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Old 03-30-2012, 03:53 AM   #1
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Default cheapest way to go pure-O2

I've started to make some bigger beers, and even with a starter of liquid yeast, I think my results would be better with aeration (I'm currently not doing anything on that front)

I see the 2-gram oxygen cylinders at Home Depot for $10 - how many 5-gallon batches can I aerate with one of those? I assume they are just disposable like a propane camping tank?

Also, do I need to get the Williams Brewing aeration kit w/ diffusion stone, etc? I heard Jamil on the Brewing Network say that most of the gas goes into solution due to disturbing the surface, not due to the tiny bubbles. Can I just get some some of stainless small-bore wand to pump the oxygen into the bottom of the carboy?

Do these cylinders require some sort of regulator like a C02 bottle, or can I just run it full-blast for 60 seconds?

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:09 AM   #2
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I bought the O2 kit from Austin Homebrew and got my tank from Lowes. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but it was worth it. My fermentations have all attenuated as much as the yeast will allow and even a little more in some cases since I started this. I have done 5 batches at 5 gallons so far with my O2 tank..

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:15 AM   #3
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Aeration is very important and you should take it seriously. It helps the yeast multiply for a vigorous fermentation that overtakes any infections and avoids stuck fermentation later.

The Williams kit is what I use and I highly recommend it. The stainless steel wand makes it very easy to get the stone down in the bottom of the bucket/carboy. Otherwise you are pushing on a floppy hose that wants to curl around and come back up. It comes with the regulator valve you need.

You don't need to blast the O2 for 60 seconds. A gentle fizz (think about it - any bubbles rising to the surface are not going into the liquid) for about 30-45 seconds is all you need. At that rate, one of those red O2 cylinders will last for 7 or so batches including starters (which require maybe 15 seconds). I did find a Benzomatic 2.1 OZ (not gram) cylinder at TruValue Hardware for about the same price as the smaller one in the big box store. It claims to have 50% more. I have not used enough of it to tell how long it will last. I write the batch number I start with on the bottle so I have a general idea when to pick up a replacement.

The plumbing type bottles are disposable. I have tried to find a local supplier of O2 in greater quantities (medical or welding) but haven't had any luck yet. Maybe someone will chime in with a way to tap that source.

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:21 AM   #4
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The Williams kit is what I use and I highly recommend it. The stainless steel wand makes it very easy to get the stone down in the bottom of the bucket/carboy. Otherwise you are pushing on a floppy hose that wants to curl around and come back up. It comes with the regulator valve you need.

.
I'd like to get that wand some day, but for now I just zip-tie a SS spoon to my air stone to give it enough weight to drop down to the bottom of the bucket.. It works great!
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:46 AM   #5
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Also, scour Craigslist for someone selling medical O2 tanks. I kept looking once a week and eventually found someone near me selling two full tanks (including their regulators) for $50, and I had to spend $2 to modify my wand (from William's brewing) to make it work with the new tanks. It was kind of a large expenditure up front, but it beats paying $10 for the tiny tanks from the big box store.

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Old 03-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Also, scour Craigslist for someone selling medical O2 tanks. I kept looking once a week and eventually found someone near me selling two full tanks (including their regulators) for $50, and I had to spend $2 to modify my wand (from William's brewing) to make it work with the new tanks. It was kind of a large expenditure up front, but it beats paying $10 for the tiny tanks from the big box store.
How much does it run to fill the tanks? And what size are they? I was only brewing about once a week when I was in Texas, but I had one of the bottles from the box store last for years.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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I just put 1 oz of oxyclean into the wort before I pitch the yeast. That creates oxygen when I dissolves. Works like a charm and is cheap.

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Old 03-30-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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I just put 1 oz of oxyclean into the wort before I pitch the yeast. That creates oxygen when I dissolves. Works like a charm and is cheap.
Wow, really?? Simple and cheap, but safe? Does it affect the taste? Cool
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Special Hops
I just put 1 oz of oxyclean into the wort before I pitch the yeast. That creates oxygen when I dissolves. Works like a charm and is cheap.
?!?! Harmful if swallowed... anyone else?
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #10
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I just put 1 oz of oxyclean into the wort before I pitch the yeast. That creates oxygen when I dissolves. Works like a charm and is cheap.
I hope you're joking...
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