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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Best way to aerate wort just prior to pitching yeast
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:15 PM   #11
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Easiest way for me was to put a couple holds in the tubing from my kettle to the carboy. Put the pin holes on a curve in the tubing and you'll get a Venturi Effect that sucks air in. No infections yet (knock on wood) and I've thrown my O2 tank in storage.


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Old 02-15-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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I use a graut mixer attached to my drill for aerating my worts and that works fine for me...
Hmmm. Great idea! Seems to me, I could take the high-dollar stainless steel paint stirrer I got at the LHBS for degassing wine, and use it to aerate wort. Thank You !


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Old 02-16-2013, 12:57 AM   #13
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Hmmm. Great idea! Seems to me, I could take the high-dollar stainless steel paint stirrer I got at the LHBS for degassing wine, and use it to aerate wort. Thank You !
Yes you could and your welcome!
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:39 AM   #14
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Even though it might not be strictly *necessary* with dry yeast, it's a good habit to get into.
There is no reason to get in the (bad) habit, if you are using dry yeast. It is just one more thing to go wrong, and is not needed. I have heard rumors that if you plan to repitch/harvest the dry yeast, it might be beneficial to aerate the initial pitch. A better habit to form with dry yeast is proper rehydration.

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From my reading of the article, it might be a good idea to let a little kettle trub get into the fermenter if you're not using pure O2.
I also hear that you want the trub out of there after 24-48 hours. This is one of the advantages of conicals. They permit putting trub in, then bottom dump after it settles. I don't want to go conical, just because I think non-jacketed ones are a pain, and jacketed ones are not readily available in <30gal sizes. It would be nice to just pour all that junk in, then dump a day later. For trubby/hoppy ~15gal batches using an IC, it would save a few gallons of wasted wort without any special measures. You could just press/squeeze the hops down with a false bottom, and transfer whatever's left.

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I'm thinking about getting another stone, though (just the stone) for aerating starters. I didn't think that was too necessary with a stir plate, but I'm not sure.
For stir plates, most just use a loose foil cap to allow air diffusion/exchange. The yeast will grab what they want from the air/starter interface. It's one of the reasons to stir.

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I figured that way, I could be sure the O2 bubbles would have maximum contact time with the wort before reaching the top. I'm thinking about getting another stone, though (just the stone) for aerating starters. I didn't think that was too necessary with a stir plate, but I'm not sure.
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Smaller bubbles dissolve easier in your wort. You do not want the oxygen bubble to reach the top of your wort. You want them to dissipate within the wort before they reach the top.
If conserving oxygen was the goal, you would not want to see many surface bubbles. If your goal is to expediently aerate, you want to have a moderate amount bubbles breaking the surface. The amount of O2 going into solution at the surface vs. the bubbles until just below the surface, is a ratio of ~10/1, or more.

There are a lot of variables and extremes, of course, but a moderate amount of surfacing bubbles will be much faster than having them disappear/absorb just below the surface. Also, if you put O2 in too slowly, it will be coming out of solution at close the rate you are putting it in to solution. Smaller bubbles are still better. I believe this is the most common advice given for using the O2 wands, isn't it? To have a moderate amount of surface action at ~1LPM for 1 minute.

I read about this in relation to aerating sewage treatment ponds, but a similar approach is used when carbonating in bright tanks, for the same reason. Search for 'skin effect' if you want more info, and something should turn up.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:45 AM   #15
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by HBngNOK View Post
Hmmm. Great idea! Seems to me, I could take the high-dollar stainless steel paint stirrer I got at the LHBS for degassing wine, and use it to aerate wort. Thank You !
If you are using carboys/better bottles, and a stopper as the 'bushing', you will need to periodically introduce new air in the headspace. For a bucket, you can leave the lid off. You could also use it in kettle, depending on how you handle trub.

Did you buy an actual stainless paint/mud mixer? There is one that would work perfectly for buckets, but it isn't high-dollar- ~$15 (from memory). I think the brand is Kraft, and the model is the one with the top and bottom wings framed with circles and connected by vertical wings. I have used the non-stainless version for mixing, and it is impressive. IIRC, you place it mid- level in the center, and it pulls the bottom up, the top down, and spits it out the sides (but don't quote me on that). However it does it, it works well, and would aerate nicely.

Edit to add a links:
There are a bunch of different models with different mixing actions, but the action I mentioned (Jiffy mixer?) seems like it would work best. It doesn't result in 'spinning' the product. They can be found cheaper elsewhere.
http://www.krafttool.com/catalog.aspx?cat=91&subcat=117

Here is a site with more sizes, and better prices:
http://www.bigceramicstore.com/supplies/JiffyMixers.htm
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:51 PM   #17
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There is no reason to get in the (bad) habit, if you are using dry yeast. It is just one more thing to go wrong, and is not needed. I have heard rumors that if you plan to repitch/harvest the dry yeast, it might be beneficial to aerate the initial pitch. A better habit to form with dry yeast is proper rehydration.


I also hear that you want the trub out of there after 24-48 hours. This is one of the advantages of conicals. They permit putting trub in, then bottom dump after it settles. I don't want to go conical, just because I think non-jacketed ones are a pain, and jacketed ones are not readily available in <30gal sizes. It would be nice to just pour all that junk in, then dump a day later. For trubby/hoppy ~15gal batches using an IC, it would save a few gallons of wasted wort without any special measures. You could just press/squeeze the hops down with a false bottom, and transfer whatever's left.
I'll agree to disagree about the dry yeast. I can't see that it would hurt, although it may be unnecessary. Regarding the jacketed conicals, I hope I don't come across as pedantic, but morebeer has them from 7.5 to 27 gallons. They look horribly cost-ineffective at the small sizes, though.

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For stir plates, most just use a loose foil cap to allow air diffusion/exchange. The yeast will grab what they want from the air/starter interface. It's one of the reasons to stir.
That's what I've done with my starters, figuring that enough O2 would get sucked into the wort from the stirring action, but for a few dollars more, I'm thinking that giving it a head start couldn't hurt. (Not enough that it would all get driven off when I turn the stir plate on, but enough to put a few ppm in there to get started with.) I dunno, it just seems like since going all-grain, making starters, and oxygenating the wort for a minute or so with a low-moderate flow of O2, the primary attentuation phase on my beers has tended to start very quickly and last only about 1-1.5 days before slowing way down, based on my Extremely Reliable Airlock Fermentation Indicator . I'll freely admit that I may be getting close to cargo-cult territory regarding oxygenation, though.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #18
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I'll agree to disagree about the dry yeast. I can't see that it would hurt, although it may be unnecessary.
I believe I stated why it could hurt- one more thing to go wrong, like introducing contamination. Especially for absolutely no benefit, except for the debatable benefit if yeast harvesting- but for most home use scenarios, there would be no real benefit to harvest from a dry yeast.

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Regarding the jacketed conicals, I hope I don't come across as pedantic, but morebeer has them from 7.5 to 27 gallons. They look horribly cost-ineffective at the small sizes, though.
Hopefully being pedantic, those are not jacketed. That style of heated/cooled conical is less practical than even the internal cooling/heating plates or coils that are available, and I may have to resort to. To be even more specific, I would prefer one with a 'dimple jacket'. The most common DIY 'jacketed' conicals are simple 'nested cones', which is a crude design.

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That's what I've done with my starters, figuring that enough O2 would get sucked into the wort from the stirring action, but for a few dollars more, I'm thinking that giving it a head start couldn't hurt. (Not enough that it would all get driven off when I turn the stir plate on, but enough to put a few ppm in there to get started with.)
Having the starter wort oxygenated at inoculation would be ideal, but again there is the danger of introducing something, and for what I would think would be minimal benefit with a stir plate. Shaking it a few times while allowing some air exchange would do the same thing up to (pick your favorite opinion on O2 ppm using air). The air pump-filter-stone would work too, and prevent over-oxygenating (which is detrimental) the starter wort. I am doubtful either will make any meaningful difference when using a stir plate.

Also, not sure if by 'sucked into the wort' you believe that there needs to be a vortex in your starter- there does not. Simply turning over the surface layer is sufficient. Over-aggressive stirring, like that required to generate a vortex, has a good chance of damaging a higher percentage of yeast cells than is acceptable/required.

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I dunno, it just seems like since going all-grain, making starters, and oxygenating the wort for a minute or so with a low-moderate flow of O2, the primary attentuation phase on my beers has tended to start very quickly and last only about 1-1.5 days before slowing way down
Could it be that all of your ancillary processes improved as well?
I suggest you investigate the point in my previous post about >90% of 02 going into solution as the bubbles break the surface, at least if the bubbles are allowed to reach the surface. Even using a simple formula, this would mean you could oxygenate ~10 times faster if the bubbles reach the surface.

Also, I never said that oxygenation was not a benefit for liquid yeast, and even stated that it was.
With all-grain, it's possible to produce wort that is more fermentable than LME, and especially DME. Starters, for liquid yeast, certainly help. Not only to get the proper cell counts, but also to replenish their energy/nutrient stores. I would not be surprised if using a starter (for liquid yeast) to double cell counts produces better end results than simply using 2 vials/smack-packs.

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based on my Extremely Reliable Airlock Fermentation Indicator .
Never mention this again, lest you attract the wrath of Revvy. I think his main stance is that no airlock activity is not the sign of no fermentation, though he routinely scorns using the presence of bubbles as a sign of activity as well. I, on the other hand, routinely use the bubble rate to stop my ciders early, with fairly accurate results. Its just chick swill anyway.

Watch out for mentioning a secondary also. I, however, believe they are beneficial for >~2 week time frames. Just taste the beer that you can settle out of the cake. That stuff is constantly diffusing (osmosising?) into your beer. You would never hear a commercial brewer advocate not doing a trub dump after 24-48hrs, at least I haven't, and I have asked more than a few. They also do yeast dumps for this and other reasons, like head pressures and yeast compression.

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I'll freely admit that I may be getting close to cargo-cult territory regarding oxygenation, though.
I had a professor tell a funny story about a pigeon feeding experiment where they randomly fed them, instead of using a repetitive/consistent stimulus. The result was a bunch of pigeons each performing what they believed was the magical dance that pleased the food gods. Same idea.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:23 AM   #19
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Hopefully being pedantic, those are not jacketed.
Ah, I didn't realize that. Thanks for the clarification.

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Also, not sure if by 'sucked into the wort' you believe that there needs to be a vortex in your starter- there does not.
Oh, sorry I was unclear--I set mine so that there's a very small dimple in the surface, not a huge tornado going down to the stir bar (which is usually about 1/3 of the range available to me on the rheostat, about 3:00 on a scale of 12:00 to 9:00, not that that's particularly relevant to anyone else's equipment).

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Could it be that all of your ancillary processes improved as well? I suggest you investigate the point in my previous post about >90% of 02 going into solution as the bubbles break the surface, at least if the bubbles are allowed to reach the surface.
Well, yes. I mentioned starters and oxygenation, which I think I started doing right around the same time (after moving to all-grain, which the yeast also seemed to love). To clarify what I meant by "low-moderate flow," I meant that I adjust the regulator until I get bubbles breaking the surface, but I don't turn it up past that. I usually overshoot a bit due to impatience and dial it back, but I keep it on the low side of things while still being able to see evidence of the gas flow at the top of the wort. Knowing my tendency to go on about things, I aimed for brevity but inadvertently sacrificed clarity in the pursuit.

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Also, I never said that oxygenation was not a benefit for liquid yeast, and even stated that it was.
I'm not sure where I stated or implied that. If I did, I certainly didn't mean to. If I could figure out a way to ask you to help me avoid that in the future by pointing out the trouble spot without sounding like I'm challenging you, I would, but I can't.

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Never mention this again, lest you attract the wrath of Revvy.
You know how they say that it's very difficult to convey tone through text? That must go at least quadruple for irony. I mean, if some people thought that Swift was actually advocating eating Irish babies, I don't have much of a chance on the Internet; I'm no Swift.

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Watch out for mentioning a secondary also. I, however, believe they are beneficial for >~2 week time frames.
I've only used a secondary once, and that was when I'd added pumpkin to the boil, got some of the stuff into primary, and wanted to let it settle a bit more. I definitely favor skipping the secondary. Less work, fewer things to go wrong, etc. And that's exactly where you're coming from on the oxygenation issue (when stated by the manufacturer, I'd add), I realize.

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I had a professor tell a funny story about a pigeon feeding experiment where they randomly fed them, instead of using a repetitive/consistent stimulus. The result was a bunch of pigeons each performing what they believed was the magical dance that pleased the food gods. Same idea.
Indeed. I love hearing about experiments like that. It seems to me that a lot of human activity/technology started this way, not just brewing. We (as a species) find some things that produce a certain effect, we vary things and tweak processes a bit and find things that work better and worse, and then we later learn the science behind it, the results (e.g., beer) driving the research, like with Pasteur. Knowing what's actually happening, then, we know why altering this step or that process changes things, which lets us figure out how to do it even better, collectively. That still doesn't stop the occasional individual from doing his or her particular god-pleasing food dance, though.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:05 PM   #20
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Given the OP's situation, this is the best advice I can think of:
For dry yeast, don't worry about aeration. You can even drain wort directly into the fermenter with no air exposure.
Pitch the proper amount of yeast (which may be more than one dry yeast packet for big beers, consult your favorite yeast calculator).
Do not make a 'starter' with dry yeast, just pitch more dry yeast to get the proper cell count (it's usually cheaper).
Rehydrate dry yeast in plain water (or along with the special rehydrating nutrients) prior to pitching. There are instructions on the yeast manuf. website.
Control your temps, and possibly increase temps slightly toward the end.
If you are getting significant sulphur smells/flavors, or stalled ferments, add yeast nutrients to your wort. There are several types and combinations to choose from.
If you still have issues with attenuation/yeast health due to high gravities, consult 'HighTest's' stepped yeast nutrient additions in the mead forum. It is a good source of info on yeast nutrient differences as well.


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