PDA

View Full Version : A question on yeast nutrients / energizer.



khooleo
06-30-2012, 03:07 AM
Greetings from Captain Paranoid,

Since the last time here my JAO was a success. I currently have 2 more bottles left for special occasions. Thanks for all the help. (Chevie, MM, fatBloke, etc..)

I am now about to start on a show mead. Specifically Ken Schramm's medium show mead. I have all the ingredients except the yeast nutrients & energizer. Here's where I am confused.

On pg 54 to pg 55, Mr. Schramm explains that most suppliers use 'nutrients' and 'energizer' as an interchangeable description for what is a essentially a fermentation aid. What I know so far is that a yeast nutrients is diammonium phosphate (DAP) and yeast energizers are a combo of DAP, yeast hulls and nutrients.

I am currently placing an order for Fermax Yeast Nutrients. It contains DAP, Dipotassium phosphate, Magnesium sulphate & Autolyzed yeast. I'm guessing it is NOT an energizer as it lacks yeast hulls.

Mr. Schramm's recipe for Medium Show Mead requires :

2 tsp. (9.9 ml) yeast energizer
2 tsp (9.9 ml) yeast nutrients

Here's where I'm stuck. Should i use 4 tsp of Fermax which means treating it as a yeast nutrient AND energizer or not? My gut feeling is to pop 4 tsp. and get it on. But I rather defer to more knowledgeable brewers. Another recipe from Mr. Schramm (pg 25) has a note stating that 5 grams of Lalvin Fermaid can be used to in place of 2 tsp. yeast nutrients and 1 tsp. yeast energizer.

Also 2 more quick questions.

1. Mr. Schramm's recipe for Dry Show Mead seems to have a discrepancy of honey volume. It states 10 lbs but when converted shows 2.27 kg. It should read 4.5 kg right? or is it the other way around?

2. Yeast starter is stated as 1 litre. So I rehydrate my packet of Lalvin D-47 yeast (dry) to 1 litre of water? On pg 61 of 'Rehydration', it states to use 2 ounces of water. Since it's not a Vierka strain (brand) am I correct to say that the then 2 ounces of yeast liquid is further diluted with 1 litre of water before pitching?

Thanks again for your time and guidance.

akueck
06-30-2012, 10:52 AM
[A quick note on terminology that has been better defined since Ken wrote his book... "Show Mead" is mead with only honey, water, and yeast. No nutrients allowed. If you add nutrients you now have a "Traditional Mead". Not a huge deal, but we're trying to get the conventions straight so everyone can speak the same jargon.]

Nutrient/Energizer really just depends on the brand and what they decide to throw in it. The common theme for energizers is that they have more of the vitamins and micronutrients, where nutrients tend to be all or mostly nitrogen. So let's just work with what you've got.

Fermax and Fermaid are fairly similar, so far as we can tell. Lalvin publishes what goes into Fermaid, so folks here tend to use that brand more often. The list of stuff in Fermax is similar, but AFAIK they haven't told us actual amounts. I would assume that you can interchange them without too much difficulty, though you might need to adjust the numbers a bit as you experience how your fermentations perform.

That said, I find it easier to work with nitrogen concentrations rather than tsp, since they scale with batch size. You can find lots of talk here about YAN and ppm and all that, and there are free calculators all over the place. You don't have to jump into the deep end right away, but it's good to take a look so you can decode some of the recipes here, and maybe you'll find it useful too.

The upshot is that you want to add somewhere between 150 and 300 ppm of YAN to your must. Usually folks will add that mostly as Fermaid (or Fermax) but also supplement with plain old DAP, since you don't need quite that many vitamins but you do need the extra nitrogen. Ratios of Fermaid to DAP seem to vary from around 50:50 to 80:20. My rule of thumb is that 1 g of Fermaid K in one gallon of must gives about 25 ppm, and 1 g of DAP in one gallon of must gives about 50 ppm. It's not exact, but it's close and easy to remember.

So to get to your 150-300 ppm total, you might choose to add 4 g/gal of Fermaid and 2 g/gal of DAP to give you 4*25 + 2*50 = 200 ppm, which is a 67:33 blend (by weight). For 5 gallons that's 20 g of Fermaid and 10 g of DAP. I always forget the grams to teaspoons conversions, but you can search for them here on the forum; I believe WayneB has a good list.

Now, usually people will not add all that at once. Look up "staggered nutrient additions" for more details on that.

For the Dry Mead recipe, yes it should be 4.5 kg.

A starter is totally different from rehydrating. If you are rehydrating dry yeast, follow the directions on the package and do not dilute to a liter. A starter is used for stepping up the population of yeast prior to pitching; you'll see them used a lot in beer.

fatbloke
06-30-2012, 11:17 AM
[A quick note on terminology that has been better defined since Ken wrote his book... "Show Mead" is mead with only honey, water, and yeast. No nutrients allowed. If you add nutrients you now have a "Traditional Mead". Not a huge deal, but we're trying to get the conventions straight so everyone can speak the same jargon.]

Nutrient/Energizer really just depends on the brand and what they decide to throw in it. The common theme for energizers is that they have more of the vitamins and micronutrients, where nutrients tend to be all or mostly nitrogen. So let's just work with what you've got.

Fermax and Fermaid are fairly similar, so far as we can tell. Lalvin publishes what goes into Fermaid, so folks here tend to use that brand more often. The list of stuff in Fermax is similar, but AFAIK they haven't told us actual amounts. I would assume that you can interchange them without too much difficulty, though you might need to adjust the numbers a bit as you experience how your fermentations perform.

That said, I find it easier to work with nitrogen concentrations rather than tsp, since they scale with batch size. You can find lots of talk here about YAN and ppm and all that, and there are free calculators all over the place. You don't have to jump into the deep end right away, but it's good to take a look so you can decode some of the recipes here, and maybe you'll find it useful too.

The upshot is that you want to add somewhere between 150 and 300 ppm of YAN to your must. Usually folks will add that mostly as Fermaid (or Fermax) but also supplement with plain old DAP, since you don't need quite that many vitamins but you do need the extra nitrogen. Ratios of Fermaid to DAP seem to vary from around 50:50 to 80:20. My rule of thumb is that 1 g of Fermaid K in one gallon of must gives about 25 ppm, and 1 g of DAP in one gallon of must gives about 50 ppm. It's not exact, but it's close and easy to remember.

So to get to your 150-300 ppm total, you might choose to add 4 g/gal of Fermaid and 2 g/gal of DAP to give you 4*25 + 2*50 = 200 ppm, which is a 67:33 blend (by weight). For 5 gallons that's 20 g of Fermaid and 10 g of DAP. I always forget the grams to teaspoons conversions, but you can search for them here on the forum; I believe WayneB has a good list.

Now, usually people will not add all that at once. Look up "staggered nutrient additions" for more details on that.

For the Dry Mead recipe, yes it should be 4.5 kg.

A starter is totally different from rehydrating. If you are rehydrating dry yeast, follow the directions on the package and do not dilute to a liter. A starter is used for stepping up the population of yeast prior to pitching; you'll see them used a lot in beer.
A spectacular answer there Mr Akueck ;D ........

The only thing I'd add, is that D47, while being a good yeast for "traditionals", can be a PITA. Because it has a very narrow temperature range, and if the ferment is done over about 68 to 70 F (that's "old money" - "new money" it's 20 to 21 C), it has a habit of producing fusels, which will give a very harsh, almost "chemically" taste, which takes a very long time, if ever, to mellow out.

In warmer parts of the world, it's best to use some temperature control of the fermenter, but you haven't listed a location on your profile entry so.......

As for rehydrating yeasts, the instructions on the packs of Lalvin yeasts use 2oz (about 50mls or so ?). I prefer to rehyrate with a bit more i.e. I'll use about 100 mls of the must, then add about 100 mls of hot water and then mix in the GoFerm (a nutrient mix, specially designed for rehydrating yeasts), check the temperature to make sure it's below 40C (lalvin packs suggest 40 to 43 C) then I sprinkle the yeast in and give it a stir and cover it to keep the bugs/dust out.

After about 1/2 to 1 hour, it's usually showing some evidence of bubbles etc, so that's when it gets pitched into the brew. So no, there'd be no need to rehydrate with 2oz, then mixing it in with more water before pitching. Once it's bubbled in the amount of water mentioned on the pack, for the right amount of time, at the right temperature, it should be fine to mix it straight into the must.

THawk
07-01-2012, 12:00 AM
I always forget the grams to teaspoons conversions, but you can search for them here on the forum;

1 tsp is 5 grams, if I remember it right...

akueck
07-01-2012, 08:39 AM
1 tsp is 5 grams, if I remember it right...

Depends on the thing you're measuring and how well you pack it into your spoon. DAP is less fluffy than Fermaid/Fermax, but also doesn't pack as well. Bottom line, each powder will have a different tsp to g conversion, and that is for the "average" spoonful. Using weight is a much more consistent way of measuring things.

khooleo
07-10-2012, 12:17 AM
Sorry for late reply.

Akueck : Traditional Mead it is. Although it does seem a bit topsy-turvey to me.
I will get my supplier to send info on the make up of Fermax. I did come across a forum discussing YAN and ppm before I posted. It sounded way over me then, I'll definitely go back there and try and digest. Will also look into the staggered nutrient additons. I do not have access to DAP though. I thought Fermax was enough. If it's pure DAP what brand would be the best?

Fatbloke : I'm in Malaysia. Current temperatures are 91.4 F at highs and 75.2 F at lows. This means my yeast is fried right? I usually store my fermenter in a make shift cardboard box in my store room where it's cool. I have no Go Ferm either.

It looks like I'll have to purchase pure DAP and Go Ferm now. What would you suggest as an alternative yeast that can take my temperature. I used Red Star Wyeast 3021 for the JAO the last time and it came out not too bad. Then again that's my pallette and I didn't have an experienced brewer to tell me otherwise.

Thanks again!

THawk
07-10-2012, 12:41 AM
What would you suggest as an alternative yeast that can take my temperature. I used Red Star Wyeast 3021 for the JAO the last time and it came out not too bad. Then again that's my pallette and I didn't have an experienced brewer to tell me otherwise.

EC-1118, K1V-1116 and 71B would work where you are... your climate can't be much hotter than mine, probably more humid, though...

akueck
07-10-2012, 05:57 PM
If you can't get DAP, you can get away using just the Fermaid/Fermax mixed nutrients. You will be adding more of the vitamins, etc than you actually need, but I don't think that will hurt anything. DAP is generally a lot cheaper than the blended nutrients though, so mixing it in does help the wallet (in places where you can get DAP, of course).

If you can't get Go Ferm, don't sweat. Rehydrate the yeast in plain tap or spring water.

khooleo
07-11-2012, 03:20 AM
Thawk : Thanks. Will try and get those on the next round. I'm assuming you're in the Phillipines atm. Where do you get your brewing gear?

Akueck : Phew. In the long run I'm sure it would save me moolah. I just happen to live in a country where I can't get it though. Singapore sells the stuff at an inflated price :mad:. Oodles of thanks. Just so happened the fermax and yeast arrived today. Need a free weekened now.