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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Wort Oxygenation

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:

http://www.gwkent.com/micro-oxygenation-carbonation-stone-assembly-1.html

I'm fermenting/ distilling on-grain so my thought is that this method will be easier to clean and maintain than a diffusion stone.

Any thoughts?


Reply:

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?


Reply:

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.


Reply:

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.


Reply:

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.


Reply:

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)


Reply:

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).


Reply:

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