Author Topic: aeration ideas  (Read 618 times)

Offline KCguy

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 74
aeration ideas
« on: July 02, 2019, 01:22:05 PM »
Having always simply poured my 65F wort into the fermenter from a few feet high, and turning out decent beers, I began to think I might need more oxygen when making belgian styles....tried a simple aquarium pump and it seemed to work fine, but I could never get over the "dont let the stone get wet" thing but knowing it still needed to be sanitized.  I guess I could put the thing in the oven, then pull it out 15 mins before and connect to santized hoses and the pump - but that is too much of a Faff, as the english say. 

Then I realized Ive got a few stirring tools for the end of a cordless drill, which Ive used to de-gas my wine batches.  I wonder if that would work just as well as the pump?  Besides, Ive read somewhere (so it must be correct :) ) that the aquarium pump method only injects about 8ppm, which is same as pouring in, like Ive always done.  I dont want to go get a tank of oxygen and then still worry about santizing the stone and tubing. 

Any other clever ideas for aeration?  Or downsides to the wine stirring sticks? 
Michael B
Kansas City

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3666
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 01:39:19 PM »
Don't let the stone get wet?  Wha...?
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline KCguy

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 01:44:35 PM »
Don't let the stone get wet?  Wha...?

Oh the documentation that came with the pump and stone, says not to let it get wet.  I know, I know.  It just made me realize they took a tool for something else, and re-sold it to learning brewers.   
Michael B
Kansas City

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1961
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 01:49:25 PM »
A few points:
-stainless steel stones can be baked, boiled and dropped in sanitizer solution
- 8 ppm is about the max dissolved oxygen (DO) you can get in wort from air depending on your gravity; higher DO is possible in water
- You can "shake" a fermenter to create a big vortex for 40 seconds and get to 8 ppm (presumably from 4 ppm). 
- no reason a mix stir wouldn't work
- pouring wort into a fermenter can get you to about 4 ppm DO.  I haven't seen claims before that you can get to 8 ppm with pouring alone.

I used to know the sources for the above information, but I no longer do.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3666
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 02:34:15 PM »
I use a stainless stone and just put it in iodophor to sanitize.   I recommend a 2 micron stone, not 0.5 micron.  The 2 micron ones are much easier to clean and sanitize because flow through them is easier.  I just flush the whole assembly with water after use (I put a little barb on a hose adapter on my sink faucet) and run air or CO2 through to mostly dry it out. 

I've used air, and now use the red Bernzomatic oxygen cylinders. The air coming out of my aquarium pump stank from the rubber diaphragm, and I don't want my beer to taste like rubber, so I rigged a carbon filter as well as a sterile filter in line so I'd just get nice, pure air into the wort. 

The one handling instruction I know of (never heard of something intended to go in liquid that couldn't get wet) is not to directly touch it, as the oils in your skin will clog the pores  -- handle it like a halogen headlight bulb.

I haven't ever tried it, but the idea of using a stirrer on a drill ought to be a lot easier than pouring back and forth or shaking, and a pretty clever, simple idea.  Easy to clean and sanitize too.

As kramerog indicates, the maximum dissolved oxygen level at saturation with air is around 8ppm, which is just about enough in most cases.  1-2 minutes of gentle bubbling with pure O2 should get 10ppm easily, which is supposed to be ideal.  Also note it is possible to go too far.  10-12ppm is really the most you want.  The Yeast book by White and Zainasheff has some tables with results of O2 levels they got using various methods.  One more point on using a stone.  Ideally, you have a flow rate such that fine bubbles are just reaching the surface, not churning up a boiling head of foam -- gas that's breaking the surface and shooting into the air is obviously not dissolving into the wort.

Very strong beers may need more, but rather that try to get more O2 in upfront, the advice I've always seen is to aerate a second time several hours (up to 12) after pitching, while of course any oxygenation after fermentation starts is usually a big no-no.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20736
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 02:49:19 PM »
I used a wine degasser for years and it worked great,  so if you've got one  go for it.  To tell you the truth, I don't do any specific aeration any more.  With dry yeast, you don't need it.  With liquid yeast I pitch a healthy, active starter.  Between that and pumping to the fermenter, it just isn't necessary for me.  Heresy?  Maybe but also pragmatic.

Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline EnkAMania

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 219
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 02:59:34 PM »
I used a wine degasser for years and it worked great,  so if you've got one  go for it.  To tell you the truth, I don't do any specific aeration any more.  With dry yeast, you don't need it.  With liquid yeast I pitch a healthy, active starter.  Between that and pumping to the fermenter, it just isn't necessary for me.  Heresy?  Maybe but also pragmatic.

I'm the same.  I don't go out of my way to oxygenate the wort, pumping it in seems to do the trick.
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline Bob357

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 333
  • Consensus means nothing to me. I am who I am.
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 03:06:29 PM »
It's the sterile filter you don't want to get wet.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3666
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 03:07:06 PM »
I used a wine degasser for years and it worked great,  so if you've got one  go for it.  To tell you the truth, I don't do any specific aeration any more.  With dry yeast, you don't need it.  With liquid yeast I pitch a healthy, active starter.  Between that and pumping to the fermenter, it just isn't necessary for me.  Heresy?  Maybe but also pragmatic.

I'm the same.  I don't go out of my way to oxygenate the wort, pumping it in seems to do the trick.
But for us simple folk who don't have no fancy pumps or nuthin...
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3666
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 03:07:34 PM »
It's the sterile filter you don't want to get wet.
Ok, that makes sense!
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20736
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 03:48:54 PM »
I used a wine degasser for years and it worked great,  so if you've got one  go for it.  To tell you the truth, I don't do any specific aeration any more.  With dry yeast, you don't need it.  With liquid yeast I pitch a healthy, active starter.  Between that and pumping to the fermenter, it just isn't necessary for me.  Heresy?  Maybe but also pragmatic.

I'm the same.  I don't go out of my way to oxygenate the wort, pumping it in seems to do the trick.
But for us simple folk who don't have no fancy pumps or nuthin...

Let the wort fall into the fermenter.  Before I had a pump I used a pitcher to scoop wort put of the kettle and xfer it to the fermenter.  Use your head, don't fall prey to dogma.  There's more than one way to do things, as you well know.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3666
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2019, 03:57:46 PM »


I used a wine degasser for years and it worked great,  so if you've got one  go for it.  To tell you the truth, I don't do any specific aeration any more.  With dry yeast, you don't need it.  With liquid yeast I pitch a healthy, active starter.  Between that and pumping to the fermenter, it just isn't necessary for me.  Heresy?  Maybe but also pragmatic.

I'm the same.  I don't go out of my way to oxygenate the wort, pumping it in seems to do the trick.
But for us simple folk who don't have no fancy pumps or nuthin...

Let the wort fall into the fermenter.  Before I had a pump I used a pitcher to scoop wort put of the kettle and xfer it to the fermenter.  Use your head, don't fall prey to dogma.  There's more than one way to do things, as you well know.

Another variation I like is one I think Goose uses.  Some people put a length of pipe or tubing with a bunch of tiny holes drilled on the end of their siphon hose or however they transfer, so the wort sprays out into the fermenter.  All of these ideas will work.  (The only problem I have with them is when I do low oxygen brews, which I'm doing more of, at least with my lagers now.  Then I like to gently run the wort onto the yeast in the fermenter and only then oxygenate.   But that's quibbling beyond the scope of this topic.)
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3186
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2019, 05:41:53 PM »


I used a wine degasser for years and it worked great,  so if you've got one  go for it.  To tell you the truth, I don't do any specific aeration any more.  With dry yeast, you don't need it.  With liquid yeast I pitch a healthy, active starter.  Between that and pumping to the fermenter, it just isn't necessary for me.  Heresy?  Maybe but also pragmatic.

I'm the same.  I don't go out of my way to oxygenate the wort, pumping it in seems to do the trick.
But for us simple folk who don't have no fancy pumps or nuthin...

Let the wort fall into the fermenter.  Before I had a pump I used a pitcher to scoop wort put of the kettle and xfer it to the fermenter.  Use your head, don't fall prey to dogma.  There's more than one way to do things, as you well know.

Another variation I like is one I think Goose uses.  Some people put a length of pipe or tubing with a bunch of tiny holes drilled on the end of their siphon hose or however they transfer, so the wort sprays out into the fermenter.  All of these ideas will work.  (The only problem I have with them is when I do low oxygen brews, which I'm doing more of, at least with my lagers now.  Then I like to gently run the wort onto the yeast in the fermenter and only then oxygenate.   But that's quibbling beyond the scope of this topic.)

I have gone from aerating with a stone and O2 to just what Denny does.  It seems that sufficient oxygenation occurs with a healthy yeast pitch and a modest froth from transferring.  I rack onto yeast (dry liquid or re-pitched portion of cake, so I always assume that oxidation concerns are pretty much avoided due to the nearly immediate yeast uptake and use of the O2 that is present in the foamy surface of the fermenter at wort transfer (and O2 in the head space of the fermenter, if necessary).  I practice most of the low O2 processes up to the point of transfer from the boil kettle to the fermenter and have had pretty good success with lagers with that approach.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline goose

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2019, 05:51:55 PM »

Another variation I like is one I think Goose uses.  Some people put a length of pipe or tubing with a bunch of tiny holes drilled on the end of their siphon hose or however they transfer, so the wort sprays out into the fermenter.  All of these ideas will work.  (The only problem I have with them is when I do low oxygen brews, which I'm doing more of, at least with my lagers now.  Then I like to gently run the wort onto the yeast in the fermenter and only then oxygenate.   But that's quibbling beyond the scope of this topic.)
[/quote]

I still use this method!  It is about 6" of 3/8"copper pipe that has about 20 holes drilled in it at an angle around its circumference so that it sucks in air while the wort is passing through it (I pump my wort from the kettle through the chiller and and aerator into the top of my conical).  It works great, is cheap, and I seem to get enough O2 in the beer from this method so that I never have really long lag times.
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3666
Re: aeration ideas
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2019, 06:13:44 PM »
^^^^
Ah, so your method sucks air into the wort stream rather than spraying the wort, Goose!  That reminds me of another trick I've heard that's similar but even simpler, if you use a siphon:  put a pinhole in the top side of the racking hose just past where it attaches to the racking cane.  This will suck in a lot of air as the wort flows too.  (I accidentally saw this effect in action once due to a bad connection between hose and cane.)
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.