Using pure oxygen

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Using pure oxygen

Unread postby niels » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:19 pm

I've seen some discussions about the use of pure oxygen for aeration and this seems to be a well used practice in the US and Australia. In Belgium I don't know any homebrewer using pure oxygen. Most of use a simple aquarium air pump, sterile filter and aeration stone to aerate the wort.

Since I want to consider all options I started looking into using pure oxygen. It seems that there are 2 possible supply channels: oxygen for welding (industrial) and oxygen for medical use or diving. The latter is the most expensive option (in Belgium) and requires a tank that needs to be certified every so many years. The industrial oxygen seems to be available in disposable tanks too.

Is the oxygen for industrial use useable for wort aeration? I can imagine this might not be 100% pure and maybe "smell" a bit or so. Doesn't impart a flavour to the beer?

- Niels
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby HopSong » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:27 pm

Niels.. I tend to believe there is no difference. Check this write-up. I believe it to be accurate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/scien ... .html?_r=0
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:05 pm

Hi Niels,

I'm also asked myself exactly the same thing. Pure O2 for the cold wort, "to be or not to be"!
I found mixed results in the web (Homebrewtalk, John Palmer, Braukaiser...) regarding the use of pure O2 versus atmospheric O2 and the properties of industrial O2.

As I have never used it, I also started to look for O2 tanks in the web. Not so easy as I felt.
I found an interesting seller: Oxyfit. It is from UK. It has O2 cans for human purposes (athletes). There is a nice tank with 110L of O2 (1.6Kg) with a regulating pressure valve (maximum flow 4l/min, which I think it is usefull for our purpose). Price: 99£ + 25£ (shipping) = 168€. Not for free, but feasible.
I'm thinking giving it a try!

Tel me what you think?
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby Dicko » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:47 pm

Luis Coentrao wrote:Hi Niels,

I'm also assine myself exactly the same thing.
I found mixed opinions in the web (Homebrewtalk, John Plamee, Braukaiser...) regarding the use of pure O2 and the properties of industrial O2.

I started to look for O2 tanks since I have never used it either.
I found an interesting seller: Oxyfit. It is from UK.
It has O2 cans for human purposes (athletes). There is a nice tank with 110L of O2 (1.6Kg) with a regulating pressure valve (maximum flow 4l/min, which I think it is usefull for our purpose). Price: 99£ + 25£ (shipping) = 168€.
Not for free, but feasible.
I'm thinking giving it a try!

Tel me what you think?


I wish we had those options in Australia.
Most in this land use the disposable oxygen bottles with a regulator that were originally made fore small welding and soldering plants.
There is a guy on another forum that used to work for a large industrial gas supplier here in Australia years ago and he stated that the oxygen all comes from the same tank wether it is medical or for welding. I would assume that the medical grade has a different filter system.

I know there are brewers using industrial bottles here in Australia but in my opinion this is expensive as you are required to rent the oxygen bottles on a yearly basis

I use a diving tank with a regulator and although it was expensive to purchase at the time, I own the bottle and dont have to pay rental and I can have it filled at a dive shop very close to my house for $10 aus.

I will add that since I have been using oxygen my ferments have been stronger, cleaner and achieving very good attenuation for each brew.
I would not go back. :D :cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:55 pm

Neils, Bill is wright!
There is no difference between industrial and medical O2.
It is the same stuff!
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:01 am

Dicko the only difference is that you need a humidifier to use on medical propose.
There is no special filter or whatsoever. The O2 is the same and comes from the same plant/tank.
The need of a humidifier is that the pure O2 is very dry, that's all.
Marketing stuff to charge more!
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby dinnerstick » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:43 am

i bought a half-full second hand welding tank on marktplaats (NL craigs list sort of thing) with regulator for around 100eu. i forget what size it is, it's over 1m tall and about the diameter of a 2kg CO2 tank. it has already lasted me years. originally i was running it through a 'sterile' 0.22 uM filter but i got over all that and just run straight into a stone. no smells, just happy yeast. no accurate measure of O2 volume delivered though, without measuring flow in a balloon, which i have never done. ie- it's a pressure rather than flow rate regulator
i am hoping that when it runs out i can get it filled/exchanged easily at a welding gas place but i don't know. getting my CO2 tank filled has proved impossible, i have had to rent a second one from a drinks supplier and exchange that one, while my own empty one sits on the floor. so sad.
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby rocketman » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:41 am

I use pretty much oxygen (we all do) but I also dive a CCR (Closed Circuit Rebreather) where I have one tank with pure oxygen and
one tank with a diluent gas. I'm also a certified technical gas blender (nitrox, heliox, trimix, helitrox).

When we fill our big bootles (80L) with 200 Bar of pure Oxygen the only real difference is that the filler pulls a vacuum
in the receiving bottle and then continue to fill with oxygen. Cleanness is of extreme importance even if it's for welding
as Oxygen tends to react (oxidize) with oils/silicone/fat in a nasty way, especially under pressure..

// Fredrik
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby niels » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:45 pm

HbgBill wrote:Niels.. I tend to believe there is no difference. Check this write-up. I believe it to be accurate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/scien ... .html?_r=0

This says it all! So it all comes from the same source, but medicinal oxygen is more expensive due to regulations requiring traceability, proper dispensing, possible testing when repackaged etc...

Luis Coentrao wrote:As I have never used it, I also started to look for O2 tanks in the web. Not so easy as I felt.
I found an interesting seller: Oxyfit. It is from UK. It has O2 cans for human purposes (athletes). There is a nice tank with 110L of O2 (1.6Kg) with a regulating pressure valve (maximum flow 4l/min, which I think it is usefull for our purpose). Price: 99£ + 25£ (shipping) = 168€. Not for free, but feasible.
I'm thinking giving it a try!

Tell me what you think?

I think there are better alternatives. I've found disposable tanks with oxygen for welding at about 20 EUR (+ shipping) . These require a regulator which can be found around 50 EUR.

Also I've found a supplier that has 5L bottles at about 200 EUR and a regulator at labout 50 EUR.

In Belgium there is a big producer of medicinal and industrial gasses: Ijsfabriek Strombeek. They have resellers all over Belgium and a depot about 40 minutes from my place. I'll be contacting them for additional info about refilling.

Close by (about 10 minute drive) is a reseller of Westfalia gasses, but you have to sign a 5 or 10 year contract (175 EUR or 220 EUR) and pay about 35 EUR per 15L refill.

So many options... But the disposable bottles have my preference to get started due to the low startup cost.

- Niels
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:08 pm

Gee! writing with a swipe keyboard with predictive text is amazing!
"Wright" instead of "right".....wow!....and the show goes on! Lol
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby HopSong » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:08 pm

I still have one of the setups that use small bottles from the hardware store. They are fine.. but, tend to get expensive. Don't know if you have Craigslist where you are.. but, some old people need oxygen. When they pass, what do you do with the equipment. That's how I got my bottle and regulator. Relatively inexpensive compared to buying new.. and there was enough O2 left in the bottle to last a lifetime. The little hardware store bottles may be good for about 10-20 brews..and then buy another. That's fine for some folks.. but, I like my option :)
Cheers, Bill
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby rocketman » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:22 pm

How much oxygen is used per liter wort? Or how long and flow rate is normally used?
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby HopSong » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:19 pm

No idea Rocketman. I have a cintered stone for oxygenation.. I think it is 2 micron size. For a 5g(20L) batch, I bubble at a good rate for ONE minute. That appears to be enough. It is possible to over oxygenate and give the yeast oxygen poisoning, so to speak. Too little is ok but not great.. too much can be harmful. I'd definitely not go over 1.5 minutes.. IMHO.
Cheers, Bill
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby Cervantes » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:33 am

I use pure oxygen through a stone for 30 to 60 seconds, but at a very slow rate.

I figure less pressure gives the oxygen more time to be absorbed by the wort. If it's all bubbling vigorously out of the top of the wort then you're wasting oxygen.

I find that this gives a really good fermentation.
Cheers :cheers:
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Re: Using pure oxygen

Unread postby rocketman » Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:39 pm

Found some info, a good oxygenation is about 10ppm. And if I got it right 1l per minute for one minute should give 10ppm in a 20l batch.

How much wort will a 1l bottle with pure oxygen at 200 bar oxygenate?

Volume free oxygen :1*200=200 L
so 200 min and 200*20=4000 liters of wort!
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