View Full Version : Yeast nutrients, etc.

jaxn slim
11-05-2009, 03:09 PM
Does everyone actually use all the energizers and nutrients that are described in the NewBee guide?

I used some urea-based nutrients in my first batch because that's what the guy at my local HBS recommended. But I'm tempted to get on board with the Goferm (for rehydrating), DAP, and Fermaid. Are these pretty much the standard, or are they just a favorite of the author/gotmead board?

11-05-2009, 03:16 PM
Those nutrients are very helpful, especially for newbs like myself. I found a big difference between them and the generic nutrient at my local brew store.

If you look through the recipes of the more experienced members here you'll see most of them using all those nutrients (and using a staggard schedule for dosing the must, they don't just put it all in at the beginning), and if you look through the recipes of the less experienced members you'll see the experienced people suggesting the nutrients!

Just make sure to read up on when and how much to put into the must (lots of info around the forum) and they'll probably save you some headaches.

11-05-2009, 03:20 PM
GO-Ferm and Fermaid-K are the nutrients that Lallemand/Lalvin make to use specifically for their Active Dry Yeast (ADY), and we do recommend them here on Got Mead. That is not to say they are the only nutrient to use, but, most of use hardcore mead makers use them because they work so well.

A general rule of thumb is to use a nutrient that is specifically designed for re-hydration of your ADY when you are in the process of re-hydration of the yeast. Don't use DAP, Fermaid-K or any other "General" nutrient because most have DAP in them. DAP and sugars are actually harmful to yeast during the rehydration process.

After the yeast is rehydrated and the must has been inoculated you'll want to wait until the end of the lag phase to add your follow-up nutrient (Fermaid-K, Generic Yeast Nutrient, etc.) because the yeast are now looking for additonal nutrients, and have a good formation of the cell walls and are looking to chow down on whatever they can to continue to grow and multiply.

The last nutrient to use in the progression is either Fermaid 2133 or Yeast Hulls, lately I like yeast hulls. Both are a rich source of Amino Nitrogen which is what the yeast are looking for in the later portion of the fermentation. Over time the yeast shift from assimilating ammonia nitrogen from DAP to needing amino nitrogen in Yeast Hulls and Fermaid 2133. Fermaid K also has a small amount of amino nitrogen but also contains DAP which as mentioned previously is not the type of nitrogen the yeast need in the later stages of fermentation.

Also be sure to aerate a couple of times a day through the first several days (3-5) of fermentation. But start very slowly to avoid the violent off-gassing of CO2 which will result in a mead volcano and lots of clean up!

Hope that helps,


jaxn slim
11-05-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks guys. That definitely clears it up. I really appreciate how thorough your answers are. :cool:

11-05-2009, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the great info. It is really helpful and encouraging to have experienced mazers answer these questions and allay our newbee fears :)

As for Fermaid-K and DAP, are these both really necessary? I ordered Go-Ferm and Fermaid-K for my next batch, but I could not find DAP on Austin Homebrew's site. I understand that Fermaid-K contains DAP, but is not specifically designed for the nutritional needs of mead must vs. wine must, hence the need for the extra DAP.

I have a 1.130 OG cyser fermenting right now with Wyeast Nutrient Blend (added 1/2tsp when I mixed it, another 1/2tsp today on day #3), and it seems to have a very healthy fermentation going.

I would assume that rehydrating the yeast with Go-Ferm and using Fermaid-K on the next batch will already give it a huge advantage, does extra DAP really help that much, or more of an insurance policy? Is the best (or most common) strategy to get the yeast to attenuate fully as fast as possible to reduce unwanted yeast by-products? (I guess fermenting hard and fast would also reduce the possibility of contamination and/or competing organisms, which is more difficult in the post-fermentation, alcoholic, liquid...)

Aren't there circumstances where we don't want the yeast to fully attenuate (i.e. D-47 overshooting its stated ABV tolerance and taking a planned semi-sweet mead totally dry), or does this just make things more complicated with the possibility of long-term, extended, fermentation and bottle bombs?

Sorry for the multiple questions, I really appreciate the advice/knowledge while I try to straighten all this out in my head :-D

Medsen Fey
11-05-2009, 05:49 PM
Even with apple juice, a batch with a such a high gravity needs a lot of nutrients in order for the yeast to perform well. Lack of nutrient can lead to slow or stuck fermentations - this can allow spoilage organism, and can allow autolysis of yeast that leaves off flavors. Lack of nutrient can cause yeast stress that results in hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) and off flavors.

Some believe a slow struggling fermentation may produce better results, but by and large, I think health, balance yeast give me the best outcome.

1 tsp of yeast energizer ain't enough for a 1 gallon batch.

The question about good nutrition leading yeast to exceed alcohol tolerance can be a problem at times. I'm not sure that underfeeding the yeast is the best answer for it however. Other approaches such as cold crashing or backsweetening may be better. YMMV.

Good meading!


11-05-2009, 10:59 PM
Thanks again for the great info, Medsen. I think you are probably right: better to keep the yeast happy and healthy to complete a clean fermentation.

What is your advice for my cyser nutrient additions? Should I add another 1/2tsp per day for the next couple days? Double it to 1tsp per day for a few days? I was trying to be careful not to use too much nutrient since I read that it can lead to off flavors, and I have not found specific directions about the particular blend I am using. The instructions say "1/2tsp per 5 gallon batch", and I know that is for wort that has many more nutrients, but I am already at 10x the recommended dosage... (it is mostly tan with white clumps in it... yeast hulls and DAP?)

Like I said, I ordered Go-Ferm and Fermaid-K, but it won't be here until Monday and will probably be too late for this batch, right?

(Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.)

Medsen Fey
11-05-2009, 11:05 PM
1.5 tsp per gallon would be a reasonable goal to shoot for. That would be close to 150 ppm nitrogen plus the amount in the apple juice. It may still be low for such a high gravity, but at least they won't be starving.

jaxn slim
11-06-2009, 11:13 AM
(Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.)

No worries. I was hoping for some wider discussion. :) I'm still wrapping my head around this, myself.