Aeration (including Olive Oil vs. Aeration)

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Aeration (including Olive Oil vs. Aeration)

Postby JonGoku on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:13 am

I have been looking at ways to improve my attenuation and for now the two improvements to my brewery which I think would give the biggest help would be a stirplate for starters and an aeration device. I'm less worried about the stirplate, I have a graveyard of computer part at work begging to be reborn, but I'm miffed at paying $30-50 just for a aeration device.

Morebeer oxygen partial system - no filter = $30
Morebeer Aeration system = $32.99
Morebeer oxygen partial system - with filter = $34.95
William's oxygen aeration system = $49.90

I then stumbled upon this thread over at the homebrewtalk forum discussing the use of the venturi effect to aerate your wort. Here's a video showing it in action. I'm curious what the local engineerding crew have to say about this and whether or not anyone has given it a try. Admittedly it's not as cool as pure oxygen, but if this is all that is needed to aerate wort properly, I'm finding it hard to justify spending a chunk of change on one of the systems linked above.
Last edited by JonGoku on Mon May 11, 2009 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aeration

Postby brew captain on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:04 am

Aerating your wort properly is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your creations are the best they can be. This is not the time to worry about spending $40 (remember you get a 10% off B3-909 purchases). Personally I think that "verturi" system is an invitation for infection. That is why they sell the sterile filters in the first place. Plus, how is that going to work on a yeast starter with such a small volume? I say go with pure O2 with the sterile filter (that is what I use).

You will not regret it.

Cheers!
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Re: Aeration

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:09 am

brew captain wrote:Aerating your wort properly is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your creations are the best they can be. This is not the time to worry about spending $40 (remember you get a 10% off B3-909 purchases). Personally I think that "verturi" system is an invitation for infection. That is why they sell the sterile filters in the first place. Plus, how is that going to work on a yeast starter with such a small volume? I say go with pure O2 with the sterile filter (that is what I use).

You will not regret it.

Cheers!


Ditto.
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Re: Aeration

Postby Rezzin on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:57 am

ditto +1
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Re: Aeration

Postby JonGoku on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:58 am

brew captain wrote:Aerating your wort properly is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your creations are the best they can be. This is not the time to worry about spending $40 (remember you get a 10% off B3-909 purchases). Personally I think that "verturi" system is an invitation for infection. That is why they sell the sterile filters in the first place. Plus, how is that going to work on a yeast starter with such a small volume? I say go with pure O2 with the sterile filter (that is what I use).

You will not regret it.

Cheers!

I know you have the Pure O2 system with filter, and ideally I would like one too, but I'm not convinced this method is any different or greater risk then wisking/shaking the hell outa/pouring from way up or any other non-pure-oxygen-system method of aeration.

If that's the case I could spend my cash elsewhere or save it for larger upgrades.
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Re: Aeration

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:21 pm

JonGoku wrote:
I know you have the Pure O2 system with filter, and ideally I would like one too, but I'm not convinced this method is any different or greater risk then wisking/shaking the hell outa/pouring from way up or any other non-pure-oxygen-system method of aeration.

If that's the case I could spend my cash elsewhere or save it for larger upgrades.


Whoa! Hold on there big daddy. None of those other methods are pure oxygen except the O2 system with the filter. The air we breath is only about 20% oxygen. Also, by using the oxygenation stone you are avoiding exposing your wort to all kinds of other nasty stuff in the air. You could just keep making under-attenuated beers and risking infection every time you brew, or you could listen to some seasoned brewers who actually have some experience with this sort of stuff.

Making good beer is so simple. Use fresh ingredients, make yeast starters, oxygenate your wort, control your fermentation temps, clean and sanitize thoroughly. That's basically all there is to it. Until you have all those things nailed, you're just wasting brain cycles on stuff that does not matter much.
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Re: Aeration

Postby brahn on Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:23 pm

Maybe we can get Tyler to chime in here, I've had a few discussions with him recently about dissolved oxygen levels in wort. If I remember correctly, he said that the shaking/whipping/splashing method of aeration will only get you to around 1-2ppm DO, your target should be in the 6-8ppm range.
There is one exception though: if you're using dried yeast. In this case, there's no need to worry about your DO levels since the dried yeast already have everything they need.
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Re: Aeration

Postby brew captain on Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:42 pm

Yeah, like dumping your wort from six feet up in the air is not going to introduce any foreign microbes to your wort... :shock:

Remember that bacteria are often found airborne and that they generally fall into things, not crawl up into them like work sucking fiends. This is why we put a lid on the kettle at flameout. This is why none of us is brave enough to try open fermentation. Unless you have a clean room resplendent with a filtered, positive pressure laminar air flow system you are going to get bacteria and wild yeast into your wort. It might not be a sufficient quantity to cause a flavor or clarity problem, but then again it might.

Suit yourself. For the cost of one skanked batch you can cover the cost of the O2/sterile filter set-up.


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Re: Aeration

Postby JonGoku on Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:09 pm

BrewMasterBrad wrote:Whoa! Hold on there big daddy. None of those other methods are pure oxygen except the O2 system with the filter. The air we breath is only about 20% oxygen. Also, by using the oxygenation stone you are avoiding exposing your wort to all kinds of other nasty stuff in the air. You could just keep making under-attenuated beers and risking infection every time you brew, or you could listen to some seasoned brewers who actually have some experience with this sort of stuff.

Making good beer is so simple. Use fresh ingredients, make yeast starters, oxygenate your wort, control your fermentation temps, clean and sanitize thoroughly. That's basically all there is to it. Until you have all those things nailed, you're just wasting brain cycles on stuff that does not matter much.


Alright, so maybe I wasn't clear. I was not saying that the shake/whisk/splash/pour method was anywhere near sterile, but plain and simple, it is the only method people without any other contraption have, and do use, to aerate their wort. Comparing the venturi system to one of the above methods, I do not see any difference in potential contamination, and the probability of having a piece of tube or racking cane sitting around to add to a normal siphon or rack would be all that it would take to bump up the effectiveness.

I did not say all the other systems used pure oxygen. I did however clumped "other systems" together while saying I would perfer the same pure O2 system as Rob if the price benefit warranted it.

IMHO I believe; shake, whisk, splash, pour, and the venturi system are all in the same boat regarding infection probability. IF you had to choose from only one of the above, which would you go for? Is my presumption that they are all the same correct?

It is understood that by investing in bigger badder bling'er gadgets, you can aerate your wort "cleanly". (i.e. pure O2, "filtered air" :wink: , etc.). In my original post I was trying to debate the cost benefit of moving from group A to group B persuming the effectiveness (not sanitizationess if thats a word) of both groups was now equal. Given that all other sanitizing procedures were performed flawlessly, would it not be plausible to put off the more expensive upgrade for later and use a venturi system instead?

All that said, I like the Captains argument and rationalization that 1 brew gone wrong could equal the cost of the upgrade, and would therefore make it the best risk hedge.

brahn wrote:Maybe we can get Tyler to chime in here, I've had a few discussions with him recently about dissolved oxygen levels in wort. If I remember correctly, he said that the shaking/whipping/splashing method of aeration will only get you to around 1-2ppm DO, your target should be in the 6-8ppm range.
There is one exception though: if you're using dried yeast. In this case, there's no need to worry about your DO levels since the dried yeast already have everything they need.

That would be neat to hear his opinion on this.

Cheers!

Edit: Removed ranting, sorry it's been one of those days.
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Re: Aeration

Postby backyard brewer on Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:25 am

JonGoku wrote:...I would perfer the same pure O2 system as Rob if the price benefit warranted it.


The price benefit warrants it. period.

I started with a B3 O2 system that uses the disposable bottles. After paying $9 for my third bottle ( OK, I might have been over doing it) I bought a cylinder and a reg off of eBay for about $120 combined, had it filled for $15. Attached the hose/filter/sintered air stone from the B3 system to it and I haven't looked back. It's only a 20cuft tank and I've only filled it once about 3 years ago.

At $140 the price benefit warrants it. At $40 to get started with real aeration, the price benefit really warrants it.

If you want to make better beer you need to provide, in my order of opinion:

1) Excellent sanitation
2) Rapidly chilled wort post boil
3) Lots of yeast
4) Lots of O2 for said yeast
5) A full wort boil
6) temperature controlled fermentation

Each of these 6 things will improve your beer a magnitude of order. Everyone here might disagree with me on the order of importance, but I'd be surprised if a single person would dispute the items themselves.

If the $40 isn't in the budget right now (and hey, it's not in a lot of people's budgets right now), then continue stirring, pouring or whisking until such time as you can afford the O2 system. Don't spend money on a substitute, you'll be wasting money.

I have one of these from long ago:
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You're welcome to it.
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Re: Aeration

Postby JonGoku on Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:48 am

Thanks for the advice and also for the offer for the lil gadget. Actually Kevin gave me his siphon tap
which also included that same aeration tip. I have been using it plus the shake-shake-shake method for my past two brews.

I may or may not get the O2 system before I brew next, as I need to figure out a few more items I need from B3 in order to get their free shipping. I would like to get out there sometime, but the time and gas it takes to get out there are preventing me from doing so at the moment despite the allure of a club discount.
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Re: Aeration

Postby tylking on Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:39 am

This is something that shouldn't be overlooked or decide to be cheap on, oxygen is very important in the fermentation life cycle especially when serial re-pitching. Shaking the hell out of your fermenter or splash racking tend to give very low DO levels (usually under 4ppm in my experience), this is better than doing nothing but still no where close to the 8ppm you want for "normal gravity" beers. If I were you I would buy a stone and some source of oxygen (pure or blended). Currently at the Bruery we average around 7ppm DO in our wort and I'm currently looking for a source to buy pure (medical grade) oxygen to boost our ppm. At home I use an in-line stone (and thermometer) with non-medical grade oxygen.

Here's a basic little piece I wrote on aeration for the Bruery newsletter

AERATION AND FERMENTATION (FOR HOMEBREWERS / GEEKS ONLY!)
Tyler King, Head Brewer

Proper levels of dissolved oxygen are needed for optimal yeast performance early on in the fermentation life cycle. Less than desirable oxygen levels in your wort can lead to longer fermentation times, under attenuated beer, low yeast viability and vitality, increased lag times and even off flavors. Many home and professional brewers tend to overlook dissolved oxygen (DO) and rely on protocol or what a friend might have told them; not only can this affect your short term fermentations but can severely affect later fermentations when re-pitching the same yeast from batch to batch. It will usually begin showing signs after three generations. Recommended DO levels will change with your original gravity. A wort with an OG of 0-14 plato needs a DO level between 8-10 ppm. Anything over 14 plato should have a DO level over 10 ppm, 16 ppm being the maximum. Your ideal temperature range for aerating wort is anywhere from the low 40’s to 80ºF; aerating over this temperature can lead to hot side oxidation. DO levels are especially important during yeast propagation, having the proper ppm of dissolved oxygen will yield higher budding percentages meaning more cell mass. Aeration is such a simple process and that is probably the reason why many brewers don’t pay close enough attention to the DO levels in their wort. In the end, the yeast and beer suffers.
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Re: Aeration

Postby backyard brewer on Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:34 pm

Wow Tyler, great information. Short of a DO meter is there any other economical way for a home brewer to measure DO?
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Re: Aeration

Postby JonGoku on Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:05 pm

tylking wrote:Here's a basic little piece I wrote on aeration for the Bruery newsletter

Thanks, nice information, and for pointing out your newsletter. I joined and look forward to reading it as it comes.

Cheers!
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Re: Aeration

Postby JonGoku on Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:47 pm

Dang, so I wanted to be ready to brew this weekend although I'm not 100% sure it will happen, but morebeer is out of the Oxygen aeration system and Steinfillers want's bloody $15 more.

Also Steinfillers is out of Honey Malt which I wanted to turn my blonde kit into a honey blonde.
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