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Thurisaz
04-15-2006, 03:12 PM
Heya,

if memory serves, Fwee wanted to ask this question for me some days ago, but I haven't seen any posting from him mentioning this (of course I may just have overlooked it ;) ), so here goes...

...almost a year ago, when I ordered my 10 liter carboy et cetera (a "winemaker starter set"), I also received a nice little manual which I consumed voraciously. Of course this booklet mainly focuses on conventional winemaking, but it does mention mead shortly. Among the tips was the recommendation to add a bit of flour to the must, about one teaspoon for each 10 liters. In my previous test batches I sometimes added flour and sometimes i didn't, but things got really wild with my current batch, when out of sheer curiosity I poured in two teaspoons.

Boy did my yeast go bananas! 8)

Actually, this was the very first time the must started to foam so madly that my water trap got contaminated from the inside of the carboy. Not a big deal - as far as I can tell no dangerous contamination took place, and hey, if it helps the fermentation then I'm game, but I do wonder: As I see it, basically the flour serves as additional nutrients, or is there another reason?

(The German manual states that the flour serves as replacement "Trubstoffe", which refers to exactly the stuff you don't want in your mead - cloudiness...)

Lugh
04-15-2006, 03:53 PM
Not a nutrient, a fining agent. Flour would act as a positive ion attractor and help remove particles/cloudiness. It wouldn't be my top choice as a fining agent because of the possibility of introducing different yeasts to your must.

The practice of using flour stopped with the production of other fining agents as flour does add a flavor some people don't like. The TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Board) does allow soy flour to be used as a fining agent.

I'd say you didn't get much increased activity - yeast doesn't eat flour, it eats sugars. You just got more junk in the must so as carbon dioxide formed, the flour helped to form bubbles and froth up.

Dmntd
04-15-2006, 07:18 PM
Baking 101: Yeast converts the complex carbohydrates in flour into the simple sugars that it feeds on.

So it is possible that flour can in fact effect the growth of yeast in mead. How much and to what extent I haven't a clue.

When being used as a fining agent, it might be added to the must, more then likely it would be add to the finished Mead or wine after fermentation, when the alcohol level would be fatal to any wild yeast.

Anthony

Dan McFeeley
04-16-2006, 05:43 AM
Adding particulate matter to a fermenting must or wort helps the yeasties by better allowing them to stay in suspension. You can accomplish the same purpose by adding yeast hulls, or by stirring the must from time to time. That might be what is going on.

As nutrient additive -- not very likely. Flour contains complex carbohydrates, which the yeasties can't use. This is the purpose of the mashing process in brewing, breaking down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars which the yeasties can use.

Oskaar
04-16-2006, 06:29 AM
Adding on to what Dan mentioned below, one of the main reasons to add particulate matter is to keep the yeast in suspension. This is important because while they are in suspension they have better access to sugars and nutrients they need to ensure a healty and vigorous fermentation.

It's been my experience that the more opaque or turbid a honey must is, the better the yeast ferment. While a nice big jug of crystal clear honey is great to look it, it really does not produce a must that is as good for your yeasties as a jug of really turbid honey does. The more turbid the must, the better the yeasties like it. In highly clarified grape, fruit or honey musts it is recommended by many of the big yeast manufacturers to add yeast hulls to the must. The hulls contain lipids, polysaccharides and chitin which are all beneficial to the yeasties during the fermentation of your must.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Thurisaz
04-16-2006, 07:43 AM
So, I see that I was at least half correct with my suspicion ;D

Oh well, whatever, what matters is that it works. It's been exactly 8 days since I mixed my current batch, and fermentation already starts to slow down ever so slightly. Unless quality is also suffering in some way, I hereby declare that I like it 8)

Lugh
04-16-2006, 04:47 PM
Baking 101: Yeast converts the complex carbohydrates in flour into the simple sugars that it feeds on.

So it is possible that flour can in fact effect the growth of yeast in mead. How much and to what extent I haven't a clue.

When being used as a fining agent, it might be added to the must, more then likely it would be add to the finished Mead or wine after fermentation, when the alcohol level would be fatal to any wild yeast.

Anthony


Sorry Anthony, not fully correct.

There are two stages during the fermentation of a dough made from flour, water, salt and yeast, and with no extra sugar added.

First of all, yeast ferments sugars naturally present in flour, which can be directly and easily assimilated. These sugars represent about 1.5% of the flour weight. At the end of this first stage, gaseous releases more or less slow down.

The second stage corresponds to the fermentation of a sugar contained in flour called maltose. Maltose comes from the action of some enzymes, the amylases, on the starch granules of the flour, damaged during the milling process. Amylases which are naturally present in flour, split starch into small fractions of a much simpler sugar, the maltose. The action of amylases starts as soon as water is added to the flour and stops during baking.

The action of the flour amylases is completed by that of another enzyme of yeast, the maltase which, in its turn, splits maltose to give the most simple sugar, glucose. The glucose is transformed by the yeast into carbon dioxide and alcohol.

Maltose formed from starch must be present in sufficient quantity so that the production of carbon dioxide makes dough rise correctly until it is put in the oven.

However, baking and brewing are not the same. A teaspoon of 2 of flour would not be processed by the yeast, since there is an overabundance of available sugars in the must. More likely Dan and Oskaar are correct, the flour acts as a suspension agent, and fining properties are minmal.

Also note that many wine kits call for adding the fining agent, usually bentonite, at the beginning of the brewing process. The idea is that the carbon dioxide acts to keep the bentonite in motion, rising and falling to grab more particulates and thus a better clearing than just dumping in the agent after CO2 production has stopped. Not that I agree with that logic, but that's what a large number of kits recommend.

Fwee
04-17-2006, 01:25 AM
Heya,

if memory serves, Fwee wanted to ask this question for me some days ago, but I haven't seen any posting from him mentioning this (of course I may just have overlooked it ;) ), so here goes... Nope, you didn't overlook anything. You just beat me to it. That's all. ;D

As soon as I saw the title, "Flour In Meadmaking", prior to clicking into the Newbee section, I just knew that you were finally here. :D

What kept ya? Loki get in your way again? :'(

;D

Thurisaz
04-17-2006, 04:11 AM
So much to do, so little time :)

Among other things, so many missions to complete (I made the mistake to enter a shop recently with just enough bucks in pocket to purchase a cheap copy of "Thief: Deadly Shadows"... that alone ate up days of my time ::) )

Fwee
04-18-2006, 12:48 AM
copy of "Thief: Deadly Shadows"... I see that you're still reading material that enriches your morality. :P






;D

I have no idea what that book is about. :D

Dmntd
04-18-2006, 12:32 PM
Thanks Lugh,

I couldn't remember exactly how that worked, nor find the information.

As you've said, the yeast ferments sugars naturally present in flour.

Anthony

Thurisaz
04-19-2006, 11:51 PM
I have no idea what that book is about. :D

That's a PC game Fwee ;D

Oskaar
04-20-2006, 12:03 AM
I'm still hooked on Rome Total War (with the Rome Total Realism mod) it's really addictive.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Thurisaz
05-04-2006, 09:20 AM
You know, we (my beloved wife and I) celebrated Beltane at a rather special location in Northern Germany... the "Externsteine" (Rocks of Extern - no connection to the word "external", just a conincidence - there's a settlement named "Exter" nearby...).

A citizen of that area whom we met accidentally said that a "XVII" engraving upon the infamous rocks designates the number of Roman legions that imperial legatus Quintillius Varus lost when he met the warriors of Arminius, maybe the only real national hero of Germany (?)... that number meaning seventeen...

(Not too likely to be true... for all I know, Varus had three legions, not more)

EDIT: I think to be fair I should at least add a link to a picture of said location...

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:Externsteine_Gesamtansicht_2.jpg