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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: dawson on February 18, 2010, 03:42:02 PM

Title: Olive Oil
Post by: dawson on February 18, 2010, 03:42:02 PM
I hope people aren't sick of the olive oil issue, but it's new to me.
Why wouldn't you put in the tiny drop of olive oil towards the end of the boil?
Is uncooked olive oil free form bacteria?
Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: weazletoe on February 18, 2010, 03:44:37 PM
  Olive oil is the only way I aerate, and I have great success. I put a small drop right in the fermentor, just before I putch. Love the stuff. Simple, and cheap.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: denny on February 18, 2010, 04:41:27 PM
  Olive oil is the only way I aerate, and I have great success. I put a small drop right in the fermentor, just before I putch. Love the stuff. Simple, and cheap.

So, have you tried to split a batch and OO one part but not the other?  Otherwise, how do you know it's working?
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: bluesman on February 18, 2010, 05:53:44 PM
Here's a gigantic thread on this very subject from another forum authored by the one and only...never lonely Weazletoe.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54757&hilit=+olive+oil
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: bearcat on February 18, 2010, 08:37:29 PM
Here's a gigantic thread on this very subject from another forum authored by the one and only...never lonely Weazletoe.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54757&hilit=+olive+oil

Thanks Blues... my head really hurts now....I need one / couple of those BVIP's and contemplate what was just read.   Haven't forgot about sending the recipe creator some either... just slipped and put too much bourbon in and am waiting for it to mellow out. 
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: denny on February 18, 2010, 08:50:38 PM
I'm still kinda skeptical about OO.  In the one homebrew level test I've seen, the results didn't look all that good.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: euge on February 19, 2010, 06:35:53 AM
I'm not convinced of the effectiveness- otherwise more people would be doing it.

Sigh. Guess I'll have to go and read that long-ass thread now.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: nyakavt on February 19, 2010, 12:53:34 PM
OO is my primary aeration method as well, simply because for the longest time I didn't have anything else.  I have not done a split batch, so I'm only going by the attenuation numbers to prove to me that it's working.  There could definitely be a difference in flavor (and I'm sure there is!) vs. traditional oxygenation, and to compound matters sometimes the yeast that is pitched is grown on a stir plate, so its getting a fair amount of oxygen right there.  I'd love to do a comparison of OO vs. mix-stir, starting with fresh yeast, but I guess I'm just so darn lazy, and the fermenting fridge only holds one fermenter.

Since I switched over to the SP10 burner the kettle sits a bit lower to the ground, so there is a lot less foaming when I transfer to the fermenter.  I have noticed these lagers take a good 48 hours to get going, one of them took 72 hours, which is longer than I remember.  The very first beer had some sulfur, which could have also been caused by slightly underpitching since this yeast was grown on a stir plate and should have had plenty of oxygen.  John Palmer made a comment on a recent podcast that said you could oxygenate by a stir plate alone, but I don't have exact numbers so I won't misquote him.

In the brewing industry, it seems that several brewers (New Belgium, de Struise) tried olive oil aeration but most or all of them gave it up for one reason or another.  This would be pretty strong evidence that it does not provide everything that O2 does, or the flavor is somehow different.  I'm not seeing a big detriment to the beers I'm making, so its hard for me to change what is working.  But eventually I'd like to do some comparisons in the pursuit of better beer if I could kick this laziness!
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: tygo on February 19, 2010, 03:23:13 PM
I actually read that entire thread.  I'm sitting in class and I'm bored  ;D

I think I'll stick with shaking or the aeration stone.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: weazletoe on February 19, 2010, 06:06:41 PM
I have never done a split batch. Doubt I ever will. I'm just not that curious. I know by my numbers that it works, and I know by my finished product that it works. And, like I have said at NB, i'm not claiming it gives better results than other methods, but works as well. And I like it it because it's so simple.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: denny on February 19, 2010, 06:07:42 PM
I have never done a split batch. Doubt I ever will. I'm just not that curious. I know by my numbers that it works, and I know by my finished product that it works. And, like I have said at NB, i'm not claiming it gives better results than other methods, but works as well. And I like it it because it's so simple.

But would it work as well to just do nothing?  How do you know it's the OO giving you the results you get?  That's the question I'm interested in.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: weazletoe on February 19, 2010, 06:55:30 PM
You do have a point there Denny. I guess when I think about it, I do tend to get a lot of oxygen in my wort when I whirlpool, as well as transfer to the fermentor. Maybe some day I will do a split batch.

   But don't hold your breath.  ;)
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: smokeeater on February 21, 2010, 10:10:58 PM
BYO did an article about this a year or two ago.  I used to do it all the time...but then I also used to pitch one vial of yeast into a barleywine at 75*, too!   8)
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: mthogan1997 on February 21, 2010, 11:23:10 PM
I have never done a split batch. Doubt I ever will. I'm just not that curious. I know by my numbers that it works, and I know by my finished product that it works. And, like I have said at NB, i'm not claiming it gives better results than other methods, but works as well. And I like it it because it's so simple.

Guess what has two thumbs and isn't curious enough to....

Just kidding, I apologize.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: The Professor on February 22, 2010, 01:32:36 AM
Hard to imagine that the few drops one would use could make any difference. 
I'll admit to being mildly curious about the concept, but on the other hand from an experience point of view, I can't really see the point:  a good shake of the fermenter (and vigorous splashing of the cooled wort while filling it)  has always given me very vigorous fermentations of even my highest gravity beers. 

As long as that's the case I can see no pressing need for using any other aeration method or especially the decidedly suspect olive oil idea.  Such things come under the category of 'worry'...something I have learned to avoid in brewing.
 
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: dhacker on February 22, 2010, 02:19:26 AM
I can't see why it has to be either or . . .

In addition to aeration, I think I'll add a drop in my starters from now on. I have it, it won't cost anything additional, and apparently it won't hurt. So what the hey?

If, on the other hand, it does in fact improve the health and viability of the yeast, then I'm benefiting.

 
 
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: denny on February 22, 2010, 04:32:39 PM
Here's a link to the results of the only homebrew level test I know of that has been done on this...

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/43688/45581.html
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: weazletoe on February 22, 2010, 11:41:04 PM

Guess what has two thumbs and isn't curious enough to....





THIS GUY!!!     (laziness has a lot do with it too.)
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: denny on February 23, 2010, 12:55:33 AM

Guess what has two thumbs and isn't curious enough to....





THIS GUY!!!     (laziness has a lot do with it too.)

Um, Barry, we call that "pragmatism", not laziness..... ;)
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: makemehoppy on February 23, 2010, 01:35:53 AM
I believe the idea of using the olive oil was to avoid the need to introduce oxygen into the wort. The hope was to increase shelf life. So far this has not been a problem with my homebrew as I've never had any around after more than 3 months.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: weazletoe on February 23, 2010, 10:30:08 PM
So that's what pragmatic means! SWEET!!!  :D
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: theDarkSide on February 24, 2010, 02:25:41 AM
Olivge Oilg - ar gug gug

Worst Popeye impersonation to date...

From reading this forum, I not sold on the olive oil trick...I guess I'll keep shaking the caroby.  Besides, when else would I get my exercise.
Title: Re: Olive Oil
Post by: nyakavt on February 24, 2010, 06:12:32 PM
Here's an update for me, my latest lager has taken over 3.5 days to start bubbling in anger.  I may have underpitched a bit (~100 mL of harvested slurry), but there was also very little air introduced in the transfer from kettle to fermenter, and no stir plate this time.  I remember reading about a slower fermentation when OO was the sole method of aeration.  This seems excessively slow.  Trying the mix stir or stir plate next time could give some valuable data, but since the pitching rate is changing too I don't know how valid a comparison this will make.