Aquarium aerators revisited
Republished from BrewingTechniques' July/August 1993.
Here are a few refinements to Dave Miller's aerator setup described in the last issue (BrewingTechniques 1 , 8-13 ).
Rather than washing the stone in chlorine solution, soak the stone for a few hours in vodka. These stones seem to hold chlorine rather well, as a tank of dead fish proved a few years back. I probably get a little alcohol in the wort, but I avoid any chance of chlorine and resulting chlorophenols.
Also, after every batch I discard the stone that has contacted wort. A dollar or two seems rather cheap insurance against a contaminated batch.
An activated carbon filter removes odors but is not an efficient filter of particulate matter. A second stone in a jar half filled with 3% hydrogen peroxide (the common drug store variety) offers a solution. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that will remove odors and a mild antiseptic that will destroy airborne microflora. In addition, any particulate matter is washed out in the peroxide solution. Any peroxide washed into the wort is quickly broken down into water and oxygen, which at this point in the process is desirable. Figure 1 shows what the setup looks like.
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