Olive Oil Instead of O2

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emart85

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Looking for some feedback on anyone who has tried this...

I've only read up a little on this so far... for a 5 gal batch, it sounds like less than a drop of olive oil could replace wort aeration. One thing I read indicated that a New Belgium study used 300 mL OO/4500 L yeast. So for a 5 gallon batch that uses ~1L starter, you'd need 0.06 mL olive oil... Tough to measure, but doable. That part makes sense to me, but is there a downside to this technique?

Has anyone tried this, and if so what was the effect on head retention? Effect on shelf life, if any? Anything else that was noticeably different with the final product?

This concept may seem silly for a 5 gallon batch, but I'm getting a business plan together to go pro and the savings could be significant for 200 gal+ batches if O2 could be replaced with OO. I'd like to test it out on a few pilot batches since it seems to be an attractive option.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts who has tried this. TIA!
 

Revvy

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There are several threads on here on this. Start with the "Olive Oil Testing" thread in the similar threads box below. Then follow the rest of the similar threads those link to.
 
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emart85

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Thanks, that got me exactly what I needed! Just didn't see it before...
 

Revvy

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Do a little digging too, I swear there's a HUGE thread somewhere on here (I think in Brew Science) that much older and very scientific. In the threads your skimming through check the sim threads box or those or follow the links mentioned. The one I'm thinking of has been going on for years. I'm surprised it didn't show up in the box.
 

ShootsNRoots

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When making starters, I generally add 4 to 5 drops of Olive Oil (expensive natural olive oil) with yeast nutrient. Funny thing is, the olive oil drops seem to get bombarded by the yeast and somehow disappear. No noticeable oil film in the starter. The yeast themselves also seem to be huge. I think they're clumping together or something. Haven't noticed any off flavors or any negative head retention. In fact I just did this with the NB Kiwi Express kit. Made a damn fine beer (wish they'd hadn't changed hops), perfect head, fermented vigorously (needed blow-off tube).

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/using-olive-oil-instead-oxygen-47872/
http://www.brewcrazy.com/hull-olive-oil-thesis.pdf
 

broadbill

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This is the most recent one I know of:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/olive-oil-testing-388924/

I'm yet to be convinced by either the New Belgium study or by any of the tests homebrewers have conducted that OO has any effect whatsoever. At this point I think it is because there is a certain amount of aeration that beer wort has as a baseline that masks any effect the OO has. I will admit I don't have any proof of this as it is difficult experiment to do. I do know the results of OO are mixed, at best.

As for the OP's comments: you should consider that New Belgium does not employ this as a oxygenation method despite the work done in their brewery. That may tell you something about the process itself and if you should consider using it.

Second....is a wort oxygenation setup that expensive even at the 200+ scale? Compressed gas is dirt cheap....what expense are you referring to?
 
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emart85

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Thanks to everyone for the info...

This is the most recent one I know of:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/olive-oil-testing-388924/

I'm yet to be convinced by either the New Belgium study or by any of the tests homebrewers have conducted that OO has any effect whatsoever. At this point I think it is because there is a certain amount of aeration that beer wort has as a baseline that masks any effect the OO has. I will admit I don't have any proof of this as it is difficult experiment to do. I do know the results of OO are mixed, at best.

As for the OP's comments: you should consider that New Belgium does not employ this as a oxygenation method despite the work done in their brewery. That may tell you something about the process itself and if you should consider using it.

Second....is a wort oxygenation setup that expensive even at the 200+ scale? Compressed gas is dirt cheap....what expense are you referring to?
Just O2 tanks, stone, etc. along with refill costs. Seems that it would be a little cheaper with OO, and could be a better option if it truly does improve shelf life. I hadn't heard of this idea until just recently, so I'm just exploring options.

After reading the New Belgium paper, it seems that they got pretty good results; they had ~10-20% longer fermentation times and ester profile differences that could only be detected by experts (still passed their product standards). I think for home brewing purposes, using OO wouldn't necessarily be beneficial unless it's just a really big beer, but it seems like a fun exercise to me.
 
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