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StuckTiger11
01-21-2013, 04:16 AM
I am planning on making an elderberry mead in the next week. My question is about pitching the yeast. I'm going to do the No-boil method of dissolving my honey. Do I still need to rehydrate the yeast according to the packaging, or can I just toss the still dry yeast in to my fermenter after everything is incorporated?

fatbloke
01-21-2013, 08:05 AM
I am planning on making an elderberry mead in the next week. My question is about pitching the yeast. I'm going to do the No-boil method of dissolving my honey. Do I still need to rehydrate the yeast according to the packaging, or can I just toss the still dry yeast in to my fermenter after everything is incorporated?
Yes you can. All it seems to mean is that the lag phase can be a little longer.

Personally, I like to heat treat elderberries as they contain sambunigrin and like sulphites, some people can be sensitive and its dealt with by heating. I use a steam extractor but you can equally just simmer them in the same volume of water then after its cooled add the honey by weight and make up to the target volume with water.

For good yeast health, if you're gonna chuck it in dry, still manage it as if you'd rehydrated with goferm i.e. dont add any nutrient or energiser until there is visible signs of fermentation (bubbles in airlock).

Intheswamp
01-21-2013, 10:29 AM
Why are you considering pitching your yeast dry? :)

Ed

LeedsBrewer
01-21-2013, 11:06 AM
I always rehydrate my yeast. It means that there are a lot more viable yeast at the start of fermentation and as fatbloke said you'll have a shorter lagtime. IMHO it's worth the extra few mins to rehydrate.:)

Intheswamp
01-21-2013, 11:41 AM
I agree LeedsBrewer. Lot's of reasons to rehydrate and few reasons not to, thus might curiosity about the OP's reason for considering to not rehydrate. If it's that he doesn't have Go Ferm on hand am I correct in thinking that yeast can still be rehydrated with plain water with just a bit of honey added? ...maybe not as good as using Go Ferm or the like, but better than pitching dry?

Ed

Hmm, maybe a tiny bit of some boiled yeast in the mix or maybe simply a very small bit of the must as I just recalled that the honey isn't going to be very nutritious. Or, maybe just plain water with only a small delay in adding to the must...a shortened delay to keep the newly hydrated yeast from starving. ????

fatbloke
01-21-2013, 11:48 AM
I agree LeedsBrewer. Lot's of reasons to rehydrate and few reasons not to, thus might curiosity about the OP's reason for considering to not rehydrate. If it's that he doesn't have Go Ferm on hand am I correct in thinking that yeast can still be rehydrated with plain water with just a bit of honey added? ...maybe not as good as using Go Ferm or the like, but better than pitching dry?

Ed
No you're not quite correct. You can just rehydrate the yeast in straight water. I think it's correct to say that both Lalvin and Redstar suggest the amount of water and temperature as well as the length of time to rehydrate. You can of course use a bit of must or goferm etc etc....:eek:

LeedsBrewer
01-21-2013, 12:04 PM
Yeah I only ever rehydrate with just water. The yeast cell walls in the first few seconds of rehydration will let pretty much anything through so it's best practice to just use water to start with. This is my understanding for rehydrating yeast for brewing beer anyway.

When brewing I rehydrate with just water and then start the yeast with sugars or DME before pitching.

Intheswamp
01-21-2013, 12:15 PM
If you rehydrate with only water I take it that there is a time limit by which you must get the yeast into the must? It seems I recall reading somewhere in the Lallemand information that after so many minutes of rehydration (in plain water) that the yeast begin to starve due to lack of nutrients. ?

Ed

Fisk Jaegaren
01-21-2013, 02:45 PM
If you rehydrate with only water I take it that there is a time limit by which you must get the yeast into the must? It seems I recall reading somewhere in the Lallemand information that after so many minutes of rehydration (in plain water) that the yeast begin to starve due to lack of nutrients. ?

Ed

5-10 minutes is all I have ever waited for re-hydration, and I have never had a "failure to launch" in wine or mead making. Also, I have never had a problem in pitching yeast dry into wine or the one batch of ginger mead I made.

fatbloke
01-21-2013, 03:33 PM
5-10 minutes is all I have ever waited for re-hydration, and I have never had a "failure to launch" in wine or mead making. Also, I have never had a problem in pitching yeast dry into wine or the one batch of ginger mead I made.
I think the instructions usually say 15 minutes. And I concur about not having any problems pitching dry yeast straight in or rehydrating.

In fact, the only yeast that has caused me problems is the unfeasibly pi55 poor wyeast sweet mead yeast and I can't explain how rubbish I've found that to be, but I digress as that's liquid yeast.....

Marshmallow Blue
01-21-2013, 05:13 PM
I haven't rehydrated for any of my mead batches. I've used all red star stuff so far
2x cotes des blanc
1x champagne
1x premiere Cuvee

I think the only one I probably should have was the Cuvee as it has been very needy. It didn't start off very well. It was originally a maple mead but it is now a wild blueberry melomal with vanilla beans, maple syrup and a couple cloves, and obviously wild blueberries. It is now very happy which takes me back to not having to rehydrate. But it definitely should help your fermentation start healthier and faster.

StuckTiger11
01-22-2013, 02:32 AM
I was considering pitching the yeast dry because of the information I'd read in the beginner's guide. It's says by using the No-Boil method, that you don't have to rehydrate the yeast before pitching.

I was solely curious about the difference between re-hydrating and not.

Thanks for everyone's input! ;D

Chevette Girl
01-22-2013, 11:17 PM
I used to dry-pitch because a) it's how every wine kit I ever made said to do it, even though the instructions on the yeast packet did not agree, b) because the book I followed during my early winemaking years wasn't especially scientific about its explanations and didn't think it needed to be rehydrated and c) because I'm lazy and it always seemed to work OK.

Now, I always rehydrate wine yeast as per the directions, becuase the people who made the stuff recommend it, and they're the ones who've done the research, who am I to argue? I want my yeast to have every possible advantage I can give them, so to me, it's worth the 15 minutes. (and yeah, you don't want to leave it rehydrated and unfed, as Intheswamp suggests, it will stress the yeast because they're ready to go but have nothing to eat, if you for whatever reason can't pitch right away, at least add some must at the 15 minute mark to give 'em something to work on)

I still don't rehydrate bread yeast when making a JAO or variation. It's made for that kind of abuse :) Although one of these days I do plan to see what happens if I do treat bread yeast like wine yeast...