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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: troybinso on January 24, 2013, 03:52:35 PM

Title: Yeast nutrient
Post by: troybinso on January 24, 2013, 03:52:35 PM
I have a couple of different jars of yeast nutrient in my brewing supplies drawer, including one called "yeast energizer". I typically will throw in a pinch or so in my starters, but I don't always remember and I can't say I have noticed a difference when I use it.

Do any of you have strong opinions one way or the other about yeast nutrients?
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: tygo on January 24, 2013, 04:03:35 PM
I use nutrients in most of my starters and every batch in the boil but I wouldn't say I have a strong feeling.  Always just seemed to me like a cheap insurance policy that can't hurt.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: a10t2 on January 24, 2013, 04:46:38 PM
I've never used it, I guess just because I've never had any apparent problems, so I never bought any. I actually have a jar of DAP that someone left at my house, and I still don't use it.

I view it as being like a multi-vitamin for humans. It won't do any harm, but as long as you have healthy yeast and feed them a healthy diet, it won't change anything.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: erockrph on January 24, 2013, 07:13:25 PM
The only time I've ever used yeast nutrient is in mead & maple wine. Every time I brew a big beer, I think to myself "I really meant to put some yeast nutrient in there". But they've all turned out fine regardless.

If I ever tried to brew a HUGE beer (like over 15%), I'd be tempted to do something like a small staggered nutrient addition schedule.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: tschmidlin on January 24, 2013, 07:52:03 PM
I use it in all of my beers, and it is especially important for mead.

There are many different types of yeast nutrients that are marketed under different names with the same ingredients or the same name but different ingredients - it's frustrating, but you really need to know what you have.  I recommend a complete nutrient like Wyeast Nutrient Blend for all your beers, but especially if the yeast is being repitched.  You might not need it for every batch, but the first time you leave it out and needed it you'll regret it.  I view it as cheap insurance.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: kramerog on January 24, 2013, 08:31:53 PM
I have a generic "yeast nutrient" that supplies nitrogen and phosphorous.  I have a generic "yeast energizer" that supplies vitamins and trace minerals including zinc.  Generally, I don't use either except for meads.  I might use the energizer for my next saison that uses the finicky Dupont yeast, which I have not worked with before, and for very big beers, which need more zinc apparently.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 24, 2013, 08:54:27 PM
I recommend a complete nutrient like Wyeast Nutrient Blend for all your beers, but especially if the yeast is being repitched.

How and when would you add it?  In the starter?  Or to the wort?

I must have two or three bottles of nutrient that I've never used and recently bought a bottle figuring I should use it and not remembering that I have several already...
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: davidgzach on January 24, 2013, 09:01:21 PM
I use it in every brew as well.  Cheap insurance as already stated.  I add with Whirfloc and my IC at 10 minutes left in the boil.

Dave
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 24, 2013, 10:14:32 PM
I use it in every brew as well.  Cheap insurance as already stated.  I add with Whirfloc and my IC at 10 minutes left in the boil.

Dave

+1 every time, unless I forget - but I am repitching, almost always.  I am about 6-8 batches in with my WLP 800 and 34/70 batches.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: Jimmy K on January 24, 2013, 10:21:02 PM
"Yeast energizer" is probably DAP or diammonium phosphate, which is pretty much meth for yeast. It's great for getting yeast to finish a big beer, but it's not really what you want for yeast starter unless it also contains nutrients and/or yeast hulls. You're trying to build yeast health, not just get them to work faster/harder. Yeast hulls is just dead yeast which the yeast will scavenge for micronutrients. DAP really isn't helping in a low gravity starter wort which the yeast can easily ferment anyway.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: tschmidlin on January 25, 2013, 08:11:00 AM
I recommend a complete nutrient like Wyeast Nutrient Blend for all your beers, but especially if the yeast is being repitched.

How and when would you add it?  In the starter?  Or to the wort?

I must have two or three bottles of nutrient that I've never used and recently bought a bottle figuring I should use it and not remembering that I have several already...
You can go either way, starter or in the boil.  I put it in the last 15 minutes of the boil, but I don't make starters and am repitching fresh yeast slurry.  If I were to make a starter, I might throw a little in there but mostly it is just in the boil.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: dbarber on January 25, 2013, 01:33:25 PM
I don't know that I've made a beer without yeast nutrients.  I use Wyeast Nutrient blend, a pinch in my starters and 1/2 tsp with 10 min left in the boil.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: mmitchem on January 25, 2013, 02:25:11 PM
I don't know that I've made a beer without yeast nutrients.  I use Wyeast Nutrient blend, a pinch in my starters and 1/2 tsp with 10 min left in the boil.

I do this as well. Is it necessary to do it at both the starter stage and in the boil. I really havent given much thought to it until now. What say you all?
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: davidgzach on January 25, 2013, 02:59:58 PM
I use mostly Wyeast so I do not add nutrient to my starters, only to the boil.

Dave
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 25, 2013, 03:11:16 PM
I definitely use it in mead and big beers but usually leave it out of smaller beers unless I feel like I am underpitching and don't have the time to step up a starter.

I also use it when trying to grow up from a really small quantity of cells. It probably wouldn't hurt when trying to bottle harvest although I haven't done that myself.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: gymrat on January 25, 2013, 03:46:07 PM
Lately my S 05 has been having a really long lag time. I started using the Wyeast Nutrient Blend and am getting activity about 12 hours after pitching with that same yeast. So now I am going to start using it in everything I do. Because I have definitely seen where it makes a difference.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: morticaixavier on January 25, 2013, 04:06:22 PM
I was useing it always and recently stopped because I was getting heavy handed with it. I started to taste it in really delicate beers like kolsche. I add some to big beers with 15 minutes left (1/2 tsp or so). And if I was planning on repitching the yeast I might well add a little to help the yeast build reserves
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: Pinski on January 25, 2013, 04:09:16 PM
I was useing it always and recently stopped because I was getting heavy handed with it. I started to taste it in really delicate beers like kolsche. I add some to big beers with 15 minutes left (1/2 tsp or so). And if I was planning on repitching the yeast I might well add a little to help the yeast build reserves
What's it taste like?  I can't believe I've never just tasted some. I use it in every starter and most boils closer to 1/8 of a tsp and even less for the starters. 
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: morticaixavier on January 25, 2013, 04:18:57 PM
I was useing it always and recently stopped because I was getting heavy handed with it. I started to taste it in really delicate beers like kolsche. I add some to big beers with 15 minutes left (1/2 tsp or so). And if I was planning on repitching the yeast I might well add a little to help the yeast build reserves
What's it taste like?  I can't believe I've never just tasted some. I use it in every starter and most boils closer to 1/8 of a tsp and even less for the starters.

At that level you probably wouldn't taste it. I was rushing to get a batch of kolsche ready for a comp. I only had 3.5 weeks from brew to judging so I used maybe 2tsp or even a little more in 30 litres. It finished and dropped clear in time (at least with a few days at 34*) and did well enough in the comp but the judges notes and my own tastes both found a certain harsh mineral/chemical quality that I am pretty sure came from the nutrient.

This time around I didn't add any but I have more like 6 weeks to let this one do it's thing. so we will see how that goes.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: denny on January 25, 2013, 05:10:40 PM
I recommend a complete nutrient like Wyeast Nutrient Blend for all your beers, but especially if the yeast is being repitched.

How and when would you add it?  In the starter?  Or to the wort?

I must have two or three bottles of nutrient that I've never used and recently bought a bottle figuring I should use it and not remembering that I have several already...
You can go either way, starter or in the boil.  I put it in the last 15 minutes of the boil, but I don't make starters and am repitching fresh yeast slurry.  If I were to make a starter, I might throw a little in there but mostly it is just in the boil.

I use the Wyeast also.  A pinch in the starter and the recommended 1/2 tsp. per 5 gal. at 10 min. to flameout in the boil.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: dean on January 26, 2013, 02:09:06 AM
Wow!  1/2 a teaspoon might be pushing it ... maybe not for big beers though.  I made a 5wall gallon batch of .060 using 1/2 tsp and it made the beer taste like vegemite(sp?)   

Yeck... an acquired taste I guess... and I don't want to acquire it.  Lol!
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: tygo on January 26, 2013, 12:38:56 PM
Wow!  1/2 a teaspoon might be pushing it ... maybe not for big beers though.  I made a 5wall gallon batch of .060 using 1/2 tsp and it made the beer taste like vegemite(sp?)   

Yeck... an acquired taste I guess... and I don't want to acquire it.  Lol!

I'm not sure what made the beer taste like vegemite but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the yeast nutrient.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: denny on January 26, 2013, 04:14:24 PM
Wow!  1/2 a teaspoon might be pushing it ... maybe not for big beers though.  I made a 5wall gallon batch of .060 using 1/2 tsp and it made the beer taste like vegemite(sp?)   

Yeck... an acquired taste I guess... and I don't want to acquire it.  Lol!

Good to see ya, man!  You must have been using a different nutrient than I am.  There is no discernable taste from 1/2 tsp.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: donsmitty on March 22, 2013, 12:45:45 AM
So I was at my local Brew and Wine Hobby store today to pick up some supplies and since I am planning on my first all-grain, I asked about yeast nutrient/energizer and both owners looked at me and kind of smiled and said, we have never used it and it.  They both said it was not necessary as the yeast would get all it needs from the grains being mashed.  So I didn't buy any.  But I keep asking myself, what harm would be it be to add a little nutrient/energizer to the pot.  Almost like baseball players using performance enhancing drugs...  after all, I want that yeast to over perform in that fermentor.  What do you all think?  Use it or not?
Title: Yeast nutrient
Post by: denny on March 22, 2013, 12:48:05 AM
So I was at my local Brew and Wine Hobby store today to pick up some supplies and since I am planning on my first all-grain, I asked about yeast nutrient/energizer and both owners looked at me and kind of smiled and said, we have never used it and it.  They both said it was not necessary as the yeast would get all it needs from the grains being mashed.  So I didn't buy any.  But I keep asking myself, what harm would be it be to add a little nutrient/energizer to the pot.  Almost like baseball players using performance enhancing drugs...  after all, I want that yeast to over perform in that fermentor.  What do you all think?  Use it or not?

I started using it in the kettle a few years ago for the reason you mention...cheap insurance.  I think maybe it helps, but I can't say for sure.  I know it doesn't hurt and it's inexpensive to use.  In addition, since I've already got it, I add it to starters.  I rhink that may have more value even than adding it to the kettle.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: kramerog on March 22, 2013, 01:31:42 AM
Wow!  1/2 a teaspoon might be pushing it ... maybe not for big beers though.  I made a 5wall gallon batch of .060 using 1/2 tsp and it made the beer taste like vegemite(sp?)   

Yeck... an acquired taste I guess... and I don't want to acquire it.  Lol!

Some types of yeast nutrient comes from autolyzed yeast, which is where vegemite comes from.  In fact, I was at a brewery and they pulled some yeast from the bottom of a conical and added it to the boil to create their own yeast nutrient.  I'm planning to do the same from my fermenter this weekend.  When did you put in the yeast nutrient, Dean?
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 22, 2013, 01:39:35 AM
Wort is deficient in zinc.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: donsmitty on March 22, 2013, 01:53:25 AM
So I was at my local Brew and Wine Hobby store today to pick up some supplies and since I am planning on my first all-grain, I asked about yeast nutrient/energizer and both owners looked at me and kind of smiled and said, we have never used it and it.  They both said it was not necessary as the yeast would get all it needs from the grains being mashed.  So I didn't buy any.  But I keep asking myself, what harm would be it be to add a little nutrient/energizer to the pot.  Almost like baseball players using performance enhancing drugs...  after all, I want that yeast to over perform in that fermentor.  What do you all think?  Use it or not?

I started using it in the kettle a few years ago for the reason you mention...cheap insurance.  I think maybe it helps, but I can't say for sure.  I know it doesn't hurt and it's inexpensive to use.  In addition, since I've already got it, I add it to starters.  I rhink that may have more value even than adding it to the kettle.

Denny, are you using a nutrient or an energizer?  Brand name?  Thanks.
Title: Yeast nutrient
Post by: denny on March 22, 2013, 01:56:20 AM
So I was at my local Brew and Wine Hobby store today to pick up some supplies and since I am planning on my first all-grain, I asked about yeast nutrient/energizer and both owners looked at me and kind of smiled and said, we have never used it and it.  They both said it was not necessary as the yeast would get all it needs from the grains being mashed.  So I didn't buy any.  But I keep asking myself, what harm would be it be to add a little nutrient/energizer to the pot.  Almost like baseball players using performance enhancing drugs...  after all, I want that yeast to over perform in that fermentor.  What do you all think?  Use it or not?

I started using it in the kettle a few years ago for the reason you mention...cheap insurance.  I think maybe it helps, but I can't say for sure.  I know it doesn't hurt and it's inexpensive to use.  In addition, since I've already got it, I add it to starters.  I rhink that may have more value even than adding it to the kettle.

Denny, are you using a nutrient or an energizer?  Brand name?  Thanks.

I use Wyeast nutrient.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: Jimmy K on March 22, 2013, 03:12:09 AM
Denny, are you using a nutrient or an energizer?  Brand name?  Thanks.

Nutrient is like a nice smoked turkey and roasted red pepper sandwich on whole wheat bread for your yeast. Promotes good health. Their cell is their temple.

Energizer is like meth.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on March 22, 2013, 11:08:28 AM
"Yeast energizer" is probably DAP or diammonium phosphate, which is pretty much meth for yeast. It's great for getting yeast to finish a big beer, but it's not really what you want for yeast starter unless it also contains nutrients and/or yeast hulls. You're trying to build yeast health, not just get them to work faster/harder. Yeast hulls is just dead yeast which the yeast will scavenge for micronutrients. DAP really isn't helping in a low gravity starter wort which the yeast can easily ferment anyway.


my ld carlson yeast nutrient says mad of food grade urea and diamond phosphate. my ld carlson yeast energizer says made of diamond phosphate, springcell, magnesium sulphate.  the previous comment about the names and what its made of is "frustrating" seems appropriate.  wyeast yeast nutrient says it has A blend of vitamins, minerals, inorganic nitrogen, organic nitrogen, zinc, phosphates and other trace elements that will benefit yeast growth and complete fermentation.

like the others, im left confused on what brand to use and how they differ.
Title: Re: Yeast nutrient
Post by: donsmitty on March 22, 2013, 11:14:12 AM
Thanks Denny and thanks Jimmy for that analogy.  I can relate to food.  You have convinced me that it won't hurt to add a little nutrient to the wort.