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Re: wine yeast
In my experience wine yeast worked very much like baking yeast. The
difference was certainly not worth the effort it took to drive a few extra
miles every few months to get it.
There is no point in using wine yeast unless you are willing to add some
nutrients as the fermentation progresses. In the absense of a source of the
necessary nutrients wine yeast will quickly lose it's vitality and
floculate or lyse. If you try to add those nutrients at the beginning of the
fermentation the culture will be way too active at first and then activity
will drop off rapidly. If the only available nutrients are contained in the
the yeasts themselves, every time they bud the nutritional content of the
yeast cells will be diluted. As the alchohol level increases the eviroment
becomes too hostile for the weakened yeast cells. Adding new viable yeast
will revive the fermentation and they will be able to canabalize the
remaining dead yeasts to maintain optimum nutrient levels.
I think it is a lot easier to add a little bit of yeast or yeast nutrient
now and again than to change the whole contents of the fermenter. In this
case, you should use a wine yeast as alchohol concentrations will reach
quite a high level in the fermenter. I doubt if baking yeast could tolerate
that. OTOH I have never used baking yeast in this manner so I don't know for
sure. You can get two months out of a wine yeast fermentation. I have never
heard of anyone getting two months using bakers yeast.
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm so tired of coddling these
> bottles, they actually take greater maintenance/time than my aquariums if
> can believe it.
Often when people report problems with maintaining activity in their yeast
batch the problem can be traced to a leak in their system.
So true. All bets are off if you have a leak and you will be very confused
as to what is going on. I highly recomend the use of a rubber stopper with a
small piece of glass tubing stuck through it to attach the bottle to the CO2
line. You can check for leaks by submersing your setup in water and clamping
off the CO2 line. Still, without a reliable method of attaching the CO2 line
you can never be sure that a leak won't occur down the road.