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Old 11-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
CharlosCarlies
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Default In-line aeration and chiller re-circulation?

I'm trying to figure out the best way to aerate (doing 20g batches), and something in-line seems the most elegant; however, I was wondering if re-circulating chilled/aerated wort back into the hot kettle would pose some kind of problem.

Am I way off here?

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Old 11-01-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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I just chilled a batch by recirculating back into the kettle and it worked great. It's definitely a viable option.

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Old 11-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Yeah, I've never done it so looking forward to a new process, but my concern is w/ the aerated wort being re-circulated. Is that a problem at all?

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Old 11-02-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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I wouldn't do this because you're substantially increasing your risk for an infection. Once you're below 180 or so the risk starts to go way up. Aerate it once it's cooled and on the way to the fermenter.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
I wouldn't do this because you're substantially increasing your risk for an infection. Once you're below 180 or so the risk starts to go way up. Aerate it once it's cooled and on the way to the fermenter.
How does aerating during chilling pose any more risk for bacteria than aerating after the wort is cooled?

I think it would be a great way to save time and effort.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #6
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Aeration does not pose a risk - recirculating cooled wort back into the kettle does.

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Old 11-02-2012, 04:58 PM   #7
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I don't think there would be an increased risk of infection even with recirculating cooled wort back into the kettle. Be sure to, initially, recirculate hot/boiling wort through the pump and tubing. This will ensure everything is sterile. After that then start chilling and recirculating.

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #8
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I mean this in the nicest way possible: I don't care how sterile you think this is. It's not. Once you get the wort below 180 risk goes substantially up. That's one reason we boil or we could just go right from mash to fermenter (besides the isomerization of hops).

The risk for infection goes up, you have hot-side aeration which can lead to off-flavors, and precursors for acetaldehyde go way up. There is a reason commercial brewers don't do this. You shouldn't either. Just aerate cooled wort.

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill
I mean this in the nicest way possible: I don't care how sterile you think this is. It's not. Once you get the wort below 180 risk goes substantially up. That's one reason we boil or we could just go right from mash to fermenter (besides the isomerization of hops).

The risk for infection goes up, you have hot-side aeration which can lead to off-flavors, and precursors for acetaldehyde go way up. There is a reason commercial brewers don't do this. You shouldn't either. Just aerate cooled wort.
+1 on the hot side aeration being an issue (an issue over 80° I believe). Making sure I didn't aerate too hot made a pretty decent difference in the final taste of all my beers.

On a side note though, I think there's quite a few more factors to the boil than sterilizing and hop use. You've got color change, dms boil off, and protein/tannin clumping (hot break) for a few big processes.

Either way, off topic. If you did figure out an inline aeration process, you'd need to sterilize it somehow without aerating hot wart.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:39 PM   #10
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True - there are other things going on in the boil. I guess I was using that to emphasize the point a bit

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