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Old 06-05-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
jds
 
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We all (well, most of us, anyhow) know the importance of aerating wort prior to pitching yeast. As a KISS brewer, I don't oxygenate. My usual aeration method has been either carboy shaking or a wire whip before transferring to the fermenter. Until yesterday.

The LHBS proprietor suggested the following trick, and it works great:
  1. Take a six-inch length of racking cane
  2. Heat a straightened paperclip in a flame
  3. Use the hot paperclip to melt a series of small holes through the wall of the racking cane.
  4. Insert racking cane into transfer tubing when transferring cooled wort to fermenter.

My racking cane ended up looking something like the below:

Except that I twisted the cane a little bit so all the holes weren't along the same axis.

I used it yesterday when transferring a 1.055 OG cream ale to the fermenter. The little holes serve to suck in air, which makes tiny bubbles in the stream of wort. Tiny bubbles = more surface area = more oxygen transfer (and memories of Don Ho, too)

By putting this widget right at the top of my 6.5G carboy, I generated a layer of froth about 3" thick after racking. The package of dry notty I pitched with had started to make foam within six hours of pitching at 3 PM yesterday, and is pushing gas out the 1-1/4 inch blowoff tube this morning. I'm sold. This widget is part of my routine now.

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Old 06-05-2008, 04:04 PM   #2
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I likey! Now I need to find a 1/2inch racking cane to fit the output hose of my keggle.. hehehe
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:04 PM   #3
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Good thought, I've read about similar ideas before. I'd be tempted to somehow filter the air that gets in though.
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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Bloody brilliant. I'm comfortable with not filtering since it'd be no worse than the wire wisk method.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:40 PM   #5
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Excellent tip JDS
might even dedicate a racking cane into an aeration wand using this principal.

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Old 06-05-2008, 11:59 PM   #6
Yooper
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Someone (is it Orfy?) has a similar aeration "wand", but made out of metal. He had pictures of it a year or two ago, and it seemed to work great. I think if you're using a keggle, with a CFC especially, that would be awesome. I've seen some sprayers for sale in the HBS cataloques- same principle, but with a spray nozzle on the plastic racking cane.

Great ingenuity to make it with what you have!
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:11 AM   #7
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This is a very clever little device. But recognize that it may have limitations for oxygenating your wort. According to Wyeast, these types of 'siphon sprayers' don't actually get much O2 into your wort (only about half the amount of what you would get by shaking/spalshing wort in your carboy for 40 seconds.

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_oxygenation.cfm

 
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:20 AM   #8
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It's a good point, FlyGuy. I've tried sprayers on the end of the racking cane before, and was unimpressed. I think the difference here is that the air is entrained into the stream rather than the stream being sprayed into the air. Based solely on my subjective estimate of how much foam I have in the carboy, I think this does better than a sprayer.

Anybody have a DO meter handy? I'm sure I can come up with an excuse to get one at work...

 
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds View Post
Anybody have a DO meter handy? I'm sure I can come up with an excuse to get one at work...
Oh, that's a great idea! You could compare the results, and post it for us! I love that.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds View Post
It's a good point, FlyGuy. I've tried sprayers on the end of the racking cane before, and was unimpressed. I think the difference here is that the air is entrained into the stream rather than the stream being sprayed into the air. Based solely on my subjective estimate of how much foam I have in the carboy, I think this does better than a sprayer.
Well that sounds promising then! I may have to try it. Very clever indeed!

 
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