Linoleic Acid alternatives

After sampling some good beers (and one bad beer) at the North American Organic Brew Festival last night, Joe, Linds and I stopped at Pause because we couldn’t resist the wonderful summer evening. We grabbed some food and a pint and chatted for a while longer, and Joe mentioned an article he’d read in BYO about New Belgium using olive oil instead of aerating the wort with oxygen. He explained that what the yeast really want is a fatty acid that olive oil has in abundance, so using a miniscule amount negates the need for pumping in oxygen. I was still perplexed, so he told me to go read some more on myfairly complete rundown on who, what, where, and why. The main things to take away are:

  • This is somewhat impractical at the homebrew level because the desired amount is much smaller than a single drop
  • The benefit is that the wort and yeast get the linoleic acid they crave without introducing oxygen, something you normally want to keep out of beer.
  • Given how quickly this information spread, it’s likely that we’ll see some option for homebrewers soon, like yeast nutrient with linoleic acid capsules. What’ll they think of next?

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