Author Topic: Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?  (Read 8872 times)

Offline philm63

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Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?
« on: August 29, 2012, 07:27:25 PM »
Do I need to use yeast nutrients? And if so, when, why, and how?

Not really having problems I can detect, yet (too new still...), but all this reading - Jamil says this, Palmer says that - great info, but there is so much of it that it gets my gears turning so fast I tend to loose focus on the big picture.

Facts: You want healthy yeast; you want to pitch at an appropriate rate based on your particular wort factors; you want to propagate and pitch at the correct temperatures, you want good nutrient content in your wort; wait... there it is!

When might your wort NOT have sufficient nutrients to support healthy yeast growth? (yes, I know; loaded question)

 
On Tap: Air
Fermenting: Kolsch
On Deck: House IPA

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 12:18:39 PM »
Conventional wisdom states that all-malt worts are probably providing the requirements, but high-percentage adjunct brews may be lacking.

I use Wyeast nutrient, figuring the dime that it costs is cheap insurance.  I also add some dry yeast cells from an expired package.   I add both at T-10 minutes, right after the whirlflock. 

Sometimes I put a pinch into the starter too.  Probably overkill to do both, but a pinch is truly pennies in cost.  I've also added a drop of olive oil to starters and to fermentors when I remember to do so.  Olive oil is reputed to provide the sterols that the cells use to grow and to bud/divide into new sister cells. 

Offline philm63

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Re: Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 03:44:21 PM »
Interesting that you should mention those two items - I'd recently read somewhere that old dry yeast packets had value - the olive oil thing also is interesting but I wasn't sure anyone was actually doing it so I hadn't seen much in the way of evidence it works. But if it doesn't hurt, and it's cheap; then why not! Thanks ML.
On Tap: Air
Fermenting: Kolsch
On Deck: House IPA

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 05:57:35 AM »
When I read that the expensive Servo tablets were just dead yeast cells infused with nutrients, I figured I'd just use the same things but separately. 

Offline philm63

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Re: Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 07:56:35 AM »
Not trying to hijack my own thread; but I see you are using a fining agent as well as a nutrient. Independent of whether your recipes are all Extract, PM or AG, if you want clearer beer, you'll need fining in one form or another, but you also want healthy yeast for a good fermentation.

It is my understanding that when using a fining agent in the boil such as Irish Moss, the proteins that are precipitated in the cold-break contain not only the nasty stuff you don’t want in your beer (helps with the clearing), but also nutrients necessary for healthy yeast growth during the initial phase of fermentation, particularly Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN).


I use Wyeast nutrient, figuring the dime that it costs is cheap insurance.  I also add some dry yeast cells from an expired package.   I add both at T-10 minutes, right after the whirlflock. 


Is your method geared toward maintaining the FAN and other nutrients knowing some will be precipitated due to the fining agent? (i.e. if you use one you should also use the other...)
On Tap: Air
Fermenting: Kolsch
On Deck: House IPA

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Yeast Nutrients - Do I Need Them?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 09:39:13 AM »
I do AG, all-malt brews, usually, so I think I'm fine on the FAN and lipids, etc. 

I did reduce the amount of whirlflock, and used it later, in the last batch, after reading about how much is actually needed and that too-long boiling it broke it down and reduced its efficacy.  (That APA is still lagering away b/c I've lost the will to bottle.  So it should be really clear by now.) 

I do also add 50% doses of the water chemistry minerals to the boil to account for whatever gets trapped in the mash, so that helps ensure enough calcium and magnesium for the yeast. 

 

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