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Old 12-10-2011, 02:18 AM   #1
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Default Best method for oxygenating your wort?

An interesting article on the subject: Effectiveness of Various Methods of Wort Aeration

"The purpose of these experiments was to evaluate
the effectiveness of different methods of aerating
wort for beer production. However, these
experiments were conducted using water rather
than wort, solely because of the significantly
greater expense of using wort. The solubility of
oxygen in a 12 °Plato wort is about 15-25% less
than in water, depending upon the temperature. It
is unlikely that this difference in oxygen solubility
would significantly affect the conclusions about
the aeration methods themselves."

Results: "The most rapid method of oxygenating the water
was achieved by the rocking/shaking method, in
which over 90% saturation was achieved in less
than 5 minutes of aeration."

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:58 AM   #2
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"Best" is relative to what you want to spend in money and/or time. That paper has a lot of problems with it and it's been discussed here a few times. For one thing, they never verified that the test water was devoid of oxygen post boil. They may not have boiled long enough. They also didn't test working with an O2 tank and just wrote it off as too expensive to be practical. For who?

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:09 AM   #3
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All I said was, I found it interesting. Doesn't mean I'm not skeptical.
I'll have to dig up the old thread and read through it.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply Bobby_M.

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:23 AM   #4
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Funny thing about that... I've been using a pure O2 system for a while now and it's virtually zero effort for great results. Gone are the days of hurting my back, hips, etc from shaking a fermenter trying to get the proper O2 PPM level. I get there now, with a minute, or two, of pure O2 infusion.

Something to consider, when you get to higher gravity worts, and such, shaking simply won't cut it.

There's a thread from a while back, about the impact of using pure O2 to oxygenate wort instead of the other methods. Some of the participants brewed batches they had oxygenated with the shake method, or other methods, and then brewed again using pure O2... The pure O2 batches have cleaner flavors to them.

Also, initial hardware costs can range from rather cheap, to not so bad. I picked up the kit from Williams initially (air stone on a stainless wand, with the O2 regulator for small bottles). I've since moved to using a larger O2 tank that I had from a welding system (cost: $0) and picked up a flow meter regulator from ebray (cheap), using Bevlex to deliver the O2 from the regulator to the wand (very low cost). With how many batches you'll get out of a standard sized welding setup O2 tank, the cost per batch is tiny. The gain/benefit from using pure O2 to oxygenate has far more value than the costs (low cost, huge benefit).

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Funny thing about that... I've been using a pure O2 system for a while now and it's virtually zero effort for great results. Gone are the days of hurting my back, hips, etc from shaking a fermenter trying to get the proper O2 PPM level. I get there now, with a minute, or two, of pure O2 infusion.

Something to consider, when you get to higher gravity worts, and such, shaking simply won't cut it.

There's a thread from a while back, about the impact of using pure O2 to oxygenate wort instead of the other methods. Some of the participants brewed batches they had oxygenated with the shake method, or other methods, and then brewed again using pure O2... The pure O2 batches have cleaner flavors to them.

Also, initial hardware costs can range from rather cheap, to not so bad. I picked up the kit from Williams initially (air stone on a stainless wand, with the O2 regulator for small bottles). I've since moved to using a larger O2 tank that I had from a welding system (cost: $0) and picked up a flow meter regulator from ebray (cheap), using Bevlex to deliver the O2 from the regulator to the wand (very low cost). With how many batches you'll get out of a standard sized welding setup O2 tank, the cost per batch is tiny. The gain/benefit from using pure O2 to oxygenate has far more value than the costs (low cost, huge benefit).
Agreed, shaking isn't near enough for high gravity worts, I always use a stone for anything above about 1.070. But for normal gravity beers, a few minutes of shaking isn't really a big deal. I keep my 6.5 gal carboys in plastic milk crates at all times, except when cleaning, the crates make it real easy to rock em back and forth with little effort.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:15 AM   #6
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I wonder if a 5 gallon paint shaker could be modified to work with a 7 gallon plastic fermenter? Those 5 gallon shakers are $$$$ but maybe a used one might turn up on ebay...

I just made an O2 oxygenator from some tubing, a disposable mini O2 tank valve (from Williams Brewing), and a .5 micron stone. I went through my first 40 gram tank of oxygen really fast, so I guess I'm using too much. Two five gallon carboys and three yeast starters is all she wrote. A tank and valve with some sort of flow meter would probably be more economical to use. Are the O2 tanks on those little portable oxy-acetylene torches that they sell at HD refillable?

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Old 12-10-2011, 02:34 PM   #7
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Sulli, as someone with a bad back, shaking 6+ gallons of wort isn't really an option. Using pure O2 means I have zero risk of messing up my back oxygenating the wort. Call me crazy, but I prefer to be able to move without pain.

billtzk, those portable oxy-acetylene kits typically use the small tanks (like the 1.4oz red tank you can get from Lowes or Home[less] Depot, which cannot be refilled. Once you go to a larger tank, like a 20 cubic foot size, that uses a normal regulator, you can find a regulator with a flow meter in/on it pretty easily. Call around to welding gas suppliers in your area to see how much they are getting for a tank and regulator. You'll want one that has a gauge that reads on the low side too (something that goes from 0 to at least 8 LPM) so that you can better see what you're getting for flow.

Just make sure the tank you have will give you plenty of time before it needs to be certified again. My current tank was purchased in 1997 or 1998, so I'll probably need to replace it, instead of getting it filled. If I wanted to get it filled, I would need to get it recertified.

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for that info Golddiggie. I bought a CO2-Argon gas cylinder from Home Depot for welding, and I can just exchange it for a filled cylinder whenever I run out. I just pay for the fill. If the tank needed to be recertified, it wouldn't be my cost. You might check to see if the place you purchased your tank from has an exchange program. Or you might check to see if a welding gas supplier would take your old tank in trade.

Do you know what the recertification cost is for an oxygen cylinder? For CO2 cylinders, it's cheap, like $15 or $20.

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:31 PM   #9
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I used a wire whisk in the bk when I started brewing. Then moved to the aquarium pump with stone. Then after my second pump burned up (I was using cheapies) I just started allowing the wort to splash from the opening of the carboy to the base through my march pump. That is all the aerating that I do now and I get the same fermentation results I was getting with the whisk and the aeration stone methods. That is just my personal observations and is what works for my brew. I am not going to invest further than that on aeration equipment because I see no need to.

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Old 12-11-2011, 06:08 AM   #10
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Wyeast didn't point to any studies to back it up, but they say pumping oxygen into the headspace and shaking for 20 seconds, twice, will give the same results (12 ppm dissolved o2) as 1 minute of oxygen through a stone. It is more work than a stone, but I saved thirty bucks by not having to buy the extra gear.

Wyeast Laboratories. Customer Service FAQs

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