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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: Pinski on May 28, 2011, 03:27:52 AM

Title: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: Pinski on May 28, 2011, 03:27:52 AM
I would have sworn I'd seen on here that folks had picked them up at Home Depot.  They looked at me like I was nuts. "you mean propane?"  No. Oxygen. SOL today. 
So, where have folks purchased the oxgen supplies to oxygenate the wort prior to fermentation?  Thanks again!
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: Hokerer on May 28, 2011, 03:36:50 AM
Don't know if you have Lowe's (similar to but better than Homer) out west but...

http://www.lowes.com/pd_91314-13877-307343_0__?productId=3087507&Ntt=oxygen&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Doxygen&facetInfo= (http://www.lowes.com/pd_91314-13877-307343_0__?productId=3087507&Ntt=oxygen&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Doxygen&facetInfo=)

...whatever home improvement joint you hit should have it in the soldering/welding section.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: tygo on May 28, 2011, 03:51:15 AM
My local home depot has them. Like hokerer said it's in the welding section.  I just picked up another the other day.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: Pinski on May 28, 2011, 04:01:15 AM
OK, thanks guys. I'll try again tomorrow. We do have a Lowe's and I'm not brewing until Sunday so I've got some time. 
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: mxstar21 on May 28, 2011, 05:45:41 AM
Not sure about the mainland, but here in Hawaii they are getting hard to find.  Ace, Home Depot, and another local hardware store quit carrying them.  You might be able to find them at welding supply store, or a gas supply store.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: darkmorford on May 28, 2011, 09:09:33 AM
My local Home Depot also sells them. They're in the welding section near the propane and MAP gas. Look for a bright red canister.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 30, 2011, 07:39:08 AM
Ideally, you're wanting food/medicinal-grade oxygen. Go to a medical supply store.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: mxstar21 on May 30, 2011, 10:47:40 AM
You are probably better off with one of these http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/aeration/aeration-system.html (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/aeration/aeration-system.html)

These work pretty good as well http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/aeration/siphon-sprayer.html (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/aeration/siphon-sprayer.html)
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: tygo on May 30, 2011, 11:02:52 AM
Ideally, you're wanting food/medicinal-grade oxygen. Go to a medical supply store.

Seems like most people that aerate with O2 use the welding tanks.  What's the difference?
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: punatic on May 30, 2011, 11:47:55 AM
Not sure about the mainland, but here in Hawaii they are getting hard to find.  Ace, Home Depot, and another local hardware store quit carrying them.  You might be able to find them at welding supply store, or a gas supply store.

The Home Depot in Hilo has them.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: mxstar21 on May 30, 2011, 12:26:14 PM
Not sure about the mainland, but here in Hawaii they are getting hard to find.  Ace, Home Depot, and another local hardware store quit carrying them.  You might be able to find them at welding supply store, or a gas supply store.

The Home Depot in Hilo has them.

I should have specified the island.  They are getting hard to find on the Leeward side of Oahu.  The places I have found them were on closeout, and they weren't getting anymore.  This was 3 -5 months ago.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: jeffy on May 30, 2011, 03:58:24 PM
Ideally, you're wanting food/medicinal-grade oxygen. Go to a medical supply store.

Seems like most people that aerate with O2 use the welding tanks.  What's the difference?
Medical oxygen costs more.  ;)
The purity of welding oxygen is just fine.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 30, 2011, 07:04:43 PM
Medical oxygen costs more.  ;)
The purity of welding oxygen is just fine.

You're right. I did some more research on this and my info is out of date. To count as medical or food grade (USP) oxygen must be at least 99% pure and be odorless. These days, for convenience, most distributors sell just USP O2. The only real difference between grades is how the tanks are filled and, at higher levels, the degree of purity. Oxygen tanks are routinely flushed to remove high levels of contaminants before they are refilled, since acetylene/oil + oxygen + compression = bomb.

In terms of purity, there are multiple grades of oxygen, although exact grades vary depending on manufacturer and state regulations. The lowest level will have at least 99% purity; with the remaining 1% usually being some combination of water vapor, CO2, CO2 or hydrocarbon gas (e.g., methane, acetylene). The highest grade is "Grade 5" or "5-9" oxygen, which is 99.999% pure and is used in research. The various grades below that differ in what compounds other than oxygen remain in the tank. Different grades are used by divers, aviators and for medical purposes, but for brewing any grade will do, since the trace contaminants are at trivial levels.

Good info here:

  http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lpt/oxlabel.htm

and here:

  http://www.c-f-c.com/specgas_products/oxygen.htm

@ Punatic. If you're seriously hurting for O2 cylinders, I bet that there are a lot of dive shops in your area.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: punatic on May 30, 2011, 07:50:02 PM
Ambient air is only 21% O2. That's why bubbling O2 gas is preferable to an aquarium air pump.  Dive tanks mostly use compressed ambient air.

They still sell the small tanks of O2 at The Home Depot here in Hilo. 
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: Pinski on May 30, 2011, 10:25:11 PM
I  found the 2.1oz, oxygen tanks at Home Depot. Unfortunately, they didn't sell regulators individually so I had to buy the mini-torch kit because it was Sunday/BrewDay and all the specialty shops that likely have them were closed.  Anyway, got what I needed and now I have 10 gallons of Denny's Rye IPA fermenting vigorously! Thanks for all of the great suggestions!
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: narvin on May 31, 2011, 01:09:13 AM
Ideally, you're wanting food/medicinal-grade oxygen. Go to a medical supply store.

Seems like most people that aerate with O2 use the welding tanks.  What's the difference?
Medical oxygen costs more.  ;)
The purity of welding oxygen is just fine.

As far as I know, medical oxygen is the same except that you can't get it without a prescription.  So, stick to welding tanks.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 31, 2011, 10:24:14 AM
Ambient air is only 21% O2. That's why bubbling O2 gas is preferable to an aquarium air pump.  Dive tanks mostly use compressed ambient air.

You're absolutely right that your typical scuba diver uses nothing fancier than compressed air. What I meant re: dive shops is that deep divers will sometimes use rebreathers, which use pure O2. Dive shops which cater to deep divers might also mix their own deep diving blends, like heliox. So, if you're looking for a line on high grade oxygen, a good dive shop might know a source.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: richardt on May 31, 2011, 01:29:51 PM
Currently, I just aerate it by splashing the wort into the fermentor.  I'm considering an aquarium pump and aerating the wort versus oxygenating the wort. 

Noob question here:  What other equipment besides an O2 tank is needed to oxygenate the wort? 
A regulator?  A flow meter?
Please post pics if you're able to do so. 

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: tygo on May 31, 2011, 01:47:01 PM
I use something like this:

http://morebeer.com/view_product/16604/102281/Oxygenation_Partial_System
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: tumarkin on May 31, 2011, 02:09:48 PM
the setup Tygo posted is pretty much what I use, though I've got a different stone. the small 02 tanks are available from Home Depot for about $12. I think they sell the regulator for $12-14. stones are available for varying rates depending on type, size etc. a couple of months back, my local home depot had the 02 cannisters on sale for $6. I bought about 1/2 dozen of them. they last for quite a while as you don't need to run the 02 for more than a couple of minutes per batch.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: a10t2 on May 31, 2011, 02:24:14 PM
Noob question here:  What other equipment besides an O2 tank is needed to oxygenate the wort?

You will need a regulator, preferably an inline syringe-type filter, and some kind of airstone, plus the tubing and maybe some clamps to connect it all.

My two cents: unless you have a dissolved O2 meter, or at minimum a flow rate meter, I'd stick with aerating. With pure oxygen, there's always the risk of super-saturating and oxidizing the wort, and with air that just isn't possible. The downside to aeration is that it takes longer (5-10 min vs. 1-2 min).
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: graymax on May 31, 2011, 07:04:21 PM
Pinski--I too am able to purchase oxygen at Home Depot and also at a local hardware store (both in the Washington, DC metro area) that has affiliations with Ace and True Value.   Good luck.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 01, 2011, 09:34:17 PM
My two cents: unless you have a dissolved O2 meter, or at minimum a flow rate meter, I'd stick with aerating. With pure oxygen, there's always the risk of super-saturating and oxidizing the wort, and with air that just isn't possible.

Is it possible to just figure out maximum flow rate, crank the tank valve all the way open, and then figure oxygenation rates based on time, or would that be too imprecise?

If you were to super-saturate your wort, how quickly would oxidation character show up? Would it be ruined before you could condition it, or would it just mean that oxidation would show up sooner after the beer was conditioned and packaged?
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: Pinski on June 01, 2011, 10:02:21 PM
Well, my regulator doesn't have a meter so I opened her up and let 'er rip for 2 minutes through the .5 stone. Looked really cool.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: ajk on June 03, 2011, 01:32:18 PM
The staff at the big box stores seem not to know what they are.  I've found them in two places at Lowe's: in the tools section near the welding supplies and in the plumbing section near the stuff for sweating copper pipe.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 03, 2011, 07:30:11 PM
I'm considering an aquarium pump and aerating the wort versus oxygenating the wort. 

This is what I do, but if I had to do it over again, I'd just use disposable oxygen and a sintered airstone.

By the time you've paid for the aquarium filter, the inline HEPA air filter and broken a couple of aquarium airstones, it's almost as cheap to go with a disposable O2 tank, a regulator and a sintered airstone.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 03, 2011, 07:43:39 PM
The staff at the big box stores seem not to know what they are.

This is normal. 90% of the staff at big box hardware stores are semi- to completely clueless. Look for the grizzled old guy with gnarly hands, who spent most of his life in the manual trades until he got too old or crippled to work. Failing that, try to find the guys who are as redneck-looking as possible while still complying with the corporate dress code.*

*In my experience, the really good hardware stores are staffed by guys whose preferred mode of dress is dirty Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirts and tree bark camo hats. Another good sign is if the parking lot is full of vans and pickup trucks with contractor logos on the sides.
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: punatic on June 04, 2011, 01:31:02 AM

... tree bark camo hats.


They wear those so no one can see what they're thinking...
Title: Re: Where to go for oxygen tanks?
Post by: 52mgtd on June 05, 2011, 08:26:48 PM
in NYS a welding supply outlet. To get really pure O2 you need a prescription!