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Old 01-14-2006, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default Aeration Technique

Wanted to throw an aeration technique I use out there and see what everyone thinks. I've been trying to avoid spending money on an aeration system if other, more manual, measures work (as long as they don't require shaking 5 gallons of wort). Here's the one I used last time:

After cooling the wort, I poured it into my bottling bucket, opened the spigot, and let all of the wort freefall about 3 feet into the primary. It splashes like crazy the whole time. It seems like this would be a pretty effective technique but I can't say for sure. Last time, I had an 8-hour lagtime, but I blame this on bad timing by letting my yeast starter almost completely ferment out (for about 24 hours) before pitching, when I had planned to pitch at peak fermentation. I was hoping for a lagtime closer to 4 hours. If that had been the case, I wouldn't be posting this thread. Let me know if this seems like a pretty good technique or a waste of effort. It is definitely easy.

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Old 01-14-2006, 07:54 PM   #2
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From the yeast labs of the PNW:

Splashing 6-8 ppm O2
Shaking 8-12 ppm
(Holding 6.5 gallon carboy over your head. The lecturer was a big guy!)
Aerating 12-14 ppm (15 minutes)
O2 aerating 30-35 ppm

I aerate and when I have a high gravity ale, I'll setup a timer to turn the pump on for 15 minutes every 2 hours for 12 hours.

You can make or buy simple splash plates that will spray the wort around.

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Old 01-14-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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Thanks. That pretty much answers it. An aquarium pump w/stone aeration system isn't too expensive but those little inline air filters that it uses are $6 a pop. Wonder how often those would need to be replaced?

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Old 01-14-2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captaineriv
After cooling the wort, I poured it into my bottling bucket, opened the spigot, and let all of the wort freefall about 3 feet into the primary. It splashes like crazy the whole time.
I'd be worried about the contaminants that can be picked up when the cooled wort is in contact with unfiltered air like this. Especially mold spores.

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Old 01-14-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Good question on the inline filters. Five years and 50 batches and I'm on the first one. No idea how to tell it needs replacement, except no flow.

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Old 01-14-2006, 09:59 PM   #6
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lol, david_42. If it's been 50 batches and the air still flows and still no infected beer, I'd say they're WELL worth the $6.00. Maybe I'll invest in an aquarium pump and stone before the next brew.

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Old 01-15-2006, 12:33 AM   #7
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there's a technique where you use a copper racking cane in the carboy that has a few really small hole drilled into it near the top. When you rack form the kettle to the carboy the air mixes with the wort.

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Old 01-15-2006, 01:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Good question on the inline filters. Five years and 50 batches and I'm on the first one. No idea how to tell it needs replacement, except no flow.
See http://www.williamsbrewing.com/IN-LI...R_P440C106.cfm

According to Wiliams Brewing, their filter is rated for 120 hours.
Using 20 minutes per brew, this translates to 360 brews for under $10, or about 3c per brew.

This doesn't seem excessive to me.

-a,
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:39 AM   #9
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There's nothing wrong with the "Freefall" method: It's been used by many commercial breweries over the years and it's what I use with my beers. It certainly provides sufficient O2 in the wort. Wort is only really susceptible to infection until the yeast gets going, so you just need to keep the lag time to a minimum. I wouldn't consider 8 hours to be excessive - but obviously the shorter the lag time the better. (But that's true whatever method you're using).

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Old 01-15-2006, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
I'd be worried about the contaminants that can be picked up when the cooled wort is in contact with unfiltered air like this. Especially mold spores.

Kai
You risk this whatever you do if the wort is open to the air. The only way to avoid is to use clean O2, but you've still got the headspace before fermentation starts.

I think a minimum lag time is important, as DJP points out.
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