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Old 01-21-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Vegetable Oil vs. Fermcap-S in a starter

My local Homebrew shop does not carry any kind of anti-foaming agent. The owner recommended using vegetable oil instead. Does anyone have any experience with this method? How much would I use? I am making a ten gallon batch.

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
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No, no, no, no!

No vegetable oil in your starter!

Sure, it will keep the krausen from foaming up. But I'd be really concerned about having oil in there. I know that some experts are using olive oil instead of aeration for their yeast, but that's a one drop amount in a huge batch.

The point of a starter is to grow healthy yeast.

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
No, no, no, no!
I think Yoop sums it up pretty well

The best thing to do is get some fermcap from an on-line store if you have to or make the trip to another LHBS and get a bottle. It is well worth it in both the starter and the boil. Especially if you going to do 10 gallon batches in keggles. That little bottle will last you a REALLY long time. If travel is not an option just make sure that you make your starter in a vessel that has enough head space.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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try baby gas drops from the drugstore
search around there are a bunch of posts about it

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Old 10-13-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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Hello forum members! First post here...

I know this thread is kinda old, but I'm wondering why vegetable oil (like olive oil), would be "bad" for the yeast if used as an antifoaming agent. Several years ago I was in a R/D lab doing bread-yeast propagations in industrial fermenters and I'm pretty sure the antifoaming agent was vegetable oil based (but not 100% sure).

I don't see how it would also give me off-flavors because I only plan to use 2-3-4 drops for krausen control in starters. As I plan to throw away the starter beer and only want to harvest the slurry, I'm guessing the remaining oil will be infinitesimal. When harvesting, I'm thinking I should just POUR down half the beer in the sink so that the surface oil will go away and then siphon the rest.

I'd probably do a 5 liters starter using a WLP400 liquid vial.

What are your thoughts?

Alex

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Old 10-13-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I know that some experts are using olive oil instead of aeration for their yeast, but that's a one drop amount in a huge batch.
I'm one of those using olive oil, and I use what I would call less than a drop. I sanitize a needle, dip it in olive oil, and transfer that to my stir plate before it goes into my starter. We're talking a very, very small dosage ~7-15uL(like 1/6th a typical 'drop').

Please don't add vegetable oil in any measurable amount to your starter or wort.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:36 AM   #7
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Well thanks for your reply!

Do you really feel a difference in foam reduction using 1/6th of a drop?

Do you know why "any measurable amount" is undesirable considering a starter from which the beer will not be kept? How will that affect the yeast?

Thanks again.

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Old 10-14-2011, 04:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atreid View Post
Well thanks for your reply!

Do you really feel a difference in foam reduction using 1/6th of a drop?

Do you know why "any measurable amount" is undesirable considering a starter from which the beer will not be kept? How will that affect the yeast?

Thanks again.
It's not for foam reduction, it's used to promote yeast health without having to aeriate the wort with oxygen. If you want foam reduction, get fermcap
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