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Old 09-09-2008, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Surprising Aeration Results

On a recent episode of Basic Brewing, they discussed different aeration methods and conducted some tests using a dissolved oxygen meter, and the results were very interesting.

The tests were shaking, aquarium pump, aquarium pump w/ 2 micron airstone, high volume pump, and high volume pump w/ 2 micron airstone. This high volume was roughly 10X higher than the regular aquarium pump sold at many LHBS. Tests with an oxygen tank were not conducted.

According to the tester, around 90% oxygen saturation is ideal for pitching yeast and oxygen testing occurred every 5 minutes. After 90 minutes of aeration, neither aquarium pump setup had done much good, reaching 70% and 79% respectively, and taking MUCH longer than I would ever want to aerate. The high volume pump setups faired a little better, but still not adequate enough for yeast pitching. After 90 minutes w/out an airstone it had finally reached around 90%, with an airstone, it reached 90% in about 25 minutes.

Now for the really surprising part. A simple good ol' shaking of the carboy, resulted in over 80% saturation after 5 minutes, and over 90% at 10 minutes. So contrary to popular belief, when purchasing a pump and airstone for aeration, you are actually being far less efficient, giving the yeast less than optimal conditions to work in, and worst of all wasting money on needless equipment.

So in conclusion, shaking is better than aeration, far better. So save your money, and shake it.

If anyone is interested or doesn't believe me, the podcast is available at Basic Brewingâ„¢ : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Welcome, it is the episode from 8/7/08 and comes with a PDF of the test and results.

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Old 09-09-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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And I think it was a relatively useless experiment given the fact that they used water. Wait, wasn't there a thread on this already? http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/aera...g-radio-75573/

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Old 09-09-2008, 06:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Wait, wasn't there a thread on this already? http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/aera...g-radio-75573/
Oops, it takes me a while to get through all my brewing podcasts sometimes.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:48 PM   #4
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On a recent BBR episode, the experimentor called in to say that he (or, rather, his equipment) made some errors in the experiment. His DO meter was not measuring low levels of DO accurately... actually it was way off. However, he did state that this error didn't really affect the overall conclusions of the experiment and that he would do it again when he got the instrument corrected... again, that is, with WATER!

Unless he can give scientific reasoning that there's no statistically significant difference in how water takes on DO vs wort, the only conclusion I drew from it was that it's POSSIBLE that wort aeration done solely with an aquarium pump isn't so great as it's conventionally believed to be. The experiment needs to be re-vamped for real world homebrewing conditions. But at the same time, props to the guy for trying.

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Old 09-09-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
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I see your point on wort vs water. The only thing I see being effected is time to dissolve oxygen and total dissolvable oxygen. Despite its inherent differences, wort is mostly water. I would expect testing on water to be a very effective way to see what method dissolves more oxygen.

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Old 09-09-2008, 08:42 PM   #6
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anyone ever shake a carboy for 5-10 minutes... maybe in my teenage years I would have had the guns to scrap that kind of energy but then I was too busy puting my diptube in any hole I could find. I'd rather hit the high volume airstone for 25 and know I did it right. besides, anyone up for starting an aerating/hernia thread?! haha my 2 cents.

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Old 09-09-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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Time for someone to build a DIY carboy shaker.

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Old 09-09-2008, 09:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
And I think it was a relatively useless experiment given the fact that they used water. Wait, wasn't there a thread on this already? http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/aera...g-radio-75573/
It's actually quite the opposite of useless. If he did the exact same experiment with wort the dissolved O2 values would be slightly lower, but he'll get the same exact results, granted he reads the DO meter correctly and he keeps all other variables in check.

Your standard beer is only 10-15% sugar. This isn't going to magically make shaking better and pumping in air worse, it will only change the amount of O2 that can be absorbed.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:19 AM   #9
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I don't even shake my fermenter. I strain the wort with a screen strainer as it falls into the fermenter, and then add unboiled bottled spring water (tons of oxygen still in it) and I've never had a non-aeration problem.

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Old 09-10-2008, 03:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Time for someone to build a DIY carboy shaker.
where's john beere when you need him? that guy builds the most wonderful things!!!
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