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Old 11-15-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default All Grain - Aeration

Is stirring of the wort prior to pitching yeast adequate to aerate the wort for All-Grain brewing or should I be using an aerator?

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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You don't need an aerator. Shaking the fermenter for 40 seconds will saturate the wort with air. That's 8ppm oxygen. I've never made a beer that wasn't happy with that, but have heard some yeasts are finicky. If you want more than 8ppm you will need an oxegen tank.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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It depends on the beer. Oxygen seems to be vital for yeast reproduction so unless you pitch lots of yeast, you'll want aeration to help get the proper population. For a 1.040 OG session beer, you might not need much aeration at all. When you make your imperial you need way more yeast so aeration is more critical.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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Also consider your end goal. If it is to make great beer for you to enjoy in your own home, I'd just shake it and enjoy in 3 weeks.

If you are trying to perfect yeast techniques / move into professional brewing it may be worth it to experiment with oxygenating the wort and testing different pitch rates.

It isn't necessary to make really fantastic beer, but it is another element of control to ensure consistency from batch to batch.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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I found a trick that works for me. When I transfer from the BK to the carboy, I siphon it through a small mesh strainer. The funnel also has a "filter" with smaller holes as well. Those two things combined with dropping it straight down into the middle of the carboy creates as good aeration as I think you can get without O2.

Example: I brewed a 1.072 beer Saturday and by the end of the transfer, I had to change what I was doing because the fluffy, foamy goodness was about to come out of the carboy. 4-5 inches of foam +/-
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Shaking is good, I have used a paint mixer in a drill and that does a better job.
That being said, no method will put oxygen into the wort near optimum levels anywhere near as well as just pumping O2 in there.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #7
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Ya for most beers shaking and using Bricks method are good enough. Usually when you start getting into bigger beers like 1070+ you might want to consider getting an aquarium pump and an oxygen stone or a straight up oxygen tank aerator. Oxygen is crucial in yeast reproduction which is especially important on larger beers. Some folks will dose it and then dose it again within 12 to 18 hours.

In essence, if you make small beers probably not an issue unless yo are getting a lot of underattenuation or something like that. Bigger beers, might want to consider it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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Agreed Hopper... some sort of aeration system might be my next upgrade because I love huge beers.

Brewed a 1.108 RIS that (thankfully) fermented down, as of day 17, to 1.023 with this method. Estimated 1.022 FG. Of course the decanted gallon starter didn't hurt lol... WLP099 is a beast.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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After fermentation temperature control and proper pitching rates, the next logical step in improving your beer is properly oxygenating. $60 is a small price to pay for that, I think. The places you'll see the most improvement are big beers and british beers (and other yeasts that love tons of oxygen like WLP090 and a few other hard flocculators), as well as reduced lag times and shorter, cleaner ferments all around. I highly recommend it.

If you don't have the first two down, though, work on those first for sure.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #10
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Yeah the last few beers I have oxygenated with a stone literally took off within 4 hours...
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