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Wort Oxygenation

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El Pistolero

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Radical Brewing - Randy Mosher said:
There are various ways to aerate chilled wort. Vigorous splashing, dribbling, or spraying the wort into the fermenter will add some oxygen. An aquarium pump with an air stone does a better job; a tank of oxygen is the geek solution and the way it's done at commercial breweries.
Well, end of story...it's the geek way for me. :D So after I get back from "borrowing" a spare oxygen tank from the local hospital, what do I do, bubble the O2 thru a (sanitized) airstone?
 

Kephren

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Yes. The airstone will work great. BTW, I really like the geek attitude, although personally, I think pure O2 is overkill ;) In any case, it will be way easier than shaking the carboy or bucket.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i just use a $9 dollar bottle of Benzomatic O2 from Lowe's/Home Depot and the aeration stone from the HBS. the smaller O2 bubbles produced from the bottled oxygen are supposed to be better utilized by the yeasties. you turn it on, and run it depending on the SG of the brew your aerating. simple simple.
 

tnlandsailor

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I think the key to good aeration is small, slow, steady bubbles, with either air or oxygen. The thing you want is dissolved O2. If you aerate and end up with nothing but a big bunch of foam on top of the wort, then is isn't dissolved and isn't doing much good.

I use the Bernzomatic O2 cylinder (yes, geeky) with a metal aeration stone. I have the stone on the end of a wand. The stone produces the very tiny bubbles that have the best chance of dissolving. I turn on the O2 very low and then swirl the wand so that I get the whole carboy in a whirlpool action. The swirling action keeps the bubbles submerged for a longer period and gives them more of a chance to dissolve. After a few minutes, there is barely 1/4" of foam on top of the wort, which is really what you want. The air/O2 is in solution, not in the foam.
 

MaltyRod

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for what its worth, the owner of the local homebrew store told me, wort oxygenation is only needed if you are using liquid yeast, dry yeast is pre oxygenated and won't benefit from adding more to the wort, but liquid yeast will take right off with the oxygenation.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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hhmm? i'd never heard that before. but, i've only used dry yeast once, and that was in my 1st brew. many moons ago.......
 
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El Pistolero

El Pistolero

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DeRoux's Broux said:
i just use a $9 dollar bottle of Benzomatic O2 from Lowe's/Home Depot and the aeration stone from the HBS. the smaller O2 bubbles produced from the bottled oxygen are supposed to be better utilized by the yeasties. you turn it on, and run it depending on the SG of the brew your aerating. simple simple.
So you take your OG reading before you aerate?
Do you know of a table somewhere of OG vs bubble time?
 

DeRoux's Broux

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yep, prior to aerating and pitching. when you buy the aeration stone, it has a chart w/ it. i can look at mine and tell you what they are. to be honest with you, i just go for about 2 1/2 minutes. if it's a lager of high gravity brew, i'll go 3 1/2 minutes.
 

SwAMi75

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DeRoux, Dennis: I found the O2 cylinder you're talking about at Lowes. What do you use for a regulator, tubing, etc? I've been looking for a cheap, easy solution, and this looks to be it.

Also, how many batches do you get out of a cylinder?
 
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El Pistolero

El Pistolero

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Northern Brewer (and a few other places) have a kit that contains a regulator, tubing, and SS airstone.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Sam, the aeration stone you buy from the HBS will have the stone and the tubing. that's all you need. it comes w/ suggested times of aeration equal to the SG of the brew. i always run mine for abouyt 2.5 minutes no matter what the SG. just attach the tubing to the little stem on the O2 bottle and open it up. you don't want a full-blast, turbulant aeration going on, just a nice little flow. smaller bubbles = happy yeasties.
i've used one bottle for 9 batches. it's probably getting close to being done though. i promise you'll see a difference in yeast activity once you start using it.
 

bikebryan

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El Pistolero said:
So you don't need a regulator?
You do need a regulator, but the bottle may have it built into the on/off valve. Remember the pressure inside the bottle is at least several hundred, if not a couple of thousand, PSI. The regulator allows this to release at a managable rate. I suppose it could have a built in regulator in the on/off valve, although I've never seen that.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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El Pistolero said:
So you don't need a regulator?
my bad, i brain-farted yesterday. :D the aeration stone comes w/ the tubing and a brass regulator. it just screws into the top of the O2 bottle. there's no gauges or anything, just a on/off knob. i was putting up all my gear from brewing Sunday last night, and realized i goofed! sorry 'bout that! :p
 

SwAMi75

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Damn, lost track of this one.

Thanks for the info. I saw a "kit" form Midwest that included the empty tank for $34......I'm pretty sure I can get the regulator, line, and stone for half that.

~Edit.....maybe not. Seems that the regulators go for about $24. :eek: Still looks like the easiest solution, though.
 
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El Pistolero

El Pistolero

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Sam, the regulator, stone, and tubing at Northern Brewer are $28 :eek: Let me know if you run across it cheaper, please. :cool:
 

Steve973

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Please correct me if I'm out of line here, but I am not sure that bubble size matters very much, except from the perspective of how well the oxygen dissolves. smaller bubbles will give the best amount of contact with the beer, so you'd have a better rate of dissolution, but once the oxygen dissolves, it doesn't matter what size bubbles the oxygen came in, since dissolved oxygen isn't in a "bubble" form.

Our local homebrew store also carries the oxygenation kit with the airstone, regulator, and tubing for approximately thirty dollars. I'm either going to buy that for this next batch, or use an airstone and an air pump that pumps regular air. I think I'd like to try the oxygen, though.
 
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