Wort Aeration

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by mnstorm99, Mar 20, 2013.

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  1. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    OK, so I am tired of hand stirring my wort. I brew mostly low gravity ales, so I have always assumed I am getting a good amount of aeration with a vigorous stir but I guarantee I am not aerating my higher gravity worts enough. I got a paint mixer to attach to my drill, and figure this should be sufficient but what are your rules of thumb for dissolved oxygen levels based on gravity?​
    I thought about getting an aquarium pump, but thought for $7 I wouldn't mind having one of these around anyway.​
     
  2. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (456) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    I believe this link will answer most of your questions:

    http://www.byo.com/aeration/item/1894-aerating-wort-techniques

    Also, search for Vikeman's thread concerning oxygen aerating techniques.

    I personally like the paint stirrer . . . for stirring paint. I use an oxygen tank and it has served me well. If you look hard you can find used O2 tanks pretty cheap. I also use O2 in yeast starters.
     
  3. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    I'll keep my eye out for an o2 tank, as that will be my ultimate goal...but I am too cheap for my own good at times.
     
  4. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    As a point of reference, my beers have become markedly better since using oxygen. I went on a kick where I did all I could to better manage my yeast and my beers are coming out so much better. I would recommend buying the disposable O2 tanks and getting the regulator and stone for lke $40-$50.
     
    rmalinowski4 and PortLargo like this.
  5. broodog

    broodog Aspirant (222) Jul 18, 2009 Illinois

  6. lunarbrew

    lunarbrew Zealot (508) Mar 11, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I've been considering buying an aeration setup. I typically brew 5g batches with a better bottle primary though, so I have been pouring heavy into a large funnel, pitching, then shaking for a few minutes. It has seemed to do the trick. I really like the idea of that mix stir, though.

    Do you guys typically aerate before or after pitching (not that it should matter either way)?
     
  7. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,451) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Subscriber

    I do the disposable oxygen tank / airstone thing. I aerate before I pitch, when I remember, but often I forget and aerate after the pitch. Shouldn't matter if you do it approximately at the same time.
     
  8. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

  9. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

  10. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Good for you!

    I use O2 tanks myself, but if you are a cheapskate, you might consider using the aquarium pump option. It's more expensive up-front, but I will admit to you that it is a pain in the ass to head out to Home Depot every few batches and spend $5 to $10 on O2 cylinders.
     
  11. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Yeah, I considered the aquarium pump idea, but the cylinder option seems better in the long run to me.
     
  12. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    The paint stirrer will be nice for stirring while cooling.
     
  13. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Devotee (400) Nov 21, 2008 Texas
    Beer Trader

    It could help you produce the whirlpool.
     
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,002) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I'm a cheap bastard, a friend showed me his cheap, and very effective way, of aerating his wort. He uses a racking cane to go from his boil kettle to his fermenter. on the end of his tubing he puts a small section of hardline, about three to four inches long. His is made from a food grade hard plastic, mine is made from some copper tubing that slips into the vinyl tubing. I took my drill and with a very small drill bit drilled a shit ton (scientific, right?) of small holes in it. As the wort travels through the racking cane and eventually past these holes, the wort draws air in behind it and it aerates the wort. It does an unbelievable job doing so, and the piece is very easy to clean and sanitize. I'm no scientist, but I'm willing to bet this does a more than adequate job aerating the wort.
     
    NiceFly and kjyost like this.
  15. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    That sounds like a brilliant way to contaminate your beer, pulling in all kinds of air like that. Every time a ray of sunlight passes through my window and I see all those dust particles in the air, I use that mental image when I'm transferring wort/beer.

    I use this thing: http://www.williamsbrewing.com/WILLIAMS-OXYGEN-AERATION-SYSTEM-P699C106.aspx and I absolutely love it. Maybe it is a bit expensive, but having a metal wand for me makes this thing well worth the money. Gone are the days of floating airstones. I think I'm on batch 15 on the current tank.
     
  16. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,002) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    The air being pulled in to aerate with is the air that is in your carboy... so if your carboy has that inside of it, well, I reckonn aeration isn't why your beer tastes like shit. Lol.
     
  17. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    Clearly, unless you are brewing in a fume hood, some air is going to get in your stuff. I try to minimize it. Same reason I keep lids on my fermenters. Keeps dust and other shit from falling in.
     
  18. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    So, do I go with the Williams system? The rod seems easier to control.

    Or, do I shop local and avoid shipping costs at Midwest Supplies?
     
  19. premierpro

    premierpro Disciple (384) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan
    Subscriber

    After shaking the bucket for years I switched to a stir paddle and drill motor. I have had no issues.
     
  20. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I make it a point to stay positive on this fourm. However, this is the dumbest thing I have seen on here in quite some time. How is the air introduced by SFARCknight's method different than any other air, inline filters and O2 aside?

    Anyway, what I do for higher gravity worts I like to call Homebrew Yorkshire Squares. The morning following brewday I sanitize my 6 gallon pot. Then I pour the wort from my bucket into the pot and back into the bucket. I am not leaving behing any trub like a true Yorkshire Square would, but it does give the yeast another shot of O2.

    I have done this on split batches that varied only on the pitching rate, and the low pitching rate caught up to the high pitching rate almost immediately.
     
  21. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    Are you saying air can't contaminate your beer?

    There is plenty of stuff floating around (especially grain dust, if you mill at home) that could carry bugs into your beer. Minimizing air contact with wort is, in my mind, perfectly defensible.


    edit: For the record, I misunderstood the original method that poster described. I had in my mind some kind of air-intake thing up in the transfer line and not down at the tip where the wort flows into the carboy. I would be scared of something like how I envisioned, just pulling in air like that.
     
  22. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Straw man argument.
    No shit. This thread was started to see how others used the ambient air to introduce O2 into wort. So I ask again, since you neglected to answer, how is the air introduced by SFACRknights's method different than any other air, inline filters and O2 aside?
     
  23. evantwomey

    evantwomey Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2008 North Carolina

    You're right, it is no different. I guess my point was that I try to minimize air contact via any method. Maybe I have overblown this risk in my mind (your homebrew Yorkshire squares would frighten me a bit but hey, if it works it works).
     
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