So, I have a giftcard from NB from christmas burning a hole in my pocket and have been thinking about one of those oxygen kits for wort. Here’s the thing; as i understand it the kit uses those little red tanks you get at the hardware store. I have herd from someone that those oxygen tanks are for industrial use and so have all kinds of heavy metals and arsenic and other crap in them and that what is really needed is medical grade oxygen with a regulator. he also said the cheap oxygen would kill the yeast, so I’m not trusting the source, but I am wondering if anyone has herd of this.
Well, I would seriously distrust the source on this. While it is true that it is not medical grade oxygen it is highly unlikely that there are heavy metal contaminants in the oxygen. It really makes no sense. A gas producer is not going to restrict their business by allowing their production system to be contaminated like that. As far as the “cheap oxygen” killing yeast that’s a rather strange comment. Oxygen is oxygen and it all behaves the same way. I don’t think you will have any issues using welding oxygen for your beer.
I found this from BYO
The short answer to your question is that welding grade oxygen is probably OK for homebrewing. I know that the only difference between medical grade and welding grade oxygen at my local industrial gas supply is the container the gas goes in. Medical grade oxygen must go into containers that are only used for that grade and there are probably some special inspections and filling procedures used for the medical grade stuff. The actual oxygen gas comes from the same bulk tank. My guess is that most gas suppliers use a similar procedure. As far as contaminants from oxygen go, microorganisms are not a concern because, as you mention in your question, pure oxygen is not a very hospitable environment.
You can read the entire article here https://byo.com/grains/item/1452-tap-vs … -mr-wizard Scroll down a bit to see the O2 discussion. He goes on to say it is possible to over oxygenate your wort and you might want to get a flow meter. Starting to sound expensive and overdoing it to me.
I used to use a medical O2 tank that was given to me by a friend that delivered it. Getting it filled became such a PIA I switched to an aquarium pump and diffuser for not much money. It seems to work well and no going for refills.
Yeah I can’t comment on the use of metals to ‘dilute’ oxygen, but we have used those tanks on several of our 1/2bbl beers and the yeast most certainly was not killed or impaired in the least. As for arsenic going into our beer, I suppose it is impossible for me to tell. A welding shop could probably give you a little more specific information (many of them also fill propane and CO2 tanks…and sell oxygen as well, bonus!).
I own a fabrication shop and I can assure you there is not “metal” floating around in the tank. the inside of the tanks are designed like honeycombs. They do this in part for separation of the liquid and in part to act as filters. If there was debri in there, every time we used a cutting torch or oxy plasma the tips in our equipment would clog. As long as you seek a reputable supplier for your tank refilling you wont have any issues. I don’t think any gas supplier would wont that floating around about there business having trash in their gases.
Large oxygen tanks we use run about $36 to refill. You can possibly work out a lease program on the bottle or buy it out right fro a supplier. New regulators are a little expensive. You can find a used one on ebay but be weary as you never know what condition the diaphragm is in. There is a proper way to open your bottles and prevent from exploding the diaphragm. Probably 85% of the idiots in the world don’t realize that. Hope this helps.
I’ve been using the “little red tanks” from the hardware store for years for aerating my beer, and it affected hasn’t me a bit
Not that this would answer your question, but I use the old aquarium pump with HEPA filter and a 2 micron stone. That has worked well for me over the years.
Wow! thank you all for your replies and input. once the guy said that it would kill the yeast, I knew he was full of it!
Junius, are the disposable tanks like the refillable ones? there’s a good welding supplier close to me, but I was hoping to do it on the cheap
I’m not certain about the disposable. If you have a supplier close your best bet may be to see about getting yourself your own tank and have it refilled when needed. I’d just go ask them. The tanks we use are about chest high. Those cost 36 to refill. They also have small bottles about knee high. Those probably wouldn’t cost over 20 bucks (at most) to refill. Maybe they refill the disposable???
Some places charge a deposit on the bottles. We do a lease on the bottles. It’s a better deal but we also have a large qty of them in house.