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Old 04-23-2008, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default O2 before the ferment

Do you inject O2 via artificial means for the ferment. I never have....now wondering if I should.

I guess I've been happy with my beers to date. Of course, I'm always looking for ways to improve. I usually let the cooled wort free fall into the carboy and have figured that gave me the oxygenation required. Call it the "water fall" method.

Am I missing a huge step that would improve everything?

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
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I always pump 02 but there are disagreements as to if this is any better then just shaking the carboy. Personally - I don't think it hurts.

I pump 02 in and THEN shake it. With 6 gallon ale recipes at 65-67 degrees F using wyeast pitch straight from the bag I usually ferment to target in 3-4 days.

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atarlecky
I always pump 02 but there are disagreements as to if this is any better then just shaking the carboy. Personally - I don't think it hurts.

I pump 02 in and THEN shake it. With 6 gallon ale recipes at 65-67 degrees F using wyeast pitch straight from the bag I usually ferment to target in 3-4 days.
Well, I guess that was the general purpose of my thread. Is it worth investing in the equipment if it "might help".....I've been debating this for years.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Well, I guess that was the general purpose of my thread. Is it worth investing in the equipment if it "might help".....I've been debating this for years.
Hey its only money right! Id say its not going to not help
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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I have used 02 in my starters and that really helps. When 02 is used in beer I only give 60 seconds which is plenty. Pitching viable yeast in the correct quantity is the most important point as the esters produced will make or break a beer. Shaking the carboy definately is adequate in my opinion (all other things being equal).

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Old 04-24-2008, 12:47 PM   #6
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Even a relatively short burst of O2 can get more oxygen into the wort than any amount of shaking or aerating with an aquarium pump. I think it's well worth having an O2 system because I can oxygenate in 1 minute, and have the fermenter sealed up and ready to roll quickly. That compares to shaking for several minutes, or aerating for half an hour or so.

You can make good beer without aerating/oxygenating at all, so I wouldn't say you NEED to be injecting pure O2, it just seems to be the best option based on the information that's out there. If I didn't already have my O2 system, I think I'd stick with traditional aeration methods until I either A) got sick of shaking the carboy at the end of every long brew day, B) found a decent deal on an O2 kit, or C) just randomly decided to splurge on brewing equipment.

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Old 04-24-2008, 01:10 PM   #7
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Also - some folks can't really aerate by shaking... I just bought a 15 gallon conical and there is no practical way I will be able to shake that, so this means injection or the splash method.

In any case I got by for 15 years never using pure O2. With that said I have found that my yeasties seem to be fermenting a bit better since I started the O2 + Shaking regime.

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Old 04-24-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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I think it's like anything else. There's always going to be a slightly better, slightly more expensive method. You have to decide your own threshold of diminishing returns. I've done two experiments involving oxygen use but they've both been with regards to dry yeast. From what I've seen so far though, I'm happy to spend the "prorated" $1 per batch for the direct O2. I also know that you can make great beer without it.

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Old 04-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
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Considering I'm always looking to cut costs where possible, is there a way to get cheaper O2 than the little red bottles at home depot? (I already have the equipment that fits onto that type of bottle though...)

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Old 04-24-2008, 07:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter
Considering I'm always looking to cut costs where possible, is there a way to get cheaper O2 than the little red bottles at home depot? (I already have the equipment that fits onto that type of bottle though...)
You can buy medical O2 tanks which are much bigger and refillable, so no doubt the gas costs are way lower. But, it's a lot more of an initial investment. Personally, I'm still on my first little red O2 tank after many batches and many months, so at the rate I'm going I'll probably only be replacing it once or twice a year. If you brew a lot, a larger tank may very well be worth it.
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