Author Topic: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?  (Read 7370 times)

Derek

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2015, 12:45:16 pm »
I think part of the reason that I was going back and forth with this person was two-fold:

1.) The OP over at HBT simply asked if his manual aeration technique was solid and for people to respond. Many did saying that they used the exact same method (insert shaking/aquarium pump/mixstir, etc.) of manual aeration. Then, as often happens, someone invariably has to come along and say, "....that will make good beer, but if you want to make excellent beer....". Strike 1.

2.) After many exchanges about scientific articles, sources and the likely lack of a perceivable taste difference, we got this nugget:

Recommend you read "Yeast" by Zainisheff and White, specifically pages 77-84 where they go into great detail about the O2 requirements of different types of worts, and controlled tests that have been done showing how only using air is woefully inadequate in many (but not all) cases.

They cite multiple primary peer-reviewed journal sources in the text that I'm not going to bother listing here.

The point that some are missing is that pure oxygen is not necessary to make beer, but it is necessary to make the best beer possible. A 1.090 doppelbock made with the shake and pray method may ferment out, but it will be inferior to one in which the proper O2 levels were obtained at the time of pitching by injecting pure oxygen to levels of 10-14ppm.

The science is sound and the logic is simple. High gravity ale worts and all lagers require a high pitch rate and need high levels of oxygen to produce an adequate amount of sterols for healthy replication. Those levels have been determined by experiment to be > 8ppm, which can never be obtained by air alone due to the limited amount of oxygen present in air by nature.


Here is the whole post for anyone interested:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=539648

Interesting conversation but I am always hesitant to say X method makes better beer over Y method, especially when something as subjective as taste is concerned.

I've heard Denny say many times, and i'm paraphrasing, "If it doesn't make the beer better than why do it."

« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 12:47:13 pm by Derek »

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 7219
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 12:47:51 pm »
I bought an O2 canister a few years back, used it on a few batches, then piled it away with the rest of the questionable brewing gear purchases. I have been known to break it out once or twice a year for the really big beers, but even then I'm not sure it makes a huge difference. I don't use pure O2 in my 18% melomels, and they turn out just fine. I'm not sure if you can draw an exact correlation to beer from that, but that makes me feel a bit more confident skipping the O2.

I brew smaller batches, so I probably overpitch when I use dry yeast. And for liquid yeast I'm typically either making a starter and pitching it at high krausen or brewing a style where underoxygenation isn't necessarily a bad thing (i.e., styles where I want a bit more flavor expression from the yeast). In other words, I'm not necessarily the type of brewer that would necessarily see a lot of the purported benefits of pure-O2.

Nowadays, most of my beer is poured through a series of mesh screens to filter out hop trub before it hits the fermenter. I'm pretty confident that this is giving me all the aeration I need.

I think the true folly here is entering into an argument on HBT. There is a reason why many of us choose this forum as our home base. The attitude is much different 'round these parts.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 6858
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 12:49:10 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...
I don't care to hassle with a pH meter either.

I've killed stones through the years. The first was a barbed stone where the barb would always pop out. That one died due to poor superglue application. The second was a flared stone. "Learned my lesson with the barb," I told myself. That stone met its maker when I left it to boil in a quart of water and forgot about it until I heard the stone singing on the stove top. I take partial responsibility for the first and total responsibility for the second. Like I said earlier, I can break a mix stir.

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3672
  • In the night!
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2015, 12:54:43 pm »
I bought an O2 canister a few years back, used it on a few batches, then piled it away with the rest of the questionable brewing gear purchases. I have been known to break it out once or twice a year for the really big beers, but even then I'm not sure it makes a huge difference. I don't use pure O2 in my 18% melomels, and they turn out just fine. I'm not sure if you can draw an exact correlation to beer from that, but that makes me feel a bit more confident skipping the O2.

I brew smaller batches, so I probably overpitch when I use dry yeast. And for liquid yeast I'm typically either making a starter and pitching it at high krausen or brewing a style where underoxygenation isn't necessarily a bad thing (i.e., styles where I want a bit more flavor expression from the yeast). In other words, I'm not necessarily the type of brewer that would necessarily see a lot of the purported benefits of pure-O2.

Nowadays, most of my beer is poured through a series of mesh screens to filter out hop trub before it hits the fermenter. I'm pretty confident that this is giving me all the aeration I need.

I think the true folly here is entering into an argument on HBT. There is a reason why many of us choose this forum as our home base. The attitude is much different 'round these parts.

Man, why are you going through all that trouble to separate the trub? I think you're wasting your time there. I know you brew smaller batches, but still...

And HomeBrewTalk is just as DIY and scientific, at the same time, as this place, if not more so. Do you read there or post there often? Everything one could need to know about brewing is on that site. I don't think the attitudes are all that different, it's just a different group of people, more of a broad spectrum of brewers.

Steve, I have one of the stones that is on a stainless steel wand. Best invention for aeration stones ever.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 12:56:16 pm by beersk »
Jesse

Derek

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2015, 01:05:56 pm »
I think the true folly here is entering into an argument on HBT. There is a reason why many of us choose this forum as our home base. The attitude is much different 'round these parts.

And HomeBrewTalk is just as DIY and scientific, at the same time, as this place, if not more so.

My beef is definitely not with HBT. 90% of the people that post there are great.

My problem, which carries over to real life and work as well, is not with someone having a strong opinion on something. I'm an engineer working in Nuclear so opinions backed up with technical expertise are valued. My real problem is someone telling another person that there is this way, my way, of doing it for the best results. Add in misconstrued or misunderstood scientific articles and technical information to back up opinions and my head starts to hurt.

This is especially true for something subjective like taste.

It's like telling a guitar player, "You can make good sound with a Fender Twin Reverb, but if you want to make the best sound, you need a Marshall Superlead full stack."

Both are equally valid tools in the hands of their users. The difference is in preference and comfort using that tool.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 01:12:16 pm by Derek »

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2015, 01:21:29 pm »
And HomeBrewTalk ... I don't think the attitudes are all that different, it's just a different group of people, more of a broad spectrum of brewers.

Comparing this forum with HBT is like comparing a civil discourse with a free-for-all, no flames barred discussion.  HBT is the Harmony Central of the home brewing world.

Derek

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2015, 01:29:39 pm »
And HomeBrewTalk ... I don't think the attitudes are all that different, it's just a different group of people, more of a broad spectrum of brewers.

Comparing this forum with HBT is like comparing a civil discourse with a free-for-all, no flames barred discussion.  HBT is the Harmony Central of the home brewing world.

It does get pretty loose over there sometimes.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 10252
  • Milford, MI
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2015, 01:32:08 pm »
Depends on the beer being brewed.

The British ales were coming out way too clean with the recommended pitch rate and O2.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2015, 01:33:34 pm »
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."


Remember, you are talking about the big yeast rinsing and slanting without plating for singles site.  That's all I have to say about HBT other than the forum is chock full of one-year-wonder home brewers who are absolutely certain that they are master brewers.  This forum is smaller.  However, on average, the level of experience each forum member possesses is much higher, and so is the maturity level.   There are many amateur brewers on this site that have been through many home brewing fads.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 01:39:24 pm by S. cerevisiae »

Derek

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2015, 01:41:37 pm »
Understood.  ;)

I just can't help it sometimes. I like to debate trolls on subjects that irritate me. It's a curse.

Offline Rhoobarb

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2015, 01:50:33 pm »
I have used a mix-stir / wine degasser chocked into my drill for years now, even my few 1.102 OG beers.  No issues.  I've toyed with going with an aeration stone and O2 tank, but would honestly rather spend my money on other things, like expanding/improving my fermantation chamber.

...  That's all I have to say about HBT other than the forum is chock full of one-year-wonder home brewers who are absolutely certain that they are master brewers.  This forum is smaller.  However, on average, the level of experience each forum member possesses is much higher, and so is the maturity level.   There are many amateur brewers on this site that have been through many home brewing fads.

^^^ This! I used to be on HBT all the time back when I began in 1998.  By around 2006-7, I spent less time there.  Now, it's a different place completely- one I don't care for so much. Just my opinion. This forum is the only one I look at on a nearly-daily basis these days.
"Brewing beer to save money makes as much sense as buying a boat to cut costs on a fish dinner." -- Tim French

>^,,^<
Rhoobarb
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicken-City-Ale-Raisers/118689024850197

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2015, 01:57:22 pm »
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...

Touche, good sir, touche. :D But I can't only have one royal PITA in the brewery. For me, I'll put my PITA eggs in the pH meter basket. Some days I just hate that thing.

...  That's all I have to say about HBT other than the forum is chock full of one-year-wonder home brewers who are absolutely certain that they are master brewers.  This forum is smaller.  However, on average, the level of experience each forum member possesses is much higher, and so is the maturity level.   There are many amateur brewers on this site that have been through many home brewing fads.

^^^ This! I used to be on HBT all the time back when I began in 1998.  By around 2006-7, I spent less time there.  Now, it's a different place completely- one I don't care for so much. Just my opinion. This forum is the only one I look at on a nearly-daily basis these days.

+1.050
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3672
  • In the night!
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2015, 02:10:02 pm »
I think the true folly here is entering into an argument on HBT. There is a reason why many of us choose this forum as our home base. The attitude is much different 'round these parts.

And HomeBrewTalk is just as DIY and scientific, at the same time, as this place, if not more so.

My beef is definitely not with HBT. 90% of the people that post there are great.

My problem, which carries over to real life and work as well, is not with someone having a strong opinion on something. I'm an engineer working in Nuclear so opinions backed up with technical expertise are valued. My real problem is someone telling another person that there is this way, my way, of doing it for the best results. Add in misconstrued or misunderstood scientific articles and technical information to back up opinions and my head starts to hurt.

This is especially true for something subjective like taste.

It's like telling a guitar player, "You can make good sound with a Fender Twin Reverb, but if you want to make the best sound, you need a Marshall Superlead full stack."

Both are equally valid tools in the hands of their users. The difference is in preference and comfort using that tool.
Good points. Taste is subjective...who knows, y'alls beer might suck, mine might suck. I don't know. What's it matter? I have people in my homebrew club who've brewed for a long time, and pontificate all the time about this and that, "this is how I do it" like it's the best possible way...and sh!t, I'm guilty of this too, but I can still tell they've a long ways to come in their beer quality...as well as I do. A lot of the stuff I pontificate to my club that I do is stuff I learned from this site...and I know, sadly, none of them really read this site or any other homebrew forums, as far as I know. But, that's neither here nor there...or anywhere.

Another thing I always find amusing is when people say, "I do [insert whatever method, etc here] and my beer turns out great!" This person might think Shock Top is the greatest beer in the world for all I know, or thinks Amber Bock is an actual bock... ya just can't trust these people until you've had their beer.

On a slightly different note, why is aerating with pure O2 more of a big deal on a commercial scale and not so much on a homebrew scale? What difference would batch size have to do with it? Maybe you should tell commercial breweries to get a really big mix stir and aerate that way.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 02:13:12 pm by beersk »
Jesse

Derek

  • Guest
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2015, 02:26:43 pm »
One of the things i gripe to my wife about all the time is that the internet is the best thing and the worst thing at the same time. Too much information can be a bad thing after a certain point in the hands of the wrong people.

This lends itself to many hobbies. I used to frequent some of the guitar tube amp forums and many of the same problems plagued them as well. Given access to so many opinions and such a multitude of information, people are bound to have many different opinions on many subjects with various levels of merit attached to them. Some opinions are heavily steeped in confirmation bias and some are groomed through experience.

I find the former frustrating and latter enlightening.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 3511
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Anybody Brewing Great Beer with Manual Aeration?
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2015, 02:54:21 pm »
And HomeBrewTalk is just as DIY and scientific, at the same time, as this place, if not more so. Do you read there or post there often? Everything one could need to know about brewing is on that site. I don't think the attitudes are all that different, it's just a different group of people, more of a broad spectrum of brewers.

There are plenty of people on HBT with great brewing and scientific knowledge but they are too often overrun by people pounding out the gospel of whatever they read last month. All you have to do is read the thread in the sour subforum where Lance from Omega Labs discussed his findings, based on his lab tests, showing 100% lactobacillus beers are impossible and how often yeast showed up in yeast lab cultures. People responded overwhelmingly that one guy on a blog said you can make 100% lacto beers so Lance was wrong.

To the O2 issue: my experience is that pure O2 makes a difference the more challenging the fermentation. I generally use it for beers over 6% and any lagers. That is maybe 5-10% of the beers I brew. Most of the beers I'm brewing these days are closer to 4% and I just run the wort through a strainer and shake the fermentor. My experience is consistent with studies that show optimal O2 levels produce greater attenuation and that's something I want in those bigger beers or lagers but not necessarily in a smaller ale. I believe there are other ways to make great beer that does not require pure O2 but this works for me.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing