Keeping Yeast Healthy

If you will be brewing beer in any capacity, then you’re going to need yeast. Yeast is what transforms the sugar in your brew into alcohol. In a simplified form, yeast consumes the sugar and releases alcohol and carbon dioxide as a byproduct. It’s not quite that simple, though. Yeast needs more than just sugar to flourish. If you have noticed that your batches are not doing exactly what they should be, then the problem might be that your yeast is not thriving. In order to thrive, yeast needs more than sugar. It needs fatty acids, amino acids, oxygen and nitrogen as well. 

How do you keep yeast healthy and thriving so that you can produce the best beer possible though? This can be difficult for the novice brewer, but there are ways that you can add supplements here. There are several types of supplements that can help out including products called “yeast energizers.” Di-ammonium phosphate is one common supplement that helps when low nitrogen is the problem. Yeast hulls are another option here. However, energizer supplements offer an excellent combination of different supplements (nitrogen, hulls, etc.).

It’s also important to understand that the type of beer you’re brewing will affect the life and health of your yeast. For instance, nutritional requirements for yeast differ from ales to lagers. Different strains also require different nutritional mixes. There is a word of caution about nutritional supplements though. Before you start adding anything to your brew make sure that you research it as thoroughly as possible. Some products can leave an off taste to your brew that you don’t want. It’s best to get a supplemental product that is as neutral as possible to avoid these problems.

Does this mean that you “have” to use supplements to get the best beer? No, you can usually brew a good beer without the need to supplement. However, you might just find that adding nutritional supplements to your next batch helps the yeast thrive for a longer period, remaining healthier than would otherwise be possible. The end result will be a better batch of beer for you to enjoy. Finally, you might just find that using nutrients actually helps give your beer the best flavor possible, as some can “clarify” the flavor of many brews.

The choice to supplement is certainly yours, but choose carefully. Experimenting cannot hurt, and you might just find that the results are significantly better than you expected.

Posted on April 1, 2010 and filed under Brewing.