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Old 11-30-2008, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default Wort Aerator....

For those that have O2 Aerators, were they worth it?

Back to brewing! It's been too long!!
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:30 AM   #2
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I use the airstone on a pieces of racking cane with an O2 bottle and my beer seems to like it...but it's really hard to say how different they are unless I did a bck to back comparrison of the same recipe, the same yeast and shook the crap out of one, while giving the other a blast.

All I know is that it saves me shaking and or stirring and gets the yeast pitched a few minutes faster.

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Old 11-30-2008, 03:06 AM   #3
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Yeah, i would like to know this aswell, as they don't seem that expensive.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:12 AM   #4
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Pure O2 is the most efficient way to get oxygen into the wort.

Yes, shaking it, paint stirrers, and aquarium pumps get some oxygen in too, just not as much:

MB Raines, Ph.D. - Guide to Yeast Culturing for Homebrewers - Maltose Falcons Home Brewing Society (Los Angeles Homebrewing)

In general, it is difficult for homebrewers to achieve sufficient oxygen levels. The levels of oxygen necessary for optimal fermentation vary depending on the yeast strain. Ale strains usually need between 8-12 part per million (ppm) while lager strains require slightly higher amounts (10-15 ppm). At atmospheric pressure the maximum level of dissolved oxygen in wort is approximately 8 ppm and the saturation level decreases further as the gravity of the wort increases. Thus unless special steps are taken to introduce air or oxygen into the wort, it is difficult for homebrewers to achieve adequate aeration. Recent studies have shown that oxygenation is by far more efficient than aeration. Injection of oxygen through a 2 micron diffusing stone can actually supersaturate the wort with 10-12 ppm of dissolved oxygen being reached in 5 gallons of wort by a single 60 second blast of oxygen!
That said, oxygenation stones aren't the be-all, end-all. Focus on getting the correct amount of healthy yeast in and you won't need to add as much:

Most homebrewers start out pitching a Wyeast packet. How much are you actually underpitching with one of these 50 ml pouches? Assuming all the yeast in a Wyeast packet are viable (only about 25% truly are!), we are adding only 50 ml of about 60 million/cells per ml. This translates into a pitching rate of 150,000 cells per ml (Table 4). Thus with a single Wyeast packet you are underpitching by a factor of at least 35 for ales and almost 100-fold for lagers. What is the big deal about underpitching? Well remember that very little yeast growth should go on in the fermenter. There should be no more than 3 or 4 cell division which should take place during the first few hours of fermentation. If underpitched the yeast will spend much more time trying to grow to adequate quantities. During this extended growth period the yeast tend to secrete more esters and fusel alcohols. Moreover they may not have a sufficient number to adequately metabolize (digest) all of the fermentable sugars. So what you end up with is a beer with off-flavors (such as esters, fusel alcohols, diacetyl, acetaldehyde) and a high finishing gravity. Thus it is important to always make a starter and make it a relatively big one. Remember that you want the yeast to spend most of their energy making alcohol not babies in a fermenter!!

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Old 11-30-2008, 04:36 AM   #5
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Wort. Shaken, not stirred.

I've debated getting a stone before, but I've never had an issue with a good shaking, plus it's one less piece of brew equipment to take up room and worry about sanitizing and possible contamination of my brew.
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:49 AM   #6
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I used a modified version of this technique the other day and was impressed... I only made 1 hole and it seemed to do the trick...
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:35 AM   #7
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No contest, a sanitized stone and some o2 can not be beat... I can ferment out in 3 days with good o2 airation. I can hit 13% in 4 days with no problems with fresh yeast and o2. Less chance of infection is less chance... Sometimes i will purge my fermenter with co2 then after racking wort in blow o2 in...That said stones need care to keep clean, i soak mine in pure grain and light it up before use...
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #8
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Try this aeration process, my son invented it, works great. Attach tube to auto siphon, put auto siphon into carboy or bucket and pump it about 50 time returning wort back to bucket or carboy.

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Old 11-30-2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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I brew 10G batches, that are split between 2 6G buckets. When I run out of O2 in the middle of the process, then #1 bucket aways starts and finishes faster then #2 bucket. So yes I have found O2 worth it. My stone is built into the outlet of my CFC, so it gets sanitized at the same time I recirc through the CFC before cooling. Now I just need a larger bottle of O2 or learn to keep a spare worthington bottle on hand.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:14 PM   #10
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In a small beer the effectiveness is debatable but for a big beer like barley wine itís a must to get the attenuation down to the level that is preferred. The yeast need a head start to take on all the sugars of big beers and the O2 gives it to them.

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