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RE: Champagne yeast

John Godbey posted the following...

>2.  Champagne yeast, however, has not done well for me.  It costs more than
>regular yeast, at least here in the Washington, DC, area, and hasn't lasted
>any longer than the regular yeast.  Of course it is possible that it has
>produced more CO2, but in a shorter time.

>Has anyone actually measured the output of a DIY CO2 generator using
>and champagne yeast, to quantify any difference?

I've wondered the same thing myself - I still run a number of small tanks
with yeast generated CO2 and find that regular "baking yeast" peters out
relatively quickly, possibly due to the sensitivity of the yeast cells to
alcohol. I went into a "home-brew" shop the other evening and asked about
"champagne" yeast (which actually, is not used to make champagne at all) and
the guy there told me that the ability of yeasts to grow in solutions
containing alcohol varies quite a bit. Ordinary "baking yeasts" die if the
alcohol content is more than a few percentage points. He sold me a few
packets of "wine yeast" which he says can live in solutions containing
upwards of 12-13% alcohol. He told me that he has other varieties which can
handle even more alcohol.

One suggestion he gave me was to add sugar only gradually - say 1/2 cup at a
time, once a week or so. In this way, the production of CO2 will take place
over an extended period of time, rather than all at once. I'm going to set
up a few bottles this afternoon to see if he was right. Check back with me
in a month to see how it goes.

James Purchase