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Old 09-20-2006, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default Aeration Stone

I purchased a 2 Micron Stainless Steel Diffusion aeration stone. I also purchased a cheap aquarium pump that indicates it is for a 5 - 10 gal. aquarium. I brewed a IPA last night and used my new aeration system for the first time. It was late by the time I was finishing up but I could not see bubbles or anything coming out of the stone. I let it run for about 40 minutes. I was told by the guy at the LHBS to keep an eye on it as it could potentially cause a lot of foam. I got none. I am not sure it is working?
Is there supposed to be any noticeable effect that you can observe while this thing is working?
I did not pitch my yeast (1/2 gallon starter) until about 10:30PM and had a very active airlock when I checked it at 6:00AM this morning so I am assuming all is well.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:25 AM   #2
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It should foam like crazy. I use O2 and I can see the bubbles rising to the surface. It might be clogged. My instructions said not to handle it with your fingers because of the oil on them. I would recheck it.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:32 AM   #3
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I was told by one of the guys at my LHBS that if you are using an aquarium pump that the 5 micron stones work better because most aquarium pumps can't push enough air through the 2 micron stone. He recommended only using the 2 micron with oxygen tanks because of the increased pressure.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:55 AM   #4
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I have a 2 micron stone, and my Whisper brand aquarium pump works fine. I let the fermenter fill with foam before I turn it off. My O2 tank works better.

I think your pump may be too weak for the diffusion rating of the stone. I believe my pump is rated for 20 plus gallon tanks (its not the 5-10 gallon one).

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:55 AM   #5
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I worked 10 years in the aquarium hobby, and I can tell you that a small pump (and that is a small pump) will not be terribly powerful. They will pump to the depth of about 2 feet with no difficulty, but yeah, a really tiny 'aperature' stone will definitely slow it down as you've seen. I used to use 'stones' made of about 20 plastic discs that could be taken apart for cleaning purposes. A bonus was that the discs could be tightened or loosened with a 'thumbscrew' for adjusting the guage of the bubbles

Who knew? When I moved last year, I finally threw away the 20 or so aquarium pumps I had sitting around.

Bear in mind that an AQ pump will suck up whatever air is in the room and push it into your beer, so watch what you're doing in the room. They seem to be especially adept at sucking up cig smoke. An aquarium store may have, or be able to get for you, an inline charcoal and particulate filter (polyester fibers) that will suck out a lot of crapola.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blender
It should foam like crazy. I use O2 and I can see the bubbles rising to the surface. It might be clogged. My instructions said not to handle it with your fingers because of the oil on them. I would recheck it.
The instructions I got with mine said that as well. I was careful not to handle it with my fingers and only touched it with the plastic wrap that it came in.
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marshman


Bear in mind that an AQ pump will suck up whatever air is in the room and push it into your beer, so watch what you're doing in the room. They seem to be especially adept at sucking up cig smoke. An aquarium store may have, or be able to get for you, an inline charcoal and particulate filter (polyester fibers) that will suck out a lot of crapola.
You can get inline filters from your local brew store, or from a place like Northern Brewer.
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:32 AM   #8
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I got my 2 micron stone at my local brew store and one of those deep aquarium pumps and a HEPA filter disc that goes in the air line two feet from the end. It worked great, bubbling away visibly until I had a three inch layer of foam on top of my beer.

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