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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Air compressor aeration
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:32 PM   #21
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I googled "aerate wort with compressor" and came upon this thread so...I joined the forum because I want to hear from anybody who is actually doing this - as opposed to anybody who "would not". I'm only interested because I already have a compressor. I'm not going to get one just to aerate and iIt's not as though I'm going to take the rubber hose I use to power my stapler and drop it in the bucket. I have two filtering systems on my compressor. One dries the air of moisture and then lubricates it. It's good for the tools. The other dries the air only. This I'd use with a dedicated-to-brewing hose and pass the air through the inline filter that Northern Brewer has and then to a diffusion stone. Will it be OK?
i would just as soon shake the fermentor than use an air compressor. you will not get more air in there than you will by shaking and the air running through the hose tastes bad. between shaking and pure O2 i went with the pure O2. i think my setup cost me about $140 for the cylinder/regulator (harbor freight) and the stainless aeration wand. the cylinder will last me for hundreds of batches, maybe thousands, i've had it over a yr now and it's still going on the same O2 fill.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:50 PM   #22
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Default Compressed air injection

Thank you eastok I appreciate it. I'd love to hear from somebody who is doing it and how it's working out. I'm a novice working up to some higher OG brews that most agree will require more than a quick splash to aerate it for the most thorough and complete fermentation. So far - I've been brewing a year - splashing seems to be fine. I've yet to understand why a brew above 1070 would need pure oxygen injected rather than just air (maybe for longer?). back when the Rheinheitsgebot was written I don't think anybody was injecting air or oxygen...

As to the smell of compressed air this probably comes from the rubber hoses used. The air around us potentially contains bacteria that would be harmful to our hard worked for brew. But it's the same air whether it's agitated in the bucket, pushed through an aquarium pump or compressed by my compressor. The latter two would both be HEPA filtered before entering the bucket. I'm not a scientist but I would have thought that odors were caused by airborne particulates and that they would get "caught" by the filter.

I hate to spend money on gear if I have something else that will work. That said, I do have my fears and I don't want to risk a whole batch just to find out!

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Old 10-13-2012, 07:03 PM   #23
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Without using pure O2, the most you'll infuse the wort with (be it splashing, pouring, a aquarium pump, or compressor) is 8ppm. With pure O2, you can get many times that. For bigger beers you NEED to be able to infuse more O2 into the wort since it won't retain it as easily as lower OG wort.

IMO, using a compressor is not a good idea. For one thing, you'll need to add a sanitary filter before the air stone. At the flow levels most compressors function at, you'll probably rip right through it. I see it as an exercise in frustration where you can easily do it properly with other methods (especially pure O2).

I have O2 regulators with flow meters on them, that connect to my 20 cubic foot O2 tanks (for welding systems). I'm still working on the first of two tanks (got them when I exchanged my 40 cubic foot tank that was far out of hydro) I picked up last year. There's still plenty of O2 in that tank, even after many batches (at least 20-30, if not more). That's with infusing batches with a range of OG's at different LpM rates (1-2 LpM typically) and times (ranging from 60-120 seconds).

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Old 11-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #24
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I only just noticed this reply. Thank you.

The filter that NB sells is an in-line HEPA filter. It goes before the air stone. Also, I can adjust the output on the compressor to a very low value the likes of which would suit an air brush.

I take on board the O2 comments. I'm just not sure I want to get more gear when I already have gear. Though I do intend to brew much stronger beers some day

So, putting the O2 argument to one side, the air that exists in my home is going to get splashed or forced in to my beer. It's the same air and air quality whether I slosh the bucket, spend money on the aquarium pump, filter and stone set up or less money on the stone and filter only using my own compressor. In fact the air I'm sloshing in the bucket hasn't passed through a filter. The compressed air will have. That's a plus isn't it?

But...where can I research/buy 02 regulators and all I'd need?

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Old 11-02-2012, 09:54 PM   #25
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So, putting the O2 argument to one side, the air that exists in my home is going to get splashed or forced in to my beer. It's the same air and air quality whether I slosh the bucket, spend money on the aquarium pump, filter and stone set up or less money on the stone and filter only using my own compressor. In fact the air I'm sloshing in the bucket hasn't passed through a filter. The compressed air will have. That's a plus isn't it?

But...where can I research/buy 02 regulators and all I'd need?
When you compress air in a compressor you are also compressing the moisture in the air. This is why you shouldn't run air tools on a compressor without an oil/water separator. When the moisture settles in the tank it gets rusty so now you not only have moist air you have rust in it also.

Even when running a separator you still get moist air coming out.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:02 PM   #26
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Monster Mash, I have a separator on my compressor, but I wouldn't use it to oxygenate/aerate my wort. I wouldn't feel comfortable without either a few of them in line, or an actual air dryer. By then, you're easily talking about the same cost (or more) of just getting a pure O2 system.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:08 PM   #27
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We used those 02 canisters for a while, ran out, and just shook them up. We have seen no real difference in fermentation. Times have been about the same, hell our last one fermented all the way down to 1.009 even after transferring to secondary. I find that simplest way that works is the best imo.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #28
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We used those 02 canisters for a while, ran out, and just shook them up. We have seen no real difference in fermentation. Times have been about the same, hell our last one fermented all the way down to 1.009 even after transferring to secondary. I find that simplest way that works is the best imo.
Bad back, and lots of wort going into primary, plus fermenting in sanke kegs rules out shaking for me. I'm using a 20 cubic foot O2 tank to oxygenate my wort. I'd be surprised if it runs empty in 2 years (brewing as close to the 100 gallon legal limit, per year, as I can). Judging by the usage I had in my first 20 cubic tank (used it for many batches, and have it connected to my welding system now) the fresh tank will go at least 2 years for me.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:37 AM   #29
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Me too. I'll go with 60 sec/5.5 gal with bubbles just coming to the surface. It seems like the little red tanks never run out.

Also, if you have a ton of large bubble frothing up, you're pumping out too much O2.
Is there such a thing as too much?
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:46 AM   #30
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Is there such a thing as too much?
Generally speaking, it would take a major effort to over-oxygenate a wort before pitching the yeast. If you use half of your brain (or more) chances are you'll not over-oxygenate.

Now, if you aerate/oxygenate it after fermentation has been going for a day, or two, you can do damage. Typically really HIGH OG brews are hit with more O2 12-18 hours from pitching. Super-high batches (over 16%) and yeasts (WLP099) could benefit from additional O2 infusions. But, only for the first few days.

I like having the flow meter regulator on the O2 tank. Gives me a solid way to know how much is going into the wort/must.
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