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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Oxygen Tank Lifetime
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
prjectmayhem
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Default Oxygen Tank Lifetime

So I just started using oxygen for aeration and got a couple of 1.4oz oxygen tanks. I usually blast the wort for 2, 30second purges (1 min max) at full blast from the tank. However, i only got 3 batches aerated from a single oxygen tank. Is this a normal? How many brews should 1 tank last? Should i try and open the oxygen tank to a lower flow rate (i don't have a pressure regulator, just a simple screw on/off regulator because yah know, ****'s expensive)? Or am i just sucked into buying a ton of these tanks?

Footnote-how does one appropriately discard of 'disposable' oxygen tanks? Thanks yall

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Old 06-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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I have the same questions.

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Old 06-08-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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I am also interested in this. I only got 4 brews out of my tank, but I noticed on the last one that the tubing from the regulator to the ss wand and stone was leaking o2 so that may be my issue.

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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I tried using oxygen for a while and have the diffuser stone in my pile of brew gear.

I don't know how many 5 gallon batches you can oxygenate with a small bottle but expect maybe 10 was what I was getting. I may have only turned it on full for 30 seconds though.

I have actually stopped using oxygen as it was an extra expense and extra cleaning task that didn't seem to make much of a difference for my fermentations. Most recently (last 6 months or so) I've simply been shaking the sh*t out of my primary fermentor while it is filling from the chiller. I discovered that 3-5 minutes of vigorous shaking (on my wheeled dolly) gives me a 2" krausen and seems to give the yeast everything it needs. Since I've done this I am getting the most vigorous fermentations since I started brewing 4 years ago.

Granted, I also make bigger starters now than I did 4 years ago, but I attribute the performance to the shaking.

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Old 06-10-2011, 03:05 AM   #5
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if you are talking about the little red tanks of oxygen you get at lowes then you should be getting a lot more from it. dont crank it full blast. i just open mine till i see flow out of the diffusion stone. if you crank it full blast the bubbles are just rushing to the surface and being lost to the atmosphere. i have been using the same tank few over 25 batches. depending on the strength of the beer i usually do a one to two minute aeration. i swirl my carboy around to help absorption too.

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Old 06-10-2011, 07:05 AM   #6
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In the long run it may be cheaper to get a "B" bottle from a welding shop. They can be re filled and hold about 20 cubic feet of gas. Sometimes you can buy them but most lease them. You need a welding regulator but often times you can buy them used for about $30.
http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=13848

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Old 06-10-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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The valve should be barely cracked open for 60 seconds. You shouldn't be getting a huge head of foam at all.

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Old 06-10-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
The valve should be barely cracked open for 60 seconds. You shouldn't be getting a huge head of foam at all.
Not if, like many of us, you have the older pre-recall regulators. They're junk, and you have to crank them open all the way to get a flow.

But having said that, are you really sure you're running the tank dry, or is it that after a few batches you stop seeing bubbles?

I had that with the first bottle of o2, thought it was used up, but it wasn't. My diffusion stone was clogged with wort.

You need to boil the stone every few batches to get the gunk and finger oils off of it. Plug it back into the "empty" bottle and you should find you have a few more batches out of it.

I usually don't count, but I think I get between 10 and 12 or more batches per bottle.....if my stone is clean.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Not if, like many of us, you have the older pre-recall regulators. They're junk, and you have to crank them open all the way to get a flow.

But having said that, are you really sure you're running the tank dry, or is it that after a few batches you stop seeing bubbles?

I had that with the first bottle of o2, thought it was used up, but it wasn't. My diffusion stone was clogged with wort.

You need to boil the stone every few batches to get the gunk and finger oils off of it. Plug it back into the "empty" bottle and you should find you have a few more batches out of it.

I usually don't count, but I think I get between 10 and 12 or more batches per bottle.....if my stone is clean.
It wasn't that on mine because i took the stone off and still now o2 was flowing out, I really think its the tubing that connects to the regulator was leaking badly. I have the setup from Williams and the tubing just slips on the barb at the regulator.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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If you have a digital scale, weigh the new bottle using grams and then after each use you can weigh it to determine what is left. My first bottle went in 3 batches as it was leaking. My Williams regulator is as previously described and it is very hard to control. I rarely use it as it is not really worth the effort. I'd rather splash wort into fermenter and pitch a healthy yeast starter or go with rehydrated dry yeast which does not need the Oxygen injection. If I had a real reg & tank I'd probably use it on every batch.

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