October 23, 2018

Yeast Nutrients and Yeast Energizers

Nutrients and Energizers sound pretty beneficial - and they can be! But, what the heck are these products!? Moreover, if you use the wrong stuff or an inappropriate bolus, you can do some major damage to your yeast!  What you need to know about nutrients vs. energizers.

Yeast Nutrient

Yeast nutrient blends typically contain a mix of trace elements and important molecules including inorganic nitrogen, organic nitrogen, zinc, phosphates and some other stuff that helps yeast grow and complete fermentation.

  1. LD Carlson Yeast Nutrient - Ensures yeast remains healthy throughout fermentation. Recommended for wine, mead, and cider.
  2. WYEAST Brewer’s Choice - Reduces lag time, encourages consistent attenuation rates, and enhances yeast viability in beer.
  3. White Labs Servomyces - Cuts down fermentation time, increases flocculation, greatly reduces harsh sulfur notes and more.
  4. FermAid O - Autolyzes yeast nutrient with a high content of organic nitrogen (amino acids). It is formu­lated without DAP.
  5. Go-Ferm - Certified organic by OMRI. It is a natural yeast rehydration nutrient containing a balance of micronutrients.
  6. FermAid K - Blended complex yeast nutrient that supplies ammonia salts (DAP), free amino acids, and other key nutrients.

Yeast Energizer

Yeast Energizer is not the same as a nutrient. Please don't use the lingo or products interchangeably because you can damage your yeast. Energizers are indeed nutrient blends, but typically contain components such as diammonium phosphate, yeast hulls, magnesium sulfate, vitamin B complexes, and tricalcium phosphate.

Please be aware that diammonium phosphate (DAP) is toxic to yeast in high concentrations, so be censorious in selecting a nutrient blend for use in starters or at pitching that does not contain DAP. Use DAP-containing nutrients (aka "energizers") in subsequent nutrient feedings (@ 24hrs, 36hrs, and 48hrs).
  1. LD Carlson Yeast Energizer - Used to stimulate or restart a fermentation.

Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN)

FAN is more important to yeast during lag phase than most other nutrients (although lipids are pretty damn important, too). Lucky you, you can produce FAN in your mash by resting at 130 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. An enzyme called Peptidase will break down proteins into free amino nitrogen. However, in fully modified malts, this enzyme has already broken down peptides during malting, so such a rest is not necessary and can lead to head retention problems. Also, rehydrating dry yeast in water can strip yeast of FAN and lead to poor yeast health during fermentation.

The addition of yeast nutrients is not often necessary unless your brewing a high-adjunct beer, mead, or wine. However, serially feeding your fermentation nutrients and energizers can help avoid those dirty diaper and rotten veggie smells that malnourished yeast sometimes produces.

Yeast makes beer, wine, and mead, so please treat them well. Check out our full line of yeast nutrients, yeast energizers, and other yeast additives.

Read More About Yeast:

Yeast for Brewing Beer - So what is brewing yeast anyway?
Making A Yeast Starter- Learn how to make a yeast starter. 
Dry Yeast and Liquid Yeast - Check out the pros and cons. 

Hydrating Dry Yeast -  Is pitching dry yeast directly the best method?
5 Easy Tricks For Boosting Yeast Health