Wort oxygenation

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Doctormcbrewdle

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So I make some pretty darn good beers I must say. Took me the best part of about 20 years mind you but that's home brewing for you..

I've got my water and salts pretty well under control and have experimented a bit with different combinations.

Thing I'd like to improve is malt character in my pale ales and increasing chloride isn't doing that for me. When I try it just seems to dull the hops all round and muddle it somewhat as well as make it appear a Tadd 'sweeter' but not in a way I'm looking for

Take Pirate Life pale ale for eg: it has both a strong hop flavour and aroma but ends in sweet malt character. I get the hops but the malt doesn't quite come, it's really quite dry finishing, and mashing high doesn't do it for me either. I'm finishing at 1.011 as does PL.

I recall reading about people saying this improved 100% when they started aerating with pure oxygen. What are people's experience with this and do I need it in my life?
 

S.E

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I recall reading about people saying this improved 100% when they started aerating with pure oxygen. What are people's experience with this and do I need it in my life?
Pure oxygen certainly improves things but on a simple home brew scale if you don’t have that you can get great results with the old double drop method.

Basically you aerate as best you can then aerate again within 24 hours (but usually about 15-16). With double drop in breweries they achieved this by dropping the wort from the first fermenter above a second and letting it splash from a height into the second. I often still do that but if you don’t have a second fermenter you could just aerate again in the first.

Edit: if you are mashing high and it’s finishing dry it doesn’t sound like yeast health is the problem though.
 
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Doctormcbrewdle

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Thanks mate, that's a possible thought. Though with a maximum of 8ppm or so it still seems low from what I've heard reported on the actual taste side of things (people couldn't detect a difference between that and no oxygen)

Sorry for the miscommunication, I mean to say that mashing high does finish higher but lacks definition in taste, gets a bit flubby instead of increasing malt
 

kadmium

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I use pure O2, once you get the regulator its not that pricy. I do 10 PSI for 45 seconds.

Bear in mind this is only for liquid yeasts pitched as a starter. Dry yeast should not be oxygenated.
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Thanks mate. Well my liquid brews taste exactly the same as dry pitches so if there's zero difference in taste with the oxygen then I'll save the pennies

Maybe you're just oxygenating your starter and not the wort?
 

kadmium

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Thanks mate. Well my liquid brews taste exactly the same as dry pitches so if there's zero difference in taste with the oxygen then I'll save the pennies

Maybe you're just oxygenating your starter and not the wort?
No i'm oxygenating the wort. I don't oxygenate the starter, I use a stir plate. Lot's of debate over whether you should oxygenate starters or not. Probably should but I don't. Too much foaming.

Oxygenating wouldn't create a 'less flabby' beer in my opinion, but does ensure a fast, healthy start and a good fermentation minimising risk of infections and is just a good thing to do. The 30c of what ever it costs per batch is worth it in my opinion.

Perhaps it's pH or Bicarbonate levels? What's your water profile and further information in relation to your brewing? What malt do you use? Do you crush yourself?
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Thanks for clearing that up mate,

You know, something funny has happened this past week and I feel a little stupid. I've bought a few of my favourite beers and mixed some salts up to have a tasting and come to the conclusion that my pale ales are as good or fresher than the canned commercials, and mouthfeel and malt backbone could be pretty much tailored by the CaCI to match those I was drinking

So on short I feel stupid for wasting people's time..

On the other hand I recall my lagers being just as good as commercial when bottling within a week to two weeks and crystal clear but now kegging they take at least two months before they start to compare.

Thanks for your replies and once again apologies for mucking you around

Enjoy your weekend guys
 

neal32

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Shameless plug, selling my o2 wand and 2 o2 bottles cheap. As well as my stir plate and bars.

But I don't think oxygenation will get the quality you're after, try different yeasts for that. I did split batches with the same wort but different yeasts for years until I got my favourite varieties and you'd be shocked by the differences with only changing the yeast variable whilst keeping everything else 100% the same. Same IPA wort with 1317, delicious, with 1332? :barf: Not that bad, but a totally different, inferior beer.

Salts? Maybe. I tended to get my 50ppm of calcium and then use minimum amounts to get the required ratio I was after and the pH of course. YMMV but I found the ratio more important than the amount.

IME oxygenation helps the fermentation, both in speed and quality. But if you don't have any issues and are already oxygenating by shaking or to the best of your ability, I think you should be fine on that front. As for oxygenating the starter, what do you think a stir plate is doing constantly?!
 

Will2233

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Shameless plug, selling my o2 wand and 2 o2 bottles cheap. As well as my stir plate and bars.

But I don't think oxygenation will get the quality you're after, try different yeasts for that. I did split batches with the same wort but different yeasts for years until I got my favourite varieties and you'd be shocked by the differences with only changing the yeast variable whilst keeping everything else 100% the same. Same IPA wort with 1317, delicious, with 1332? :barf: Not that bad, but a totally different, inferior beer.

Salts? Maybe. I tended to get my 50ppm of calcium and then use minimum amounts to get the required ratio I was after and the pH of course. YMMV but I found the ratio more important than the amount.

IME oxygenation helps the fermentation, both in speed and quality. But if you don't have any issues and are already oxygenating by shaking or to the best of your ability, I think you should be fine on that front. As for oxygenating the starter, what do you think a stir plate is doing constantly?!
Where are you located neal32?
 

chookherder

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Hi All,

I am moving into oxygenating wort (and starters if required) I see both 2micron and 0.5micron stones available, can anyone explain which is better for my purpose. I note candisyrup.com recipes often refer to using a 0.5micron?

Thanks,
Ben
 

duncbrewer

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I think the 0.5 micron just makes smaller bubbles so better absorption and perhaps less oxygen used this way.
 

MHB

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In fact they both produce exactly the same sized bubbles - or close enough not to make any difference to how long/much O2 is needed to get the right amount of dissolved Oxygen.
Worth remembering that what we call "Air Stones" were designed as pickup filters for HPLC solutions. When sucking stuff into them it will matter, when blowing bubbles its a whole different world.

The problem with the super fine sinters is that just touching them can and will block them up. The 2um not so much and they are easier to clean if you do. Few other points in their favour, like they are much easier to sanitise as liquids will penetrate the pours...
On balance I would choose the 2um stones and yes have used both.
Mark
 
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scomet

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G’day Doc, I aerate my wort through a 1 micron stone and a HEPA filter with a fish tank air pump, works great never had an infection and it’s cheap..
Couple of things to watch, dont get your stone wet prior to inserting in your wort it will dramatically reduce the permeability of the stone (not the porosity) also you shouldn't turn the air off till the stone is dry for the same reason, probably too expensive if you’re using pure O2! The stone can permanently loose both if you dont. I put it running in starsan then into the wort then back into starsan then let it dry, all with it running…
As above my major improvement I find is in the quality of the fermentation, fast start then strong and steady, not volcano stuff. I over pitch rehydrated dry yeast works great… Cheers
 

bird

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I just bought a bait bubbler to aerate my lagers once they get to pitching temperature. Do you think it is safe to use the stone that comes with it or should I purchase a different one?
 

duncbrewer

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I just bought a bait bubbler to aerate my lagers once they get to pitching temperature. Do you think it is safe to use the stone that comes with it or should I purchase a different one?
Not if it's second hand!
 

razz

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I just bought a bait bubbler to aerate my lagers once they get to pitching temperature. Do you think it is safe to use the stone that comes with it or should I purchase a different one?
For what they cost I would get a new one.
 

duncbrewer

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Yes it's brand new. But a mullet flavoured pale ale might not be that bad.😆
@bird
ooh no you don't want hair in your pale ale at all!

I'm assuming it's a stone stone perhaps coloured rather than the metal type normally sold for brewing.
I would see if it makes little bubbles and give it a go. Likely to be the same as aquarium ones so very unlikely to have any toxins etc.
 
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