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Old 02-24-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
pieper
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Default Aeration set up (using aquarium stones)

Hello,

has anyone ever used an aquarium pump and diffusion stone for their brewing needs?

Any thoughts? -- I understand that the size of the 'diffusion holes' would need to be similar to a brewing stone (0.2 microns)

Thanks

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Old 02-24-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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Plenty of people use aquarium pumps for aeration, though generally with diffusion stones intended for brewing. Brewing aeration stones are usually 2 micron for air, or 0.5 micron for pure O2. I have a feeling that with a 0.2 micron stone an aquarium pump would have a hard time getting any flow.

Regardless, one thing you need to consider is sanitation - brewing stones are made of stainless steel. Aquarium stones that I've seen are usually made of some kind of plastic or something. They may get gummed up by the wort, and it may not be possible to effectively sanitize them like you can with stainless.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
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Would just a tube be effective as well instead of using an air stone?

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Old 02-25-2008, 12:23 AM   #4
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Yes, you could just use the tube.

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Old 02-25-2008, 01:13 AM   #5
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It's my understanding that just a tube is less useful than just shaking it up prior to pitching. I used an aquarium pump & air stone on my most recent brew and the fermentation was noticeably more vigirous; ran the pump for an hour, the stone was not a stainless steel but just an aquarium bubbler stone. Some discussion of it in this thread when the foam was more than I expected.

Rick

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Old 02-25-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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Using just a tube is incredibly inefficient. The surface area of a few big bubbles from a tube is miniscule compared to the surface area of many thousands of bubbles as you get from an airstone. While it's better than no aeration at all, part of the point of an airstone is to get aeration finished in a short period of time so you can get your fermenter all closed up and put away... Even with an airstone, using just air (as opposed to pure O2, which takes just about a minute) is rumored to take something like 30 minutes to saturate the wort... So I would guess that with no airstone it would take significantly longer, on the order of many hours, which is really not ideal for your vulnerable wort.

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Old 03-07-2008, 09:16 PM   #7
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I tried to get an o2 canister setup from Lowes yesterday. They did have the cans, but I could not get just a regulator and some hose. Had to buy a whole welder setup for $50. I think I will try the HBS in the near future.

In the meantime, I got a $6 aquarium pump, 8ft of tiny hose, and a 5 pack of disposable air stones. I think it cost 10.99 total. I let it run in the kettle (after it cooled) till it nearly foamed over, about 25 minutes, racked to carboy, and hit it with the air again until it filled the headspace (another 15 or 20). Pitched a nice big starter, and stuffed the blowoff tube in. That was an hour ago. Nothing yet, holding breath. I added several things to the process this time:

- wort chiller (great investment)
- Turkey fryer al kettle for full boil
- added 3/4 of the LME with 15 minutes to go (all DME and 1/4 LME at 60 mins)
- Added 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient at 15 minutes
- washed yeast from last batch of imperial stout
- 2 step starter using home made stir plate
- air pump / stone

Trying to solve some high FG issues with first 2 batches. Will post back what I see when I see it. There are enough new variables that I am almost sure something will blow up.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:21 PM   #8
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Go to Williams Brewing. they sell the regulator, some airline, and a Stainless Steel airstone on a 22" stainless 'wand' that will reach to the bottom of any carboy.

its the bees knees for pure O2 aeration.

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Old 03-08-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3n8
I got a $6 aquarium pump, 8ft of tiny hose, and a 5 pack of disposable air stones. I think it cost 10.99 total. I let it run in the kettle (after it cooled) till it nearly foamed over, about 25 minutes, racked to carboy, and hit it with the air again until it filled the headspace (another 15 or 20). Pitched a nice big starter, and stuffed the blowoff tube in. That was an hour ago. Nothing yet, holding breath.
Well, $10 aeration setup seems to be a success. Checked on fermentation this am when I got up. Roughly 12 hours after pitching, I have enough krausen on a 5G batch of IPA to fill the headspace in the 6.5G carboy. Fermentation seems very happy. Hoping for a nice low FG on this one (1.012 or so).

I still think I will look into getting an o2 setup with a SS stone.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3n8 View Post
I still think I will look into getting an o2 setup with a SS stone.

Before you do that, you may want to read this first:

http://www.beertools.com/html/articles.php?view=245

Scroll down to topic #3. Food for though. Perhaps the $10 aquarium pump is the way to go.

Cheers
Dave
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