Suppose you want to make sure your fermentation doesn’t stall halfway through and you want to get a good head start on yeast growth during the initial phase of fermentation…
… well, that’s were good aeration comes into play…
After you boil your wort and cool it down to yeast pitching temperature you want to find a way to get oxygen into your wort… There are three main ways to get oxygen into your wort, splashing, agitating and direct injection.
This is possibly the best ‘free’ method of aerating your wort. In essence what you are doing here is splashing your wort into your fermentor by pouring it hard from the kettle into your bucket. If you are using a carboy to ferment, you can pour your wort into your bottling bucket and then siphon into the carboy.
This is the method I use most frequently and has given me consistent results for low and mid-range gravity beers.
The only drawbacks to this method is that it requires a strong back to lift the kettle and splash the wort into the fermentor and it becomes exposed to airborne bacteria. In other words, this is something that should be done indoors where you can be certain the environment is mostly dust-free.
If you can’t quite lift a bucket or a kettle to splash it, you may opt for agitating the wort instead. There are many different variations, but basically the best one is to place the lid on your bucket and shake it back and forth to ‘agitate’ the wort.
If you are using a carboy you’ll want to place a loose fitting cap or some sort of plug in the mouth of the carboy to shake it without getting the wort all over the place… most importantly, you want to place the carboy