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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: vorlaufthegreat on July 05, 2011, 10:00:28 PM

Title: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: vorlaufthegreat on July 05, 2011, 10:00:28 PM
I'm in the market to obtain an aeration system and was looking for some opinions on which type and best price. Previous I have just used splashing the wort back and forth from bucket to bucket to aerate my wort. I was leaning towards this type of aeration system http://morebeer.com/view_product/16607/102281/Aeration_System (http://morebeer.com/view_product/16607/102281/Aeration_System) To me it seems like I'd be saving quite a bit of money over the coarse of time without having to buy disposable oxygen tanks. I understand that this type of system takes quite a bit longer to aerate but that is not to big of a concern for me as this time can be spent cleaning up every thing from the brew day. Please chime in with opinions and if you guys know of any other sites where this can be obtained cheaper.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: WDE97 on July 05, 2011, 10:15:26 PM
If you are going the aeration route (instead of O2), I would suggest just buying a cheap fish tank aerator pump, some tubing, and an inline filter.  Making your own should be cheaper than buying a pre-made one. 
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: majorvices on July 05, 2011, 10:27:18 PM
The other thing you are not considering with the pumped air option is that there is a not a viable way to adjust how much air is being pumped. So while you leave the pump on the wort continues to bubble and bubble and bubble and you end up witha  huge mess of foam on your hand. You need to leave the pump running for at least 20 minutes so it becomes quite a PITA.

With an o2 tank you can adjust the flow (you only want the slightest trickle) and 2-4 minutes is all you will even need at most, as opposed to 20-40 minutes with an aquarium pump.

Also, while it make cost a small chunk of change up frontm I recommend visiting you local welding shop and looking to how much it would cost you to lease or buy a tank. One tank will last you years and the regulator will work better than the thing that works on the disposable tanks.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: WDE97 on July 05, 2011, 10:50:59 PM
The other thing you are not considering with the pumped air option is that there is a not a viable way to adjust how much air is being pumped. So while you leave the pump on the wort continues to bubble and bubble and bubble and you end up witha  huge mess of foam on your hand. You need to leave the pump running for at least 20 minutes so it becomes quite a PITA.

With an o2 tank you can adjust the flow (you only want the slightest trickle) and 2-4 minutes is all you will even need at most, as opposed to 20-40 minutes with an aquarium pump.

Also, while it make cost a small chunk of change up frontm I recommend visiting you local welding shop and looking to how much it would cost you to lease or buy a tank. One tank will last you years and the regulator will work better than the thing that works on the disposable tanks.

Good point.  I have been using the disposable tanks myself. Hadn't really thought of just buying/leasing a larger tank.  Regardless, I definitley think the O2 is a much better option than the air pump due to the time and mess issue.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: vorlaufthegreat on July 05, 2011, 11:09:19 PM
The whole mess factor would definitely be a reason for me to stray away from this type of aeration. I usually do ferment 5 gallons in 6.5 gallon carboys. Would there be that much foam that would even fill that void? I have no problem spending the extra cash if it's gonna eliminate a mess. I can deal with the extra time but am not willing to create messes/ sanitation problems.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: theDarkSide on July 06, 2011, 12:12:03 PM
I run my aquarium pump setup in a 6 gallon Better Bottle with 5.5 gallons of wort for about 30 minutes.  At the end of that time, the foam is just getting to the bottom of the spout, but it never climbs out.  I bought the system from Northern Brewer with an aquarium pump, tubing, inline filter, and aeration stone.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 06, 2011, 12:26:01 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

If you are brewing ales below 1.060ish, then the aquarium pump will work fine.  Shaking the carboy for a while, mix-stirs, and other techniques also will work on lower gravity ales.

My lagers and big ales get the O2. 
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: thcipriani on July 07, 2011, 02:17:57 AM
I own the system that you're looking at, a mix stir, a red O2 tank system and a medical O2 tank with a LPM regulator. I don't get the beer that I want if I don't use O2 and that's it for me. My attenuation gets less predictable if I don't use oxygen - the beers end up tasting a bit flabby.

The medical O2 tank and regulator is my favorite of all my systems - 1 LPM for 1 minute and I'm golden. FWIW, IIRC, the red O2 tanks give you about 3 - 3.5 LPM wide-open. I used to do that for about a minute and I got great results. I also got great results by filling the headspace of the carboy with 02 and then hitting it with the mix-stir.

Also, check out the aeration wand at Williams - harder to sanitize, but overall easier to use http://www.williamsbrewing.com/22-AERATION-WAND-P490C106.aspx

I feel like I get better results with an O2 system and there's no point in buying an aquarium pump if you're just going to replace it with an O2 system - just do it right from the get-go. That's my opinion anyway.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: vorlaufthegreat on July 07, 2011, 05:33:54 AM
I own the system that you're looking at, a mix stir, a red O2 tank system and a medical O2 tank with a LPM regulator. I don't get the beer that I want if I don't use O2 and that's it for me. My attenuation gets less predictable if I don't use oxygen - the beers end up tasting a bit flabby.

The medical O2 tank and regulator is my favorite of all my systems - 1 LPM for 1 minute and I'm golden. FWIW, IIRC, the red O2 tanks give you about 3 - 3.5 LPM wide-open. I used to do that for about a minute and I got great results. I also got great results by filling the headspace of the carboy with 02 and then hitting it with the mix-stir.

Also, check out the aeration wand at Williams - harder to sanitize, but overall easier to use http://www.williamsbrewing.com/22-AERATION-WAND-P490C106.aspx

I feel like I get better results with an O2 system and there's no point in buying an aquarium pump if you're just going to replace it with an O2 system - just do it right from the get-go. That's my opinion anyway.
Yeah this is kinda what I'm leaning towards. Is there that big of a difference from a .2 to a .5 micron stone? If i want to get a .5 attached to a ss wand I'll end up having to get that from morebeer than have to get the regulator from Williams increasing price due to shipping. Also are the regulators for dissposable O2 available from HD? Then I could just get the .5 from morebeer and get the regulator at HD avoiding two shipping costs.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: nateo on July 07, 2011, 01:34:38 PM
Maybe this is a baseless fear, but I haven't made the jump to straight O2 because I don't want to buy a dissolved oxygen meter. I've heard people say they use O2 without any problems, but I've also heard people say they run O2 for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5-10min. Without some sort of measurement, you're really just taking a WAG at how much O2 you're getting into solution, when you know that by aerating you're topping out around 8ppm.

I've also heard people recommend not oxygenating the wort at all, and just oxygenating the starter. In a 2L vessel, I think it'd be pretty easy to overdo the O2.

A simple and effective aeration system is to use a venturi when transferring to the primary. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Venturi_Device
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: a10t2 on July 07, 2011, 02:21:14 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

FWIW, the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm, so if you're chilling before aerating you can also get to the recommended levels for a lager.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: narvin on July 07, 2011, 02:44:23 PM
I'm starting to experiment with pure O2.  I want to see if it has a positive effect on lager fermentations.  My ales are great, but it might save me some time.  I'm not sure I'd switch to O2 for any of my Belgian styles, though. 

I got a welding tank and a low flow medical regulator off of ebay that has the welding CGA-540 fitting (yes, they exist).  I get a lot of foam at 1 LPM, so it seems to me like it's basically a waste of O2.  According to the BYO article that has been posted a few times, you theoretically only need 60 seconds at .2 LPM to hit 8 ppm.

I'm going to do a side by side experiment on a German pils that I'm brewing this weekend.  I'm aiming for 12-15 ppm, so one carboy will get 90 seconds at .25 LPM, and the other 90 seconds at 1 LPM. 
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: hubie on July 07, 2011, 05:11:22 PM
Maybe this is a baseless fear, but I haven't made the jump to straight O2 because I don't want to buy a dissolved oxygen meter. I've heard people say they use O2 without any problems, but I've also heard people say they run O2 for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5-10min. Without some sort of measurement, you're really just taking a WAG at how much O2 you're getting into solution, when you know that by aerating you're topping out around 8ppm.

I take the consistency route.  I use the same amount of time with my O2 bottle every time.  It is down the list of my priorities, but I do want to add a flow meter so that I can ensure I'm running it at the same flow rate every time.

I'm sure it has been posted before, but Greg Doss and David Logsdon of Wyeast gave a very nice presentation on yeast, which included an aeration experiment:  www.bjcp.org/cep/WyeastYeastLife.pdf

If you want to put rough numbers on the O2/stone method, eyeballing the slope of the DO vs. time curve (slide 31) looks to give 1 ppm for every 8 seconds.  By the way, also from that slide package they measured that you can get 8 ppm DO just from shaking the carboy for less than a minute.  My preference is to run my O2 bottle instead of shaking a 45 lb carboy.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 07, 2011, 06:09:23 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

FWIW, the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm, so if you're chilling before aerating you can also get to the recommended levels for a lager.

That is what I do.  Set the regulator to 1 L/min. and give around 3 minutes for a 10 gallon batch.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: richardt on July 07, 2011, 07:26:32 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

FWIW, the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm, so if you're chilling before aerating you can also get to the recommended levels for a lager.

Sean,
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I've read elsewhere that "too much oxygenation of the wort can be detrimental to yeast." 
How is this possible if the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm?
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: narvin on July 07, 2011, 07:43:09 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

FWIW, the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm, so if you're chilling before aerating you can also get to the recommended levels for a lager.

Sean,
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I've read elsewhere that "too much oxygenation of the wort can be detrimental to yeast."  
How is this possible if the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm?

That's the saturation point using air, not O2.  He's saying that you can get to 12 ppm using only air if you chill the wort first since the solubility increases.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: tschmidlin on July 07, 2011, 07:54:49 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

FWIW, the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm, so if you're chilling before aerating you can also get to the recommended levels for a lager.

Sean,
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I've read elsewhere that "too much oxygenation of the wort can be detrimental to yeast." 
How is this possible if the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm?
Because what you read is technically true but taken out of context.  You can't saturate the wort with enough O2 to harm your yeast.  If you constantly use O2 while growing your yeast you may overwhelm their metabolism and cause damage.  Since we don't constantly pump in O2 it is not an issue.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: narvin on July 07, 2011, 08:22:57 PM
As lagers become more of my brewing portfolio, one soon realizes that O2 will get you to the 10-12 ppm often quoted that you need for lager yeast.  Using air you can only get to about 8 ppm.

FWIW, the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm, so if you're chilling before aerating you can also get to the recommended levels for a lager.

Sean,
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I've read elsewhere that "too much oxygenation of the wort can be detrimental to yeast." 
How is this possible if the saturation point at 50°F is ~12 ppm?
Because what you read is technically true but taken out of context.  You can't saturate the wort with enough O2 to harm your yeast.  If you constantly use O2 while growing your yeast you may overwhelm their metabolism and cause damage.  Since we don't constantly pump in O2 it is not an issue.

I don't know...  you can theoretically get to 40+ ppm with pure O2, and I have heard that there's the possibility of oxygen toxicity.  In practice I'd be much more worried about affecting the flavor profile than harming the yeast.  Pitching rate, temperature, and aeration are all factors that affect the flavor of the final beer, and adjusting any one will change the result.  I would be very careful about using too much oxygen in any beer that is supposed to derive a lot of character from the yeast.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: Joe Sr. on July 07, 2011, 08:26:04 PM
Also are the regulators for dissposable O2 available from HD? Then I could just get the .5 from morebeer and get the regulator at HD avoiding two shipping costs.

I'd be interested in knowing this also.  It looks like they are essentially the same thing you would get using a mapp gas torch, or a brazing torch kit.

Is that accurate?  If so, I pretty much have what I need to move from my aquarium pump to disposable oxygen bottles.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: ukolowiczd on July 07, 2011, 09:04:36 PM
I love my O2 wand system from Williams Brewing: http://www.williamsbrewing.com/WILLIAMS-OXYGEN-AERATION-SYSTEM-P699.aspx. Ok, it may be $50 (maybe you could find cheaper?) and O2 tanks are around $8 for about 5-7, 5 gallon brews but I oxygenate for 45 seconds - let me repeat that - 45 seconds and I'm done! No shaking the thing for 10 minutes or waiting for an aquarium pump to oxygenate the wort. My fermentation start times have been considerably quicker and I get far, far more attenuation especially with my Belgian strains. And I have never, ever had any negative effects like no/low fermentation or off flavors, so I think that might just be a rumor.   
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: tschmidlin on July 07, 2011, 10:27:57 PM
I don't know...  you can theoretically get to 40+ ppm with pure O2, and I have heard that there's the possibility of oxygen toxicity.  In practice I'd be much more worried about affecting the flavor profile than harming the yeast.  Pitching rate, temperature, and aeration are all factors that affect the flavor of the final beer, and adjusting any one will change the result.  I would be very careful about using too much oxygen in any beer that is supposed to derive a lot of character from the yeast.
Oxygen toxicity exists, it is just not an important consideration for homebrewers.  Even at 40+ ppm, that level will start dropping within minutes of adding the yeast.  RDWHAHB

As for it affecting the flavor profile of the finished beer, like you pointed out it is just one of the things you can manipulate to get the flavor profile you want.
Title: Re: Opinions on aeration system
Post by: narvin on July 07, 2011, 10:55:02 PM
As for it affecting the flavor profile of the finished beer, like you pointed out it is just one of the things you can manipulate to get the flavor profile you want.

Definitely, as long as you can adjust it in a reproducible way.

I'm just cautiously pointing out that more oxygen may not always be better.  More is different, and for your hefeweizen, more may be worse  :)