Should I aerate wort for a hazy ipa?

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Active Member
Jun 2, 2022
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Orange County, CA
I've got two brews under my belt so far and planning out my next homebrew. I'd like to try a hazy IPA but I've read that they are challenging for homebrewers because they are very prone to oxidation. I've also seen many tips to aerate wort because yeast need oxygen. I have noticed in the past when aerating wort it changes color from golden to slightly brownish. What's the approach with this beer style and aeration? Skip it or is it still recommended?
Please take what I am about to say with the idea that I am only a few brews ahead of you. LOL. I have read that if you use liquid yeast, and depending on your batch size, aeration is needed. Also, if you are brewing a higher gravity beer a yeast starter for liquid yeast is also preferred. I did my first starter my last batch and it was super easy. One of my beers was a liquid yeast and I gave it a vigorous stir before I poured the starter in. It took about 12 to 18 hours to get started, then it took off like crazy. Anyway, like I said, I am new to all of this as well, but just thought I would give you what I have learned so far.
The colour change during aeration is usually due to redistributing grain and hop solids and other matter from your mash and boil through the beer, which would normally start precipitating towards the bottom when you transfer out of your vessel into your fermenter.

I generally just splash aerate for anything below about a 1.070 starting gravity, and never bother force aerating at all if I'm pitching dry yeast.

Oxygen in the wort pre-fermentation is, generally speaking, much less of a problem than oxygen introduced post-fermentation when it comes to absolutely ruining hazy IPAs.
What's the approach with this beer style and aeration? Skip it or is it still recommended?
Advice from dry yeast labs / providers generally state that aeration is not needed. Check the product information sheets to confirm that this is true for the specific strain of yeast you are using. There are 'edge' cases where aeration might be helpful, but your situation doesn't appear to be one of those.
You need to aerate when using liquid yeast — how much (i.e., shaken versus stone + O2) depends on the gravity and type of yeast. You don’t need to aerate with dry yeast (though I probably would for higher gravities.)
They say that aeration of your wort makes no difference toward oxidation flavors and such when done prior to or at pitch time. And there is a lot of evidence that it might be true.

However since I use dry yeast and after a half dozen or so brews quit aerating my wort just for simplicity of brew day, I have found that my beer has nothing that I suspect is oxidation related anymore.

However at the time I quit aerating my wort I may have just got better at controlling all the other things that might contribute to that oxidized taste I was sometimes getting.
If you're using liquid, maybe aerate your starter, but I usually use dry and like hotbeer, I've given up because it's just another useless step that adds nothing but more cleanup of gear. Once it's in the fermenter after the pitch, I just shake the fermenter up a bit and call it a day and always get a beautifully violent blowoff 8-18 hours later and a delicious (to my tastes) brew when it finally reaches the tap.