Aeration: Shaking vs. Aquarium Pump? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Aeration: Shaking vs. Aquarium Pump?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-16-2007, 03:48 PM   #1
Beerthoven
Recipes 
 
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts



How many people out there shake their carboys to aerate the wort, versus using an aquarium pump or some other kind of O2 dispenser?

I just shake my carboys and I get good ferments. Home brew lore has it that a pump is better, but how much better will my beer be, really? Has anybody compared the two methods? Is there any empirical data to show that pump aeration is really superior?

IMO, as long as there is some O2 in the wort, I think fermentation temperature is probably more important than additional aeration in producing a good beer.
__________________

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 03:50 PM   #2
anthrobe
 
anthrobe's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2005
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 578
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I always just shake my carboys and have never had a stuck ferment. Every brew always ferments all the way. I was looking into getting an O2 wand and start aerating. I just spoke with another experienced home brewer in which he stopped using O2 for it was causing off flavors in his brews. He went back to the shake method and has not had any problems since.
__________________
On Deck -
Primary1 -Hop Knot 10/04/07
Primary2 -
Secondary1 -
Secondary2 -
On Tap
Tap1 - Kelly's Rasberry Cream Ale 7/11/07
Tap2 - Black Stap Porter (8/25/07)
Tap3 - Hefeweizen 7/05/07
Waiting for tap\Conditioning
Keg1 -
Keg2 -
Keg3 -
Bottles
-
-

---------------------------------------------------

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 03:51 PM   #3
Brew-boy
 
Brew-boy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2006
Lapeer, Michigan
Posts: 2,280
Liked 16 Times on 13 Posts


I would not bother doing the shaking ordeal. I would go with pure O2 it's quick and very effective. Some people use the pump with ok results too. I can only speak for my results and I have seen my fermentations improve a great deal sine I have been using pure O2.
__________________
Next:Smoked Pilsner.
Primary:Belgian Red, American Stout w/Roeselare
On Tap:Pale Ale, English Bitter
Aging: Imperial Oatmeal Stout on Vanilla beans.

I rather owe you a dollar than cheat you out of it.."Dad"

http://lapeerareabrewers.com/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LapeerAreaBrewers/

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
bradsul
Flyfisherman/brewer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
bradsul's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,898
Liked 32 Times on 25 Posts


I don't have any empirical evidence but my fermentations improved greatly when I went with the pump through an airstone and HEPA filter. My lag times increased slightly (due to way more yeast growth) but my fermentations were much quicker and more vigorous.

Not too mention I don't have to sit there and shake the bucket anymore. I can finish cleaning up while the aeration is running and then pitch and I'm done.
__________________
Brad
Canadian Brewers Unite!


Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 04:26 PM   #5
zoebisch01
 
zoebisch01's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2006
Central PA
Posts: 5,182
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts


Well, this topic comes up quite often. Truth of it is you need to sufficiently aerate the wort no matter what method you choose. If a means other than injection or pumps work then so be it.

My method of choice has always been to strain my cooled wort, dumped from about a foot or so above the strainer into an aluminum 'tomato strainer'. Kind of a perforated cone. Not a fine mesh. The wort shoots out of the holes like hundreds of tiny little jets. When it is poured off, I have a big head of foam on the top of the beer in the fermentor. Never had a ferment problem using this method. Now, if that wasn't working for me I'd obviously have gone to some other method.

I'd add that a healthy colony of yeast will yield a higher quality beer because it isn't struggling through the ferment. As long as you are getting substantial aeration there is no need to worry imo.
__________________
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

Brew what you like. Do this, and you will find your inner brewer.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 04:32 PM   #6
brewt00l
Recipes 
 
Dec 2006
Doylestown, PA
Posts: 3,725
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by anthrobe
I always just shake my carboys and have never had a stuck ferment. Every brew always ferments all the way. I was looking into getting an O2 wand and start aerating. I just spoke with another experienced home brewer in which he stopped using O2 for it was causing off flavors in his brews. He went back to the shake method and has not had any problems since.
sounds like your experienced homebrewer buddy should have taken a closer look at his issues before declaring O2 the cause.....

on topic: I am getting good results with my aeration via wipping up the wort from 90 down to pitching temps, straining into the fermenter and the old shake like a polaroid method

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 04:38 PM   #7
FlyGuy
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,605
Liked 183 Times on 53 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l
sounds like your experienced homebrewer buddy should have taken a closer look at his issues before declaring O2 the cause.....
Agreed -- if you are getting off flavours because of oxygenating, you are doing something very wrong in the process.

Quote:
on topic: I am getting good results with my aeration via wipping up the wort from 90 down to pitching temps, straining into the fermenter and the old shake like a polaroid method
If done properly, all three methods (shaking, pump aerating, and direct oxygenation) work very well. None is necessarily 'better' than the other. It all just comes down to convenience. Shaking a carboy takes about 5 minutes and some elbow grease. The pump is 'set and forget' for about 20 - 30 mins, plus a bit of clean-up. Oxygenation is about the same work as a pump, but only takes about 45 seconds of bubbling in the carboy.

I have done all three, and like the O2 system the best, because of its convenience. But at the homebrew scale, one won't be substantially better than another (except possibly in the case of a very high gravity beer where it is very tough to get O2 into solution -- that is when an O2 system tends to stand-out a bit).

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 04:54 PM   #8
olllllo
[]-O-[]
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
olllllo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,330
Liked 140 Times on 114 Posts


Disclosure: I use the O2 system by Williams brewing with an O2 cannister.

That said, in the print version of HowtoBrew, Palmer talks about over oxygenating (not areation) and gives an example of an award winning brewer switching from such a system back to shaking (or maybe the pump with the filter).

The takeaway for me was to NOT over-aerate with the O2 system. In other words, don't leave it on indefinately. More is not better.

I just read this last week, so in the future, I will carefully monitor the time spent using the O2 system.
__________________
Rabbit And Coyote Schwag
Rob - Phoenix Ambassador to Milwaukee
Where did your avatar go?
Ginger Beer for Moscow Mules Bacon Vodka
Twitter

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
FlyGuy
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,605
Liked 183 Times on 53 Posts


Maybe it exists and I haven't seen it yet, but a great little software tool would be an O2 calculator. One could type in their regulator pressure, stone size, wort gravity, wort volume, and wort temperature, and it would tell you how long to oxygenate for.

I always use about a 45 second blast with mine (bit less with the medical system, bit more for higher gravity beers). It seems to work perfectly, but honestly I have no idea if I am at an optimum amount.

One benefit of the air pump is that you effectively can't over-oxygenate with them because you can never exceed the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007, 05:14 PM   #10
Beerthoven
Recipes 
 
May 2007
Cary, NC
Posts: 2,176
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts


Another method I have read about for aeration is to pour the cooled wort back and forth between the pot and carboy a couple of times. I've never tried it; seems like too much work.

I think I'll stick with the vigorous shake method for now, but I am tempted to get one of the small aerators from B3 (http://morebeer.com/view_product/16607/102281). They make the claim that just "5 minutes is better than shaking." Even if that is not true (got data?) the convenience of just dropping it in and walking away would be nice. Maybe Santa will leave it under the tree this year...
__________________

Primary/Secondary: #133 Scottish 80/-
Kegged: #132 American Wheat
Planned: IPA, Brown, Pale Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aeration set up (using aquarium stones) pieper Equipment/Sanitation 24 03-19-2016 10:40 PM
Aquarium pump aeration - the smell Casey27 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 02-22-2009 04:16 AM
Help: Aerating with an Aquarium Pump JMSetzler Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 01-16-2009 01:05 AM
Aquarium pump for wort chill GunnyW Equipment/Sanitation 6 11-22-2008 02:42 AM
Carbonation stone and aquarium pump AdIn Equipment/Sanitation 11 05-11-2006 05:49 PM


Forum Jump