Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: qm3k on April 14, 2011, 12:57:28 AM

Title: Aeration equipment
Post by: qm3k on April 14, 2011, 12:57:28 AM
Hi all,

I am FINALLY going to start aerating my wort properly...until now I had been relying on the "rock the carboy" method.  I am planning on going the aquarium pump route since I am not really set up to inject oxygen directly.

My question deals with the pump and the diffuser stones.  Will any pump do?  Will any aeration stone do?  Also, Do I want the 2 or 5 micron (or is it .2 or .5...oh well, you understand the question)?

Basically, can I pick up what I need at my local Petco or do I need to special order anything.  I am hoping that starting to aerate better as well as paying attention to proper pitching rates (rather than just pitching a single smack pack) will make a marked difference in the finished beer.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: weazletoe on April 14, 2011, 11:53:35 AM
Before i gpt into olive oil aeration, i used a pump.  Nothing to huge,  or you'll get foam faster than you want to deal with.  Got for the  . 2 micron filter.  Smaller is better.  I just used the airstones from the pet store, but they tend to fall apart, also maybe not the most sanjtary. You can get SS ones,  from homebrew shops.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: phillamb168 on April 14, 2011, 12:05:42 PM
Before i gpt into olive oil aeration, i used a pump.  Nothing to huge,  or you'll get foam faster than you want to deal with.  Got for the  . 2 micron filter.  Smaller is better.  I just used the airstones from the pet store, but they tend to fall apart, also maybe not the most sanjtary. You can get SS ones,  from homebrew shops.

Olive oil aeration???
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: tumarkin on April 14, 2011, 12:14:00 PM
Before i gpt into olive oil aeration, i used a pump.  Nothing to huge,  or you'll get foam faster than you want to deal with.  Got for the  . 2 micron filter.  Smaller is better.  I just used the airstones from the pet store, but they tend to fall apart, also maybe not the most sanjtary. You can get SS ones,  from homebrew shops.

Olive oil aeration???

proposed by Grady Hull of New Belgium. haven't tried it, but have heard reports that it seems to work.
http://www.brewcrazy.com/hull-olive-oil-thesis.pdf
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: narvin on April 14, 2011, 02:05:17 PM
Before i gpt into olive oil aeration, i used a pump.  Nothing to huge,  or you'll get foam faster than you want to deal with.  Got for the  . 2 micron filter.  Smaller is better.  I just used the airstones from the pet store, but they tend to fall apart, also maybe not the most sanjtary. You can get SS ones,  from homebrew shops.

Olive oil aeration???

I thought that junk has been put to rest  ;)  New Belgium doesn't use it anymore, do they?
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: Hokerer on April 14, 2011, 02:32:21 PM
Olive oil aeration???

I thought that junk has been put to rest  ;)  New Belgium doesn't use it anymore, do they?

Yep, I thought I'd heard the same thing.  The olive oil thing was just a passing fad.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 03:07:20 PM
proposed by Grady Hull of New Belgium. haven't tried it, but have heard reports that it seems to work.
http://www.brewcrazy.com/hull-olive-oil-thesis.pdf

I have seen a couple tests on the homebrew level and there is no evidence that it produces a better beer.  IRC, New Belgium stopped doing it because they found a reduced shelf lief.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: weazletoe on April 14, 2011, 11:11:34 PM

Olive oil aeration???

 Without derailing the thread, I would just like to state again, that I have used olive oil in several batches of beer now. As I have stated many times, I am not saying  it works better than other methods. I get no better fermentation, or better quality beer using olive oil than by othe aeration methods. The reason I do it, is it is just so stupidly simple, and works just as well, again not better, than other methods. And, to date, I have found no ill effects on my beer. As for shelf life, my beer has a short shel life anyway.  8)
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 11:27:08 PM
Here's a challenge for ya, Barry.  Next brew, split the batch in half.  Use olive oil in one half and nothing at all in the other.  Pitch a pack of dry yeast (same manufacture date if possible) into each one so that they'll get pitched the same as closely as possible.  Then see what happens.  I know what my bet will be!
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: weazletoe on April 14, 2011, 11:42:48 PM
Yeah, I'll give that a shot. Hoping to get a brew done when I get back home to  Idaho on Saturday. Hopefully will get to brew next week, so I'll take a whack at it. If you're right, I'll never use olive oil again . Not even for cooking.  ;D
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on April 15, 2011, 02:31:12 PM
Here's a challenge for ya, Barry.  Next brew, split the batch in half.  Use olive oil in one half and nothing at all in the other.  Pitch a pack of dry yeast (same manufacture date if possible) into each one so that they'll get pitched the same as closely as possible.  Then see what happens.  I know what my bet will be!
Is dry yeast the best thing to use for a test like this?  The mfrs say aeration is not necessary with dry yeast because when it is 'grown' it is given all the sterols it needs for a typical fermentation whereas liquid yeast always needs aeration.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: denny on April 15, 2011, 02:45:07 PM
Here's a challenge for ya, Barry.  Next brew, split the batch in half.  Use olive oil in one half and nothing at all in the other.  Pitch a pack of dry yeast (same manufacture date if possible) into each one so that they'll get pitched the same as closely as possible.  Then see what happens.  I know what my bet will be!
Is dry yeast the best thing to use for a test like this?  The mfrs say aeration is not necessary with dry yeast because when it is 'grown' it is given all the sterols it needs for a typical fermentation whereas liquid yeast always needs aeration.

That's a good point.  I suggested it because it would be easier to get a comparable amount of yeast into the beer compared to a liquid yeast starter.  Probably liquid would be better in that case.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: bluesman on April 15, 2011, 02:53:26 PM
You should be able to get everything you need from a local pet store. Basically its a pump and some tubing.

Have you considered using a mix-stir rod? All you need to do is attach it to a drill motor and stir the wort at high speed for a minute or two.

(http://www.northernbrewer.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/135x135/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/7/2/7249.jpg)
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 15, 2011, 03:15:35 PM
From what I have read, shaking the carboy, the aquarium pump, and the mix-stir all get you to about 8 ppm dissolved O2.  That is as good as it gets with air.  That is good for most ale yeasts in beers up to 1.060 to 1.070 or so.

To get to the 10 ppm or more that is recommended for lager yeast, you need have an O2 system.  That would also be good for a 1.100 beer.

What do I have?  A mix-stir, a an aquarium pump, and an O2 system.  I have been known to shake the carboy also.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: Will's Swill on April 16, 2011, 01:38:29 AM
Just curious, what's the mechanism that causes aeration with the mix-stir?  I assume you're putting the mix-stir at the bottom of the vessel and it gets everything moving, maybe forming a vortex?  Would a paint mixer do the same thing?  I ask because I was thinking about using a paint mixer for faster cooling with an immersion chiller, but don't want to aerate the hot wort (not trying to start an HSA debate here...).
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: Hokerer on April 16, 2011, 01:51:49 AM
A mix-stir and a paint stirrer are the same thing, aren't they?
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: bluesman on April 16, 2011, 03:02:57 AM
Just curious, what's the mechanism that causes aeration with the mix-stir?  I assume you're putting the mix-stir at the bottom of the vessel and it gets everything moving, maybe forming a vortex?  Would a paint mixer do the same thing?  I ask because I was thinking about using a paint mixer for faster cooling with an immersion chiller, but don't want to aerate the hot wort (not trying to start an HSA debate here...).

Yes, it creates a vacuum (vortex) in the beer drawing air into the wort. A paint mixer would also accomplish this task.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on April 16, 2011, 03:13:56 AM
I started to use Ventury tube.
Something like this:
(http://img.alibaba.com/wsphoto/v0/289866448/venturi-A25152-ozone-proof-venturi-PVDF-venturi.jpg)
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 16, 2011, 03:20:13 AM
Just curious, what's the mechanism that causes aeration with the mix-stir?  I assume you're putting the mix-stir at the bottom of the vessel and it gets everything moving, maybe forming a vortex?  Would a paint mixer do the same thing?  I ask because I was thinking about using a paint mixer for faster cooling with an immersion chiller, but don't want to aerate the hot wort (not trying to start an HSA debate here...).

You can get a vortex right to the bottom of the vessel if you really get it going. 

Never used a paint mixer
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: a10t2 on April 16, 2011, 03:27:20 AM
As far as aeration, all you need is an aquarium pump, an inline filter cartridge, and an air stone. You should be able to get it set up for <$20, much less if you can get the filters locally.

I'm a big fan of these air stones: http://www.petco.com/product/6126/Lee's-Discard-A-Stones-Aquarium-Airstones.aspx If you're going to use a non-disposable stone, make sure it's stainless so that you can sanitize it (with heat).
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: denny on April 16, 2011, 04:30:59 PM
Would a paint mixer do the same thing?  I ask because I was thinking about using a paint mixer for faster cooling with an immersion chiller, but don't want to aerate the hot wort (not trying to start an HSA debate here...).

Yep, there are people who use a SS paint mixer to do the same thing.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: jibblett on April 16, 2011, 04:42:53 PM
problem with a paint mixer is when you want to aerate what's in a carboy, and the fixed blades won't fit through the neck.  the mix-stir blades fold against the shaft to fit through, then spread out when mixing.
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: kal on April 19, 2011, 07:38:09 PM
You should be able to get everything you need from a local pet store. Basically its a pump and some tubing.

Have you considered using a mix-stir rod? All you need to do is attach it to a drill motor and stir the wort at high speed for a minute or two.

(http://www.northernbrewer.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/135x135/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/7/2/7249.jpg)

That's exactly what I do. It works well for me, never had any issues. I like it due to the simplicity and speed: 60 seconds is all it takes.  Forming a vortex is exactly what happens.

The one I use goes by the brand name "Fizz-X". It's meant to degass wine.

(http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/images/fizzx.jpg)

Mine looks slightly different as I've had it for ~20+ years.

Kal
Title: Re: Aeration equipment
Post by: zorch on April 20, 2011, 10:50:56 PM
Just curious, what's the mechanism that causes aeration with the mix-stir?  I assume you're putting the mix-stir at the bottom of the vessel and it gets everything moving, maybe forming a vortex? 

When I aerate with my mix-stir I will run the blades near the surface for a bit first, which creates a lot of froth.  Then I'll drop them lower and create a strong vortex for a bit to 'mix in' the froth.   I'll go back and forth between 'frothing' and 'mixing' for a couple of minutes, or until I've got foamy wort right up to the neck of my carboy.

I don't know if that procedure is necessary, but it's worked well for me.

As an aside, I would highly recommend the stainless steel version over the cheaper plastic model.   The blades on the plastic version are attached to the shaft with a plastic peg -  Perhaps my drill is extra-powerful, but the third time I used my original plastic version that peg snapped.     I replaced that with the steel model, and it's still going strong after 40+ brews.