Oxygen infusion into sealed keg

Post #1 made 3 years ago
It seems like every step in the brewing process has been analysed and formulated except the addition of oxygen. I hear statements such as "Shake the carboy for 5 minutes" (a lot of energy and danger tossing around 65 pounds), "bubble air for 30 minutes" or "turn on pure oxygen for one minute".

With all due respect, this all seems very "loosey goosey" and not in line with the specifics I see for the other processes.

I am moving to the "pressure fermentation" system and hope to get a repeatable process worked out. I expect to fill two corny kegs with chilled wort from my large kettle batch. As the fermenting chamber is on the other side of the house (actually the back porch) I have to close them to carry them over. I was thinking of sealing the kegs by pressuring with oxygen, carrying them over in a very sloshy manner and then waiting a few minutes while the yeast finishes rehydrating before opening them for pitching.

It seems that if I know the head space and the oxygen pressure I could watch the pressure drop as the oxygen is absorbed and calculate at what pressure it would equal 15% (I think I have read this as the optimum?) I could then vent the kegs, pitch the yeast and seal them up again for the ferment.

Does this sound too wacky?


Post #3 made 3 years ago
Welcome to the forum Tom :peace:,

Great question and I've just added this to my list of questions I'll be asking my favourite pro brewer next, hopefully this week. The reason I'll be asking him is that when I worked in craft brewing 25 years ago and since, I have never heard of a craft brewery using oxygen although I imagine some do. I also read a few months ago, somewhere (it looked authoritive), that the addition of air/oxygen after chilling but before pitching can be a negative. I can't believe I didn't take a note of that sorry. (I can actually see a very common scenario where that would be totally correct advice and I will check that with my mate.)

What I'd like to do here though Tom though is try and rid yu of the illusion that home brews are repeatable processes. Commercial brews are not repeatable processes. That is a plain fact. Even brews with little body or flavour are blended and adjusted in commercial breweries. It's a lot easier for them to get something repeatable than you.

For a start...

1. They know the specs of all their ingredients on the day, inluding water.

2. Their instrumentation is excellent.

3. The sample size they are dealing with is excellent.

You know virtually nothing, your instruments are primitive and your sample size is atrociously small.

The myth that you can be repeatable in your brews is spread by home brewers not profesional brewers. Pro brewers know the non-reliability of ingredients and their professionalism is in adjusting for that. Contrast that to...

A serial poster on a home brewing forum that says that everything is repeatable and they always get 80% efficiency on their brews. That sort of thing is a hallmark sign of what tools homebrewers currently use and how they are currently educated. This site is the exception.

There are many other questions to ask here...

Why ferment in a corny keg? I know one of the most helpful posters here on BIABrewer.info does it but that might suit his cricumstances. I could do it here but there is no way I will because there is no advantage in it that I can see in my situation that anyone has told me.

So that is the first question. Who is telling you to do a corny fermentation? Do you understand the extra work involved? Why does anyone ferment under pressure? Has any home brewer done several side by sides on brews done under pressure versus those that aren't?

So Tom, it could be too whacky :think:. Maybe not?

For me personally, I think the biggest challenges in ome brewing are finding recipes you love, working out what equipment is best to give you the right quantity and mix of beers you love and keeping your equipment simple and clean so as infections do not sneak up on you.

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Post #4 made 3 years ago
Agreed that we can not be "too precise" but the whole idea of a recipe is to be able to repeat a process?

I think I have this but I am not sure of the math....

If I have a keg with 17 litre of wort it will have a 4 litre head space filed with air which is about 20% oxygen.
If I add pure oxygen until I read 15 PSI the head space will have 8 litres of gas which is 60% oxygen.
If I shake the sealed keg until the pressure goes down to 7.5 PSI the head space would now have 6 litres of gas and 2 litres of 60% oxygen should be dissolved in the 17 litres of wort giving it 7% oxygen.

Thus for 10% oxygen I would have to let the pressure reduce to under 1 PSI (or increase the initial pressure)

Is this correct?


Post #6 made 3 years ago

I give each batch a 1 minute (or so) shot of pure oxygen as I add the yeast. The bubbling mixes the yeast with the oxygen and wort. After fermentation starts it is bad news (according to experts???) to add any oxygen. The fermentation pushes any oxygen out thru the blow-off tube or airlock. Since the C02 is heavier than oxygen it protects the beer with a C02 layer.

I gave up trying to shake the heavy and dangerous carboy after seeing various gruesome pictures of slashed arms and hands. I also read a lot of info about adding oxygen by shaking and it is a feeble way at best. Pure oxygen is fairly cheap and readily available at any hardware store.
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