Author Topic: Need aeration tips for large fermenter  (Read 5000 times)

Offline MikeinRH

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Need aeration tips for large fermenter
« on: October 17, 2013, 03:34:06 PM »
I'm having difficulty aerating 10-gallon batches in my conical fermenter. Five gallon batches in a carboy are relatively simple. I just add my yeast starter and shake the heck out of it. The problem with a stainless steel conical is you can't really see what's going on inside. So, I'm thinking about using an aquarium stone. After adding the yeast starter, does anyone have a recommendation as to how long I should aerate with the stone?

Offline SharpsRifle

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Re: Need aeration tips for large fermenter
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 04:35:53 PM »
Buy an oxygen kit.  Use pure O2 and pump a bunch of it.
I think a lot of people don't want to spend the money, but if you look at how much you spend on equipment, grain, yeast and whatever else it's a small investment to have better beer.
You can buy the O2 bottles at home depot or most any hardware store.
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Offline MikeinRH

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Re: Need aeration tips for large fermenter
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 10:45:35 AM »
I'm definitely going to do that and I've already learned that the aquarium stones get plugged up quickly. But the real eye-opener for me is that they recommend aerating chilled wort first before adding the yeast starter. For the past two years, I've aerated AFTER adding the yeast and never had a problem.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Need aeration tips for large fermenter
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 03:42:00 PM »
I aerate by slowly pouring back and forth between buckets until it's nice and foamy.  I imagine you could do the same thing.  You don't have to aerate the whole thing at once. Could do it in pieces.

As far as when to pitch the yeast goes, I personally pitch after aerating, mainly because I use dry yeast (when I'm not  harvesting from a previous batch).  Shaking it up after pitching dry yeast would be a mess. With a starter I don't see how it would matter either way.
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Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Need aeration tips for large fermenter
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 03:54:04 PM »
I've tried both ways.  Aerating first and pitching yeast first.  I haven't noted any differences, either way.  I use an aquarium pump and stone.  I've never had a problem with it clogging. New stones are cheap.  I always have 2 or 3 new ones on hand. 
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Offline GoodisBeer

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Re: Need aeration tips for large fermenter
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 10:38:33 AM »
I use an aquarium pump and diffusion stone with room air. I start aeration in carboy at same time I drain wort through my chiller plate into the carboy. Never had problem with clogged stone.   I aerate for 30 min with good results, Fermentap recomends 30-120min with 45 min as norm for normal gravity beers.

Chris White has some recommendations from his book, Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (p77-80).  8-10 ppm dissolved oxygen is proper amount. Higher gravity wort could use more disolved oxygen, not because of high gravity, but because of increased yeast pitching rates. He also mentions that a homebrewer can not get more than 8ppm with an aquarium pump and stone, even with extended times. Per White, only way to get 10ppm is with addition of oxygen. To reach 8-10ppm, you need to inject oxgen for one minute.

For higher gravity beers, > 1.092, must use pure oxygen and is recommended to use a second dose of oxygen at 12-18 hours to help with attenuation and help with decreasing diacetyl and acetaldehyde.

Nice info to have in the back of your mind , but 30 min with aquarium pump is just fine for normal gravity beers for me.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 09:57:37 PM by GoodisBeer »