 23, 2014, 11:54:24 PM
Ok, for the stoners out there (no, I mean users of aeration stones with O2), how do you clean and sanitize it? Soak in PBW and then Star San or bake it or what?  I had an infected batch that I attributed to the stainless aeration stone I used on successive batches on a single brew day - soaking it in iodophor wasn't enough, evidently that one time (read the last time I used the stone).  Just too many bacteria caves in the little bugger for my preferences.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: yso191 on July 24, 2014, 12:23:03 AM
Ok, for the stoners out there (no, I mean users of aeration stones with O2), how do you clean and sanitize it? Soak in PBW and then Star San or bake it or what?  I had an infected batch that I attributed to the stainless aeration stone I used on successive batches on a single brew day - soaking it in iodophor wasn't enough, evidently that one time (read the last time I used the stone).  Just too many bacteria caves in the little bugger for my preferences.

I have never had an infected batch - which isn't proof of best practices - but here is what I do:

One of the first things I do on a brew day is get things sanitizing.  This means the stone (permanently attached to the stainless tube) sits in Star-san for about 4 hours.  When I get ready to Aerate the wort I always start the oxygen flowing while it is still in the Star-san.  This forces the Star-san through the stone.  When I see oxygen coming out I swing it into the wort.  Afterward I immediately submerse it again in the Star-san.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: 69franx on July 24, 2014, 12:42:26 AM
Thought I read on here that star San was bad for stones. So I have been boiling mine post use and storing in a zip lock till next use. Use the zip lock or gloved hands to attach to end I hose or wand as human oils can be very sticky and clog the stone. Pretty sure I got all this from here somewhere couple months ago


Sent from The Alpine Brewery using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 24, 2014, 01:47:52 AM
I spent $60 on the copper and parts for a pre-chiller. I will never see that money again. It saves me time and saves everybody water. I guess the 20-30 minutes it saves per brewday is worth a lot.

You are in Texas. I never saw a really big difference using a prechiller. Using 50 ft of 1/2 inch copper, and the Jamil return line, 10 gallons gets down from boiling to 65F in 14 minutes in winter. Summer not so fast.

I know that there is an optimal flow rate with a pre chiller, but never figured it out analytically. Slow will maximize the prechiller, but minimize the main immersion chiller. Anyone have a best practice?
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: Stevie on July 24, 2014, 02:27:13 AM
I run my hose as slow as the vacuum breaker on the hose bib will allow.

I have experimented with rock salt in the pre-chiller. Not sure if it helped or not, but at a couple of bucks per box, it's worth trying.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: leejoreilly on July 24, 2014, 12:32:14 PM

I have never had an infected batch - which isn't proof of best practices - but here is what I do:

One of the first things I do on a brew day is get things sanitizing.  This means the stone (permanently attached to the stainless tube) sits in Star-san for about 4 hours.  When I get ready to Aerate the wort I always start the oxygen flowing while it is still in the Star-san.  This forces the Star-san through the stone.  When I see oxygen coming out I swing it into the wort.  Afterward I immediately submerse it again in the Star-san.

My process is very similar, except I don't keep my stone in the Star-san more than a few minutes. My stone isn't on a stainless rod, either. My system came with the stone at the end of a flexible hose; I cut the hose and patched in the inner tube from an auto-siphon to simulate the stainless rod. The stone is on there really tight, so removing it for baking would be an issue. But no infections (**sound of knocking on wood**)
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: 69franx on July 24, 2014, 06:00:04 PM
I can see the advantages of the rod, but the "flexible" hose that came with mine is fairly stiff and I have not had any problems getting it where I want it. I have only used it 3-4 times so far though, so it may loosen up a bit and then I like the idea of using auto-siphon if it does loosen up too much
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dcb on July 26, 2014, 03:30:59 AM
... The aerator has been repurposed to continuously blow air on to the top of my yeast starters.

This brings up something that has been rolling around in my head for a while.  I have a stir plate and a 2L flask that I use to make yeast starters in the standard way.  My (admittedly simplistic) understanding of the process is that the yeast need O2 to multiply, and the stir plate combined with a loosely fitting foil cover let the wort be continuously oxygenated.  Clearly this works, at least in my experience.  I should probably just stop there.

And yet when I take the foil off and flame the mouth of the flask, the lighter goes out as soon as it gets much below the lip of the flask.  I never really believed that much O2 was being exchanged, and this simple test seems to confirm that suspicion.   So I had been wondering about trying to blow a little clean air or O2 in the flask from time to time.  I had never read about this before, and had even wondered whether I was the first to think of being more proactive about oxygenating a starter.  The hubris of being a newbie...

Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 26, 2014, 03:35:43 AM
A decent amount of I 2oz pulled in at the beginning of the starter but once fermentation kicks in its just about keeping the yeast in suspension again.  This is why I pump the air in so it gets air the whole time.  It's suppose to give the yeast more sterole reserves or something... Been awhile since I looked into it... Have just been doing it for quite awhile.  I think Kai wrote something about it not too long ago.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 26, 2014, 11:03:12 AM
A decent amount of I 2oz pulled in at the beginning of the starter but once fermentation kicks in its just about keeping the yeast in suspension again.  This is why I pump the air in so it gets air the whole time.  It's suppose to give the yeast more sterole reserves or something... Been awhile since I looked into it... Have just been doing it for quite awhile.  I think Kai wrote something about it not too long ago.

I have used my aquarium pump to get sterile filtered air into the top of the fermenter, to simulate open fermentation. Not sure if it helped, but it didn't hurt.
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: dkfick on July 26, 2014, 12:27:59 PM
A decent amount of I 2oz pulled in at the beginning of the starter but once fermentation kicks in its just about keeping the yeast in suspension again.  This is why I pump the air in so it gets air the whole time.  It's suppose to give the yeast more sterole reserves or something... Been awhile since I looked into it... Have just been doing it for quite awhile.  I think Kai wrote something about it not too long ago.

I have used my aquarium pump to get sterile filtered air into the top of the fermenter, to simulate open fermentation. Not sure if it helped, but it didn't hurt.

Hmm there's an idea... Never thought of that.  How long did you leave it on pumping air in?
Title: Re: Aerating Wort Techniques
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 26, 2014, 02:06:04 PM
A decent amount of I 2oz pulled in at the beginning of the starter but once fermentation kicks in its just about keeping the yeast in suspension again.  This is why I pump the air in so it gets air the whole time.  It's suppose to give the yeast more sterole reserves or something... Been awhile since I looked into it... Have just been doing it for quite awhile.  I think Kai wrote something about it not too long ago.

I have used my aquarium pump to get sterile filtered air into the top of the fermenter, to simulate open fermentation. Not sure if it helped, but it didn't hurt.

Hmm there's an idea... Never thought of that.  How long did you leave it on pumping air in?
3 days or so. It was for a Saison.