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Screwy Brewer

Oxygenating Wort With Pure o2?

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I was wondering if anyone here is already using pure oxygen to aerate their wort and if so can you describe your setup? I'm contemplating buying an o2 setup but wanted to get some advice from experienced users on whether or not they think it's worth the bother.

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I'm happy to do it, but I'm not sure what kind of "setup" info you're looking for. I have an O2 tank, a stone, a regulator and tubing. I've only used it for a couple of batches, but I've gotten stronger fermentations the times that I've used it. Maybe I've just used better procedures those times, and it's all coincidence - who knows. But, yeast needs O2 to work well, and this seems like a more effective way to provide it...

Any specific questions, let me know...

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I've been using pure O2 to oxygenate my wort for almost a year now. The kit I have is just a regulator and a length of tubing with a stainless diffusion stone. I bought a small O2 bottle at Menards and it's lasted countless batches (at least 20). I sanitize the tubing and stone by soaking in StarSan, then drop it into the wort and open the regulator until I see the bubbles just breaking the surface and leave for 30-60 seconds.

I haven't had a stuck fermentation or high FG since I've been using this.

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I plan on purchasing this one. Sure beats whisking the hell out of a batch or shaking a heavy 6 gallon carboy. Like others have said, it will decrease the lag time for fermentation to start and will more than likely help you reach FG or surpass it with fewer stuck fermentations.

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"D Rabbit" post=274114 said:

I plan on purchasing this one. Sure beats whisking the hell out of a batch or shaking a heavy 6 gallon carboy. Like others have said, it will decrease the lag time for fermentation to start and will more than likely help you reach FG or surpass it with fewer stuck fermentations.

That's the one i have, along with this oxygen tank. Sanitize the wand and drop 'er in. I usually let it run for about 20 seconds.

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I had pretty much the same one that everyone else is talking about. Tube, stone, regulator that attaches to the disposable tanks you can buy at Home Depot. I found that the tanks don't last very long and can get expensive.

I was also listening to a Brew Strong podcast where Jamil basically said (and I'll try to go listen again in case I'm wrong), but he basically said that on a homebrew scale it wasn't worth the cost. When you're oxygenating wort, it's less about the gas that you're using and more about the surface area of the wort that you're exposing to the gas. Basically, he said that those bubbles in the wort have such a small surface area you're not exposing much of the pure O2 to the wort, and all of that pure gas is jsut being lost to the atmosphere.

I kept using my setup anyway because it's what I had, and then my regulator got bent and couldn't screw into the cap of the oxygen tanks anymore. rather than replace it, I bought one of those extension thingies with the folding flaps (I think they're technically for wine)that attaches to your drill, and I use that now, keeping in mind the notion of trying to expose as much of the surface area of the wort to the air as possible.

I have noticed absolutely no difference between the two methods. Like most things in this hobby, I imagine that it all comes down to personal preference. :cheers:

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I've been using this one for my last 6 batches:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=2436

It's not pure oxygen and it takes about 20 minutes to aerate 5 gallons, but I don't have an oxygen tank to replace. My fermentations have been taking off like crazy and I no longer have to stir the crap outa the wort hoping it's aerated enough. Plus it's only $35 and I'm working with a pretty stiff budget!

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"k9dude" post=274198 said:

I've been using this one for my last 6 batches:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=2436

I purchased something similar at walmart for about $10. Maybe the pump sold at Austin Homebrew is of higher capacity. I don't know.

Palmer claims the bubbles produced by these pumps, and other methods as well, can be detrimental to beer foam (head). Sorry, I don't remember the explanation. So when I use my aquarium pump, I aerate the water prior to adding it to the wort. With a MB batch, I aerate the gallon-jug of water while I'm doing everything else. With a 5-gal batch, I aerate the water in the carboy, then I add my wort to that. With full boils, I use other methods to aerate.

I think it was yankeedag that gave me the idea of aerating the water, quite some time ago.

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I'm just waiting for my LHBS to get the metal wand in stock and I'm picking one up. I'm tired of whisking wort and knowing that I'm under-aerating my beer based on everything that I've read. I think that pure O2 is a good investment in happy. healthy yeast.

I have no problems with my attenuation, off flavor, etc. but if it can get better still I'm sure interested in trying it out. Especially after watching the White Labs video that I posted earlier.

I don't dismiss what Jamil and others might say, but I put equal (if not more) weight in what White Labs themselves say.

Plus, I know a few homebrewers that use it and I love their results as well.

As stated, it's another decision for us each to make and I've made the decision to go this route.

I have heard varying times for running the O2 as well (as expected). Everything from 10 seconds to 60 seconds. I think I've settled on 45 seconds as my baseline to start with.

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I have purchased O2 bottles from the big box building stores and with a stone and regulator I purchased at my favorite supply store had great success. It made my yeast bloom in a matter of hours.

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"Kealia" post=274233 said:

...I'm tired of whisking wort and knowing that I'm under-aerating my beer based on everything that I've read. I think that pure O2 is a good investment in happy. healthy yeast....

I couldn't agree more, and I am also leaning towards an oxygen tank. Questions: Is there any chance of contamination, due to unknown oxygen sources? Would it be better to purchase the oxygen tank from a medical supply company? Am I over-thinking this?

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I've thought about these systems but I've been doing fine with the cheap 'siphon sprayer' I use. And, I've found that it helps to collect some of the junk and I go from my kettle to the fermenter bucket with this but also go thru a strainer. I've found that the strainer just adds even more to the aeration as well as collects the junk.
It takes me not a second longer to do this and is easy to clean and sterilize. I've used in on 4 batches with great results.

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"packerduf" post=274236 said:

I couldn't agree more, and I am also leaning towards an oxygen tank. Questions: Is there any chance of contamination, due to unknown oxygen sources? Would it be better to purchase the oxygen tank from a medical supply company? Am I over-thinking this?

You're not the first to worry or ask about that. From everything that I have read, and the brewers that I have talked to that I respect a lot, the Home Depot/Lowe's tanks are just fine.

Now keep in mind that I am parroting this part and have no experience, nor am I a scientist. Part of the issue that I recall being discussed was that an environment of pure oxygen is not hospitable to contaminants. That combined with tanks that aren't used for anything else makes for a perfectly fine solution. Again, I am parroting this part so take that with a grain of salt.

I'll gladly to defer to those smarter than me on this subject, but I'm certainly comfortable enough with it to move forward. Speaking of people smarter than me, I think see one coming along now....

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"packerduf" post=274236 said:

"Kealia" post=274233 said:

...I'm tired of whisking wort and knowing that I'm under-aerating my beer based on everything that I've read. I think that pure O2 is a good investment in happy. healthy yeast....

I couldn't agree more, and I am also leaning towards an oxygen tank. Questions: Is there any chance of contamination, due to unknown oxygen sources? Would it be better to purchase the oxygen tank from a medical supply company? Am I over-thinking this?
this is the one I have, http://morebeer.com/view_product/16604/102281/Oxygenation_Partial_System , has an in line filter that's (supposedly)medical grade,same site sells the filters seperatly.

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"frogmeat69" post=274504 said:

"packerduf" post=274236 said:

"Kealia" post=274233 said:

...I'm tired of whisking wort and knowing that I'm under-aerating my beer based on everything that I've read. I think that pure O2 is a good investment in happy. healthy yeast....

I couldn't agree more, and I am also leaning towards an oxygen tank. Questions: Is there any chance of contamination, due to unknown oxygen sources? Would it be better to purchase the oxygen tank from a medical supply company? Am I over-thinking this?
this is the one I have, http://morebeer.com/view_product/16604/102281/Oxygenation_Partial_System , has an in line filter that's (supposedly)medical grade,same site sells the filters seperatly.

I just picked one up also a my LHBS and it also has an inline filter, the guy at the store said you want to be sure to use the filter, said the O2 you get isn't food grade? Not sure but better safe than sorry.

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"packerduf" post=274222 said:

"k9dude" post=274198 said:

I've been using this one for my last 6 batches:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=2436

I purchased something similar at walmart for about $10. Maybe the pump sold at Austin Homebrew is of higher capacity. I don't know.

Palmer claims the bubbles produced by these pumps, and other methods as well, can be detrimental to beer foam (head). Sorry, I don't remember the explanation. So when I use my aquarium pump, I aerate the water prior to adding it to the wort. With a MB batch, I aerate the gallon-jug of water while I'm doing everything else. With a 5-gal batch, I aerate the water in the carboy, then I add my wort to that. With full boils, I use other methods to aerate.

I think it was yankeedag that gave me the idea of aerating the water, quite some time ago.

I agree the pump is the cheap part it's the damn aeration stone that's expensive. I've seen some cost over $35 depending on how big and how fine the bubbles.

As far as head goes I've seen zero problems. In fact over the last 8 or 10 batches my head and lacing has been great (I've only used the pump for maybe six of those). I don't seen how using a pump over stirring and making bubbles would be any different. I know you don't want bubbles or aeration after fermentaion is complete, but just can't see how something you do prior to fermentation would effect carbination. Not saying that Mr. Palmer is wrong (would have to be a complete fool to do that!!), just saying I don't understand that's all.

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As usual thank you all for the many and varied responses. Summing up this is what I'm learning... Since posting my question I've read online that there is no real difference between the oxygen inside either medical or industrial grade tanks, it's just the medical tanks themselves are scrutinized more closely for storage, quality and contamination.

One-Step is an oxygen based cleanser we all used at some point for sanitizing our MB stuff, so I'd think nearly pure oxygen itself would also prevent bacteria or other organisms from living in the pressurized tanks and contaminating our beer.

If I've read all the replies correctly judging from the majority of responses the consensus is there was no real improvement using pure o2 over pumped air other than it eliminated shaking or stirring the wort manually. Maybe it's because the benefits are only noticeable when brewing high gravity beers?

I'm looking at the setup from Williams Brewing, I like the idea of using an all stainless steel rod and diffuser stone since they should be easier to sanitize and should last forever.

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"Screwy Brewer" post=274969 said:

I like the idea of using an all stainless steel rod and diffuser stone since they should be easier to sanitize and should last forever.

Agreed. Since my LHBS still doesn't have theirs re-stocked I'm heading to MoreBeer on Friday to pick one up.

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also, with the SS rod, it's easier to move the stone around the wort, which increases the amount of wort exposed to O2.

I would probably aerate rather than oxygenate, just to save the money on the system, except that I don't want to add 20 mins (or so) to the whole process. I'd rather pay a little and be done in a minute. Other than that, I would believe that they were equivalent...

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Wasn't it reported you can only get 8ppm o2 when airating, but up to 14 with pure o2? So if that report is true, you would be better off using pure o2 over airating.

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"mtsoxfan" post=275066 said:

Wasn't it reported you can only get 8ppm o2 when airating, but up to 14 with pure o2? So if that report is true, you would be better off using pure o2 over airating.

It was, in order to get the o2 levels higher using just air you need to use an aquarium pump for a long time 20-30 minutes, which can cause issues with excessive foaming and head retention. That's why using pure o2 for 30-60 seconds to get 14ppm is preffered, it gets a lot of o2 in solution quickly without adverseley impacting your beer.

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sigh..... it's easy to make good beer, more complicated and science like to make great beer.... I aspire to make great beer someday. I guess if I brewed moree often using 2.5 gal batches instead of 5 gal all the time, the learning process would go quicker.

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I just picked mine up from MoreBeer during lunch today and will be using it for the first time tomorrow when I brew me Golden Strong Ale.

Starter was made 3 days ago and is crashing for 48 hours so I can decant the beer off the top before pitching the yeast.

Here's hoping the oxygen makes them happy! :gulp:

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Ok, I used it for the first time tonight and LOVED it. No whisking, no worry.

Sanitized everything, let it go for about a minute (I had to get used to how far to open the regulator) then shut it off, sanitized it again and put it away.

Why didn't I do this sooner?

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Which one did you get from MoreBeer? Maybe will end up on my next order...

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This one.

9067.jpg

I originally planned to get the one that had the stainless steel rod like some places have, but my closest LHBS is still out of them. This one has the filter, which is just nice piece of mind, I guess.

The tubing is firm enough to reach the bottom of the LBK or a carboy which was the main reason I was looking at the rod type in the first place.

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Thanks for sharing all of this info guys. I was considering an air pump but I might spring for the pure O2 method instead. Seems easy and very timesaving.

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"Hamburglar57" post=275593 said:

Thanks for sharing all of this info guys. I was considering an air pump but I might spring for the pure O2 method instead. Seems easy and very timesaving.

Yes and yes!

I don't mind spending a little money on new tanks every now and then. I think the tank was $8.99 at my local hardware store and likely cheaper if I went to Home Depot. From what I've read they should last 10-15 batches so it's worth it to me.

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I just recently switched to the O2 tank/regulator set up and the few batches that I have used it with so far have fermented faster with less lag time so I am sold.

One word of warning. Upon doing some research on which stone to use (.5 vs 2 microns) I find that the users with the .5 micron stones complain that they clog really easy. I have the .5 micron (smaller bubbles = more O2 saturation) and haven’t had any problems, however I make sure that I clean it before and after use. I also let the stone run under star san after I aerate the wort just to blow off any sticky wort that may be on the stone. It’s also a no no to handle the stone with your bare hands. Just some added info to the mix. I however give it two thumbs up as it is much easier to aerate without having to break an arm shaking up a five gallon batch.

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"Kealia" post=275598 said:


I don't mind spending a little money on new tanks every now and then. I think the tank was $8.99 at my local hardware store and likely cheaper if I went to Home Depot. From what I've read they should last 10-15 batches so it's worth it to me.

Please report back on how many uses you get out of these. Maybe I was doign something wrong (likely) but I swear I was only getting like 3 batches per tank. Constantly buying those things was part of the driving factor for me to stop doing it.

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I'm still on the first tank I purchased, and I'm about 6+ batches in, including 2 5 gallon.

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"VTGroff" post=276041 said:

"Kealia" post=275598 said:


I don't mind spending a little money on new tanks every now and then. I think the tank was $8.99 at my local hardware store and likely cheaper if I went to Home Depot. From what I've read they should last 10-15 batches so it's worth it to me.

Please report back on how many uses you get out of these. Maybe I was doign something wrong (likely) but I swear I was only getting like 3 batches per tank. Constantly buying those things was part of the driving factor for me to stop doing it.

I'm still on my first tank, and I swear I've done something like 20 batches with it at least. Are you opening the regulator too much? I usually crack it just so that the bubbles barely break the surface of the wort, and let it go for about a minute.

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