Author Topic: Sugar and yeast nutrient  (Read 3458 times)

Offline mihalybaci

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
    • View Profile
Sugar and yeast nutrient
« on: July 31, 2012, 08:10:35 AM »
I'm planning on making 5 gallons of Belgian golden strong ale soon (OG ~ 1.082) with the current recipe sitting at 24% plain sugar. I'm planning on making a large starter, but with such a high percentage of sugar I was wondering how much of what kind of yeast nutrient would be best to ensure a good fermentation? Or do I even need to add nutrient?

Thanks.

Offline jmcamerlengo

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 625
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 08:25:33 AM »
Nutrient is basically adding some trace minerals such as Zinc which aid yeast growth and health. The fermentables don't matter much really. I add yeast nutrient to every batch since I start with DI water. I use Wyeast nutrient blend. It may not be necessary if your water has these trace minerals in it, but it cant hurt to add the recommened amount(1/2 tsp for 5 gallons) to every batch as an insurance policy.

BTW I brewed 11 gallons of Belgian Golden Strong this weekend. 1.072 OG, 75% Pils 25% sugar. I used 1 tsp of nutrient and made a 5.5 L starter on a stir plate and oxygenated with pure O2 for 1 minute when I pitched the yeast. Pitched at 64, let rise naturally in a 72 degree room. was at 75 after about 24 hours and has since backed down to 72 and the krausen has dropped out completely as of this morning so its just about finished fermenting. I pitched Sunday morning. Was a very vigorous clean ferment. Should drop a couple more point over the next couple days and clean up nicely.(used Wyeast Belgian Strong strain)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 08:33:15 AM by jmcamerlengo »
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline brewmichigan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 08:26:35 AM »
I would advise on worrying about the amount of yeast you have before you worry about the nutrient. A starting gravity of 1.082 will need a good sized starter to begin with. If you've used nutrient before and it helped, I would continue to use it.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline mihalybaci

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 08:41:59 AM »
The tap water here is pretty good and really soft (not sure about trace minerals though), so I don't use any kind of filtration or water conditioners. I haven't noticed any fermentation issues in the past, and the only yeast nutrient I have is diammonium phosphate, which I assume doesn't include other trace nutrients. I did attempt to make a gluten-free golden strong a while back using sorghum extract from my HB store and sugar that turned out really "cidery". Though I've attributed it to not pitching enough healthy yeast or (less likely) something with the sorghum syrup. This time around I have a 1 gallon glass jug to make an even larger starter, so hopefully that will help.

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2898
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 09:32:51 AM »
diammonium phosphate isn't so much a nutrient as it is red bull for yeast. Gives them wings. Yeast hulls are better for promoting yeast health, DP is good for getting that last bit of attenuation out of struggling yeast.
 
A starter is your best bet. Add nutrients to that.
 
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 10:57:42 AM »
I like to add the sugar once fermentation is well underway. I just reserve 1L or so from the batch, then add that later once I've boiled the sugar in it. It does three things: lowers the size of starter I need, reduces stress on the yeast, and slows total fermentation time. A slower ferment is a colder ferment. Colder ferment means fewer off-flavors.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11693
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 01:18:58 PM »
I like to add the sugar once fermentation is well underway. I just reserve 1L or so from the batch, then add that later once I've boiled the sugar in it. It does three things: lowers the size of starter I need, reduces stress on the yeast, and slows total fermentation time. A slower ferment is a colder ferment. Colder ferment means fewer off-flavors.

I know there are a lot of people who do what you do, but I've never found an advantage to it when I tried it.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2332
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 01:52:59 PM »
I like to add the sugar once fermentation is well underway. I just reserve 1L or so from the batch, then add that later once I've boiled the sugar in it. It does three things: lowers the size of starter I need, reduces stress on the yeast, and slows total fermentation time. A slower ferment is a colder ferment. Colder ferment means fewer off-flavors.

I know there are a lot of people who do what you do, but I've never found an advantage to it when I tried it.

My experience agrees with Denny.  Plus, if it all goes in at once it's one less thing to forget.

When I have added sugar later, I've simply poured the dry sugar directly into the carboy.  No worries.  Ferments just fine.

My time, unfortunately, is limited so I do whatever I can to simplify and eliminate unnecessary steps.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 02:06:22 PM »
I don't claim it's necessary. I try to pitch a lot of yeast with my Belgians. A lower OG makes it easier to hit a higher x/ml/*P figure. This falls into the "I'm comfortable doing it this way, so I keep doing it" category, not "this is the best of all ways to do this" category. And like Joe mentions, you'd have to evaluate any possible benefits against any time or other constraints.

I always use "yeast energizer" from my LHBS or GoFerm. Not sure what brand the energizer is, but it's basically just DAP + autolyzed yeast. I don't add the energizer if I'm using dry yeast and GoFerm.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline mihalybaci

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 03:04:53 PM »
I like to add the sugar once fermentation is well underway. I just reserve 1L or so from the batch, then add that later once I've boiled the sugar in it. It does three things: lowers the size of starter I need, reduces stress on the yeast, and slows total fermentation time. A slower ferment is a colder ferment. Colder ferment means fewer off-flavors.

I've seen this method suggested for helping to lower the FG in stronger beers where the yeast become sluggish, but I haven't tried it. Does it work?

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 07:46:07 PM »
I've seen this method suggested for helping to lower the FG in stronger beers where the yeast become sluggish, but I haven't tried it. Does it work?

I'd give a qualified "it probably does, but it's not necessary." My qualifier: I mostly make Belgian and German ales. I've been brewing for eight years or so, seriously for about four. This last year my beers have gotten a lot better. There are a bunch of little tweaks I've added over the years that led to this point.

Right now I'm trying to figure out which tweaks actually matter, and which tweaks are just coincidental, so I don't really have a good answer for you, other than the usual "This is how I do it and I like my beers."
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6310
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 04:17:19 AM »
I like to add the sugar once fermentation is well underway. I just reserve 1L or so from the batch, then add that later once I've boiled the sugar in it. It does three things: lowers the size of starter I need, reduces stress on the yeast, and slows total fermentation time. A slower ferment is a colder ferment. Colder ferment means fewer off-flavors.

I know there are a lot of people who do what you do, but I've never found an advantage to it when I tried it.

Denny, I have really had some nice results with the method, fwiw. Does seem to attenuate a little further (and I get 90% on my tripel adding all sugar - 20% - to the boil). I think it is a tool that can be used, and if you do have trouble with attenuation it is something you may try, especially with sugar additions over 20%.

As far as nutrients go, I add Wyeast nutrient to every batch I make. Seems to speed fermentation and cut down on sulphur compounds.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11693
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 09:16:40 AM »
I like to add the sugar once fermentation is well underway. I just reserve 1L or so from the batch, then add that later once I've boiled the sugar in it. It does three things: lowers the size of starter I need, reduces stress on the yeast, and slows total fermentation time. A slower ferment is a colder ferment. Colder ferment means fewer off-flavors.

I've seen this method suggested for helping to lower the FG in stronger beers where the yeast become sluggish, but I haven't tried it. Does it work?

My experience is that it doesn't work any better than just adding the sugar to the kettle.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11693
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 09:19:53 AM »

Denny, I have really had some nice results with the method, fwiw. Does seem to attenuate a little further (and I get 90% on my tripel adding all sugar - 20% - to the boil). I think it is a tool that can be used, and if you do have trouble with attenuation it is something you may try, especially with sugar additions over 20%.

As far as nutrients go, I add Wyeast nutrient to every batch I make. Seems to speed fermentation and cut down on sulphur compounds.

I have to admit I only tried it maybe 3 times becasue I didn't see enough gain to make it worth the additional hassle.  Maybe I'll try it again the next time I make my standard tripel recipe just to see if I missed something.  But I'm so damn lazy!

I use the Wyeast nutrient in every batch, too.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline Kaiser

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
  • Imperial Brewing Geek
    • View Profile
    • braukaiser.com
Re: Sugar and yeast nutrient
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 09:51:03 AM »
There's a fairly sound theory behind the idea of adding sugar late during fermentation: let the yeast eat the more difficult to digest maltose, and especially maltotriose before it gets all that simple sugar.

There might also be differences in the flavor profile if the yeast gets the simple sugars later compared to having them present in the beginning.

Funny enough while searching for patents on low calorie beers I just came across this old Pabst patent that deals with exactly this issue. They claim to get better attenuation if sugars are added later: http://www.google.com/patents?id=OvEsAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false


Quote
With normal brewing technology and the use of common brewer's yeast, the highest possible real degree of fermentation is about 74%. This degree of fermentation, however, is not sufficient to produce 3.2% alcohol by weight from a wort with an original gravity of 7.6 to 7.7.degree. P. The process provided in accordance with the present invention results in a real degree of fermentation of 80% or more without the addition of amyloglucosidase-containing preparations. Moreover, as previously indicated, by carrying out the fermentation initially for a predetermined period of time using an all-grain malt wort such as a wort from malted barley or a wort obtained from a mixture of grain malt and not more than 30% by weight non-malt grain, the brewer's yeast acts on the all-grain malt wort or a wort from a mixture of grain malt and non-malt grain, thereby making it possible to produce a significant alcoholic content from these ingredients. After this, readily fermentable sugars such as dextrose (also known as glucose), fructose, sucrose, or mixtures of these sugars, are added and the fermentation continued to completion. Basically the production of low carbohydrate and lower calorie beer in accordance with the invention is carried out by subjecting the more complex carbohydrates of the wort to the yeast in the absence of the more readily fermentable lower sugars. This treatment causes the yeast to ferment out some of the less easily fermentable carbohydrates which it would not otherwise do if the lower readily fermentable sugars were present.


Don't we hate it all when Denny's experiences don't line up with the theory  ;)

Kai