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Old 11-22-2012, 11:48 PM   #11
ThorGodOfThunder
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I have used a break bleeder in the past to degas wine. You don't want to create a really strong vac, but it can be done. It is important that your carboy is full up to the bell part of the glass. The curves make the top much stronger and you want to contain the vacuum there.

Some people go overboard when aerating, imo. Go get a length of tubing for your siphon and close off one end (hot glue guns work great), then poke a bunch of 1/8" holes around that end of the tube, going up a few inches. Then when you siphon it was splash all around and get plenty of O2 in the liquid.

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooney View Post
Why wood you not use welding grade o2?
I used to work at a compressed gas manufacturing plant. The only difference between industrial (welding) grade oxygen and medical grade oxygen is the cleanliness of the bottle it's put in. When you take your cylinder in to be filled they will vent it, pull a vacuum, then fill it with the same oxygen they would put in a medical grade cylinder.

The problem comes from contamination. If you run your oxygen tank dry before your acetylene runs out you can get some acetylene drawn into your oxygen tank.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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Ah cool that's good to know. That wand looks like the sort of thing I was thinking of making out of an air stone and some rubber. My oxygen bottles are a bit bigger and have their own trolly but its the same stuff. That's good theirs says 50 seconds so if I blast it gently for a min or two It should do it. I take it oxidation before pitching the yeast only? You would not repeat until this 1/3 sugar break I keep reading about along with staggered nutrients? Just a Goood shake to get some co2 out
Oxygenation is only needed at the start of fermentation...generally I do it before I pitch yeast, and if it's a mead (or higher gravity beer), I sometimes add a second burst of oxygen at 24 hrs when I add my first staggered nutrient addition. After that, specifically oxygenating is not necessary, and potentially could be harmful (actually oxidizing [a bad thing that causes off flavors] the brew, rather than oxygenating [a very beneficial, good thing] to give the yeast the benefit of that respiratory fuel).

When it comes to degassing, I do what I call the "fly by" technique...every time I go near the carboy I swirl the $h!t out of it. BTW, I do recommend usind a blow off tube rather than a regular airlock...with proper oxygenation and "fly by" degassing, you will blow out your airlock fluid and be constantly trying to replace it, even if you don't actually have foam blowing out (which you certainly could have as well...) I have never used one of the vacuum techniques, so I can't comment on that, but I have tried other mechanical means, aka a degassing wand, and they just seem to be more trouble than they're worth. For one thing if you're not extremely careful, you *will* be cleaning up a MEA (Mead Eruption Accident), and then there's the whole sanitizing the wand, opening the carboy, etc, etc...just more chances for contamination. I think I get pretty good degassing with my fly by swirling, but I suppose I should try one time using the degassing wand after I think I've degassed adequately with swirling, and see if I get anything else out with the wand...

Oh, and if you do add oxygen at 24 hrs, after fermentation has started, *definitely* do some sort of degassing first, and be very cautious with your oxygen flow rates...this process is also very prone to creating a MEA!

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Originally Posted by ThorGodOfThunder View Post
Some people go overboard when aerating, imo. Go get a length of tubing for your siphon and close off one end (hot glue guns work great), then poke a bunch of 1/8" holes around that end of the tube, going up a few inches. Then when you siphon it was splash all around and get plenty of O2 in the liquid.
I have to disagree...you need to research this more. It is physically impossible to get optimal levels of dissolved oxygen in your must/wort using mechanical agitation like this. I highly recommend that every brewer read the book Yeast (co-authored by Chris White, of White Labs). This book more than almost any other has changed my homebrewing for the better...if you treat your yeast well (proper pitch rates, oxygenation, nutrients, degassing, fermentation temps), your mead/beer/cider/whatever will be infinitely better, and will mature faster. I think the reason why mead has a reputation for taking forever to be drinkable is that people essentially (unintentionally) make every mistake you can possibly make with fermentation when making mead -- ferment a high gravity must with a single yeast packet, no oxygenation, and with no temp control. (Fortunately the staggered nutrient idea is becoming pretty widespread.) You can more cleanly get away with these things with most beers which have much lower OG's, but given the average OG of mead being over 1.100, you really need to control the fermentation well, and if you do, your mead will be very drinkable much sooner (months rather than years...)

Sorry for the rant...
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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biochemedic, I've got a roughly two day old mead going...a 3-gallon traditional. I initially stirred very aggressively as I was mixing the honey and water. After pitching the yeast I gently stirred it and let turned a small aquarium pump on that was hooked to a 4" long air-stone. I let the air-stone run for an hour. After that initial "aeration", twice a day I have stirred the must and turned the aquarium pump on for an hour. In a "newbies" guide I read it said to aerate for three days. I am planning on using the aquarium pump for the last time tomorrow morning which will be 72 hours after the initial yeast pitch and aeration. After that I will only stir gently for de-gassing purposes. Does this sound about right or have I introduced too much oxygen? I could stop using the pump now and it will have been used over a span of 48 hours for a total run time of four hours.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #15
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I'm not overly familiar with how to use a regular atmosphere air stone, so I'd have to do some reading up on that. I'm also not familiar with the protocol of oxygenating/aerating for up to 72 hrs, or what specific benefit that has to offer...from what I've read, the yeast really need the oxygen primarily in their initial reproductive stage before active fermentation. What I can also say though is that as long as the yeast is actively fermenting, I don't think you could terribly harm the mead with aeration. Whatever oxygen is introduced should be taken up by the yeast and/or scrubbed out by active CO2 production.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #16
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I checked my gravity on the 11/28/2012 and it was at 1.070 which was within .002 of my calculated 1/3 sugar break. This was roughly 3-1/2 days after pitching the K1V. After taking the sample I added 1-1/4 tsp of DAP, stirred the must a bit, ran the air stone for about 5 minutes and then pulled the air stone and tubing out, put the lid on tight, and installed an air lock on, Temperatures are currently running around 68F after starting in the 66-67F range. The only thing since locking it up that that I've done to it is to swirl the must around once a day. On 12/03/2012 the gravity was at 1.024 and with a pH of 3.6. It seems to be going well.

From what I (a newbee) understand, aerating periodically over the first 72 hours is to help the yeast reproduce their numbers without struggling for oxygen. Once the initial reproduction boom of the yeast is over with the yeast don't require that much oxygen and oxygen then becomes a liability in regards to oxidation so aeration is halted. At least that's what is echoing around in my cavernous mind.

Ed

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