A lot of beer enthusiast pursues in enhancing their own home brewed beer. There are a lot of flavors combined, different recipes formulated and especially techniques created. One of this technique is Aeration System. In doing Home Brewing Aeration system, let’s learn first some of the common terms used.
- Aeration (also called aerification) is the process by which air is circulated through, mixed with or dissolved in a liquid or substance. Another technique that can be used to enhance home brew beers is aeration. Aeration is the injection of oxygen into the wort during the brewing process, usually after boiling and cooling and just prior to fermentation.
- Another term is, hot side aeration which refers to excessive splashing or aeration of the wort during the boil or before we’ve had a chance to cool the wort down. The problem with adding oxygen while the wort is hot is that it can oxidize the melanoidin in your beer leading to a stale flavor.
- Wort – the unfermented or fermenting infusion of malt that after fermentation becomes beer or mash.
- Oxidation – occurs when you add oxygen after the lag phase of yeast growth (i.e. later in fermentation, or after the beer has fermented). It is also the process that occurs when oxygen is introduced either while the wort is still hot or after fermentation has started.
Aeration is beneficial because it supplies yeast cells with oxygen needed for reproduction and fermentation; a wort should only be aerated after it is chilled and prior to fermentation .Aerating wort while it is still hot can cause off flavors in the finished beer, as can aerating fermenting beer. The best time to aerate your wort is as soon as it is cool.
Here are some basic and manual methods in aerating the wort:
- Agitation –Agitation is done by stirring rapidly with a spoon, whisking the wort around with a whisk or rocking the entire fermenter. Agitation is a step that generally gets more oxygen into the solution.
- Injection – There are many ways to inject air or oxygen directly into the wort. The simplest setup involves using an inexpensive aquarium pump with an inline sterile filter
- Splashing – Splashing the wort around in the fermenter can actually add some oxygen to the solution. splashing will not achieve as high an oxygen content as injection but it is far superior rather than to no aeration at all.
Those are the manual and basic methods for aeration of wort. What’s good with aeration system is that instead of diffusing pure oxygen into your wort this system uses filtered air. The included air-pump pushes air through an inline sanitary filter which is then dispersed into the wort through our two micron threaded stainless steel diffusion stone. The advantage of an aeration system is that you never have to buy replacement oxygen tanks. The downside is that aeration takes longer than oxygenation.
When using the aeration system you have to sanitize the diffusion stone and tubing. Submerge both sections of tubing in a sanitizer solution. The stone can also be immersed in sanitizer solution; alternatively, the stone can be boiled or baked for 15 minutes to sterilize it.
Next would be to assemble the system. Attach one section of tubing to the nipple on the aquarium pump; attach the other end of this section to one side of the in-line filter. Attach the second section of tubing to the opposite side of the filter. Attach the other end to the barb on the diffusion stone.
Take note never handle the diffusion stone with bare hands. Use a clean cloth or wear gloves when touching the stone. After that, Aerate the chilled wort. The temperature of the wort should be 80°F or cooler. Lower the diffusion stone into the fermenter; it should rest at or near the bottom. Plug in the pump and begin aerating the wort. Aeration can create lots of foam, so watch it closely. It may be periodically necessary to briefly unplug the pump to let it settle. For best results, aerate wort for 30 minutes prior to pitching yeast.
Hopefully, this helps to our new homebrewers out there. It’s much easier to use the aeration system. Have fun experimenting!