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Question About oxygenating Your Wort

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RLinNH

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My question is sanitization. Do you sanitize the Stone prior to putting it in your Wort? I am going to be using Star Sans.

Also, How do you know when you have added enough Oxygen? I have a dial type regulator on the Oxygen System I picked up. It is just a Black Plastic Dial with no numbers on it. Pretty much an on and off type dial. How the heck am I supposed to know when I have added enough/to much Oxygen?
 

Soulive

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The only experience I have with using o2 is at Bobby_M's house. He sanitizes it and then we oxygenate for about 5 minutes. I may have missed something but it seems to be determined by time, not the amount of gas. He'll probably chime in here...
 

Donasay

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There is no such thing as adding to much oxygen. Any that is not in suspention in the wort, or forced of the wort during fermentation will be pused out the top by the layer of CO2 that the yeast make as the CO2 is heavier. About 30 seconds of pure O2 should give you about 8ppm of O2 in your brew, which is about what you get by shaking the carboy. I usually go on mine for about a minute to a minute and a half. The maximum amount of O2 you can have suspended in your wort depends on your wort gravity, but is somewhere up in the 30 to 40 ppm range. I think 5 minutes is probably a bit excessive as those small red canisters of O2 only last about 10 minutes each, and cost 6 or 7 bucks.
 

Dr Vorlauf

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I boil the stone in a small sauce pan before use and let it cool down. Do the same after use.

I don't think sanitizer can get into all of those pores. Boiling it after use really keeps it clean.
 
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RLinNH

RLinNH

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Dr Vorlauf said:
I boil the stone in a small sauce pan before use and let it cool down. Do the same after use.

I don't think sanitizer can get into all of those pores. Boiling it after use really keeps it clean.


Why do the simplest solutions seem so very distant? Thanks for the info!!! I had almost all but forgotten about the tried and true boiling pot. D'OH!!!
 

SuperiorBrew

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Donasay said:
There is no such thing as adding to much oxygen. Any that is not in suspention in the wort, or forced of the wort during fermentation will be pused out the top by the layer of CO2 that the yeast make as the CO2 is heavier. About 30 seconds of pure O2 should give you about 8ppm of O2 in your brew, which is about what you get by shaking the carboy. I usually go on mine for about a minute to a minute and a half. The maximum amount of O2 you can have suspended in your wort depends on your wort gravity, but is somewhere up in the 30 to 40 ppm range. I think 5 minutes is probably a bit excessive as those small red canisters of O2 only last about 10 minutes each, and cost 6 or 7 bucks.
Ashton Lewis AKA Mr. Wizzard from BYO Magazine said:
I do suggest using caution when using pure oxygen to oxygenate wort. The problem you face is that the solubility of oxygen in wort is much higher when pure oxygen is used instead of air. Most brewing texts cite the ideal level of oxygen in wort prior to fermentation at around 8 ppm or 8 mg/L. Levels higher than this can cause oxidative damage to yeast cells. When using pure oxygen, wort oxygen levels of about 30 ppm are possible, making over-aerating a legitimate concern.
BYO Article
 

malkore

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superiorbrew's right about over-doing the pure O2. I think i read that at 20ppm you are damaging the yeast.
 

chase

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I've done quite a bit of reading on this topic recently because I just bought a similar oxygenation system. What I have found is that no one complains of underoxygenation, even when doing it for only 30 seconds. However, I've read a few things discussing overoxygenation. Over-oxygenation seems to be a problem when you exceed 1.5 to 2.0 minutes.

So, even though I haven't had a chance to try my system yet, it seems like 30 seconds is the way to go. That way there is ample oxygen, no over-oxygenation, and you don't waste any.
 

AnOldUR

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+1 for the boil before and after.

I do two 15 seconds shots, letting the bubbles settle a bit before starting the second.
 

Donasay

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SuperiorBrew said:
Originally Posted by Ashton Lewis AKA Mr. Wizzard from BYO Magazine
I do suggest using caution when using pure oxygen to oxygenate wort. The problem you face is that the solubility of oxygen in wort is much higher when pure oxygen is used instead of air. Most brewing texts cite the ideal level of oxygen in wort prior to fermentation at around 8 ppm or 8 mg/L. Levels higher than this can cause oxidative damage to yeast cells. When using pure oxygen, wort oxygen levels of about 30 ppm are possible, making over-aerating a legitimate concern.
SuperiorBrew said:

David Logsdon from Wyeast (the guys who make the yeast many of us use) talked about this topic on Basic Brewing radio:

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr04-05-07logsdon.mp3

A short synopsis if you don't want to listen to the whole podcast: If you are talking the initial airation before pitching the yeast and before the start of fermentation, you don't have to worry about over oxygenation. It is technically possible to over oxygenate the wort, but almost impossible for a home brewer to do even using pure O2. Over oxygenating is more about the time at which you add the O2 than the amount, and it can happen if you oxygenate after pitching the yeast and after the initial stage of fermentation.

When fermenting the yeast will use only the oxygen they need, and most of the oxygenation is used within the a few hours after the onset of fermentation. Once fermentation starts chugging along, the fermentation process will force the extra unused O2 that out of suspension in the wort.

As we all have seen fermentation produces a nice protective layer of CO2, as the O2 is lighter than Co2, fermentation will cause the excess O2 to be the first gas out of the airlock. Granted, this extra O2 is wasted, but natural processes keep it from remaining in contact with your wort/beer. it is nothing that a home brewer should worry about.
 

Kaiser

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my oxygen wand pretty much lives in StarSan, this keeps it sanitized and ready to use for full batches and starters.

I oxygenate for 1 - 1.5 min in the cold whirlpool. I basically use the wand to get the whirlpool started.

Kai
 

chase

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Kaiser said:
my oxygen wand pretty much lives in StarSan, this keeps it sanitized and ready to use for full batches and starters.

I oxygenate for 1 - 1.5 min in the cold whirlpool. I basically use the wand to get the whirlpool started.

Kai
That's a good idea. That way, you are sure to expose as much of the wort as possible, to the oxygen.
 

Kaiser

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chase said:
That's a good idea. That way, you are sure to expose as much of the wort as possible, to the oxygen.
I used to use a spoon but figured that I don't need it since I already have to sanitize the O2-wand.

Kai
 

Brew-boy

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Yes you can over do it with too much O2, read and read then read more if you do not believe what the pro brewers are doing.
 

SuperiorBrew

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I asked Jamil about this today & here is what he said:

From: Jamil Zainasheff
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 4:07 PM
To: Rich
Subject: RE: Over oxygenating wort?

Rich,
This is quite an interesting area for discussion. I used to think it was pretty much impossible to over oxygenate the wort and to some extent I still believe that. The folks at Wyeast are right that the yeast will consume all of the oxygen in short order. Ashton is right in that there can be too much O2 in given conditions, especially where beer flavor is concerned.

The amount of O2 added can also affect the amount of yeast growth. You want just the right amount of growth to get the right beer flavor in the end. Not enough growth or too much growth can cause flavor problems, so the proper amount of O2 can be critical. How much exactly depends on many other factors, especially pitching rate and yeast strain.

A couple weeks ago Chad and I determined that he was adding way too much O2 to his wort. He cut the O2 amount in half and solved the problem.

I hope that helps!

Jamil Zainasheff
http://www.mrmalty.com

Listen to archives of The Jamil Show at:
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/jamil.php
 

david_42

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"Over-oxygenation" - Let's nip this factoid now.

I asked a couple yeast techs from Wyeast about this last night. They said that you cannot stress the yeast by oxygenating the wort, unless you do it continuously for hours. Fully oxygenating the wort at the beginning of the fermentation is not a problem, unless there was something wrong with your starter & the yeast were stressed before pitching.
 

Soulive

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david_42 said:
"Over-oxygenation" - Let's nip this factoid now.

I asked a couple yeast techs from Wyeast about this last night. They said that you cannot stress the yeast by oxygenating the wort, unless you do it continuously for hours. Fully oxygenating the wort at the beginning of the fermentation is not a problem.
Thanks. I was thinking along the same lines but didn't have any research to back it up. At the brewpub, we inject food-grade O2 into the cooled wort for about 15-20min without measuring ppm...
 

david_42

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I might add, both of these "techs" have degrees in Microbiology and over 15 years of experience in growing yeast each. Degrees seem to be very important to certain posters, WSRN.
 

SuperiorBrew

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david_42 said:
"Over-oxygenation" - Let's nip this factoid now.

I asked a couple yeast techs from Wyeast about this last night. They said that you cannot stress the yeast by oxygenating the wort, unless you do it continuously for hours. Fully oxygenating the wort at the beginning of the fermentation is not a problem, unless there was something wrong with your starter & the yeast were stressed before pitching.
While you are nipping..............are you also saying that "Over-oxygenation" cannot affect the flavor of the finished product or that it just will not hurt the yeast, because I am not too concerned if the yeast are hurt, just that my beer tastes as good as it possibly can with the tools I have to work with.
 

conpewter

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Has anyone done the experimentation where you basically add the tiniest drop possible of olive oil to the wort instead of oxygenation? The reasoning behind it is that if you give the yeast the compounds they need then they won't need oxygen to make them they'll use them directly. I don't remember everything behind the idea but I heard it was used in some microbrewery applications.
 

Soulive

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conpewter said:
Has anyone done the experimentation where you basically add the tiniest drop possible of olive oil to the wort instead of oxygenation? The reasoning behind it is that if you give the yeast the compounds they need then they won't need oxygen to make them they'll use them directly. I don't remember everything behind the idea but I heard it was used in some microbrewery applications.
Done it. Don't do it...
 

FlyGuy

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SuperiorBrew said:
Ashton Lewis AKA Mr. Wizzard from BYO Magazine said:
I do suggest using caution when using pure oxygen to oxygenate wort. The problem you face is that the solubility of oxygen in wort is much higher when pure oxygen is used instead of air. Most brewing texts cite the ideal level of oxygen in wort prior to fermentation at around 8 ppm or 8 mg/L. Levels higher than this can cause oxidative damage to yeast cells. When using pure oxygen, wort oxygen levels of about 30 ppm are possible, making over-aerating a legitimate concern.
BYO Article
I don't know where Ashton got this information, but when I first saw it I thought it must be a typo. It does not agree with anything stated by the major yeast manufacturers, and it flies in the face of oxygenation levels recommended by a lot of respected brewers. The next thing I thought was, he is going to catch a lot of flack over this in the next issue!

conpewter said:
Has anyone done the experimentation where you basically add the tiniest drop possible of olive oil to the wort instead of oxygenation?
Yeast use O2 to build up sterols that are integrated in their cell walls. Without this, they cannot bud and multiply very well. It doesn't make sense to me that a tiny drop of olive oil would provide sterols?
 

Kevin Dean

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FlyGuy said:
Yeast use O2 to build up sterols that are integrated in their cell walls. Without this, they cannot bud and multiply very well. It doesn't make sense to me that a tiny drop of olive oil would provide sterols?
Short answer - by using the tiniest amount of olive oil you actually provide a "simpler" reaction to give the yeast what they need. I don't, by any means, claim to know what this is but I recall it WAS tested and confirmed by a "major brewery" - Dogfish Head jumps out but I could be wrong.

However, even they cautioned that the amount you need is SO minute that homebrewers would get next to no practical benefit to it since one drop in 5 gallons will destroy the beer's head. Someone one here tried making a very dilluted solution and put it in his wort - saw benefit but said it wasn't worth the time.
 
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Kaiser said:
my oxygen wand pretty much lives in StarSan, this keeps it sanitized and ready to use for full batches and starters.

I oxygenate for 1 - 1.5 min in the cold whirlpool. I basically use the wand to get the whirlpool started.

Kai
Mine goes from hose to stone where would I find a wand like this?
 

cudaman

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does the aeration time change based on the volume of wort? I brew 20 gal batches, and was wondering if I need to increase my time.
 

SuperiorBrew

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cudaman said:
does the aeration time change based on the volume of wort? I brew 20 gal batches, and was wondering if I need to increase my time.
I do it 2x as long for my 10G batches than I do for my 5's
 

Scotty_g

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We use the cheapest oxygenating rig possible--we have a bernzomatic torch bottle and regulator hooked up to a length of aquarium air hose and an aquarium air stone. The hose was $2 for 25' and the stones are two for a buck. We throw the hose and stone into some one-step when we start the boil so it's good and clean when we're ready to bubble it up. After we top off the primary we bubble oxygen in for about a minute, then throw out the stone and wash the hose.

Typically we see the airlock starting to bubble in about 8 hours and haven't detected any off flavors. As far as I can tell, we must be using about enough O2.

As far as how much oxygen you can get in, water will hold about 8 ppm at pitching temperature and one atmosphere--that's it--if there's air above the water. Any excess oxygen will bubble out (although it may take a little while). Similar to how you can purge the headspace of a keg or carboy with CO2 to prevent oxidation, you could purge the container with oxygen to get > 8 ppm in the wort. The industrial wastewater plant I deal with at work does this, but trust me--what the microorganisms are consuming there is a *lot* nastier than malt.
 

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Dumb question as I have never done anything other that give the wort a good stirring before pitching the yeast but....would using a small aquarium pump and a fish tank stone work to airate the wort before the pitch?
 

wildwest450

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Dumb question as I have never done anything other that give the wort a good stirring before pitching the yeast but....would using a small aquarium pump and a fish tank stone work to airate the wort before the pitch?
That's what I use, except I use a stainless air stone (easier to sanitize). I usually let it run for 20-30 min for a 5.5 gallon batch
 

Baunno

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That's what I use, except I use a stainless air stone (easier to sanitize). I usually let it run for 20-30 min for a 5.5 gallon batch
Thanks for your response! I'll brewing a clone of Three Floyds pale ale this Sunday and it'll be my first batch both propagating and aerating the yeast. I'm looking forward to an improved brew!
 

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If you are using the stainless airstones made for oxygenating (not the aquiarium stones) remeber not to touch the stone as the oils in your hands can clog them.

Personally I would only use O2 (and you only need about 60 seconds) and not inject air for a half hour.

While this article was written about yeast culturing, much of the information still applies and it discusses teh effects of yeast growth in starters on the actual brewing stage.

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/MB_Raines_Guide_to_Yeast_Culturing.php

In terms of fermentation, aeration is also important but only in the early stages (first 6-24 hours). Aeration in later stages can oxidize beer constituents and lead to the development of off-flavors. Since aeration sets the stage for maltose fermentation and alcohol tolerance, it is easy to envision why insufficient aeration could lead to stuck fermentations or incomplete fermentations. Incomplete fermentations can be manifested as either high finishing gravities or the production of off-flavors especially diacetyl, acetaldehyde, and hydrogen sulfide. Insufficient aeration is also associated with excessive ester formation. The profound effect of aeration on yeast is further illustrated in studies where yeast from a poorly aerated beer was repitched into aerated wort and still did not perform well. Thus insufficient aeration can have a long-lasting effect on yeast.



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!
 
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