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Old 11-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #41
stevescott123
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So even if I creep open the valve on the tank I cannot avoid unwelcome and excessive pressure?

I agree it's a better deal in the long run and I'm about to go to Air Gas, see what they have to say, but I've already seen $80 empty but shipped tanks on eBay and the regulator on Amazon you informed me about.

From my own research I would have to agree (again!) that this can easily be achieved for under $150.

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Old 11-09-2012, 09:30 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevescott123 View Post
So even if I creep open the valve on the tank I cannot avoid unwelcome and excessive pressure?
It's not as progressive as you might think on these. You crack it open and it's pretty much full blast. IMO, really not worth the risks to save a few dollars. Besides, how are you going to go from the tank fitting to the stone?

Quote:
I agree it's a better deal in the long run and I'm about to go to Air Gas, see what they have to say, but I've already seen $80 empty but shipped tanks on eBay and the regulator on Amazon you informed me about.

From my own research I would have to agree (again!) that this can easily be achieved for under $150.
Just make sure those empty tanks have a decent hydro date stamp on them. Close to expiring is one thing. Even a year out isn't that bad. But don't get any that are any older than that or you'll not get much (most likely) towards the exchange.

IMO, another 'benefit' of having the regular O2 tank and flowmeter regulator is you don't need to worry about having enough O2 for something. If you want to make several batches one week, or make something stronger than beer (mead, cider, wine, etc.) you'll have enough O2 on hand to get the job done without issue. I have to wonder how well one of those red bottles would hold up to making 2-4 batches of 14-18% mead in one weekend.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:46 PM   #43
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Couple of these reponses came in while I was at Airgas. I did indeed purchase a 20cf tank, filled with O2. The tank was $79.19, the fill $20.28. With the "fees" and my local taxes the total was $113.53.

The Harbor Freight tanks are just under $100. Sure, they're glossy and new and all that but only until you get it to the likes of Airgas who will exchange it for one they have. They don't fill tanks that customers bring in. I was aware of this beforehand, just wanted to reiterate it. Since I was there with my car (I usually ride to work) and Airgas Guy had been most helpful I decided not to waste time going home and trying to beat the deal online...only to wait for it to be shippd to me and then have to drive back to Airgas for the fill AND swap to a different tank. So I handed over my credit card.

There's a whole string of numbers stamped around the cylinder but none appears to represent a hydro date; it's probably in code.

One thing that came up in conversation was the cleanliness of the oxygen. No crticism intended of Airgas Guy but any use outside of industrial (ie: culinary) was beyond his scope. Obviously, since the cylinders are constantly being exchanged the history is not known and any reisdual matter inside the tank is not known. Apparently there is a medical oxygen supplier near Airgas that cleans it's tanks but they're more expensive. I decided not to go there on the grounds that Golddiggie uses an industrial tank and Eastok said that bacteria cannot survive in an O2 environment. Is there anything else that can put my mind at rest on this subject? For $5 the in line HEPA filter from Northern Brewer seems like it might be good insurance (?)

So on to the regulator. I passed up on the Airgas regs that I think started at $150. I'm interested in the one on Amazon but the picture is not so clear. It's a 540 fitting so that's good. I suppose I just have the reg closed, open the tank valve and then open the reg to the desired flow rate - but I don't know what that should be. Can that little medical reg cope with the pressure of the tank? Does the reg also have the ability to tell me how much O2 remains in the tank? Or is that what 2 stages do? I think, at a batch very 2 months, the tank might outlive me but I'd hate to be completing some high OG and expensive brew somewhere down the line and not have the 02 to inject because I didn't see it coming (or going!)

But I was (you were) right about the cost of tank, gas and reg being under $150. Of course that doesn't include the stone, tubing/wand, possible HEPA filter etc. Details, details.

But that's initial cost - like when you buy your first set of brewing equipment and hardware and you then use it for dozens of batches. Next time, it'll just be around $20 for the fill. If I ever need it!

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:05 PM   #44
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your concerns about the cleanliness of the O2 is unfounded, steve. a HEPA could ease your concerns but then you have to worry about when to change it...more worries. in the 2 yrs i've been brewing i have never had any kind of infection in a fermentor and i hit the wort with pure O2 from a stainless wand that hangs in my garage, i never boil it just spray it with star san turn it on for a second and into the wort it goes. i know many other brewers here have the same experience using O2, it's safe.

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:49 PM   #45
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Most of my concerns are unfounded. I'm a born worrier.

Thanks!

I think I read somewhere about 12 batches per filter, I'd have to check.

Any thoughts on the regulator and monitoring the tank contents?

BTW what size diffusion stone are you using?

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Old 11-11-2012, 02:01 AM   #46
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stevescott123, if you already have some 3/16" ID [Bevlex] tubing (as most people who keg will have) then all you need is the air stone on the wand (now)... $34.90 for that. Just need a way to connect it to the O2 regulator. Get one [of the regulators] with threaded fittings and you can break it down easy, get it with the barb and you'll just leave it connected. The threaded fittings (brass) I use were not even $1 each from the welding gas supplier.

So, with buying everything new, you could be closer to $200. Still a far cry cheaper than using the small O2 bottles. You're at under half the cost of just the bottles alone. Of course, I was [originally] talking about just the O2 source, not the stone/wand too.

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Old 11-11-2012, 03:50 AM   #47
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i use a wand like the one linked to above except i think i bought mine at morebeer. i've had my tank for about 1- 1/2 yrs and brew almost every weekend, i have no clue how much is in there. i basically count to 60 then stop some people say they don't notice the difference but i did notice faster fermentations and cleaner tasting beer. when i use dry yeast i don't aerate but i do when i reuse the yeast slurry from a dry pitch.

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:07 PM   #48
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I think I'm going to order the "Drive" regulator on Amazon referenced above. Presumably all regulators are designed to work with the high incoming pressure; that's what regulators do (!) and there's no difference betwen "industrial" and "medical" regulators in regard to their ability to do so.

I've seen the wand on Williams but I've not ordered from them before. I have a big wish list at Northern Brewer but thay don't do the wand/diffusion combo. So it's going to be $40 from Williams with the shipping. I think that's over priced for what it is.

I'm planning on getting a stone and matching up some flexible tubing between it and the regulator but also using a section of rigid food grade tubing to better control the stone and keep it low in the bucket. Either I'll sleeve the rigid in so that it's carrying the O2 or I'll just pass it over the flexible tube like a jacket so it's not actually carrying the 02, it's just a handle. I'll go to my local store to see what I can figure out with tubing and stones. But I think I can do it less expensively than the Williams version.

Williams says their wand comes with a 2 micron stone. Northern Brewer sells the 2 and the 0.5 micron with acompanying information that suggests the 2 is suited to the aquarium pump style aeration system and the 0.5 for the oxygenation system. Perhaps the tiny aquarium pumps don't have the pressure to push out of the smaller diffusion holes?

So it looks like I'll get the 0.5 stone unless somebody advises me not to. I read some bad customer reviews on NB that some stones had clogged very quickly. Nobody seems to know how to unclog a stone.

Why does eastok not aerate wiyth a dry yeast? I probably will only use liquid Wyeast from now on but isn't aeration/oxygenation beneficial to all beers, not just the higher OG? I'm hoping to have this 02 sytem up and running in time for my next brew. I'm plannning a NB Caribou Slobber which isn't paricularly high OG but if I have an 02 system I've invested time and money in then I'm not going to shake the bucket before pitching!

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:47 AM   #49
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stevescott123, with your planned double tube segment, you're going to have more things to sanitize before, and clean after, each use. IMO, that's more trouble and tempting fate (infections). I would just get the William's wand. Or make your own version with all stainless fittings/tubing.

I'm thinking about making my own wand with a .5 micron stone. Not as bad, for me, since I have a welding setup here (again) so I can silver solder a length of stainless tubing to a fitting to connect to the stone (I have a few on hand, of course).

I've not had any clogging issues with the 2 micron stone, on the stainless wand, from William's...

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:34 AM   #50
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No, there is no need to aerate the wort but it does not harm the yeast either. During its aerobic production, dry yeast accumulates sufficient amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and sterols to produce enough biomass in the first stage of fermentation. The only reason to aerate the wort when using wet yeast is to provide the yeast with oxygen so that it can produce sterols and unsaturated fatty acids which are important parts of the cell membrane and therefore essential for biomass production.

this is from Danstar's website and it explains why dry yeast do not need O2, but it does not hurt either so i just skip it when using dry yeast.
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