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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Oxygen from canister, worth it for big beers ? "normal beers too?"
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:58 AM   #1
Bronco1500
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Default Oxygen from canister, worth it for big beers ? "normal beers too?"

Couple of new-b questions about using the welding oxygen tanks to oxygenate the wort. I dont mind the expense if it makes the quality of my beer go up. However, I dont want to waste money. Im kind of a "gadget" guy, I love my diy stir plate.

1. Ive heard BIG beers need lots of o2. Would this increase the saturatuion level over other methods.

2. Why are the air stones so expensive? Could you use the cheap ones from the fish store ?

3. Stones attached to flexible tubing or ridgid tubing ?

4. What is the reason people use this system ? Just cuz they can ?

5. How long should you run the o2 in the wort ?

I think thats enough for now. Any responses are appreciated if it helps me increase the quality of my beer

Cheers

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:20 AM   #2
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Depends what you consider a big beer. I just finished a batch that came in at 1.076 and other than pour it through a strainer to filter out the hops, that's it (pouring through a strainer puts a ton of oxygen into the wort). Toss in some washed WLP029 and we're off to the races. I've never brewed anything above 1.080 and other than pour the wort through a wire mesh strainer that's all I do. Good or bad, never had any off flavors, never had a stalled fermentation and always been pleased with the outcome.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:26 AM   #3
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I have one from Williams Brewing. I really like it. First, it's only $50. Expensive for what it is, but not for what it does. The rigid wand helps to submerge it; an aquarium stone would float. The metal difuser can easily be sanitized by dunking it in some hot water for a minute.

Is it worth it? Since I got one, I noticed significantly reduced lag times. From what I understand, it is impossible to get an oxygen level of above 8 PPM via shaking or aerating, which you want for bigger beers. I give it a full blast for 30 seconds for normal gravity beers, plus an additional 30-60 seconds depending on the gravity. I don't have an oxygen meter so it's all guesswork, but this has given me good results so far. One reason I really like it is no shaking; I've brewed many batches since I got it, and never having to sit around shaking it is nice.

On the other hand, from what I have read O2 concentration is important for yeast reproduction. Some people just pitch extra to make up for it. I think the main thing with big beers is keeping it on the cooler side for the first day of fermentation, and hitting your FG. With or without the O2 stone, I have had two big beers stop 5 points short of the target FG, and they are undrinkable. Make sure you always ramp up to avoid this.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:26 AM   #4
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more oxygen is good for yeast. When using agitation the max oxygen that can be achieved is the % in the air, direct oxygen add can get higher. That said I've brewed a 1.12 OG down to 1.030 with only physical agitation (attached to drill) (also of note for this batch, used 2x 1gal starters each with a smack pack of 1056, mashed at 155F). Another way to assure you get a good fermentation is to pitch enough healthy yeast.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:35 AM   #5
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Ah so perhaps large amounts of yeast can negate the need for above natural levels of o2. Perfect !! Cuz I was going to re-use a yeast cake from my last batch for my next barley wine. I essentially made a 5 gallon starter !!

Thanks fellas, that $50 saved will purchase my next brew day kit +

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco1500 View Post
Couple of new-b questions about using the welding oxygen tanks to oxygenate the wort. I dont mind the expense if it makes the quality of my beer go up. However, I dont want to waste money. Im kind of a "gadget" guy, I love my diy stir plate.

1. Ive heard BIG beers need lots of o2. Would this increase the saturatuion level over other methods.

2. Why are the air stones so expensive? Could you use the cheap ones from the fish store ?

3. Stones attached to flexible tubing or ridgid tubing ?

4. What is the reason people use this system ? Just cuz they can ?

5. How long should you run the o2 in the wort ?

I think thats enough for now. Any responses are appreciated if it helps me increase the quality of my beer

Cheers
1. Yeah, the more yeast you need the more oxygen is needed.

2. You could use the ones from the fish store, but they disintegrate easily. My brother tried them and they kinda sucked.

3. Definitely rigid tubing. I took a racking cane and put my stone on the bottom and connected the air line to the other end. I can put that right through the lid hole in my fermenters.

4. Partly because they can, but also (and more importantly) because it really helps get a good fermentation going.

5. Pure O2 isn't very long, I think around 30 seconds or so. I use an aquarium pump with an inline sterile filter and let it go until the foam gets to the top of the fermenter (15 to 20 minutes usually).
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:54 AM   #7
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I'm a gadget guy too. I'm also cheap, so here's what I did:
Got a cheap air stone and tubing from the fish store.
Got a piece of rigid tubing from the hobby shop.
Adapted my oxygen tank (from my oxy-acetylene set) to accept the 1/8 tubing.
Cleaned and sanitized everything.
Poured wort into carboy, oxygenated for a minute or two, then pitched yeast.
At a buck apiece, I can afford to buy a bunch at a time, and treat them as disposable.

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