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Old 03-31-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default olive oil?

anyone heard of maintaining yeast activity by adding a bit of olive oil?

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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Be very careful in doing this, as too much can ruin a batch of beer.

Anecdotally, I've previously experimented with putting a tiny drop of olive oil in my starters in lieu of stirplating them. Very visible yeast growth and activity.

The yeast need sterols to reproduce, which the miniscule drop of olive oil provides.

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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Yeah, there are a few threads on it: Search Results for olive oil

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Old 03-31-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Be very careful in doing this, as too much can ruin a batch of beer.
Just to clarify, oil spoils head retention in beer, so too much will ruin a batch (not to mention any flavor contributions).
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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Just to clarify, oil spoils head retention in beer, so too much will ruin a batch (not to mention any flavor contributions).
We're talking about a very small amount - a single drop per 5 gallon batch.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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interesting, gonna read up on that...

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:25 PM   #7
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Here's a thread that may be of some interest:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/thes...-method-57627/

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #8
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Usual method I have heard of is to dip a paper clip in olive oil and use that in five gallons. You only need a few milligrams.

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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I'm a bit lost here... I may be very new to brewing (only got 2 batches under my belt) but I really can't see a situation where this could be worth trying? I've never had a problem with yeast activity, and surely if your fermentation is stuck you can just raise the temperature and if that doesn't work is it really likely that adding olive oil will? I can understand using this on a high gravity beer if your fermentation completely stops despite raising the temp a little, but the idea of putting it in your starter seems a bit strange to me! Why would you want to chance ruining the flavour profile or head of your beer by adding olive oil to a starter, when the starter will do fine without it?

Can someone explain in which situation this olive-oil trick should be used?

Thanks,
H

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Old 04-01-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onelegout View Post
I'm a bit lost here... I may be very new to brewing (only got 2 batches under my belt) but I really can't see a situation where this could be worth trying? I've never had a problem with yeast activity, and surely if your fermentation is stuck you can just raise the temperature and if that doesn't work is it really likely that adding olive oil will? I can understand using this on a high gravity beer if your fermentation completely stops despite raising the temp a little, but the idea of putting it in your starter seems a bit strange to me! Why would you want to chance ruining the flavour profile or head of your beer by adding olive oil to a starter, when the starter will do fine without it?

Can someone explain in which situation this olive-oil trick should be used?

Thanks,
H
The technique is somewhat theoretical and esoteric, so I wouldn't yet put it into full time practice. The idea arose from an article written by a brewer at New Belgium who was experimenting with using olive oil for storing yeast - which then became a way for wacky homebrewers to try out new techniques. The science behind this seems to be sound : yeast need sterols for reproduction. Oxygen enables them to metabolize unsaturated fatty acids into their cell walls. By giving the yeast access to sterols present in olive oil, this can be an alternative to oxygenating or otherwise aerating either a starter or an entire batch.
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