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Aerating Your Wort

Submitted by: BrewMaxer.com on March 17th, 2003

In order to get your yeast off to a good start, it will need a healthy supply of oxygen. There are a number of methods that can be used to supply it, and they come in a range of prices. The easiest, and a very effective method, is to give your wort a good shake for 5 to 10 minutes. To keep things as sanitary as possible, place a sanitized rubber stopper in the carboy rather than
covering it with your hand.

Another method can be used when you siphon your wort from the brew pot into your fermenter. Make two small pinholes in your siphon hose, just about where it joins the racking cane. As you siphon the wort, air will be drawn in through the pinholes, thus injecting oxygen.

The most elaborate method is the use of an aeration stone. Aeration stones for fish tanks are not the best. Your local [homebrew supply] store should have stainless steel stones that you can attach to your CO2 to supply the oxygen.


20 Comments Posted
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Re: Aerating Your Wort Mar 19th 2003, 02:35 pm
CO2 to supply oxygen?

Ad for "BrewMaxer"?
Comment by: Anonymous Brewer reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Mar 19th 2003, 06:14 pm
The above tip was edited only to remove the advertisement.

Don't know how an aeration stone attached to a CO2 tank would supply oxygen either. You'd need a separate O2 tank to do this.
Comment by: Rob reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Mar 30th 2003, 05:36 am
I like the idea of the pinholes in the racking hose, but right now I use a "sprayer" attached to the end of the racking hose into the fermenter. It spreads the chilled wort out into two thin sheets and maximizes the contact with ambient air. With a good sized starter my lag times are only 6-8 hours.
Comment by: milesae reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Oct 9th 2003, 05:32 am
I use an oxygen aeration kit, available at many homebrew shops, it included a stainless steel 22" Aeration Wand, 4' of tubing, and an Oxygen Regulator for standard hardware store oxygen welding tanks. One bottle will supposidely aerate 20 to 30 batches. I used the whole bottle on my last 20 gallon batch of American Barlywine (OG:1.127) my yeast was up and running within an hour, I was impressed.
Comment by: Lagerman64 reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Oct 12th 2003, 09:00 am
i just pour my water into the fermenter(over the wort) from a hight that allows lots of splash and this works for me (yes i only do malt extract brewing)
Comment by: melbourne ledgend reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Feb 27th 2004, 09:24 pm
It is safe to use the hardware store oxygen welding tanks with the regulator you spoke of. I have no idea, but I assume this is just pure O2. I also suppose you have tried this? These hardware store tanks are cheeper that the brew store ones right?

Comment by: mike reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort May 9th 2004, 12:26 am
Turns out that there's oddness with O2 tanks.

In order of purity: Industrial O2, Medical O2, SCUBA O2.

In order of price: SCUBA O2, Medial O2, Industrial O2.

The reasoning is that industrial O2 is almost certain to be used in an extreme heat environment and nobody wants any contaminants mixing/burning. Apparently, nobody gives a damn about what I breath underwater, so we end up with the most expensive and least pure of the mix.

Anyway, the point is, industrial O2 is the way to go as it has the highest purity and the lowest cost. That's supply and demand for ya, I guess.
Comment by: Jeff reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Jul 16th 2004, 05:22 pm
I'm not sure that this is an "oddness" with O2, or just a lack of understanding.

Usually O2 is rated in 99.999% pure standards, with the number of 9's depending on the use.

You neglected to mention aviation O2, which, I think, is the most pure available.

Having worked in multiple scuba shops, and being a scuba instructor and certified O2 handler and tank filler, I can attest to the fact that scuba O2 is not worth putting in the order of purity list, because it is simply filled from other tanks, so it's purity is determined by the tank it was filled from. When we get our air for scuba, we head down to the local welding supply shop and pick up the best they have. Each shop will have different standards, but I prefer to pick up Aviation if I can, then Medical, then Industrial. The problem with Medical is many shops will require either a doctors prescription or a "certified O2 handler" card.

As far as "purity" is concerned, if you have a bottle of O2, trust me, it the purest thing you are putting in your beer. Do not concern yourself with the source or purity of the O2, whether it is Industrial or Medical or Aviation or anything else. If the bottle says O2, it is 99.999% pure.

Beer making is a relativly safe science. Scuba diving on O2 can be deadly, in a matter of seconds. We use O2 daily, and have NEVER heard of a death due to impure O2. So hook that tank up and aerate your wort, it's not gonna kill you :)
Comment by: scubanarc reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Oct 25th 2003, 02:19 pm
I have tried using the stainless steel stones, with fish air tanks, didn't have much luck. I believe the problem is that the two common sizes of steel stones require more presure than most air pumps supply. I ended up having to go back to the fish tank stones, which need to be cleaned before use and then I toss it after one use.
Comment by: Philip reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Mar 3rd 2004, 10:21 pm
Anybody ever tried a "wine degasser" to aerate wort? Basically a plastic "whip" that you attach to an electric drill. Seems like an efficient means of introducing 02 - easier than shaking a full carboy & lower tech/lower cost than an aquarium pump/aeration stone set up.
Comment by: Nate reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Jun 30th 2004, 03:41 pm
I use a bucket for my wort would a handblender be a useful air introducer
Comment by: jonny reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Jun 6th 2006, 02:42 am
I am new to this, so don't get me wrong...but wouldn't a degasser get rid of the oxygen?
Comment by: Carl R. Brugger reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Apr 16th 2004, 01:27 am
I like to use a plastic pasta lifter to aerate my wort. it doesn;t scratch the plastic fermenter and it whips up a nice head of froth. I sanitize it when I add everything else to the bleach water at the start.
Comment by: yonkersbrewer reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort May 18th 2004, 05:24 pm
I I just use a big wisk, wisk the water up, wisk the cooled wort up, pour them together and then wisk the whole kit-and-kabodle. I have had no problems in over 140 gallonss.

Comment by: DPBisme reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Aug 27th 2004, 04:39 am
I actually just did this the other day slightly differently than before. I had just installed a new spigot on the bottom of my brew potand left it high up on the work bench, opened it up and let gravity do the work of getting it into the primary 4 feet below, letting it spray itself through a fine mesh sieve that I use for straining large batches of clarified chicken and beef stocks (I am also a cook) made a very fine fog of wort that aerated nicely.
Comment by: romeo reply to comment
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Re: Aerating Your Wort Oct 9th 2004, 03:15 am
I used an old racking cane and cut off the end. Drilled the neded holes (8 all together) and simply attach this to my hose as I fill the carbouy. The piece is only 2 inchs long and works well. The splashing method works fine too.
Comment by: jtrainer reply to comment
Re: Aerating Your Wort Nov 8th 2004, 06:45 am
I've found the ABSOLUTELY EASIEST way to do this (if you use a 5g bucket as your primary fermenter) is to get two buckets, sanitize them both, and then AGGRESSIVELY pour the cooled wort back and forth between the two. I mean, really froth it up. After a half dozen pours you have a big frothy head and plenty of O2 for most recipes (note - I've only had a problem with this procedure one time with a very high gravity beer - for most of my medium to med-high gravity batches I've had very good results - quick starts and strong finishes).

When in doubt - take the easy route. I'd rather make more beer than buy more gear.

Comment by: dlem reply to comment