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Old 09-28-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
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Default Enough aeration? I think my yeast is suffering!

So did my first full boil batch the other day. Naturally, I was excited to have the right equipment to do this.

My method of transfer this time around was the same for all the other times. Basically, after the wort is cooled I pour it through a strainer and a funnel to filter spent hops. Of course with partial boils, aeration is never a problem because of the oxygen rich water already waiting in the carboy.

Needless to say it was a bitch to pour the five gallons into the carboy (spilling everywhere, etc). Maybe I should rig up a spout on the brew pot....

I used Wyeast American Ale liquid yeast. (one of those "smack pack" deals)

So anyway, my concern is the fermentation isn't nearly as violent as it was when I did partial boils. (violent meaning the krausen coming through blow-off tube) This time, it seems much more tame...(bubbles about once a second)

Should I add more yeast? Is there a way to add oxygen once fermentation has started? Better luck next time?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Old 09-28-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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Did you shake it up before and after pitching? I use the same PITA transfer method you do, but I use a Mix-Stir to whip it up. Looks like this: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6040. Always a strong fermentation with liquid yeast.

Edit: Last batch, I used the Autosiphon to transfer from pot to carboy. Much easier than pouring 5 gallons of liquid, and leaves alot of the hops, etc. behind in the pot. Recommended.

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Old 09-28-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Buffman View Post
Did you shake it up before and after pitching? I use the same PITA transfer method you do, but I use a Mix-Stir to whip it up. Looks like this: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6040. Always a strong fermentation with liquid yeast.

Edit: Last batch, I used the Autosiphon to transfer from pot to carboy. Much easier than pouring 5 gallons of liquid, and leaves alot of the hops, etc. behind in the pot. Recommended.
I like that. Too bad I don't have a drill! Maybe I could spin it between my hands like I was trying to make a fire.

I've heard of people using air pumps from fish tanks to "bubble" some air into the wort. yes?/no?
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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Lots of folks use the aeration stone method, either with a regular pump or with a pure oxygen tank. I considered it, but I'm leery about whether I can get the stone sanitized and how much to aerate. For the price of all that you'd need for the stone method, you could get a drill and a mixer.

Before you get more gear, just try shaking it up. Get a solid stopper to fit your carboy (sanitize it), lay the carboy on its side on a rug or old towel, and roll it back and forth vigorously for several minutes. That's probably as effective as my method. I'd do that, but I really enjoy making a beer whirlpool and using power tools.

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Old 09-28-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Buffman View Post
Lots of folks use the aeration stone method, either with a regular pump or with a pure oxygen tank. I considered it, but I'm leery about whether I can get the stone sanitized and how much to aerate. For the price of all that you'd need for the stone method, you could get a drill and a mixer.

Before you get more gear, just try shaking it up. Get a solid stopper to fit your carboy (sanitize it), lay the carboy on its side on a rug or old towel, and roll it back and forth vigorously for several minutes. That's probably as effective as my method. I'd do that, but I really enjoy making a beer whirlpool and using power tools.
Thank you, sir. I shall certainly do something along those lines for the next batch.

The burning question I still have is....will this batch be okay with as little fermentation action as I'm seeing...?
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:47 PM   #6
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No worries about your batch. You could add more yeast, but probably not necessary. I fermented an APA with dry yeast a few weeks ago. It didn't ferment as actively as my prior liquid yeast batches - plenty of krausen, but just a bubble per second. Bottled it last week and it tastes great, FG about 1.010. It sounds like yours is fermenting at the same rate, so don't sweat it.

Did you make a starter with the yeast? Doing so will up your cell count and really get the yeast going. You'll get a stronger fermentation even without saturating the wort with oxygen.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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I boil in a regular pot and use glass carboys and also use a funnel with strainer.

I use a saucepot to ladle the wort into the funnel, then when the pot gets low I'll pour the last of it. For me, pouring from the full pot is just total PITA and can be an accident (or back tweek) waiting to happen. Sure it takes longer but it's worth it imo.

Just putting the wort through that strainer/funnel should aerate it decently. When I'm filling my carboy it has a lot of foam kicked up just from the strainer and the fall...do you get a bunch of foam when transferring? Then I just tilt the carboy and sort of swirl the wort to aerate it more...that has always been enough.

The beer will prob be fine though. If you're concerned if it's gonna finish maybe let the fermentation temp creep up towards the end of fermentation.

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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I am trying the aquarium pump/diffuser method for the first time on the three batches I have running right now. I did not go with the aeration stone, but found disposable diffusers at the pet store. Sanitized the stones an let them bubble away in the carboy for 3/4 of an hour. Sure made a lot of foam. Fermentation took off in under 6 hours, and for the first time I had to use blow off tubes.

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
I boil in a regular pot and use glass carboys and also use a funnel with strainer.

I use a saucepot to ladle the wort into the funnel, then when the pot gets low I'll pour the last of it. For me, pouring from the full pot is just total PITA and can be an accident (or back tweek) waiting to happen. Sure it takes longer but it's worth it imo.

Just putting the wort through that strainer/funnel should aerate it decently. When I'm filling my carboy it has a lot of foam kicked up just from the strainer and the fall...do you get a bunch of foam when transferring? Then I just tilt the carboy and sort of swirl the wort to aerate it more...that has always been enough.

The beer will prob be fine though. If you're concerned if it's gonna finish maybe let the fermentation temp creep up towards the end of fermentation.
Yes! There was quite a bit of foam when I poured it in. (little bit of spillage too)

I think next time I might try siphoning from the brew pot to the carboy (through the strainer as well) and then stirring the heck out of it.

I would try an aquarium pump, but then I thought about some contaminate coming through the pump into the wort. Find one that's filtered? hmmm

Thanks for the help everyone
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:14 AM   #10
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I would look at yeast health and pitching rate for your troubles.

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