Author Topic: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?  (Read 3636 times)

Derek

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Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« on: August 14, 2015, 12:43:28 AM »
I'm involved in a conversation over at HBT about the superiority of Pure O2 injection as opposed to Manual (MixStir/Shaking/Air Pump) Aeration and the ultimate flavor impacts on the final product.

Anyone else making fantastic beer without the use of Pure O2? If so, how are your higher gravity beers coming out in the absence of Pure O2?


Offline Stevie

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Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2015, 12:50:05 AM »
I use a mix stir (wine degasser) and have been nothing but happy with it. One thing to note, and I guess this is head space dependent, but I need to add my yeast then stir or else the foam causes issues. Denny uses the same type of stirrer I believe.

I used a pump and stone in the past, but don't care to take care of the stone.

I know plenty of people that use pure O2, just not for me.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2015, 12:51:17 AM »
I use a Mix Stir for everything except for really big beers (1.100+). I used to use O2 for everything and can tell zero difference (lag time, attenuation, off flavors) in sub-1.100 beers where I use the Mix Stir. My method is to use the mix stir in buckets until the foam is at the top of the bucket, then pitch. On 1.100+ beers I still use O2.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 01:42:04 AM »
IMHO, I make great beer or I have low standards.  For big beers or large batches, I bubble air through my starters.  Also for big beers I aerate twice, the second time 12-24 hours after pitching.  However, I do not consider myself an expert at big beers.

Edit: I usually do a few days of "open" fermentation in a bucket fermenter with the lid on loosely for big beers.

Derek

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 02:44:30 AM »
I think people let the gizmos and whirly gigs trick their brains into noticing flavor differences.

MixStir: good enough for you guys, good enough for me.

I may bump up to 2 gallon batches, grab a 3 gallon carboy and buy a MixStir.

Offline stpug

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 03:29:34 AM »
However you deliver sufficient oxygen for an optimal fermentation is the best way to do it :D

I used to shake and it worked very well. I use O2/wand and it works very well. Difference is the effort I put in, that's all.

Especially when you're talking 1 gallon batches, no need for anything but shaking IMO.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 03:29:40 AM »
My favorite thing about the mix stir is I can't break it.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2015, 04:30:54 AM »
I used an aquarium pump and a diffusion stone for a while, but went back to using a nineties staple at the end of the tubing that runs between my kettle's ball valve and my fermentation vessel.  The wort mixes with air as it passes the holes, which are drilled downward at a 45-degree angle.


Offline Stevie

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 04:41:46 AM »
I've seen that before, and you've posted it once or twice. So simple.

I wonder how well the aeration tips that fan out the wort work. I had one way back, but that is when I used a 3/8" barb on my kettle. I brew with a single kettle and was tired of the flow rate when collecting my strike and sparge water.

Derek

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 11:53:23 AM »
However you deliver sufficient oxygen for an optimal fermentation is the best way to do it :D

I used to shake and it worked very well. I use O2/wand and it works very well. Difference is the effort I put in, that's all.

Especially when you're talking 1 gallon batches, no need for anything but shaking IMO.

Absolutely. I was just getting frustrated talking to a poster on the HBT who was adamant that Pure O2 was the ONLY surefire way for making great beer.

They didnt come right out and say this but that was the point of their posting.

I believe this was the post that got my interest and sparked some debate:

"While these methods are adequate for making beer, they are not optimal if your goal is to make the best beer possible.

No matter what technique you apply with air, you'll never get above 8ppm oxygen in your wort due to the fact that air is only 21% oxygen. This is enough for low gravity ales, but high gravity ales and all lagers require 10-14ppm O2. This can only be achieved by using pure oxygen.

Investment in an O2 setup will significantly improve the quality of all your beer."

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2015, 12:01:48 PM »
However you deliver sufficient oxygen for an optimal fermentation is the best way to do it :D

I used to shake and it worked very well. I use O2/wand and it works very well. Difference is the effort I put in, that's all.

Especially when you're talking 1 gallon batches, no need for anything but shaking IMO.

Absolutely. I was just getting frustrated talking to a poster on the HBT who was adamant that Pure O2 was the ONLY surefire way for making great beer.

They didnt come right out and say this but that was the point of their posting.

I believe this was the post that got my interest and sparked some debate:

"While these methods are adequate for making beer, they are not optimal if your goal is to make the best beer possible.

No matter what technique you apply with air, you'll never get above 8ppm oxygen in your wort due to the fact that air is only 21% oxygen. This is enough for low gravity ales, but high gravity ales and all lagers require 10-14ppm O2. This can only be achieved by using pure oxygen.

Investment in an O2 setup will significantly improve the quality of all your beer."


Ahhh... pontificating on the internet.  ;)

I listened to those people in the beginning of my brewing career, but have switched back to the mix stir. I didn't see a difference in the quality of my beer (citizen science!) when using pure O2 and I didn't care to keep the stone up. Perhaps if I get bored and money is burning a hole in my pocket, I'll add an in-line O2 thing to my chiller - but it seems kinda pointless.

Edit: I think Steve, Jon, and I are actually the same brewer but in different states. Ha.  8)
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Offline brulosopher

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2015, 12:06:52 PM »
I have never, in over 500 batches, used pure O2. I'm not convinced it's at all necessary on the homebrew scale, even for big beers. My hunch is that confirmation bias contributes to much of the belief pure O2 improved one's beer. Again, just a hunch.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2015, 12:07:50 PM »
Edit: I think Steve, Jon, and I are actually the same brewer but in different states. Ha.  8)

It's entirely possible. I just need you to come help me design a basement bar/paradise like yours.  ;D
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Offline beersk

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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2015, 12:27:55 PM »
It's not a matter of telling the difference in flavor, I've just had less attenuation issues since switching to pure O2. I know it's probably a waste, but I brew a lot of lagers (50-75% of my batches) so I want to make sure I start off with good amounts of dissolved O2.

And a stone isn't hard to keep up. Some of y'all use pH meters...now come on, don't give me that excuse that a stone is hard to maintain...

But maybe I'll have to get my mixstir back out and give it a go...
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Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2015, 12:32:34 PM »
Quick answer, yes, I brew pretty dang good beer with manual aeration.

I stir gently while chilling until I hit about 100 degrees, then start aerating/stirring until I hit my target temp.  By this point I have 6" plus of foam on the top of the kettle, transfer into fermenters, pitch, and clean up.