PDA

View Full Version : Best way to aerate in a carboy



pwizard
03-09-2016, 08:13 PM
I'm going to start a 1-gallon mini-batch of blueberry mel this weekend. Most of the time, I do my primaries in a bucket, so aerating, feeding, and degassing is easy. However, this time I'll be using a jug and I'm not sure how people normally handle aeration with that kind of setup. Keep in mind I have no fancy pressurized gas/airstone gizmo, so I'll have to keep my methods low-tech.

I've already figured I'll have to sanitize my hydrometer equipment really well before I do gravity readings. I'll pour a bit of must off, measure it, and then pour it back in. I'd get some air into it during the pour, but it would likely be nowhere near enough to make a difference. I'm wondering if it will even be possible to get air into that jug, since during an active primary there is lots of outgassing and CO2 is heavier than air anyway. Should I just do my gravity checks/nutrient schedule and hope for the best? I figure I can degas by simply swirling the carboy. It will only be 2/3 to 3/4 full during primary to avoid overflows during feeding and to keep mead out of the airlock.

loveofrose
03-09-2016, 08:26 PM
Swirling is all I do for 1 gallon batches. Swirl over the sink without the airlock though...just in case.

I also keep everything in secondary containers. Small to large plastic storage containers work great. Once again...just in case.

I've had too many "doesn't look like its fermenting" turn into "oh shit! It just won't stop!"

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

pwizard
03-09-2016, 08:33 PM
Out of curiosity, how do you aerate larger carboys? I imagine swirling a 3-gal or larger would be difficult, so you probably use one of those lees-stirrer things for degassing.

zpeckler
03-09-2016, 09:16 PM
Yeah, fermenting in a carboy is annoying. The lees stirrer with the fold-out plastic blades on the end doesn't fit in a carboy. Pretty much using anything mechanical or aerating with a stone/wand/pump has huge potential for s MEA unless you leave a ton of headspace. I much prefer buckets.

Squatchy
03-09-2016, 11:56 PM
My lees stirrer fits in all my carboys! You must be talking about 1 gallon jugs? My stirrer fits in my 3 through 25 gallon carboys

zpeckler
03-10-2016, 12:03 AM
My lees stirrer fits in all my carboys! You must be talking about 1 gallon jugs? My stirrer fits in my 3 through 25 gallon carboys
Really? I've got this one (https://www.morebeer.com/products/lees-stirrer-stainless-plastic-blades.html?site_id=5) and it won't even fit through the neck of my 6 gallon carboys.

Squatchy
03-10-2016, 12:11 AM
Mine is close to that but just enough didn't that it works

Sent from my SM-G386T using Tapatalk

theDREWery
03-10-2016, 09:52 AM
Got the same mixing rod and it fits in all my carboys. It is a tight squeeze tho, and I usually have to manually push the blades in.

For degassing, I usually tilt the carboy and swirl for several days before the drill comes out... I can still see where I had to mop the ceiling. :eek:

Mazer828
03-10-2016, 10:38 AM
Take a wire coat hanger, grab it by the hook and the middle of the long straight part and pull until it stretches out completely. Cut off the hook portion with a wire cutter. Stick the twisted portion that used to be the neck of the hanger into the chuck of a cordless drill. Sanitize the wire with a star San spay, and go for it. Just go slow at first to avoid the dreaded MEA.

Stasis
03-10-2016, 11:07 AM
That's one of the better/simpler budget ideas I heard of Mazer828. At least by the sound of it. I'll give it a try someday

mrngbear
03-10-2016, 11:29 AM
I made one with a plastic coat hanger...Cut the neck off both sides, straightened with a heat gun, and bent a short 1" 45 degree 'L' on one end. Works great!

I partially flattened the 1"- L, and drilled a couple holes in it.

Farmboyc
03-10-2016, 11:42 AM
One more question in this line. In a carboy do you have to aerate with a stone? Basically all that the Lee stirrer is doing in the relatively closed environment of a carboy is de-gasing right?

mrngbear
03-10-2016, 11:47 AM
I made one with a plastic coat hanger...Cut the neck off both sides, straightened with a heat gun, and bent a short 1" 45 degree 'L' on one end. Works great!

I partially flattened the 1"- L, and drilled a couple holes in it.

Originally I considered making one from a metal coat hanger, but was concerned, since they are made from steel wire and most have a varnish coating (and if not coated could rust or possibly have some sort of reaction with the must)

EbonHawk
03-10-2016, 01:01 PM
Originally I considered making one from a metal coat hanger, but was concerned, since they are made from steel wire and most have a varnish coating (and if not coated could rust or possibly have some sort of reaction with the must)
Nah, minimal contact time (no time for a reaction), and if you rinse it clean and dry it, it shouldn't be rusting.

djsxxx
03-10-2016, 01:50 PM
Take a wire coat hanger, grab it by the hook and the middle of the long straight part and pull until it stretches out completely. Cut off the hook portion with a wire cutter. Stick the twisted portion that used to be the neck of the hanger into the chuck of a cordless drill. Sanitize the wire with a star San spay, and go for it. Just go slow at first to avoid the dreaded MEA.
Damn that's genius! Wish I had thought of that before spending 10 on a fancy degasser

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

jdranchman
03-10-2016, 02:36 PM
I only use better bottles so the generally available wine lees SS rod with plastic paddles fits just fine. I did get some 304 SS rod to see if I can fashion something that would work in glass carboys and gallon jugs (my current pressing need). If I can weld up something that works I'll post a pic. The initial design is just a "T" at the bottom or maybe a squished loop so it will cavitate lots when spun in a drill.

mrngbear
03-10-2016, 08:04 PM
Nah, minimal contact time (no time for a reaction), and if you rinse it clean and dry it, it shouldn't be rusting.

Of course, what was I thinking... and why do I even f***ing bother on this site! I just aint smart nuf to hang here!
no worries though!

cosmiccatastrophe
03-10-2016, 08:13 PM
Lmfao!!!!!!!!

Squatchy
03-11-2016, 02:34 PM
So here's one for ya. Home Depot and the like sells thick copper wire used to ground an electrical box outside of the house. In that state it is very bendy. So much so you wouldn't be able to use it far a stir stick. But I will teach how to stiffen it up to become very stiff. Attach one end to a fixed position with vise grips, vise, another person with pliers ect. Attach the other end to a drill. Place it centered in the chuck just like you would a drill bit and tighten it. Now spin it in the drill. The more you spin it up the tighter it will become and thus much stiffer. If you spin it super tight it will almost become as stiff as a steel rod.

Now you can bend it with a t at the end, make a tear dropped loop at the end. You can double it up so the to or loop follows the profile only doubled up, or how ever your heart's desire. You can now us it to stir and it will also help to remove sulphurous smells from your ferment if your yeast were a little bit offended at work :)

EvolvingCaveman
03-11-2016, 02:48 PM
I have done the copper wire trick and I would like to add that you can throw the copper wire rod in the oven for an hour to sterilize it.

pwizard
03-11-2016, 08:28 PM
That copper wire also makes a great TV antenna.

EbonHawk
03-12-2016, 08:52 AM
Of course, what was I thinking... and why do I even f***ing bother on this site! I just aint smart nuf to hang here!
no worries though!What was that all about?! :o

Seriously, just get a rust-free coat hanger and like you said, make sure it doesn't have one of those weird varnish type coatings on it that can flake off, and if you have to, you could get a polishing cloth and remove any tarnish and then keep it someplace dry and you shouldn't have any long term issues with it. Just a brief soak in some sanitizing solution ahead of time should be all you need.

What kind of oven temps are we talking about? Like 180~190F, just enough to kill wild critters?

EvolvingCaveman
03-12-2016, 10:54 AM
I have been sterilizing bottles at 330 degrees for one hour.
I start with the bottles in a cool oven and let it "cook" for an hour and let it cool in the oven.
The copper will heat up much faster.

Squatchy
03-12-2016, 08:22 PM
Whats wrong with Starsan for a few minutes?

pwizard
03-12-2016, 09:40 PM
Or even bleach? I use bleach for bulk-sterilizing because it's cheap and I don't mind rinsing everything. I save the Star-San for quick applications.

Mazer828
03-13-2016, 10:18 AM
Yep. I use a bleach soak for the tuff stuff, everything else gets hot water blast, and a follow up shot of Star San. Done.

Medsen Fey
03-13-2016, 01:21 PM
I have been sterilizing bottles at 330 degrees for one hour.

Why?
That is a lot of effort.

Mazer828
03-13-2016, 02:02 PM
Why?
That is a lot of effort.
And money, in terms of energy cost.

pwizard
03-13-2016, 02:15 PM
Plus that kind of heat can greatly weaken the bottles.

Medsen Fey
03-13-2016, 09:14 PM
You can now us it to stir and it will also help to remove sulphurous smells from your ferment if your yeast were a little bit offended at work :)

Copper only helps to remove sulfur odors AFTER fermentation is complete. During active fermentation, copper will cause the yeast to produce more H2S. I would not use copper for a stirrer during fermentation.

theDREWery
03-14-2016, 11:18 AM
Bleaching copper can cause it to blacken and corrode, which could leach into your must... Use the Star-San or heat sterilize!

Squatchy
03-15-2016, 07:26 PM
Copper only helps to remove sulfur odors AFTER fermentation is complete. During active fermentation, copper will cause the yeast to produce more H2S. I would not use copper for a stirrer during fermentation.

Thanks for that Meden. Hope your doing well

Bones6966
03-16-2016, 11:35 AM
When you heat treat copper is will be more ductile (soft) the drill idea is good. You can work harden the copper when you wind it tight so you get the benifit of it being tight multi strand. Copper also age hardens so if you throw it in a cupboard for a few months it will reverse any effects annealing had on it. Just my 2 cents on the copper wire.

I made my own degaser after seeing I can only buy one locally for like 30 bux. I drilled a hole in a few feet of stainless steel 1/4" round stock and just loosely riveted in 2 fins I cut out of stainless sheet metal. It works like a charm and dose not corrode if taken care of. but I understand not everyone will have the means to make there own like that.
Another option is plastic PVC rod with a few hole drilled in it and some synthetic plastic wire looped threw it.

Chevette Girl
03-16-2016, 02:10 PM
I bought a $10 "beverage frother" (you know, for whipping up a latte or something) and it just fits into a 1 gal carboy mouth. But it's rare that I use it, I generally do primary in buckets.

Another solution that one of our other members, Fatbloke, has suggested before, was to pour out some of your must into a sanitized blender/liquidiser, whip the crap out of it and pour it back in.

For my $.02, I wouldn't use a coat hanger because of the varnish. But you can buy stainless steel wire at the hardware store for not a lot and make your own whisk that fits into the carboy...

EbonHawk
03-16-2016, 05:06 PM
I looked at a few metal hangers (we actually had 3 left!) and 2 of them were covered in this flaky varnish stuff that I wouldn't put anywhere near my drinkables. The other one seemed ok, but I just got a plastic "wine whip" in the mail from Amazon. I think I'll just stick to the professional stuff from here on out...just in case. :-)

Mazer828
03-16-2016, 11:53 PM
Ok, really. Yes there are different qualities of hanger. We're talking about a budget solution after all. Let's not get ourselves all worked up.

EbonHawk
03-17-2016, 07:56 AM
Ok, really. Yes there are different qualities of hanger. We're talking about a budget solution after all. Let's not get ourselves all worked up.
Ok, true, sorry. Got carried away in the moment. :-D

Mazer828
03-17-2016, 08:15 AM
Ok, true, sorry. Got carried away in the moment. :-D
Lol. I know right? [emoji482] [emoji6]

MeadTron
03-17-2016, 11:25 PM
If it's a one gallon carboy cap it and shake it up for 5 or 6 minutes. You don't need no fancy stirrer! :)