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Old 08-26-2010, 04:43 AM   #1
malt_shovel
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Default Olive Oil for your starter!

So I don't normally use liquid yeasts, and not ever made a starter but this time my Wyeast 1318 was already 5 months old so I figured I should check viability and step up the healthy cell count. I have been reading with interest some people's experience with using olive oil in their brews as a substitute for aeration of the wort prior to pitching. I figure I would give it a go as I don't have a stir plate and I didn't much like the idea of having to swirl the starter every hour or so.

So I made my ESB wort (1054 SG before pitching the starter) and 4 days into primary fermentation it seems to be moving along well, but will reserve final judgment when it comes time to crack the first few bottles.

Anyone else had some experience with using olive oil as a substitute for a liquid yeast starter?

Cheers
Matt

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Old 08-26-2010, 05:04 AM   #2
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Doesn't take much to kill head retention. You may want to consider washing your starter.

Quick edit: I thought the olive oil was used to make up for oxygen, so if you are using a stir plate, not sure the olive oil actually gives you much benefit.

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Old 09-08-2010, 02:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
Doesn't take much to kill head retention. You may want to consider washing your starter.

Quick edit: I thought the olive oil was used to make up for oxygen, so if you are using a stir plate, not sure the olive oil actually gives you much benefit.
I didn't use a stir-plate as I don't have one. My laziness and lack of a stir-plate (plus a general curiosity) was the reason for adding the olive oil to the starter.

I kept fermentation temps in the low 60's for the most part and slowly ramped it up. Had the krausen excaping the air-lock after a few days in a 6.5 gallon plastic fermenter. First time this has happened for me, so I think the yeast weren't affected by lack of O2 in the brew or starter.

Will see what it tastes like in a few days.

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:16 AM   #4
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Olive oil works wonders. Haven't used anything else for over 5 years now.

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Old 09-08-2010, 01:09 PM   #5
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Just used olive oil for the first time in my last batch, also an ESB, and it had the shortest lag time of any batch I've ever made. Usually with liquid yeast it takes about 8 hrs for fermentation to really get going, this batch started in just under 4.

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
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So I'm not really sure what you did here.......Did you use just olive oil in a flask with yeast mixed in or did you make a regular starter and add just a little olive oil to that? I'm curious about this as well

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Old 09-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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If memory serves, olive oil is used in lieu of oxygenating with regards to yeast glycol reserves. However, i don't think it can (well, anything's possible) be used as a substitute for a starter, as the point of a starter is to build cell count. I would imagine different flavors would result from a split-wort experiment.

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Old 09-08-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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I boil on my stove. I haven't cleaned the filters on the fans in a long time, and there is enough oily build-up that it starts to drip when boiling for an hour or so. I figure that this is the ultimate in recycling, allowing the oil to drip into my beer to make my yeast happy.

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:21 PM   #9
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I have never heard of this before, what exactly do you do with the olive oil?

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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This is the first time I've tried it, but the literature I've read recommends to put a tiny drop of olive oil in at the stage where you would normally aerate the wort. The recommendation I read was you only need as much oil as you can pick up on the tip of a toothpick for the quantities home-brewers are making.

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