Using Olive oil instead of Oxygen

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Germey

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I just listened to a BrewCrazy podcast talking about a recent paper published by an employee at New Belgium.
Here's an abstract...

Olive Oil Addition to Yeast as an Alternative to Wort Aeration

To extend the flavor stability of their beers, many breweries are researching ways of reducing oxygen ingress throughout the brewing process. However, the practice of aerating the wort prior to fermentation is almost universal in the brewing industry because oxygen is necessary for yeast health and growth. Recent studies have shown that alternative methods to traditional wort aeration such as aeration of the yeast prior to pitching or the addition of the unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid can yield fermentation characteristics similar to wort aeration. It has also been shown that using these alternative methods instead of aerating the wort can reduce oxidation potential. This paper reports the findings of a series of full-scale production tests that were conducted in an operating brewery to evaluate the effects of another type of yeast treatment. By mixing olive oil into the yeast, during storage, instead of aerating the wort, fermentations can be achieved with only minor increase in fermentation time. The beers produced from these fermentations were comparable in flavor and foam retention to beers produced by traditional wort aeration. The ester profile of the beers produced using olive oil addition was significantly higher than the controls and the flavor stability of these beers was significantly improved.
Presentation PresentationBibliography:
Grady Hull graduated from Colorado State University in 1994 with a BS in Food Science and Technology. After an intership with Coors Brewing Company he worked as a brewer for CooperSmith's and Fleetside brewpubs. In 1996 he began working at New Belgium Brewing Company where he is currently the Assistant Brewmaster. While working at New Belgium he recieved his MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University.
Is presentation an:
OriginalWork
Work done at:
New Belgium Brewing Company


The difficulty is that they only use a very small amount at full production scale. Here is a quote from someone at New Belgium

"The olive oil thing was the result of some research done first at the University of Leuven in Belgium, and then some full scale testing we did here at New Belgium.

"The basic concept is that since yeast uses an oxygen atom to pull a hydrogen away from an 18 carbon chain unsaturated fatty acid to make a monounsaturated fatty acid chain to help it grow, you could simply provide an 18 carbon monounsaturated fatty acid and it would be able to use that. This works well in practice, we made a little over 1 million bottles with beer where the yeast had had olive oil added.

"The main thing to remember is that since you're working on a molecular level, and the olive oil has a high concentration of that molecule, the amount you actually need is pretty small. Additionally, you want to use a very small amount to avoid any detrimental effects that the oil would have on the beer's head retention.

"For the volume of wort we normally ferment, we would pitch about 4500L of yeast, and to that we would add around 300mL of olive oil. To translate that into a 5 gallon size, you would need to measure about 0.0000833mL of olive oil. For any practical purpose, that is much too small an amount to accurately measure out. You could fudge and just add the tiniest imaginable drop to the yeast you have, but you'd be over-dosing the oil by thousands of times the required amount, and run the risk of having zero foam retention. Not a good compromise in my opinion.

"The bigger picture is this: for us, we did this as a way to avoid potential for oxygen free radicals to contribute to staling off flavors, and hopefully could count on getting an extra 2-3 weeks of shelf life time in the finished product."


So a couple of the guys on BrewCrazy tried it on the 5gal scale and had good results by putting one drop in a quart of water, boiling it, then adding between one drop and a teaspoon to the wort.

Anyone else heard more about this? Anyone want to give it a try?
 

Soulive

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Heard of it, tried it, not worth it aka don't do it. It might be easier if you were brewing 20+ gallons...
 

TexLaw

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Yep. I heard of it. I have to say it's an interesting topic. McKissack was all excited about it and was going to brew that experimental batch. I haven't listened to the podcast, though, or talked to him about the results. How did fermentation and head retention compare to a control? (Did the have a control?)

I also couldn't see how it would be worth it on a homebrewing scale, but I'm still interested in it just from an academic point of view.


TL
 
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Germey

Germey

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TexLaw said:
I also couldn't see how it would be worth it on a homebrewing scale, but I'm still interested in it just from an academic point of view.


TL
Me too, although I may well try it. The pod cast is a good listen as they get into a lot of the biology of yeast reproduction and the chemistry behind this experiment. There is a potential application here for brewing very big beers without a huge starter. It would allow the yeast to keep reproducing after the initial O2 is gone from the wort. There is also the fact that New Belgium specifically wanted to keep O2 out of the wort for quality reasons. I read another quote somewhere (on probrewer I think) that said one should only oxygenate the starter and not the wort.
 

Catfish

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Olive oil also contains stuff you don't want in your beer. There was a long discussion about it in the HBD. It sounds nice, but I'm sticking with O2.
 

delboy

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I've came across this before, the guys math is out by a thousand fold (he's got confused between litres and ml), it should be 0.083ml, just in case anybody wanted to try this.

Germey said:
I just listened to a BrewCrazy podcast talking about a recent paper published by an employee at New Belgium.
Here's an abstract...

Olive Oil Addition to Yeast as an Alternative to Wort Aeration

To extend the flavor stability of their beers, many breweries are researching ways of reducing oxygen ingress throughout the brewing process. However, the practice of aerating the wort prior to fermentation is almost universal in the brewing industry because oxygen is necessary for yeast health and growth. Recent studies have shown that alternative methods to traditional wort aeration such as aeration of the yeast prior to pitching or the addition of the unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid can yield fermentation characteristics similar to wort aeration. It has also been shown that using these alternative methods instead of aerating the wort can reduce oxidation potential. This paper reports the findings of a series of full-scale production tests that were conducted in an operating brewery to evaluate the effects of another type of yeast treatment. By mixing olive oil into the yeast, during storage, instead of aerating the wort, fermentations can be achieved with only minor increase in fermentation time. The beers produced from these fermentations were comparable in flavor and foam retention to beers produced by traditional wort aeration. The ester profile of the beers produced using olive oil addition was significantly higher than the controls and the flavor stability of these beers was significantly improved.
Presentation PresentationBibliography:
Grady Hull graduated from Colorado State University in 1994 with a BS in Food Science and Technology. After an intership with Coors Brewing Company he worked as a brewer for CooperSmith's and Fleetside brewpubs. In 1996 he began working at New Belgium Brewing Company where he is currently the Assistant Brewmaster. While working at New Belgium he recieved his MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University.
Is presentation an:
OriginalWork
Work done at:
New Belgium Brewing Company


The difficulty is that they only use a very small amount at full production scale. Here is a quote from someone at New Belgium

"The olive oil thing was the result of some research done first at the University of Leuven in Belgium, and then some full scale testing we did here at New Belgium.

"The basic concept is that since yeast uses an oxygen atom to pull a hydrogen away from an 18 carbon chain unsaturated fatty acid to make a monounsaturated fatty acid chain to help it grow, you could simply provide an 18 carbon monounsaturated fatty acid and it would be able to use that. This works well in practice, we made a little over 1 million bottles with beer where the yeast had had olive oil added.

"The main thing to remember is that since you're working on a molecular level, and the olive oil has a high concentration of that molecule, the amount you actually need is pretty small. Additionally, you want to use a very small amount to avoid any detrimental effects that the oil would have on the beer's head retention.

"For the volume of wort we normally ferment, we would pitch about 4500L of yeast, and to that we would add around 300mL of olive oil. To translate that into a 5 gallon size, you would need to measure about 0.0000833mL of olive oil. For any practical purpose, that is much too small an amount to accurately measure out. You could fudge and just add the tiniest imaginable drop to the yeast you have, but you'd be over-dosing the oil by thousands of times the required amount, and run the risk of having zero foam retention. Not a good compromise in my opinion.

"The bigger picture is this: for us, we did this as a way to avoid potential for oxygen free radicals to contribute to staling off flavors, and hopefully could count on getting an extra 2-3 weeks of shelf life time in the finished product."


So a couple of the guys on BrewCrazy tried it on the 5gal scale and had good results by putting one drop in a quart of water, boiling it, then adding between one drop and a teaspoon to the wort.

Anyone else heard more about this? Anyone want to give it a try?
 

conpewter

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I may try this sometime if I go to 10 gallon batches. I'd probably still aerate my starter but then use this on one carboy and usual methods on the other, I don't think 10 gallon batches are too soon in my future though. Very interesting idea though, I like the idea of diluting the olive oil somehow to get a smaller amount, does boiling the water somehow make the oil mix in?
 

sirsloop

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I think when you are talking about aerating 5-10 gallons of beer, the cost is low. If you have considerable oxygen expenses from millions of bottles, then yeah maybe its worth looking into.
 

pjj2ba

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delboy said:
I've came across this before, the guys math is out by a thousand fold (he's got confused between litres and ml), it should be 0.083ml, just in case anybody wanted to try this.
Off by a million fold!

Actually its more than that (please check my math)

300 ml per 4500 l (0.3 l / 4500 l) is = .000067 l / l or 0.067 ml/l.

1 gal is 3.78 l so 5 gal is 18.9 l

0.067ml X 18.9 l = 1.26 ml per 5 gal batch or pretty darn close to 1 drop
 

mrkristofo

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Easy on the calculations guys...He added 300mL to 4500L of yeast for pitching. By the numbers pjj2ba calculated, 0.067mL/L, so for pitching a 300mL slurry of yeast from a starter that puts the numbers at 20µL per batch...not 1.26mL. It was only 63 times too much...no big deal ;)
 

ohiobrewtus

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sause said:
So he pitches over 1100 gallons of yeast? I think the article ment 4500mL.
Heh... I was thinking the same thing as I read it. Obviously it would be difficult to properly apply this to 5 gallon batches, but the science of it makes good sense and is quite fascinating.
 

mrkristofo

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sause said:
So he pitches over 1100 gallons of yeast? I think the article ment 4500mL.
Actually...4500L of yeast is very reasonable when you consider NB has 8 600bbl fermentation tanks at construction of the brewery in 2001. That's 148,800 gallons of fermentation volume.

For 4800bbl of wort, 4500L of slurry at 1.2billion cells/mL is right at the perfect pitching rate (9.59 million cells/mL) for the gravity that NBB brews.

http://www.cudenver.edu/Academics/C...nts/1996-2001/New Belgium Brewing Company.pdf
http://www.wyeastlab.com/pitch_rate.cfm

300mL in 4500mL is an awful lot of oil to be adding to yeast.
 

Bsquared

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pjj2ba said:
Off by a million fold!

Actually its more than that (please check my math)

300 ml per 4500 l (0.3 l / 4500 l) is = .000067 l / l or 0.067 ml/l.

1 gal is 3.78 l so 5 gal is 18.9 l

0.067ml X 18.9 l = 1.26 ml per 5 gal batch or pretty darn close to 1 drop
Thats what I got, Its a 15000:1 dilution ratio...(edit) oops I made the same mistake, that if you want a 5gallon starter....Duh. So it about 20µl as mrkristofo said. I have Pipettes here at my work I can use for that volume. but I guess the equivalent would be if you dipped a thin sewing needle in olive oil, about 20µl would stick to it. (edit)
 

Kaiser

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Who knew that the yeast needs that small amout of unsaturated fatty acids. I wonder what the amount of yeast growth is that they are getting. The paper reports increased esters which are generally the result of impeded yeast growth.

If we add 8-12ppm of O2 to the wort, the yeast in 1 L of wort gets about 8-12 g of O2. If all that O2 is used to make unsaturated fatty acids, it could make much more than a drop og olive oil can provide. Which means that most of the O2 is used for something else and that else is now missing. If it is only the luxury of being able to live aerob for the first few minutes the beer could live with it, but if it's needed for growth there should be an impact on the flavor profile.

I'm not skeptical that this works, I just want to better understand what is actually happening.

Kai
 

delboy

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Edit just realised Mr Malty uses 10 to the 9 for billions (short scale) and not 10 to the 12 (long scale) as i assumed.
Calcs changed.

http://http://www.mbaa.com/Districts/RockyMtn/news.htm

They suggest that you need 1mg of olive oil per 25 X 10 to the 9 cells (or 2.5 X 10 to the 10).

Mr Malty recommends about 180 billion cells or 1.8 X 10 to the 11 (for 1048 or 12 Plato).

So 1.8 X 10 to the 11 divided by 2.5 X 10 to the 10

= 7.2mg

7.2mg, since the density of olive oil is 0.915 then you would require 7.2/0.915 = 7.9 ul in a 5 gallon batch.

Personally i'd just put a drop in and forget about measuring it, a single drop is not going to affect the head retention a single iota.
 

Kaiser

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Kaiser said:
If we add 8-12ppm of O2 to the wort, the yeast in 1 L of wort gets about 8-12 g of O2.
I was incorrect here. The yeast gets 8-12 mg O2/l

with the number of 1 mg oil per 25*10^9 cells, that delboy found, a 12*P wort would need about 0.5 mg/l olive oil. Still much less than the O2 that was added.

Kai
 

Bsquared

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Kaiser said:
I was incorrect here. The yeast gets 8-12 mg O2/l

with the number of 1 mg oil per 25*10^9 cells, that delboy found, a 12*P wort would need about 0.5 mg/l olive oil. Still much less than the O2 that was added.

Kai
I think the statement :

"The basic concept is that since yeast uses an oxygen atom to pull a hydrogen away from an 18 carbon chain unsaturated fatty acid to make a monounsaturated fatty acid chain to help it grow, you could simply provide an 18 carbon monounsaturated fatty acid and it would be able to use that."

Is an over simplification of Fatty acid synthesis, and fatty acid regulation during Aerobic vs' anaerobic growth conditions. By adding O2 you are allowing for the yeast to be more active, and one result of this state in desirable for brewing, the covertion of unsaturated fatty acid to monosaturated fatty acids. This has to do with Membrane fluidity, I assume.

So buy providing the yeast with monounsaturated fatty acids, they don't have to make them, and therefor don't need to be maintained in an aerobic state before going in to the anaerobic state needed for fermentation.

I guess an analogy is to give a man logs and a saw mill to build a house vs giving him the lumber.
And because every thing in the Cellular level happens on such a small scale (Nano - Pico - Femto : 10^-9, 10^-12, 10^-15) you just have to provide a small amount, to Circumvent the path way.
 

Nightbiker

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conpewter, from what I recall, the idea was not to boil the oil, but to add the tiny drop (if I recall, they used a thin wire, dipped it in olive oil, and let one drop come off of THAT to measure it out) to the starter. Boiling the oil would likely destroy the very nutrients the yeast are after.
:off:
Oxygen is a medical gas. How do y'all get your O2 bottles? Where do you get them filled? Is the stuff from welding supply houses the same?
 

lapaglia

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Some of us have a medical reason to have O2 in the house. At the moment since I just was filled up today I have 200 lbs of liquid O2. Its easy in my case to use a little for fermenting. I don't recommend getting sick just to get the O2 :)
 

EvilTOJ

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I use O2 to satisfy my addiction to burn things. It's a medical condition.

Or, they sell O2 welding bottles at Home Depot for a few bucks.
 

tdavisii

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I will continue to shake my carboys. Not only does it aerate it gives me a little bit of a work out.
 

Jonnio

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Why not just put a drop of oil on a toothpick and swirl that around in your starter. The amount that would transfer off would likely be closer to trying to make a tiny drop.
 

phissionkorps

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I tried this with my wit I brewed on Tuesday. I had the most active fermentation I've ever had, and it seems to already be done. Of course, that could just be a coincidence...but I used WB-06, so I don't think so. I used a micropipette to add 20μL to 5gal of beer.
 

degreesplato

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So here is my question:
These guys were brewing a belgian, no doubt with a yeast strain that normally makes alot of esters (like a 1214). what happens if you do this in a beer with a cleaner strain (1056 for example)? Do you get alot of wierd esters, or just a little more?
Also, does the oil provide a surface barrier to O2, say after transfer to the secondary.
interesting technique.
 

camiller

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... (if I recall, they used a thin wire, dipped it in olive oil, and let one drop come off of THAT to measure it out) to the starter. ...
Your correct. In the BYO writeup awhile back they used the wire from twist-tie with the outer paper removed. i.e. a very thin wire.
 

camiller

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... Oxygen is a medical gas. How do y'all get your O2 bottles? Where do you get them filled? Is the stuff from welding supply houses the same?
Someone on the local (Omaha) craigslist is selling oxygen concentrators (with too many hours for medical use) for $75. They push out 94% pure oxy. Otherwise, like the others said, the little red cylinder from the hardware store.
 

jimg

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I am not as experienced as most on forum, but I have used the smallest drop of OO in my starter. I think there was an article in Home Brew magazine that suggested using a very thin wire and barely coating it with OO. I tried it and had a great fermentation and no loss of head retention. My thought was, I only aerate wort by shaking, so why not help fermentation along with OO. What the heck give it a try.
 

beerman1957

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I know this is an old thread, but I have been adding .03ml OO to 5 gallons of cooled wort. I have found no ill-effects of such a small amount. In fact, my oatmeal stout has great head retention. I don't really have a scientific method to test the actual oxygen that is produced with and without OO. I use extra virgin organic expeller pressed, if that makes any difference. Anyway, that small amount does NOTHING to the flavor or head retention of any of my beers. So, there. :)
 

camiller

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... I don't really have a scientific method to test the actual oxygen that is produced with and without OO. ...
IIRC it is not that the OO causes production of oxygen but that the yeast use the oxygen to produce fatty acids which, if you provide the fatty acids via OO then yeast don't need the oxygen, or something like that. At any rate I think the small amount your using is even less than what New Belgium use in their experiment. One estimate I read was that New Belgium used the equivalent of .06ml in their yeast starter.

At any rate if it works for you rock on. :rockin:
 

Synovia

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Was there any reason (other than fear of no head retention) that New Belgium used so little olive oil? We seem to be taking their numbers as gospel, when the experiments (and calculations) seem to indicate that the yeast isn't getting enough.
 

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Next time I see a 1 uL pipette for sale, I'll pick it up. Given the numbers from the article, 1 uL would even be too much, but much better than a 'drop'. I'm a firm believer that having a well aerated, full sized starter for the beer you are brewing is the most important thing a homebrewer can do. If you grow the majority of the yeast before you pitch, you don't need much oxygen in the wort to bring the numbers up and get fermentation under way. I'd like to do some empirical tests on this at some point soon; probably do a full batch, split it in half and aerate the hell out of one and not at all the other, then pitch half of a full sized starter made on a stirplate (gives excellent oxygenation!) in each.
 

raceskier

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Germlyn1,

Lightbulb!

I now use an almost immeasurably small amount in my brews. I dampen a q-tip with OO and just touch the tips of a few threads of my brew pot hop stopper before I assemble the fittings. (Stops the horrible squeal when I tighten it as well.)

Your starter comment made me realize another opportunity. I brew up and pressure can my starter wort. I am going to start adding perhaps a measurable amount (a drop for 6 gallons?) to that wort. I decant my finished starters anyway, so if there is excess OO, most will be discarded.
 

shroomzofdoom

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Subscribed. I am following this article with much interest.

Though a bit off topic, I've had some anecdotal experiences with yeast and olive oil. I make my own breads and doughs and have noticed that if I add too much olive oil to my dough, the yeast suffocates and never reaches it's full potential, likewise if added too early to a dough, the dough never takes on the complexity and character that's most desirable after proofing. However, as most bakers will tell you--it's almost impossible to have good character to your dough without some form of oil added AFTER the yeast has had a chance to come to life. I find the 'ester-in-lieu-of oxygen' part rather intriguing.
 

Gremlyn

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Germlyn1,

Lightbulb!

I now use an almost immeasurably small amount in my brews. I dampen a q-tip with OO and just touch the tips of a few threads of my brew pot hop stopper before I assemble the fittings. (Stops the horrible squeal when I tighten it as well.)

Your starter comment made me realize another opportunity. I brew up and pressure can my starter wort. I am going to start adding perhaps a measurable amount (a drop for 6 gallons?) to that wort. I decant my finished starters anyway, so if there is excess OO, most will be discarded.
I was actually starting to think along the same lines, though I was going more for adding a drop to a 1L culture, which I would then harvest into test tubes for storage. Same principle though...
 
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