Author Topic: Aeration? How important is the method?  (Read 7986 times)

Offline boapiu

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Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: June 22, 2012, 01:27:20 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.
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Offline wissota

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 01:49:12 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.

Offline paul

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 10:06:23 PM »
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.

Offline sparkleberry

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 11:45:44 PM »
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.

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Offline brushvalleybrewer

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 01:13:11 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.
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Offline tom

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 08:56:42 AM »
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.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 01:21:48 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.

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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 07:42:03 AM »
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.
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Offline tonyp

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 09:14:15 AM »
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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 09:16:02 AM »
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...
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 08:48:41 AM »
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.
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Offline tom

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 08:55:33 AM »
Sterile air from an aquarium pump should be fine.  It just takes longer and thus more foam.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 08:56:57 AM »
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.
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Offline denny

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 10:04:18 AM »
It's the results that matter, not the method.  My $20 MixStir works as well as an aquarium pump or O2 system.
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Offline euge

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Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2012, 10:22:29 AM »
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.
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