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Old 02-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Aquarium pump oxygenation Fear the Foam?

First time oxygenating with the aquarium pump method - other than containing it, is this an issue (see pic below)? Does it get worse? I've got fifty more minutes of this (to get an hour's worth).



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Old 02-23-2008, 06:46 PM   #2
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Your pic isn't showing up for me. I'm guessing you are getting a ton of foam. Don't use the aeration stone if you are. I just bubble air from the air tubing at a rate that doesn't create so much foam it will overflow my carboy. You will get plenty of O2 into solution that way. If you are really concerned (ie a really big beer) then what I do is bubble for the first 24 hours after pitching to keep it well aerated. You won't cause oxidation off flavours as fermentation will not begin until the beer is anaerobic.

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Old 02-23-2008, 07:15 PM   #3
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Image is at: http://www.bodock.org/PostImages/FearTheFoam.jpg

Not sure why it isn't showing up for you.

I was just a tad surprised at the amount of foam (and the "head" grew beyond what's in the picture). It isn't a big beer (1.049 OG), but I plan for the one that follows this one to be a big beer and, from reading, this is still better than just shaking -- though my shaking involved lying the fermenter on it's side and really shaking from top to bottom.

In any case, it's done now and cleaning up is all that's left. I'll take a look at just using the hose next time; thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 02-24-2008, 12:58 AM   #4
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Picture came through fine on your second post. Looks like you at least contained the mess LOL.

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Old 02-24-2008, 06:27 PM   #5
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I always went what I felt to be the proverbial extra mile with the shaking-to-aerate method by putting a triple cover of cling wrap on the top (long doubled piece, put one (sanitized) end on, secure with rubber band, fold back over top, secure with rubber band, fold one more time, secure with rubber band) then lying the carboy (better bottle) on its side and shaking/sloshing/rotating. Using the aquarium pump -- even though this isn't my biggest beer to date -- gave me my most active fermentation ever. Going strong this morning through the blow-off tube with loud "gurgles" that can be heard throughout the area. Apparently the aquarium pump does make a significant difference.

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Old 02-24-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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I use an aquarium pump but aerate in my kettle during my whirlpool (while under 80degF). I don't get foam like that. Anyway, if you remove the air-stone from your pump it is not worth using a pump. You will get better aeration by shaking that using a pump with no air-stone, the bubbles are way to big to get absorbed.

Try aerating before putting it in the fermenter. If that doesn't work, try some fermcap-S.

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Old 02-24-2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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Dumb Noob question.... whats the fish pump method and why?

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Old 02-24-2008, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
whats the fish pump method and why?
You want to start the fermentation process with the wort loaded with oxygen; that's why many of the recipes suggest splashing while pouring and such. You can also aerate in a couple of other methods. One is to use pure oxygen from a tank and flow it through an air stone (aquarium bubbler) and another is to use an aquarium pump through a filter, then to the air stone. The pure oxygen method takes about a minute, the aquarium pump method takes about an hour. Both are much better at getting oxygen into your wort than the shake/splash method.

Edit: I should mention that there are 2-micron stainless steel air stones that will do a better job and are available from homebrew stores. I just used a standard aquarium air stone, first sanitizing it. See
Five Easy Projects for more details.

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Old 02-24-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Not to flare up debate, but I had that foam as well. For me, I found that using a plastic ferementer bucket and pouring my wort into that (plus using starters!) caused more active fermentations than using my air stone did, with less spillage.

YMMV.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:46 PM   #10
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DAMHIK, but make sure you run the air thru a HEPA filter. Otherwise, you're just blowing whatever contaminated air into your "doesn't like bacteria" wort.

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