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Old 08-22-2014, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default Aeration of starter, and NOT the wort - discussion.

Ok, so I forgot to aerate my wort but have discovered that this is a strategy used to create a cleaner ferment. As the oxygen is only needed for bulk cell division and not so much for fermentation. Pitching a properly sized starter should be sufficient. Anyone have experience with this?

If you do, do you think you'd be able to use a warmer fermentation regime? My Imperial Stout has been in the high 70's all week. Still bubbling, day 6. If it's estery (Edinburough WLP028) I'm not too worried as the other flavors will be strong to balance. I'm mostly concerned about acetaldehyde.

Anyhow, interested in what others out there have to say on the subject. thanks for the input!

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Old 08-22-2014, 11:59 PM   #2
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No value to add to your thread. I do like your spirit though! I look forward to hearing how your beer turns out. Please do share it here on HBT. Many myths have been debunked here because a fellow didn't think the world was flat. Or something like that.


Cheers!

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Old 08-23-2014, 12:01 AM   #3
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Lies! The world is flat and you must rehydrate your yeast!

I do like this idea though in the OP. I'm interested in the results.

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Old 08-23-2014, 12:03 AM   #4
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pretty sure o2 and warm fermentation are two very different things. Ive made starters and fermented beer warm when i was a beginner and they tasted like plastic.

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Old 08-23-2014, 01:25 AM   #5
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@Dan & Hello: http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/
@poptarts: O2 & temp are related in that, oxygen is not needed for fermentation (only for cell multiplication) and by oxygenating your starter (to GROW yeast) then pitching into a NON oxygenated wort (to ferment) one will have a cleaner beer due to the lack of yeast products produced during the cell division phase.

This cleaner wort may counter the ester production of a warmer fermentation.

As I continue to research, I'm suspecting that this will be the case to some small extent. My biggest issue will be the acetaldehyde (green apple) flavor, which is reportedly able to be cleaned up with time. This one's going to sit for a while.

I just took a gravity (refractometer), but it was from a plugged spigot and is questionable (particles in suspension). Current gravity is 1.065, still day 6. Tastes decent though. Thinking of repitching another, stronger alcohol tolerant yeast, OG was 1.085. Luckily I'm using a spigotted bucket for primary on this one so I can taste and gravity read it as I go with minimal contamination concerns.

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Old 08-23-2014, 01:41 AM   #6
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jbock,

I see a different situation. The technique you mention (heavy oxygen in the starter, low oxygen in the wort) is a common practice amongst Belgian brewers. The direct outcome of this is an increase in ester production. The increased esters are formed because the yeast have to work without oxygen and are stressed more than if they had a lot of oxygen present. The reason it works so well for the Belgians is because the starter creates enough cells to get through the beer and the practice of temperature ramping through fermentation gives a boost to the fermentation as well.

This approach is the opposite of brewing for a "clean" beer. For a clean beer you would oxygenate the starter and the wort so the yeast never get stressed. Clean meaning low esters in the final product.

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:50 AM   #7
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Below is the source material regarding not aerating wort...

"If possible, don't! The reason is that it is not the wort that needs the oxygen, it is the yeast. By oxgenating the wort instead of the yeast starter, it will cause an over production of cells due to the excessive oxygen presence. This then leads to the production of unwanted esters and higher alcohols that will compromise beer flavor.

When oxygenating starters, you cannot use pure O2... the reason is that the uptake occurs too fast and without a dissolved O2 meter ($$$), you cannot tell when to stop. The way to properly do this one is to aerate using a high pressure aquarium pump, sterile air filter and a stainless steel aeration stone, all of which are redily available. It is virtually impossible to over-aerate using air, so you will avoid oxygen toxicity problems that will occur if trying to do this with pure oxygen. ", Eric Watson, Beertools.com

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Old 08-23-2014, 12:01 PM   #8
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Wow, that quote goes against everything I've heard... It's true that esters are formed when yeast are multiplying, but they also throw esters when stressed. If there aren't enough cells in the wort, it is a stressful environment. Also I've only heard about higher alcohols being thrown if the beer ferments too warm. The experts I've heard (jamil, Gordon strong, Chris white, countless professional brewers) all say that oxygenation of the wort is key, especially with bigger beers. Some beers even need multiple doses of oxygen over time. This is all to keep the yeast healthy and to make sure the beer finishes to terminal gravity.

I'm no expert, but that's the first I've heard of someone advocating for no oxygenation.


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Old 08-23-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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Here is a link to a Danstar article on the subject.
http://www.danstaryeast.com/articles/aeration-and-starter-versus-wort

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Old 08-23-2014, 12:58 PM   #10
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The yeast won't be stressed if they have enough oxygen on-board for the full fermentation. Whether they get that before hitting the wort or after really doesn't matter to the yeast. That's why pitching dry yeast without aerating wort works.

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