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Old 02-17-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default High gravity, oxygen, and olive oil

Has anyone had any successes (or failures) using New Belgium Brewery's technique of using olive oil instead of oxygen for 'aerating' your beer? I have a good oxygenation system that works well for me, so I am not looking to replace it. But I was thinking that olive oil (OO) might be very useful to add later in the fermentation (say 24 hours after pitching the yeast) of a high gravity brew where it is hard to get enough oxygen (O2) into the wort. Some recommend another round of oxygenation 12-36 hours after pitching, but there is always a danger that adding O2 after fermentation begins will lead to staling in the beer. That would not be a risk with OO. And if OO works as well as O2 like some claim, this might be a perfect solution.

BTW, did anyone notice that OO = 2O, which is very similar to O2???? Hmmm..... coincidence????

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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I have read articles on this. The ammount of olive oil for a 5 gallon batch was rediculously small. It was something less than 1 drop per 5 gallons. It might actually be worth an experiment on a cheaper beer first. Then kick it up to a high gravity if it works.

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:26 PM   #3
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There was a thread about this on here about a month ago...try search to dig it out.

I think the math was figured and for small 5 gal batches it would be impossible to get the right quantity of Olive oil based on what they use for their huge batches. I think the conclusion was that we couldn't measure the small amount we'd use...and any more would pretty much ruin the beer...

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:27 PM   #4
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Found it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=47872&highlight=olive

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:28 PM   #5
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I haven't done any really big beers but on moderate ones 1.070-1.080 I've aerated for the first 24 hrs with sterile filtered air from an aquarium pump. As long as the beer has oxygen in it the yeast reproduce and don't ferment so no risk of oxydizing at that point.

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:29 PM   #6
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I am familiar with the old thread, but nobody has followed up on it. Hence this thread to see if anyone has already experimented.

There have been problems with translating the volumes down from brewery size batches to homebrew batches. The initial math was out by many orders of magnitude. IIRC, the correct amount for a five gallon batch is something like a couple of drops, so it can be measured adequately by homebrewers.

So -- anyone tried it yet? I don't think I am brave enough to do a trial in my IIPA that I am planning.

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Old 02-17-2008, 04:06 PM   #7
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I'm curious about this technique as well. I think that to properly experiment, a 15 gallon batch is in order. Split the batch into three fermenters. In the first fermenter, avoid any aeration whatsoever. Aerate the wort in the second fermenter with your normal method. In the third fermenter, avoid any aeration, then add a single drop of olive oil. Compare fermentation activity and results.

I'd be willing to conduct the experiment, but I can't brew right now due to an upcoming move.

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Old 02-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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That would be a great experiment Yuri. I hope you get the chance to do it after the move. Perhaps I could do something similar at a smaller scale (say half those volumes) when the weather warms and I can get my keggle and burner out of the garage again.

I wish I had a hemocytometer, because it would be easy to do some simple yeast counts with a somewhat similar experiment using yeast starters. I bet you could learn a lot about this method by simply looking at yeast propagation and yeast condition under a microscope.

Does anyone happen to own a microscope and hemocytometer?

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Old 02-18-2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
...There have been problems with translating the volumes down from brewery size batches to homebrew batches. The initial math was out by many orders of magnitude. IIRC, the correct amount for a five gallon batch is something like a couple of drops, so it can be measured adequately by homebrewers...
I'm sure one of the brewing podcasts tried it.

IIRC, they boiled a known amount of OO in a known amount of water to dilute it to the right concentration for their batch - I assume this was with the original initial amount of OO though.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:31 AM   #10
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I have found another use for the EVOO (just had to say that here) instead of O2: when I propagate yeast from single cells, I cannot afford oxygenating the first few steps since I don't trust the O2 system to be steril. I'm alredy pressure-canning small amounts of wort in vials and baby food jars for this purpose. Now I'll be adding very small amounts of OO as well to make sure the yeast will grow well w/o having to add O2. So far it has worked w/o the OO or oxygen in the first 2 stages, but I'll see how much better it works with the OO.

Kai

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