Author Topic: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?  (Read 1307 times)

Offline jjflash

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anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« on: August 17, 2013, 10:21:07 AM »
Just read the latest BYO issue and Chris White has an article entitled "Brewer's Yeast & Brett Fermentation Flavors". Great article and a good issue.  Quoting from the article: "Many breweries make it a practice of adding food grade zinc sulfate, zinc chloride, or Servomyces (dead yeast loaded with zinc) to their wort at knock out in order to prevent acetaldehyde off-flavors."  I have tried Servomyces ($$) before to improve fermentation and wasn't impressed it made much of a difference to my beers.  Production breweries are trying to get these beers to tap quickly, so makes sense in that scenario rather than leaving the beer of the yeast cake to clean up acetaldehyde.  Little zinc is suppose to be good for general yeast health. Trying to figure if this addition benefits homebrewers in any way.     
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Offline denny

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 11:31:12 AM »
I tried zinc additions years ago and stopped doing it when it didn't appear to make any difference.  Like you say, we're not commercial brewers....
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Offline kramerog

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 12:12:07 PM »
Wort is supposed to be deficient in zinc,  but have everything else.  On my higher gravity beers I toss a tablespoon of yeast recovered from a fermenter into the boil.  I do it as a "best practice" kind of thing.  I can't say that I have noticed a difference but when I'm always changing recipes or trying new ones it is hard to notice subtle differences.  I haven't had green apple smells in the past.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 12:24:43 PM »
I add the recommended amount of Wyeast yeast nutrient in the boil and call it a day. I haven't really considered adding separate Zinc, since I'm making the assumption that yeast nutrient has what I need.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 12:27:44 PM »
I've never added zinc to beer yet, and I would only add zinc if I was doing like an imperial Czech pilsner or big Belgian strong, with all pale or pilsner malt and distilled water, because of the extreme stresses on the yeast and extreme relatively low amount of nutrients in the malt and water.  For anything else, I think it's unnecessary.  To add the zinc, I would take a standard zinc supplement tablet, break off about 1/16 of a piece and crush it and add to the boil.  It wouldn't take much, as it's really a trace mineral -- the yeast probably only needs a few dozen ions of it in a 5 gallon batch, seriously.  Nice thing about zinc supplements -- they'll cure the common cold a day or two faster than without, so they're handy to have around the house even if you don't use them for yeast nutrition.  But I wouldn't recommend humans OR yeast eat them all the time.  Only when necessary.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 01:16:47 PM »
I add the recommended amount of Wyeast yeast nutrient in the boil and call it a day. I haven't really considered adding separate Zinc, since I'm making the assumption that yeast nutrient has what I need.
+1.  Having the freedom to leave beer on the yeast until the yeast has cleaned up after itself has its advantages, as opposed to using a stopgap to speed up production turnover.  Nutrient and time work well for me.
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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 02:03:16 PM »
I use some zinc, half a diet tab for 10 gallons. If you look at some of the past presentations by the yeast experts at the NHC, they talk about the benefits of zinc.

Our lager fermentation a are healthy, the D- rest is done a 6 to 7 days in, and then start to cool it down.

It is one of those things we do. Sometimes we forget, and the beer comes out fine. Don't have any detailed notes as if those go longer in primary phase.

I may stop using the zinc tabs, as the Wyeast nutrient blend has zinc in the ingredient list.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 03:32:28 PM »


I may stop using the zinc tabs, as the Wyeast nutrient blend has zinc in the ingredient list.
http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_productdetail.cfm?ProductID=15

If it's in wy nut then yes, I use zinc

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 11:25:20 AM »
Another +1 for Wyeast nutrient. Its cheap insurance. I add it when I add Whirlfloc. I keep them stored near each other so I remember to add both!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: anyone add zinc sulfate / zinc chloride to wort?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 01:27:42 PM »
I like to reuse yeast and Wyeast nutrient is cheap insurance - so count me in as a zincer.
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