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Old 01-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #1
BigHead33
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Default What are alternatives from using O2 pump to aerate high gravity worts?

Hi, I am beginning to brew higher gravity beers and I am wondering if my usual method of shaking the carboy will be enough to oxygenate the wort. I really dont want to get invloved with renting an O2 tank and that whole bit. Does anybody have any alternative methods they can recommend? Thanks guys

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Old 01-10-2013, 10:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BigHead33 View Post
Hi, I am beginning to brew higher gravity beers and I am wondering if my usual method of shaking the carboy will be enough to oxygenate the wort. I really dont want to get invloved with renting an O2 tank and that whole bit. Does anybody have any alternative methods they can recommend? Thanks guys
Yup i use a paint mixer from HD on a drill. The big one for stirring 5 gallons of paint. Be careful, its fun and you can whip beer right out of the bucket. But it really works well. In your case of a carboy you have one more step, to bucket and leave it or transfer to carboy
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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You can buy oxygen tanks the size of propane tanks for plumbing torches at the hardware store. Use them then toss them. No renting involved.

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Old 01-10-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the ideas. I'd rather not have to add another step with the bucket to the carboy, plus I'd be worried about contamination. I heard about the small oxygen tanks at hardware stores. They dont have them on the ACE or True Value Hardware web sites, but maybe I should go down there and look myself. It looks like I have no other choice but to spend the $60 on the stone and whatever it is for a tank.

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Old 01-10-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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If nothing else, an aquarium pump and a stone with just air will probably get you more than you're currently getting with shaking. It won't get you as much as O2, but I find its a nice medium ground between cost and effectiveness. You can buy the whole thing together from plenty of homebrew stores, or piece it together yourself for cheaper. Its also quite a bit easier on the back than shaking. I just let it run while I'm cleaning up the BK, then come back and its normally foamed up quite a bit, and pitch.

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Old 01-10-2013, 11:29 PM   #6
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That's an idea. I see this one on NB http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/review/product/list/id/931/category/20/

It gets mixed reviews. Is this the one you have?

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:11 AM   #7
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Yeah, or at least the same idea. I don't think I got it from Northern Brewer since it sounds like it comes unassembled (mine was all put together), but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Its literally the pump, a piece of hose, a filter, another piece of hose, and an air stone. I know the one I have has a different hose attached to the airstone, similar to this one from Morebeer, only black. Maybe some companies switched to that hose since its sturdier, ie less likely to float? I know I haven't had any trouble with my air stone floating, but I generally use a piece of tinfoil to cover the carboy mouth while aerating, so maybe that holds it in place better.

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:23 AM   #8
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Have you read anything about using olive oil in place of oxygenating the wort?

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:30 AM   #9
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Big: I went thru same rigamarole. Your choices: O2 or air; agitation, stirring or ss stone. NB(nota bene): a ss stone flopping around on the end of a piece of plastic tubing will do wonders for a glass carboy. MoreBeer has an assortment, but I got the one on the ss tube, thinking it was threaded(interchangeable); it was not(also, I could not get a straight answer from them). It IS more controllable as to positioning; You can blow thru the stone, use a rubber bulb, use a tank filled at a gas station tire pump, or, scuba air(purest?). I have an air squirt gun on end of scuba air hose, but I have to use a pair of visegrips to control the rate of air flow. I plan to replace the gun with a needle valve, but, it is taking a lot of searching. Remember to use an air filter. Good luck.

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:33 AM   #10
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Have you read anything about using olive oil in place of oxygenating the wort?
Don't do this. The amount you'd use to gain any benefit is too small to be measured, and more than that amount is detrimental to fermentation.

You could try the oxygen wand from Williams Brewing. I have one and I like it quite a bit. There is no risk of contamination; just stick the end in a glass of boiling water before you use it.

Ultimately though, you can just aerate as normal and pitch more yeast than necessary. Oxygen helps with reproduction, more yeast will sort of make up for this. Yes, I know it's not the same but for all intents and purposes I have never noticed much of a difference, and I brew a lot of high gravity beers. Every once in a while I run out of oxygen, and I do this.
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