Author Topic: What was your last change in your procedure that you feel was beneficial?  (Read 9447 times)

Offline bluesman

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I need to find an easy way to measure the amount of O2 going into the wort.  The never ending process of improvement.  :)

That is an interesting one. Many times when using the sintered O2 stone and an O2 tank I thought I aerated enough just to find out that the O2 level in the beer was only 50% of what I wanted. I have collected some data on aeration techniques and resulting O2 levels and was hoping to find a pattern, but I haven't gone back to that data yet. As outlined above I found the shooting O2 into head space and then shaking method fairly repeatable.

I don't think its practical for brewers to invest into DO meters. They are rather expensive. The less expensive one I have has a probe that don't fit into the neck of the carboy and I have to take a sample to test it. But it's useful for figuring out what oxygenation techniques work best.

Kai

Interesting thoughts Kai. Thanks!
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Online michaeltrego

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What I found to work well for aeration is to shoot O2 into the headspace of the carboy, close and shake. I can easily get to 8 ppm O2 with this method. Another shot and I can get to 10-12 ppm. I found that more repeatable than the O2 stone. But the problem is that it foams a lot and that foam makes adding yeast suspended in 1-2 l wort difficult.

Kai

How long do you pump O2 in the headspace to estimate that all the air has been pushed out?  I think I'll try this on my next batch, but will pitch the yeast in before shaking to avoid the foam issue.

Offline surfin_mikeg

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My process changes are to taste everything from start to finish (starter, grain, mash, wort, & the different stages of fermentation), simplify where possible, & keep in-use carboy's in like-new plastic trash-containers.  I add cooling/heating to water inside the carboy containers to control temp.  Overall, putting carboy's into something makes them easier to manage & store.

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How long do you pump O2 in the headspace to estimate that all the air has been pushed out?  I think I'll try this on my next batch, but will pitch the yeast in before shaking to avoid the foam issue.

No exact science here. I just blow a 2-3 s shot of O2 from the O2 regulator into the wort.

But I just thought of something I might try next time:

Use a hose to blow the O2 under the wort surface. This should create foam. Once the foam reaches the carboy neck the the air has been purged out and I'll close the carboy and start shaking. The O2 dissolved in the wort should depend on the head space to wort volume ratio and the wort temp. I'm using 5 gal carboys, so this may not be as practical for 6 gal carboys due to the larger head space and possible over-oxygenation.

Kai

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How long do you pump O2 in the headspace to estimate that all the air has been pushed out?  I think I'll try this on my next batch, but will pitch the yeast in before shaking to avoid the foam issue.

No exact science here. I just blow a 2-3 s shot of O2 from the O2 regulator into the wort.

But I just thought of something I might try next time:

Use a hose to blow the O2 under the wort surface. This should create foam. Once the foam reaches the carboy neck the the air has been purged out and I'll close the carboy and start shaking. The O2 dissolved in the wort should depend on the head space to wort volume ratio and the wort temp. I'm using 5 gal carboys, so this may not be as practical for 6 gal carboys due to the larger head space and possible over-oxygenation.

Kai

Sounds like a good option - thanks Kai

Offline ynotbrusum

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Just tried a second pass of grain through the mill with my last two batches.  Efficiency increased as might be expected.  One batch wasn't very clear even after extended vorlauf, so I will await the completion of fermentation to see what this brings.  If it is merely a greater amount of trub, then I don't know if I will continue the practice; if it is good beer, clear and a negligible amount of additional trub - then it will become standard operating procedure.  (I want to easily harvest yeast).
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But I just thought of something I might try next time:

Use a hose to blow the O2 under the wort surface. This should create foam. Once the foam reaches the carboy neck the the air has been purged out and I'll close the carboy and start shaking. The O2 dissolved in the wort should depend on the head space to wort volume ratio and the wort temp. I'm using 5 gal carboys, so this may not be as practical for 6 gal carboys due to the larger head space and possible over-oxygenation.

I did some math on this and with a head space of 1.5 l and 17.5 beer volume, which is a pretty small head space, you'll end up with about 25 ppm DO. This is for filling the head space with O2 and shaking until so much O2 dissolved that the head space pressure is too low to push more O2 into the wort.

25 ppm oxygen may be good for a high gravity beer, but is way too much for normal beers. So the technique of purging the head space with O2 by creating foam with the O2 is not all that practical.

Kai

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But I just thought of something I might try next time:

Use a hose to blow the O2 under the wort surface. This should create foam. Once the foam reaches the carboy neck the the air has been purged out and I'll close the carboy and start shaking. The O2 dissolved in the wort should depend on the head space to wort volume ratio and the wort temp. I'm using 5 gal carboys, so this may not be as practical for 6 gal carboys due to the larger head space and possible over-oxygenation.

I did some math on this and with a head space of 1.5 l and 17.5 beer volume, which is a pretty small head space, you'll end up with about 25 ppm DO. This is for filling the head space with O2 and shaking until so much O2 dissolved that the head space pressure is too low to push more O2 into the wort.

25 ppm oxygen may be good for a high gravity beer, but is way too much for normal beers. So the technique of purging the head space with O2 by creating foam with the O2 is not all that practical.

Kai
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Offline punatic

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I've been doing it wrong?
All those beers turned out pretty good.  Maybe because I just blow the oxygen into the headspace and shake well.  No underwater delivery or bubbling.  That's too messy.  The same reason I don't use an airstone.  Plus using an airstone always seemed like a good way to infect the beer to me.

I learned in my biology class in high school that bubbles from airstones in aquariums aren't the main mechanism for dissolving oxygen into the water.  The water/air surface is where that happens.  The airstone bubbles create a current in the water that exposes more water to the surface, which allows more gas to dissolve into the water.

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Offline gymrat

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I bought a nice strainer for pouring wort into my fermenter from the kettle. Now I don't have to use hop sacks anymore. Also bought an RV hose so I don't have to run in and out of the house with a pitcher to fill my water kettle.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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I've been doing it wrong?
All those beers turned out pretty good.  Maybe because I just blow the oxygen into the headspace and shake well.  No underwater delivery or bubbling.  That's too messy.  The same reason I don't use an airstone.  Plus using an airstone always seemed like a good way to infect the beer to me.

I learned in my biology class in high school that bubbles from airstones in aquariums aren't the main mechanism for dissolving oxygen into the water.  The water/air surface is where that happens.  The airstone bubbles create a current in the water that exposes more water to the surface, which allows more gas to dissolve into the water.



The last change I made was moving to O2 instead of using an aquarium pump.  I can't say that I've really noticed a difference.

My last BDS did ferment out to like 1.006 though, and it's wicked strong, so perhaps perhaps I'm getting different results.
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Offline surfin_mikeg

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I bought a nice strainer for pouring wort into my fermenter from the kettle. Now I don't have to use hop sacks anymore. Also bought an RV hose so I don't have to run in and out of the house with a pitcher to fill my water kettle.

Is the mesh fine enough to filter pellet hops, and if so would you know what size mesh or what kind it is?  Gracias.

Offline weithman5

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i use the very fine 8 inch stainless strainer from pampered chef.  stops almost everything
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Offline dllipe

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My last change in procedure was to eliminate two pumps from my regular brewing activities. I got rid of a sub-pump used to recirc ice-water through my IC in the warm-weather months and the march pump for general recirculation and transfer of wort.

Now I just use frozen 20oz PET (soda) bottles to chill the wort down to ale or lager temps. Have found it to be more effective and just as fast if not quicker in cooling the wort down to desired pitching temps!

Through these changes I have accomplished savings in time and effort and have removed the need to make ice, and use a cooler/bucket, two pumps and corresponding hose. I no longer have to move, hook-up or clean these particular pieces of equipment. Also there has been a reduction in mess and spilled wort or water.

I've thought of using frozen soda bottles.  I live in CO and my water temp out of the hose is mid 70's right now so my IC will only cool down to about 80-85 after 20 minutes or so (5 gallon batches).  I've had to close it up and put it in one of my fridges to bring down to pitching temp but that actually takes longer than you would think.

How many bottles do you use?

Ten 20oz for 6 gallons.

Thank you.  I'm going to try it.
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Offline narvin

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This is an interesting topic, and it's also interesting that O2 has been mentioned here.  I switched to pure O2 last year for a couple of reasons:

1) Ease of use - I was tired of waiting 20 minutes with an aquarium pump.  I was definitely tired of shaking, and I didn't feel like dealing with other apparatuses.

2) Oxygenating lagers - I wanted to get above 8ppm, which was claimed to be the upper limit using air.

So, is my beer better?  I can't tell.  The point was to maintain ales exactly as they were before, since over-oxygenation could change the character of estery beers like Belgians. I haven't noticed a difference in the ales, but I also can't say that lagers are any better.  But it's sure easier and faster than an aquarium pump.

I think my biggest change in the past year was focusing on keeping pH down even lower than before - mash pH of 5.4 or so for lagers, and 5.5 for ales.This means phorphoric acid in all strike water, lactic acid or acid malt in light lagers, and almost never using chalk since I rarely see a mash pH of a dark beer get lower than 5.4.  I even acidified the wort in the kettle for my last pilsner to 5.35 with more lactic acid.    This has definitely had a positive effect on my beer.
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