Aerate or Oxygenate Your Homebrew
Oxygen at the start of fermentation is critical for the yeast to do their job properly.
You hear both the terms “aeration” and “oxygenation” when discussing this topic. What’s the difference?
Aeration means using the air in the atmosphere, which is only 21% oxygen. Oxygenation, on the other hand, means using 100% oxygen.
Oxygenation is ideal, but it requires a little extra equipment (and money). But a benefit of using pure oxygen is that the oxygen is sanitary.
If you use aeration, you need to pass the air through a filter.
Here’s the gear you need for each method.
- Diffusion stone (2 microns)
- Air pump
- Sanitary filter
Rather than buying these items separately, we recommend you pick up a kit. We’ve linked to one below that get you up and running right away.
- Diffusion stone (0.5 microns)
- Oxygen tank
- Oxygen tank regulator
Again, a kit is really the way to go here in stead of buying all the little parts individually. We recommend the kit at the bottom of this page. Note that in this kit, the stone is attached to a wand.
This is a nice feature because you can easily place the stone at the bottom of the fermenter and let the bubbles travel all the way to the top.
The only additional item you need with this kit is a disposable oxygen kit. We’ve linked to one below, but you can also find them at most local hardware stores like Ace, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. Look in the welding section.
This kit helps you oxygenate your beer prior to fermentation. Oxygenation works better than aeration because pure oxygen is used (from a tank) instead of the air in the room, which is only 21% oxygen. See our homebrewing aeration guide for more info.
This kit helps you aerate your beer prior to fermentation. It uses the air in the room which passes through a filter to sanitize the air. A better (although more expensive) option is to use pure oxygen. See our homebrewing aeration guide for more info.
Use this with a regulator and diffusion stone to oxygenate your homebrew prior to fermentation. See our guide on beer aeration for more info.