|Aeration For Better Fermentation
We all know using the correctly matched yeast for your beer type is very important to achieve the best taste. And oxygen can be bad for your beer after fermentation stops. But did you know getting oxygen into your wort before fermentation starts will lead to improved fermentation. Yeast needs oxygen at the start of the fermentation process ”Lag Phase” to ensure it can multiply rapidly. As without enough oxygen the yeast will fail to reproduce sufficiently for proper fermentation. Aeration for better fermentation is the answer. When your wort has cooled and you are ready to pitch your yeast, now is the time to aerate your wort. Yeast needs between 8 and 10 parts per million (ppm) of oxygen to properly reproduce in the lag phase. You could do this using a tank of pure oxygen but it is also possible to do it using air alone which is 21% oxygen. Whichever way you choose what you are trying to achieve is to create about 50mm of froth on the top of your wort. The most effective methods are:
Use a spoon, whisk or you can even rock the fermenter to agitate the wort vigorously for several minutes until you achieve 50 mm (or so) of froth. I use a cordless drill with a painter stirrer attached that I purchased only for this process. Obviously sanitation is very important in every step of your brewing process. Once you have achieved the froth level needed pitch your yeasts and ferment as per usual obviously ensuring temperatures are correct throughout for the type of beer you are creating.
There are lots of ways to inject oxygen into the wort but they easiest way is to use and inexpensive aquarium pump with an inline sterile filter. The filter is needed to prevent bacteria and other organisms mixing with the air. Why you don’t necessarily have to do attach in a carbonation-stone to this will help defuse the air. Obviously sanitation is very important in every step of your brewing process. Once you have achieved the froth level needed pitch your yeasts and ferment as per usual obviously ensuring temperatures are correct throughout for the type of beer. These are just two of the simplest ways to achieve aeration in your wort. There are other ways of course. Whichever you choose the most important thing is that your yeast has enough oxygen to reproduce sufficiently. Create the correct environment to achieve great beer.