Using Olive oil instead of Oxygen

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broadbill

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Time is never wasted trying something new, and who are you to value their time anyhow?

How full of yourself and your ideas you must be to be that audacious
Its a waste of time if its already been done and the results are.....meh.

I don't care if people waste their time replicating it, I have an issue when they post all of this anecdotal BS, expecting us to buy it without question.

Yeah, it would be great if this worked and it worked well for homebrewers. But I've yet to see any indication that it does. Until then, why bother? I can do any number of things in my brewing process that don't make a sh*t's bit of difference. Why do this?
 

agenthucky

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Thanks for the English lesson. Maybe since you seem like the smart person around these parts, care to take a shot at some of the points I've raised relative to OO vs. oxygen addition?

Otherwise you come off as just another wanker who has nothing important to say so they point out spelling and grammar errors.

This is getting out of hand, but you must of missed my responses to your points. Perhaps you were too busy berating people to notice.

Actually there was never a spelling error, or a grammar problem, just pointing out how you have to supplement your argument by adding in unnecessary descriptives. For some reason you need to make people feel bad so you feel validated. We have all tried something, for the sake of trying something. This forum is the place to discuss it. End of story.
 

broadbill

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I get it, these aren't scientific experiments.
This is bullsh*t too, and a cop out for you. Scientific experiments are indeed possible at the homebrewing level. Denny's friend Vance did one such experiment and Denny posted the link to it, pages ago.

It was a good study, better than Grady Hull's thesis work. Maybe you should check it out instead of shooting off about people grammatical errors.
 

broadbill

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This is getting out of hand, but you must of missed my responses to your points. Perhaps you were too busy berating people to notice.
You called me an ass, and I'm the one berating people? Got it.

Actually there was never a spelling error, or a grammar problem, just pointing out how you have to supplement your argument by adding in unnecessary descriptives.
Sorry that I'm using too big of words for you.

For some reason you need to make people feel bad so you feel validated. We have all tried something, for the sake of trying something. This forum is the place to discuss it. End of story.
...and we are discussing....only one of us isn't saying anything meaningful, somebody's best shot at discussing is pointing out I used "ironically" in the wrong sense of the word.
 

Wynne-R

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There you go, Broadbill. You’ve drawn a conclusion based on anecdotal evidence.

I didn’t restate my conclusions, if that’s what you mean. I’m pretty sure they’re back there somewhere, if you care to look.

The point I was trying to make was about the value of experimental evidence, even in less than well controlled studies. especially when there’s a bunch of it.

If fifty people tell me they love a certain restaurant, it’s still possible that it sucks. Damned unlikely though.
 

broadbill

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There you go, Broadbill. You’ve drawn a conclusion based on anecdotal evidence.

I didn’t restate my conclusions, if that’s what you mean. I’m pretty sure they’re back there somewhere, if you care to look.

The point I was trying to make was about the value of experimental evidence, even in less than well controlled studies. especially when there’s a bunch of it.

If fifty people tell me they love a certain restaurant, it’s still possible that it sucks. Damned unlikely though.
I went back and read it. Back then you were asking for how to properly do the experiment because it was flawed (by your own admission). Now you make it sound that it is solid enough evidence to convince everybody on here that it works. Which is it?
 

WesleyBrewViking

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I have an idea for an experiment. I will be moving and doing intensive home renovations for the next few months, so I may not get to it for a while, but here it is:

1) Divide a large yeast starter into 16 smaller ones, measuring as precisely as possible, and begin multiplying 16 new starters
2) Divide the starters into 2 groups of 8 starters each, shuffling them so that the groups don't contain starters that were divided one after the other.
3) Add olive oil to 1 of the 2 groups.
4) Purge 16 sanitized 1/2 gallon jugs with CO2 and plug to keep in CO2
5) After boiling and chilling a 6+ gallon wort, divide equally into the jugs, taking care not to agitate the wort.
6) Shuffle the jugs of wort and divide into 2 groups of 8
7) Aerate 2 of the four groups of wort with an airstone or other method
8) Pitch the yeast into the wort to make 4 each of the following 4 combinations
---a) olive oil + aeration
---b) olive oil + no aeration
---c) no olive oil + aeration
---d) no olive oil + no aeration
9) Add airlocks and ferment as usual, labelling groups and shuffling them together to account for any small differences in temperature in different parts of the room.

This way, you have a control group with no aeration or olive oil, as well as a group with both methods to see if there is any additional benefit in using both. You could even make a lid for the brew kettle with notches for siphon/chiller lines and purge the kettle with CO2 so any oxygen that was driven off while boiling wont be reabsorbed. The OG reading could be taken from the original wort or if you really want to be anal, from each of the sixteen samples. During active fermentaion, record daily observations of each sample such as krausen depth, airlock bubble frequency, etc. Also watch trub depth, and record when each sample begins to flocculate and clarify. Check gravity readings at the end, bottle and perform blind testing with a group of people, each privately recording their own subjective observations.

Having randomized test groups instead of single samples for each technique would help minimize any affect of minute differences in yeast cell count in the starters. Doing the experiment this way gives a lot more numbers to compare: min, max, mean, median, mode and range for each measurement involved. The more test samples in each group, the less significant the variations become to the end result, the more accurate and objective the experiment can be.

I must admit, I haven't read every last post in this thread yet, so someone may have proposed an experiment like this already. If so, ignore this post. It seemed to me like the hang-up was over not being able to accurately measure the cell count in single samples, whereas using randomized test groups to a large extent compensates for lack of high tech lab equipment.

Like I said, I'll barely have any time to brew in the next while :( so I probably wont be able to tackle anything like this at least until the summer, so feel free to beat me to it and post your results. In fact the more people who do an experiment like this, the more (scientifically) conclusive our results will be (assuming there is a positive correllation between our results).
 

ianmatth

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I think the problem with the above experiment is that you are multiplying the starters, and IMO that adds another variable that could affect cell count. In fact, I think Luke2080 has a good experiment and disagree with broadbill's point. If someone made a starter and decanted it to a slurry that is 1 billion cells/ml, if you shake it up and split it immediately it is going to be pretty close to that concentration.

Let's say Luke2080's 10 gallon batch needed 500 billion cells, and he has a 500 ml slurry at 1 billion cells/ml in a 1000 ml bell jar that he is going to split into two 250 ml slurries each in a 500 ml bell jar. I think it's pretty safe to say that each one is close enough to 250 billion cells each. If he wants he could even keep shaking it and go back and forth pouring a little bit each time between the two 500 ml jars to really make sure they have the same cell count. In fact, I think the slurries would be more similar than the two 5 gallons batches because it is a lot easier to get a 500ml slurry homogeneous than it is to get a 10 gallon batch of wort.

Another idea would be to use dry yeast to make sure that cell count was the same, but in that case Luke2080 would have to rehydrate 5-6 hours out and add the OO to one, or make a starter from each, which would add the same variable that I felt was problematic about the above experiment.
 

WesleyBrewViking

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I think the problem with the above experiment is that you are multiplying the starters, and IMO that adds another variable that could affect cell count.
Come to think of it, I don't think that multiplying the smaller starters is even necessary. If a starter is adequate for a large batch, it should be adequate for that same batch divided into smaller portions. You're right, it could affect cell count, and it does seem redundant now.
 

Hanso

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What's actually needed is something like a minimum of 100 test split batches, possibly many more, spanning a variety of styles and recipes brewed on a variety of systems. Each of the control (traditional O2 infusion) and experimental(OO) half batches would need to be put through a randomized double blind study with certified judges picking out and rating which have better aroma, flavor, etc. Those data would then need to be analyzed and the aggregate of one group statistically shown to be significantly better at some aspect of the scoring.

Something like that will birth a new understanding of better brewing techniques.

Until then, it's true believers fiddling around because it's an enticing idea and skeptics sticking with what they know because there's no actual reason to change.
 

RM-MN

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What's actually needed is something like a minimum of 100 test split batches, possibly many more, spanning a variety of styles and recipes brewed on a variety of systems. Each of the control (traditional O2 infusion) and experimental(OO) half batches would need to be put through a randomized double blind study with certified judges picking out and rating which have better aroma, flavor, etc. Those data would then need to be analyzed and the aggregate of one group statistically shown to be significantly better at some aspect of the scoring.

Something like that will birth a new understanding of better brewing techniques.

Until then, it's true believers fiddling around because it's an enticing idea and skeptics sticking with what they know because there's no actual reason to change.
Hey, you've described no chill with that statement. No chill can't possibly work because you'll get infected wort, you won't get chill break, you'll have impossible amounts of DMS, etc but the Aussies use it regularly, store wort for months before pitching, and get good beer too. Could OO be beset by the same fears as no chill?
 

luke2080

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One problem you are going to have splitting up the yeast into equal batches. When you have a solution of yeast cells that equates to millions/billons of cells/mL, very small measurement differences (such as when you divide a yeast starter into 2 equal halves by eye, for example) result in huge differences in yeast number.

Additionally, even small differences in yeast numbers turn into huge differences in final yeast numbers after they have divided a number of times (as they tend to do in beer wort). See logarithmic growth curves, 2^n rule, etc.

The take away is if a difference is seen in your experiment you cannot rule out that each wort received the exact number of yeast cells. There is no way you can split a batch of starter and be sure that each one has a similar # of cells in it, unfortunately.

Second, your research plan follows Grady Hull's thesis, of which there is critical piece missing: it is unclear if oxygenation (with an method) is required in the first place, in the worts they studied. They did not include a wort that received no treatment whatsoever to test this. Their assertion is that OO has an effect because it was only minor differences between it and their typically oxygenation step (diffusion stone). Once again, this whole idea hinges on the assumption that the typical oxygenation step has an effect in the first place!!!

Let assume for a moment that adding supplemental oxygen does not have an effect on fermentation in the setup that Grady Hull used in his thesis studies. In this case, would you then see a difference in OO vs. their typical oxygen setup? No, because oxygenation doesn't have an effect in the first place, anything you add to the wort (provided it doesn't decrease yeast population) would not look any different when compared to it.

IN other words, their conclusion is based on an untested assumption...just like your experiment is. Ironically, both your experiment and Grady Hull's/New Belgium aren't being done correctly for the same reason....neither of you want to waste beer and therefore aren't willing to dedicate a batch of wort to a true negative control!
Broadbill - thanks for being the voice of negativity. Glad to have you. But please think of it this way - its an interesting idea that is fairly well proven will not hurt your beer. Now a few of us would like to test if we can make better beer with this, rather than adding O2 adding devices.

For your comment that the "no oxygen at all" needs to be tested, I agree. However, it is tough to add no oxygen. I'd love to have a way to measure PPM of O2 in the solution. But I can't. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. One thing I'll say though, is its pretty well documented you need some oxygen. So your assumption that you can make beer with zero oxygen is pretty well proven otherwise. I think a test of splashing vs OO would show better results in high gravity beers, where oxygenation and proper yeast growth & count are more important.

Proper # of cells in each batch - yes you are right. Not spending thousands of dollars on a lab for this testing. I did completely stir it up, pouring into two measuring devices for equal amounts of starter wort/yeast. All of the yeast was stirred up into the solution. Are these still exactly equal? No. Is it as close as I can get, and probably +/- 5%? Yes.

Like I'v said, I plan to keep playing with this over the next year. I've even picked up an aquarium pump, so I can compare splashing vs OO, and the pump vs OO. I'll do this on high gravity and low gravity beers.

I won't post any results for a long time, gather some results.

Feel free to run some tests yourself to provide analysis - rather than to continue to be the voice of negativity. I'm sure your comments are missed on glass vs plastic or other discussions that are less interesting and more objective.
 

luke2080

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What's actually needed is something like a minimum of 100 test split batches, possibly many more, spanning a variety of styles and recipes brewed on a variety of systems. Each of the control (traditional O2 infusion) and experimental(OO) half batches would need to be put through a randomized double blind study with certified judges picking out and rating which have better aroma, flavor, etc. Those data would then need to be analyzed and the aggregate of one group statistically shown to be significantly better at some aspect of the scoring.

Something like that will birth a new understanding of better brewing techniques.

Until then, it's true believers fiddling around because it's an enticing idea and skeptics sticking with what they know because there's no actual reason to change.
You are right. I'm debating starting a new thread, to detail out the experiment to run, and ask that if people test it, to post the results in a format I can throw into Excel. Start to really gather some data. The test results are too subjective, but could still be included. (Not necessarily BJCP taste tests, but any anecdotal home taste tests, over time, would be accurate enough for me).
 

Denny

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Luke, remember that even as important as the experiment design is the testing design. Make sure to use a pool of testers and do a blind triangle tasting.
 

luke2080

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Luke, remember that even as important as the experiment design is the testing design. Make sure to use a pool of testers and do a blind triangle tasting.
Agreed. Will try to measure two outputs: FG and Taste. FG is easy to compare. And my expectatations is that, if OO makes any impact, it will be more measureable or impactful for higher gravity beers. This may well even be a linear relationship, of higher OG to impact of FG by OO vs No Aeration or splashing. (Splashing will only get you about 2 ppm O2, and will probably be the most recorded test against OO)

For taste, I'll ask that at the very least, the tester creates a blind taste test for themself. So everyone doing any testing should have a blind taste test result from one person. For those that go above and beyond, having multiple people do it, I'll have to determine how to weigh the results. In a way that I can accurately graph this.
 

Denny

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Make sure it's not only blind, but a triangle test. That's important. If they can't pick out the different beer, than any other results from that taster are invalid.
 

skullface1818

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If I might chime in...........

after a long history of having my stir-plated starters overflowing with foam, and looking at antifoam as a solution, I just thought "why not sue oil?"

after all it does destroy head retention.......and combining it with a stirplate can ONLY make the yeast even healthier.

so thats what I did. two drops into my liter starter, and no problems at all. the oil stopped the foam from ever being a problem from the beginning, and It also looks like I've made one hell of a strong healthy starter.

and I just plan on decanting most of the starter beer, so most of the oil will not be touching my finished product.

seems like a win-win to me.
 

Hermit

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If I might chime in...........

after a long history of having my stir-plated starters overflowing with foam, and looking at antifoam as a solution, I just thought "why not sue oil?"

after all it does destroy head retention.......and combining it with a stirplate can ONLY make the yeast even healthier.

so thats what I did. two drops into my liter starter, and no problems at all. the oil stopped the foam from ever being a problem from the beginning, and It also looks like I've made one hell of a strong healthy starter.

and I just plan on decanting most of the starter beer, so most of the oil will not be touching my finished product.

seems like a win-win to me.
Left over oil should float on top of the liquid you are decanting anyhow.
 

agenthucky

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" Moreover, olive oil will not dissolve in wort and must first be dissolved in 100% ethanol. For any homebrewers reading this – do not add a drop of olive oil to your beer. I had to weigh 1 gram of oil, dissolve it, and make a serial dilution until I had close to 0.1 ug/ml. Of this solution, I added 100 uls directly to the wort."

Has anyone else come across this? This is the first I've seen of this and no one else is talking about this. Where does this come from? The solubility of oil in water? This seems like an important part of testing this theory and I haven't seen it anywhere.
 

supersillyis

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the correct math from page 1 is .00833ml, not .083, and not .000083. 4500 * 8 is 36k, 300 / 36k gets the result. convert to weight and you have 7.75 milligrams, which can be measured reasonably accurately on a $60 milligram scale.
 

ianmatth

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I don't know where anybody is getting their math from with this. It's really simple, they made a little over 1 million bottles of beer. That means they made 100,000 gallons. Divide 100,000 by 20,000 and you get 5 gallons. Divide 300 ml by 20,000 and you get 0.015 ml.
 

Denny

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FWIW, I recently had a conversation with Grady Hull about this. The takeaway...the technique is intended for yeast storage, not propagation or fermentation. NB didn't like the results they got and no longer use the technique.
 

rottenpotato

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oil is not water soluable, so no, the oil will not mix with the wort but when you consider the extremely small quantities required, who cares?
 

Denny

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Here's an excerpt from Drew Beechum's and my upcoming book "Experimental Homebrewing" based on a conversation I had with Grady Hull.

“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 a 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."
Homebrewers seized on adding olive oil as a way to get around other aeration methods. A liter of cheap olive oil is many times less expensive and lasts longer than the available cans of O2. What most overlook: the technique was used on yeast in storage. It had nothing to do with adding olive oil to the fermenter. Yet folks were adding it to the fermenter and reporting “Well, it didn’t hurt,” or “it seemed to work.” (Remember, there are plenty of homebrewers out there who do no aeration whatsoever and report that their beers are fantastic.)

There was little accounting for the infinitesimally small amount of olive oil needed for a five-gallon batch of homebrew.Reducing Grady’s numbers to our brew lengths brings the dose to less than 0.05 ml of oil per 5-gallon batch. The closest we can get without using lab equipment is to use a drop on the end of a pin or needle. Brewers attempting to use this technique usually also missed out on dissolving the oil in a solution of ethanol first to ensure that it would blend into the wort and not float in the watery wort. We specifically asked Grady about how homebrewers were taking his research and using it in their own ways. Grady replied:
“We never tried using olive oil in propagations. Our tests were centered around using it as a nutrient in yeast storage vessels to eliminate the need for aeration at knockout. Also, we never tried adding the oil to the wort after pitching. The oil was always added to the yeast in the storage vessel and given plenty of time to mix and be absorbed into the cells prior to pitching. We found a slight increase in esters and a slight improvement in shelf life by using olive oil and not aerating. We do not currently use olive oil in our yeast storage vessels. The results did not bear out the shelf life improvements we were hoping for and did not justify installing an olive oil dosing and handling system.”
 

Wynne-R

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Yup. That’s the way I do it, a couple of drops in the starter. I just measured it to double check; 20 drops at room temperature weighs .58g. At a specific gravity of .9, two drops is .05 mL.

The original post quoted “someone at New Belgium” who miscalculated it at 0.0000833mL. I think that’s what created most of the confusion.
 

Denny

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Yup. That’s the way I do it, a couple of drops in the starter. I just measured it to double check; 20 drops at room temperature weighs .58g. At a specific gravity of .9, two drops is .05 mL.

The original post quoted “someone at New Belgium” who miscalculated it at 0.0000833mL. I think that’s what created most of the confusion.
Did you notice he said they didn't use it for propagation?
 

RM-MN

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Here's an excerpt from Drew Beechum's and my upcoming book "Experimental Homebrewing" based on a conversation I had with Grady Hull.

“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 a 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."
Homebrewers seized on adding olive oil as a way to get around other aeration methods. A liter of cheap olive oil is many times less expensive and lasts longer than the available cans of O2. What most overlook: the technique was used on yeast in storage. It had nothing to do with adding olive oil to the fermenter. Yet folks were adding it to the fermenter and reporting “Well, it didn’t hurt,” or “it seemed to work.” (Remember, there are plenty of homebrewers out there who do no aeration whatsoever and report that their beers are fantastic.)

There was little accounting for the infinitesimally small amount of olive oil needed for a five-gallon batch of homebrew.Reducing Grady’s numbers to our brew lengths brings the dose to less than 0.05 ml of oil per 5-gallon batch. The closest we can get without using lab equipment is to use a drop on the end of a pin or needle. Brewers attempting to use this technique usually also missed out on dissolving the oil in a solution of ethanol first to ensure that it would blend into the wort and not float in the watery wort. We specifically asked Grady about how homebrewers were taking his research and using it in their own ways. Grady replied:
“We never tried using olive oil in propagations. Our tests were centered around using it as a nutrient in yeast storage vessels to eliminate the need for aeration at knockout. Also, we never tried adding the oil to the wort after pitching. The oil was always added to the yeast in the storage vessel and given plenty of time to mix and be absorbed into the cells prior to pitching. We found a slight increase in esters and a slight improvement in shelf life by using olive oil and not aerating. We do not currently use olive oil in our yeast storage vessels. The results did not bear out the shelf life improvements we were hoping for and did not justify installing an olive oil dosing and handling system.”
They were adding olive oil to the yeast instead of aerating the wort. Doesn't that suggest they were using the olive oil for propagation. They just weren't adding it directly to the wort because it was added in with the yeast.
 

Denny

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They were adding olive oil to the yeast instead of aerating the wort. Doesn't that suggest they were using the olive oil for propagation. They just weren't adding it directly to the wort because it was added in with the yeast.
No, they were using it for storage. You're not looking it propagate yeast when you store it. He specifically said "We never tried using olive oil in propagations".
 

Wynne-R

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All controls were aerated in-line, with micro filtered compressed air, in excess of
saturation for the entire duration of the transfer according to the breweries standard
operating procedures. The tests were not aerated. For the test fermentations, olive
oil was added to the yeast in storage tanks five hours prior to use and the amount
added increased with each trial.
From the original thesis

I would think “five hours prior to use” is unambiguous. Isn’t five hours about the length of time required to warm up the yeast? Perhaps I should sternly admonish the yeast to avoid propagating.
 

seabass07

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It sounds like dissolving it in ethanol then adding it to a finished starter and allowing it to sit for ?amount of time before pitching would be similar?
 

Wynne-R

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I just add it to the starter on the stir plate. Ethanol might work, but it seems like an unnecessary step. The oil will go into an emulsion, and the yeast will ultimately produce alcohol, just in case that’s required. New Belgium probably stored the yeast under beer anyway.
 

broadbill

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From the original thesis

I would think “five hours prior to use” is unambiguous. Isn’t five hours about the length of time required to warm up the yeast? Perhaps I should sternly admonish the yeast to avoid propagating.
How much cell division would be going on in a yeast starter that had been warmed up after previously fermented out to FG and cooled?

In my mind "propagation" is a very strong word for what would be going on in those olive oil treated cultures.
 
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