Curious what methods others are using for wort oxygenation? Compressed air or O2 tanks?
For cost purposes, ease of use, and to eliminate the risk of over-oxygenating with pure O2 I'm thinking of trying compressed air.
This is what I have in mind to use with a small oilless compressor and an inline filter for sterility when pumping from heat exchanger to fermenter:
I'm fermenting/ distilling on-grain so my thought is that this method will be easier to clean and maintain than a diffusion stone.
I also wonder what methods are used to aerate the wort. Is the system you posted used in-line while pumping from the Heat Ex to the fermenter?
Does one measure the dissolved O2 at any point? How is contamination of wort prevented when aerating?
I think that pumping into the top and letting it splash as it goes into the fermenter should be fine. I have never had any fermentation issues and that is the extent that I do things. I have also fermented in the mash cooker when all fermenters are in use and in that case I just pump air in via the bottom outlet of the tank with a mash hose (with air diaphragm pump). As I started out I worried about all these things and enough bought an 02 meter that I have never used. I would try without first.
Of course, depending on the desired ester profile, it may be wise to forgo oxygenation and pitch sufficient yeast to effectively skip the lag and log phases.
I would 2nd what 3d0g says, I don't believe many distillers oxygenate their wort as they are looking for more ester formation / more alcohol production & less yeast growth.
Thanks for the answers. I think I'll try without aeration first. If that doesn't work, this study sounds interesting (stolen from Probrewer forums):
Olive Oil Addition to Yeast as an Alternative to Wort Aeration
(can be read here: http://www.brewcrazy.com/hull-olive-oil-thesis.pdf)
All the tests I've seen with olive oil have been very inconclusive, even White Lab's test (and I'd trust them the most).
We run O2 at our brewery, but as other have said, that may be overkill in a distillery. Having said that, the O2 is very cheap and may be a small investment that gets you somewhat healthier/quicker fermentations. We aerate inline at 4l/m (which again could likely be lowered in this application) and a $50 300cuft tank will easilly aerate 6000+gallons