Monday, September 10, 2012

Oxynator Oxygen Gauge And 2 Micron Diffuser

I recently purchased an oxygen regulator and a stainless steel 2 micron diffusion stone from Rebel Brewer only to find out that the regulator and stone had different sized hose barbs. The regulator had a 1/8 inch hose barb and the stone had a 1/4 inch hose barb. Needless to say connecting the two with a piece of vinyl tubing and getting an air tight seal was no easy task.

Rebel Brewer Oxygen Regulator And Diffuser Stone Hookup
 After a lot of trial and error I was finally able to get it connected properly. I used a length of 3/16 inch vinyl tubing and soaked one end in near boiling water and stretched it until it slipped over the 1/4 inch hose barb on the stone. I then cut a one inch long piece of 3/16 inch tubing and slipped it over the 1/8 inch hose barb on the oxygen regulator. I soaked the other end of the tubing in the hot water and used a pair of needle nose pliers, slipped inside the tubing, to stretch it until it was large enough to fit over the tubing on the regulator.

Doubled Up 3/16 Inch Tubing And Hose Clamp On Regulator
 Although the folks at Rebel Brewer suggested that I do this, just as they'd advised other brewers who bought the same setup from them, you think they would have offered the stone and regulator pair with the same diameter hose barb.

Completed Air Tight Connections On Diffuser And Regulator
 I know from my fish keeping days that the tinier the air stone bubbles the more efficiently the oxygen is transferred and absorbed into liquids. In the case of an aquarium and aeration stones using room air you can double the surface area of the fish tank, allowing you to keep more or larger fish, but the bubbles have to be really small. For getting oxygen back into wort the same principal is also true and in time I'll get the flow rate and duration just right.

Regulator Adjusted To Provide The Finest Bubbles
 Yesterday I used the new oxygen setup for aerating my wort once I'd pitched my pitching. I soaked the diffuser stone and tubing in StarSan for 10 minutes, placed the stone at the bottom of the fermentor filled with five gallons of wort opened the valve and let the oxygen flow for 30 seconds. The next morning the airlock was busy pumping out Co2 as I've come to expect, in a few weeks I'll know if using the new oxygen setup makes a difference but so far the lag times were very short and the primary fermentation very aggressive.

Left Handed Threads Fit Oxygen Tanks From Home Depot
 Using the new oxygen setup shortened up my the brewing day, by eliminating the manual aeration I used to do using a long handled spoon, by nearly 10 minutes. When brewing this batch of beer I also added White Labs Servomyces and White Labs Yeast Nutrient to the end of the boil and also added some expired dried yeast to the boil of the two liter starter when I made it. I've used good sanitation when washing and storing the yeast and maintained good temperature control when pitching the yeast and fermenting the beer and I can't wait to taste the results for myself.


  1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who thought it was a major PITA to connect the regulator to the stone. In my case I am using a "wand" with a stone on the end, but the same problem applied. In the end I solved it by using 1/8" ID tubing (found it at Home Depot) over the barb and then pushed that into the 3/16" tubing.

    I agree this is a great aeration set up. Thanks for the post.

  2. Thx for the writeup, Vince. This is on my short list of "next equipment I need." Rebel is my LHBS, so I'll keep in mind the potential difficulties in their setup.

  3. A few brewers have informed me recently that Rebel Brewer has resolved the incompatibility by sizing both the oxygen regulator barb and the diffuser the same. If both sizes are a match setting the system up to work will be a breeze, if not adding a small piece of tubing to the smaller barb works perfectly too.