From the HBD Archive
Subject: Re: Yeast Engergizers and Nutrients
Date: 1989-03-04 16:23:24 GMT

In #90 Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!meccad.RAY.COM!FERTSCH> writes:

> I've seen recipes for mead (and sometimes beer, too) which call for YEAST
> ENERGIZER or YEAST NUTRIENT. I assume that these are the same, but just
> what do they do? I think I read somewhere that these powders contain lots
> of amino acids, and that amino acids act like little yeast vitamins. Is
> this all they are, or do they also adjust the pH of the must/wort? Are
> they really needed in beer, mead or wine?

I'm not sure if they're exactly the same. They're certainly similar.
In addition to amino acids they contain trace nutrients, like zinc.

> I don't use yeast nutrient/energizer in my beers. My reasoning is that wort
> usually has lots of proteins and amino acids from the malt. When I mash....

If you're mashing you don't need the stuff. Some anti-extract writers,
notably David Miller, suggest using them in extract beers. I doubt
that they're useful there, either. But there is no question that your
wort will have enough nutrients.

Yeast nutrient is helpful in making fruit wine. (See below.)

> I've also seen ACID BLEND. What is this, and how does it affect the beer or
> mead?

Acid blend is a mixture of three acids commonly found in grape juice.

This is really a winemaker's additive. Before pitching your yeast you
do an acid titration on the must and then add acid blend to adjust the
total acidity. Fruit wines are often made by diluting the fruit juice
with sugar and water. Using only fruit juice (if the fruit is not wine grapes)
gives you something more like a cordial than a wine. But diluting the
Fruit juice with sugar and water makes for too little acidity and insufficient
nutrients. Acid blend and yeast nutrient may not be necessary with freshly
crushed wine grapes.

I don't know if these are useful in mead making.
I have heard of brewers who use acid blend to lower brewing water pH
when mashing. Others use citric acid. Purists use an acid rest.
My local water doesn't require any of these.

- Len Reed

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