oxygenating wort - larger capacity systems

The Homebrew Forum

Help Support The Homebrew Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,427
Reaction score
855
After some advice/benefit of others experience from those who brew larger volumes.

This is something I've not really thought too hard about till now. So far I've just been brewing 20litre batches and using primarily dry yeasts and sometimes yeast starters from liquid yeasts when I can be bothered (cant be bothered these days with yeast starters - will always go for a dry yeast option if I can). I've always used yeast nutrients in the boil and given the wort a bit of a splash when transferring to the fermenter and so far I've had zero issues....always been quick to kick off with good healthy fermentation all the way to finishing. So far so good.

However now I've built up a larger system capable of delivering 80 litres to the fermenter, maybe more if I wanted to push it, and planning to do a 60 litre brew on it in a couple of weeks time - the biggest brew I've ever done, I'm now wondering is it time to start thinking about more forcefully oxygenating the wort in the fermenter prior to yeast pitching? maybe with an oxygen bottle and carb stone? Of course I can and will continue to splash the wort as it transfers into the fermenter, but with the larger fermenter being a unitank with a narrower neck and quite tall the its hard to get up there with a paddle to agitate the wort once it's in there. Does it become more essential to oxygenate the wort as you increase volumes and is 60 - 80 litre volumes getting into that zone?

Thanks
 
Where in Gods name did you read or hear about oxygenating wort
 
Its pretty standard practice isn't it? Always encouraged to splash the wort as you transfer into the fermenter, or give it a good vigorous stir in the fermenter with your paddle before pitching yeast, and pretty standard practice in larger breweries. Appreciate it is not necessary at smaller home-brew scale, but as you scale up there must be a point where it is needed, or beneficial at least.

Good point on dried yeast though. I knew it was less essential in dried yeasts. I'm not tied to dried yeasts but these days tend to use them and avoid the faff of making a starter.
 
After some advice/benefit of others experience from those who brew larger volumes.

This is something I've not really thought too hard about till now. So far I've just been brewing 20litre batches and using primarily dry yeasts and sometimes yeast starters from liquid yeasts when I can be bothered (cant be bothered these days with yeast starters - will always go for a dry yeast option if I can). I've always used yeast nutrients in the boil and given the wort a bit of a splash when transferring to the fermenter and so far I've had zero issues....always been quick to kick off with good healthy fermentation all the way to finishing. So far so good.

However now I've built up a larger system capable of delivering 80 litres to the fermenter, maybe more if I wanted to push it, and planning to do a 60 litre brew on it in a couple of weeks time - the biggest brew I've ever done, I'm now wondering is it time to start thinking about more forcefully oxygenating the wort in the fermenter prior to yeast pitching? maybe with an oxygen bottle and carb stone? Of course I can and will continue to splash the wort as it transfers into the fermenter, but with the larger fermenter being a unitank with a narrower neck and quite tall the its hard to get up there with a paddle to agitate the wort once it's in there. Does it become more essential to oxygenate the wort as you increase volumes and is 60 - 80 litre volumes getting into that zone?

Thanks
You don't need yeast nutrient either, unless you are making high ABV beers.
 
I brew similar amounts, I splash it into the fermenter, angling the feed to the fermenter can create more aeration. I think its worth doing (might not be needed but helping hand)
 
You don't need yeast nutrient either, unless you are making high ABV beers.
True, especially with dry yeasts as they tend to include nutrients in the mix anyway, but for me it's all about the fermentation and creating the best possible conditions for the yeast to thrive and everything else flows from that. So I'll throw anything and everything I reasonably can to achieve that to give it the best chance of producing the best possible beer.

But to be fair I've had the odd fermentation that hasn't gone quite as well as previous ones and a batch that isn't quite as good as the previous one despite the process and ingredients I use being identical to previous batches, so there are alot of variables along the way... so the more you take control of the process variables the more consistent your results.

I guess when you strip it down the the bare basics needed just to knock out something that passes as beer and is drinkable, then there is alot we don't 'need'. Everything beyond that is just improving what we produce.
 
I brew similar amounts, I splash it into the fermenter, angling the feed to the fermenter can create more aeration. I think its worth doing (might not be needed but helping hand)
Thanks. Its an area I've not really thought too much about before beyond the general rule of splashing your wort and maybe giving it a good vigorous stir in the fermenter, but its a new system which I've built from the ground up and completely different to the all in one I'm used to, so having to think a bit more about the small individual steps. Cant' really be bothered with the faff and expense of an oxygen aeration setup as there are other more important things I'm wanting to do and improve. At least I'm now starting to brew on it so can be led by the resulting beer. Just kegged a first smaller test batch and all seems to have turned out nice, so I'm in the ball park at least.
 
True, especially with dry yeasts as they tend to include nutrients in the mix anyway, but for me it's all about the fermentation and creating the best possible conditions for the yeast to thrive and everything else flows from that. So I'll throw anything and everything I reasonably can to achieve that to give it the best chance of producing the best possible beer.

But to be fair I've had the odd fermentation that hasn't gone quite as well as previous ones and a batch that isn't quite as good as the previous one despite the process and ingredients I use being identical to previous batches, so there are alot of variables along the way... so the more you take control of the process variables the more consistent your results.

I guess when you strip it down the the bare basics needed just to knock out something that passes as beer and is drinkable, then there is alot we don't 'need'. Everything beyond that is just improving what we produce.
Nothing to do with yeast nutrient. I am pedantic about getting clear wort into the fermentor. Even though the wort I get in is as clear as a bell I know there is enough cold break in there to feed the yeast. If I am going above 7% ABV then I will add some brewers yeast.
 
Interesting. I've never really focussed on wort clarity, not that I don't make any effort to achieve it, but never fuss if some 'stuff' gets by into the fermenter. And coincidentally most of the beers I brew are around 6 - 6.5% so approaching the 7% ABV. I keep meaning to brew some lower ABV beers but the 5 - 6.5% range seems to be where I end up for most of the beers I brew.

Of course I hear what you're saying on nutrients and can't disagree - I have brewed batches where I had run out of nutrient and didn't notice any detriment in the final beer. I just think things like yeast nutrient are dirt cheap and if nothing else act as a bit of insurance from a dodgy packet of yeast or if you're right on the borderline of under pitching something like that - go on, its a habit now for me, it was something I picked up on right from day one of my taking up this hobby so just continued doing it.
 
If I am going above 7% ABV then I will add some brewers yeast.
I assume this is a typo, but don't you add brewers yeast anyway to... you know... ferment the beer? I'm assuming all your brews aren't wild fermentation. If so, that would be amazing.
 
I've never really focussed on wort clarity, not that I don't make any effort to achieve it, but never fuss if some 'stuff' gets by into the fermenter.
I'm not fussed about clarity. Most of my brews come out clear as a whistle, but some don't. Even before the NEIPA craze, a lot of traditonal brews were "naturally cloudy". I don't think it makes it look any less attractive. There have also been a lot of studies done and many people (both in a scientifically controlled way and also anecdotally) have found that clear wort into the fermenter actually resulted in cloudier beer at the end product.
if nothing else act as a bit of insurance
☝️ IMO this is a huge part of brewing. There are lots of things that if taken in isolation have no discernible impact on the end product most of the time. But add up a few and in a bad situation they will start having an impact. It's up to each brewer to decide how anal complex their brewing process is and what insurance they need. I don't get why so many people get hung up on telling other people they are brewing 'wrong'.
 
I assume this is a typo, but don't you add brewers yeast anyway to... you know... ferment the beer? I'm assuming all your brews aren't wild fermentation. If so, that would be amazing.
Do you actually know what brewers yeast is? Brewers yeast is dead yeast sold in health food shops, best nutrient for brewing, as well as cold break.
 
Do you actually know what brewers yeast is? Brewers yeast is dead yeast sold in health food shops, best nutrient for brewing, as well as cold break.
Obviously not! I always just assumed it was yeast used by brewers, or what we just call 'yeast'. You learn something new every day!
 
I'm not fussed about clarity. Most of my brews come out clear as a whistle, but some don't. Even before the NEIPA craze, a lot of traditonal brews were "naturally cloudy". I don't think it makes it look any less attractive. There have also been a lot of studies done and many people (both in a scientifically controlled way and also anecdotally) have found that clear wort into the fermenter actually resulted in cloudier beer at the end product.

☝️ IMO this is a huge part of brewing. There are lots of things that if taken in isolation have no discernible impact on the end product most of the time. But add up a few and in a bad situation they will start having an impact. It's up to each brewer to decide how anal complex their brewing process is and what insurance they need. I don't get why so many people get hung up on telling other people they are brewing 'wrong'.
I would like to see the results of the studies where the clear beer into the fermenter results in cloudier beer as the end product. Links please.
No one is telling other folk they are doing it wrong, just giving advice how to do it better.
When taking up a hobby, a sport, even ones every day job surely the aim would be to do it to ones best ability? No point in doing things half arsed is there?
 
I would like to see the results of the studies where the clear beer into the fermenter results in cloudier beer as the end product. Links please.
You've had them before. They are from Brulosophy. You just choose to not believe them.
When taking up a hobby, a sport, even ones every day job surely the aim would be to do it to ones best ability?
IMO, no. Hobbies and sports are normally done for enjoyment, not necessarily doing it 'best'. (And with jobs, there is the work-life balance). Different people are different, so some may get more enjoyment by doing it the 'best', but a lot of people (myself included) do it for the fun of it.
 
You've had them before. They are from Brulosophy. You just choose to not believe them.

IMO, no. Hobbies and sports are normally done for enjoyment, not necessarily doing it 'best'. (And with jobs, there is the work-life balance). Different people are different, so some may get more enjoyment by doing it the 'best', but a lot of people (myself included) do it for the fun of it.
Well if Brulosophy is your mentor good luck to you. I cant understand why someone would take something up to produce something second rate? Better off just going down the pub.
 
Obviously not! I always just assumed it was yeast used by brewers, or what we just call 'yeast'. You learn something new every day!
I'm with you here. Brewer's yeast - saccharomyces selected for brewing, not baker's yeast, brettanomyces, Candida, etc...
 

Latest posts

Back
Top