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Thread: Read this about aeration. Better mead making techniques!!!

  1. #1

    Default Read this about aeration. Better mead making techniques!!!

    This is a note I sent to another forum member and thought we all would benefit from this info!


    I am by no means an expert on any of this. I am how ever a earnest reader and devour everything I can find on things attached to passion.

    One of the best books I have read is Yeast The practical guide to beer fermentation. By Chris White (White labs) and Jamil Zainasheff Both are PhD's and in the book everything is footnoted to scientific publications. This is the stuff I love. It's not guys who think they know things. It's lab coats who have devoted their entire life to the scientific study of, in this case, beer/whine yeast.

    So the piece I sent you from Morebeer said, (and I have seen this same info in other places) tells us yeast in fact do not need O2 to make alcohol. They resperate either way. The reason they do so much BETTER with O2 is it helps them to build the proper cell wall and sets then up to withstand the toxic environment in the latter phases of fermentation.

    So in the book they have an entire chapter on fermentation, Duh! :P

    The section about O2 supplementation tell us what I am now about to relay to you. After much studies (from the authors as well as other scientific journals) they have determined the proper amount of dissolved O2 in a must for beer must (as you know much lower than mead must) Beer gravities need 8-10 parts dissolved O2. Of course higher gravities need more yeast which in turn need more yeast = more O2 still. Mead must are best suited with 12-15 ppm.

    Must splashing devices such as carboy splashing/sumo wrestling supply approximately 4 ppm. With very aggressive shaking one might be able to bring this total up to 8 ppm. Even using an aquarium pump or drill attached lee's strirer for extended times will still only get you to 8ppm. The only way to get higher is to use pure bottled oxegyn and a .5 micron sintered stone.

    To help homebrewers White Labs did an experiment injecting pure O2 into 20L/5.3 gallons of 1007 gravity using a .5 stone. At a flow rate of 1 ltr per minute the results are as such,,,,,,shaking for 5 minutes 2.71 ppm, 30 seconds pure O2 5.12 ppm,,, 60 secs pure O2 9.20, 120 seconds 14.08.


    If we have a must with a higher gravity of 1083 we must aerate with pure oxygen > Not only do we do as advised above we also have to aerate a second time. A second dose between 12 and 18 hours can help speed and attenuation. The yeast quickly takes up this oxygen and uses if for cell membrane maintenance and the production of some needed intermediary compounds. Research also indicates the addition of oxygen between 7-12 additional ppm at 12 hours increases fermentation speed by as much as 33% and decreases flavor compounds such as diacetyl and acetaldehyde. Why wait for 12 hours? You are waiting for yeast to make at least one cell division. There is no additional benefit before the yeast has had a chance to divide at least once.

    Above 100 you might chose to adjust your pitch rate to 35 million cells per millimeter. At 48 hours you can also raise the temps just a couple degrees to keep your yeast working at a maximum. AT this point most of the flavor compounds have already been made and a small raise in temps will not affect the flavor profile but will help the yeast finish strong.



    -----Original Message-----
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  2. #2

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    This contradicts a previous study I had taken to be true which says rocking/shacking is basically the best way to aerate a must, especially for home mazers who do not wish to spend more money on air stones, pumps, and pure O2. Interestingly, this study also mentions that over-oxygenating with pure O2 can be toxic to yeast. This means that you cannot simply scale up the required amount of O2 depending on gravity since at some point you will reach toxicity. beer musts might do well with 8-10ppm O2 but we cannot be sure mead can be best at 15ppm unless we are also sure this amount is not toxic.
    http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicb...ionMethods.pdf

    You also said that aerating before 12 hrs after the previous aeration is pointless because cell division has not yet occured. Since cells don't divide all at the same time this means:
    - Cells can use O2 even if they are just about to divide a few minutes later. Reason: once you aerate and O2 is taken up swiftly afterwards, many cells have undoubtedly just divided (because there are millions of cells and statistics). The cells will then be 11.5 hrs into their next cell division by the time you aerate again.

    -If cells which absorbed O2 DO NOT absorb any more before 12hrs (do they?)...
    This means that mazers who aerate the must multiple times a day (I go for 2-3 times) would effectively be supplying oxygen to those cells which were not provided O2 during previous aerations. If yeast need 12ppm O2 in 12hrs, then perhaps a mazer might supply this 12ppm through 3 sessions of rocking and shacking of 4ppm each. I'd imagine my shacking would be considered agressive given that I shake multiple times allowing for plenty of degassing and O2 introduction over a 5 minute period. I went for the minimum 4ppm anyway just for the sake of the argument.

    - If cells which absorbed O2 DO absorb further O2 before 12hrs for no apparent reason...
    What I said in the previous point is still valid except we will not be guaranteed all cells have been provided O2. Undoubtedly some cells will absorb twice their needed O2 for no reason, while others will not be lucky enough to get any O2 at all. However, because of statistics, it is impossible that the exact same cells will absorb O2 during each of the 3 aerations throughout the day. This effectively means that the amount of O2 ppm through a 12hr period can definitely be more than 4ppm if you rock and shake the carboy. Possibly even almost (or as) effective as using an expensive setup of Wort aerator, air pump and filter, and pure O2. Meanwhile, beer musts have to be more sanitary than mead musts which means they have to follow the suggestions in your study and use pure O2.

    I am not saying anything against this study, I am just asking the following:
    What is O2 toxicity for yeast?
    Do yeast re-absorb O2 before the 12hr cell division even if they do not need it?
    Is there a way for mazers on a budget to get an approximate same result through shacking as using pure O2?

    Having said this, I am always seeking to perfect my craft. Perhaps using pure O2 will be my next step once I am sure I have no other areas in which to improve. My current biggest hurdle is probably temp control
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  3. #3

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    It's no surprise your the first to respond. I love that curious minds want to understand what we are doing when we make mead. I too am always hungry to make the very best mead I can.

    You have great points and I'm not sure I really know the answers. As I began in my post I am not and educated expert. But rather a hungry, self taught reader. I guess unless we have the opportunity to be the guys in the lab coat starring through polished glass the best we can do is rely on what they tell us is true. And yes, when we read thier info and have questions we can only try to understand what they say in context to the report.

    So this is now what I offer, possibly a way to try to understand their stuff in context.

    I re read your link several times so as to not miss something. Here is the quoted pertinent statement.

    The infusion of pressurized pure oxygen into wort
    is undoubtedly another effective means of raising
    the wort oxygen content. However, there are
    added costs associated with the use of pure
    oxygen, and there is some risk of toxicity to the
    yeast from over-oxygenating wort. Saturating wort
    with pure oxygen is likely to be toxic to the yeast.
    Thus, some means of monitoring the oxygen
    content of the wort or of controlling the amount of
    oxygen delivered to the wort would appear to be
    necessary. Testing the relative effectiveness of
    aerating with air versus pure oxygen would be a
    reasonable and useful addition to experiments
    presented here.

    So the writer says there might be some risk of toxification. He doesn't seem to know for sure, but only assuming there could be some risk and that could be a place for further study. Chris White has spent a good bit of time visiting breweries and testing the O2 parameters of these breweries. Many times to help them to get things on track. He did state that too much O2 in beer "can be detrimental to head formation and retention.

    He then went on to say "the only way to reach the 10 ppm is with the addition of oxygen. Later in the chapter he was also the one who recomende adding the additional does of oxygen at the 12 hour mark. I have also read this very thing in a Lallemande piece Lehnard Cohn wrote refering to this additional aeration in the wine business as a pretty standard procedure.

    When they tested the vigorous shaking method in a 5 gallon carboy they observed a 2.71 ppm level at 5 minutes. Admittedly, I do not know how to interpret the % of saturation in the link you provide, to be able to translate that to ppm. I'm sure one could find that answer very quickly with Google. I'm trying to get this off to you before heading out to the salt mine this morning.

    So with information I posted, I can only suggest what I think was the line of thought in regards to the addition of O2 at the 12 hour mark. Assuming most of the scenario's Mr White deals with prohibit shaking multi-barrel vessels for obvious reasons. We can surmise the one time addition at the 12 hour mark would be x hours post lag so that all of the yeast, including the late budders, would have split. This would ensure that all of the yeast would be recipients to the O2 addition.

    He was the one who then suggest to add the amounts of additional O2 at the rates I wrote in the opening piece. They have graphs showing speeds of fermentation and attenuation rates with different amounts of O2 to support the "best" additions based on kenetics. I don't know about toxicity but I'm sure he does and would not suggest in his book to add X amounts knowing those metrics would be toxic. I would image if the rates of additional O2 we toxic you would see that in the graphs, rather than "best performance" results.

    I get it that you have bigger challenges where you live. I live in a wonderful location that makes my temp control super easy to stay within 2 degrees the whole time with almost zero adjustments.

    The fix here with oxygen is very affordable. You can buy these things,,,, https://www.morebeer.com/category/wo...-aeration.html along with this ,,, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzomat...4179/202044702

    FYI. I just made a pyment with cab concentrate using my methods and the yeast chewed through 20 points a day at temps just 2 degrees above the lower end of the tolerance window. It's only at 1020 now but it has zero off flavors. I don't have a side by side comparison but I have been using O2 for a while now and with the O2/Goferm/ Fermaid O/ temp controls protocols all in order I have never made such good meads. The last 30 gallons or so have been quite drinkable even before they clear. I now filter my stuff, and have had one high ABV batch have a bit of alcohol heat early on but as soon as my oaking started to calm that it has become one of my favorites.

    Please reply
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  4. #4

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    Squatchy, can you confirm that the studies you have read state using pure O2?

    I have read in this book, for example, that you should use compressed air rather than pure O2 because of toxicity
    "Simple mechanical agitation or pumping over may not increase the oxygen concentration to the levels needed. It is recommended that sterile compressed air be bubbled (using an air stone or similar dispersion device) directly into the starter tank. Because of toxicity, the use of pure oxygen should be avoided (Fugelsang, 1987, p. 135).

    Meanwhile, the Wyeast site says compressed air is not recommended since it is inefficient and pure O2 should be used for upwards of 8ppm. Wyeast state that it is fairly simple to reach 8ppm of O2 through shacking though. It takes just 45 seconds
    http://www.wyeastlab.com/faqs.cfm#r44
    http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_oxygenation.cfm

    There is also this video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75gpehf_6Gk

    P.s I am not researching too much, I'm just finding stuff off of a similar thread in another forum

    Apart from asking "Is pure O2 toxic to yeast?" we might also need to ask "Are yeast in contact with pure O2 long enough for it to be toxic?"
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  5. #5

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    well you replied to much of that while I was writing my reply!

    Can't read and reply more now as I gtg. Will definitely read more into this
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

  6. #6

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    Yes I can confirm they are talk pure O2. They said that with the first hour all the O2 added prepitch is gone already
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  7. #7

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    Good information, Squatchy.
    I have on my project list to build a stir plate large enough to do a 5 gallon bucket.
    I though about alternating between running the stir plate and an aquarium pump
    until the 1/3 sugar break.
    Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light.
    J.K. Rowling in the voice of Dumbledore

  8. Default

    Just wanted to thank you both. I love it when those who understand more explain why to do things instead of just tell how. Now I can add more knowledge to my minimal mead arsenal. And even if this conversation isn't exactly definitive, I learned from my wife who is a doctor that even medicine can be more art than science at times), so thank you both and please keep sharing (and explaining) for all us amateurs :-)

  9. #9

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    It's nice to hear someone actually likes to read this type of thing. So often when I post up science stuff only the same few people join in. It's really meant to help raise the bar for all of us.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvingCaveman View Post
    Good information, Squatchy.
    I have on my project list to build a stir plate large enough to do a 5 gallon bucket.
    I though about alternating between running the stir plate and an aquarium pump
    until the 1/3 sugar break.
    According to the book you can't get more that 8% with an aquarium pump. The same as what I would tend to believe your stir plate would provide. They don't require oxygen to make alcohol. Huge misnomer here. They can make it on their own. The cell wall is made much heartier when they have it in the prescribed phases of their life line.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    It's nice to hear someone actually likes to read this type of thing. So often when I post up science stuff only the same few people join in. It's really meant to help raise the bar for all of us.
    The science is totally appreciated, Squatchy. The level of discussion I see in some of these threads is up to the standards of my hospital's journal clubs! You guys really know how to dissect a paper. A hearty thanks to the great gurus of mead who participate in these threads!

    Someday we'll see mead get the same level of scholarly attention that wine does. Someday... It would be really exciting to see the same level of scientific rigor and volume of peer-reviewed publications that we see in the oenology journals. Lord, the Patron Section would be blowing up constantly!

  12. #12

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    Thanks brother. I appreciate the comment and I appreciate your involvment in the forum as well!
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post

    What is O2 toxicity for yeast?
    Do yeast re-absorb O2 before the 12hr cell division even if they do not need it?
    Is there a way for mazers on a budget to get an approximate same result through shacking as using pure O2?

    Having said this, I am always seeking to perfect my craft. Perhaps using pure O2 will be my next step once I am sure I have no other areas in which to improve. My current biggest hurdle is probably temp control
    Great points being brought up here. Also curious if this will pertain to wine yeast since the studies are done with beer yeast and wort. Hopefully it won't pertain to wyeast 1388... I love my BOMMs.

    I recently received an oxygenation kit and used it on 2 batches. I had it dialed high which caused the disposable tank to run dry fairly quick. Might purchase a 5lb tank to bring down the longterm cost. Anyway, no major off flavors with oxygen wand. I used only wine yeast so far. D47 and Wyeast 4767 (fortified wine yeast). I used the wand twice a day for the first 1/3 sugar break. Both must of been dialed high. No actual way of reading without a O2 regulator.



    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pokerfacepablo View Post
    Great points being brought up here. Also curious if this will pertain to wine yeast since the studies are done with beer yeast and wort. Hopefully it won't pertain to wyeast 1388... I love my BOMMs.

    I recently received an oxygenation kit and used it on 2 batches. I had it dialed high which caused the disposable tank to run dry fairly quick. Might purchase a 5lb tank to bring down the longterm cost. Anyway, no major off flavors with oxygen wand. I used only wine yeast so far. D47 and Wyeast 4767 (fortified wine yeast). I used the wand twice a day for the first 1/3 sugar break. Both must of been dialed high. No actual way of reading without a O2 regulator.



    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    I think most things hold true regardless of weither it's beer or wine yeast. I hope to get Chris White and other yeast experts on the radio show in the near furture.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  15. #15

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    Well crap I just had an idea...

    - It makes sense to me that the O2 requirements of a must also relies on the biomass of yeast in the must. More yeast cells = more O2 ppm to feed all those hungry mouths. Makes sense?
    - Is the biomass in beer and mead must more or less the same?
    - Is overpitching yeast, in a way, moot since shaking cannot provide enough O2 to all the yeast? Is it possible that overpitching removes yeast stress from one factor and creates more stress in another?
    - I have a theory that TOSNA creates a lower biomass and this is partially a reason why the ferment is so efficient. My theory was fleshed out in this thread http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...ur-little-ones! If this is true, then Squatchy's find here further solidifies my theory since a lower biomass would require less O2, the yeast are less stressed out and would create tastier mead. Wish I had easy ways to verify these theories :/
    "Shouldn’t we say wine is a mead-like beverage made with grapes substituted for the honey?" - Steve Piatz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stasis View Post
    - I have a theory that TOSNA creates a lower biomass and this is partially a reason why the ferment is so efficient. My theory was fleshed out in this thread http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthr...ur-little-ones! If this is true, then Squatchy's find here further solidifies my theory since a lower biomass would require less O2, the yeast are less stressed out and would create tastier mead. Wish I had easy ways to verify these theories :/
    I wish someone had a microscope to do cell counts.

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    A bit of a digression, but I'm wondering what pieces of equipment you guys use for oxygenation?

    Currently I'm using your classic aquarium pump attached to a 2micron stone, plus a lot of agitation with my lees stirrer. Controlled oxygenation with pure O2 is the last big step I have to take towards total control over all the variables in my meadmaking. What's stopped me form pulling the trigger is that if I'm going to shell out for an O2 system I want one where I can measure and control the flow rate; i.e. set the flow to a given L/min. After reading "Yeast" I'm doubly convinced that I don't want to spend the money for an oxygenation system unless it's one where I can add O2 at a rate that I can control. Unfortunately, the O2 systems available at the big online retailers (MoreBeer, Northern Brewer, Midwest Supplies, etc) include regulators without measurable flow rates.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by zpeckler View Post
    A bit of a digression, but I'm wondering what pieces of equipment you guys use for oxygenation?

    Currently I'm using your classic aquarium pump attached to a 2micron stone, plus a lot of agitation with my lees stirrer. Controlled oxygenation with pure O2 is the last big step I have to take towards total control over all the variables in my meadmaking. What's stopped me form pulling the trigger is that if I'm going to shell out for an O2 system I want one where I can measure and control the flow rate; i.e. set the flow to a given L/min. After reading "Yeast" I'm doubly convinced that I don't want to spend the money for an oxygenation system unless it's one where I can add O2 at a rate that I can control. Unfortunately, the O2 systems available at the big online retailers (MoreBeer, Northern Brewer, Midwest Supplies, etc) include regulators without measurable flow rates.
    Yes it's true no flow rate monitoring with the more beer gear. That is the cheapest system. WIth you already owning the stone you only need to spend $35 to get the fitting. Don't buy a medical O2 bottle unless you can get a Dr's script. They won't fill it without one. I use a .5 stone. Lets look around and see if we can find a youtube, or similar showing what the regulated flow looks like. I think even if you don't know for sure, only being able to get the 8ppm with an aquarium pump (which is only 2/3 the way there) it can't hurt to use the pure O2. I'm going to hunt for some help.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  19. #19

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    So here's my thoughts.

    Yeast can actually make their own O2 = (respiration). This is how they feed themselves which give us the alcohol. Please see this ,,,, https://www.morebeer.com/articles/ox...n_fermentation

    So the O2 we give them at pitch and possibly there after, in leu of this and other reads would indicate that the O2 is used/stored to maintain the cell membrane. Particularly, at the end of ferment when things get difficult. Building and maintaining armour if you will to combat the toxicity.

    Lastly here is what the measured in ppm with different applications in 20L,,,, Shaken for 5 minutes,,,,2.71 ppm,,,30 seconds pure O2,,,,5.12, 60 sec O2,,,9.20, and 120 seconds gave 14.08 ppm

    I have always wondered if the biomass is established based on volume and conditions. Lets face it, at some point the yeast decide it's time to get to work, yes? I'm working backwards here so hear me out. Yeast replicate (bud) for 12-15 times before there are spent. The spawn every 3-4 hours. I think perhaps this is how the biomass is determined. If they can determine work load maybe they can do the math and fiqure how many yeast they need and how many spawns would generate enough mass to get to the end with a certain desired population.

    If you look at elk heard populations we know that a certain plot of land can support X amount of elk in good fashion. This is caller caring capacity. Once the caring capacity begins to wain the elk naturally migrate to new land to allow regeneration the the tired plot of land. I wonder if yeast can sense a certain caring capacity of a volume of must? This is my next hunt. To find how the biomass is determined.
    In the "yeast book" they show several graphs that prove the proper O2 equates to a faster ferment, higher attenuation. The comparisons that are graphed are 2.7, 5.12, 9.2 and 14.08. You can see the higher O2 does everything better.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  20. #20

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    Duplicate sorry, duplicate sorry, duplicate sorry,
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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