While the brewer takes all the credit for a bottle of great wine, beer, and beverages, it is actually the yeast that does all the magic. Unfortunately, they are the least understood.

  1. Always store them in a cool and dry place. dehydrated yeast has a six to 18 month-long shelf life, but once hydrated they either need to feed or they die.
  2. Don’t sprinkle dry yeast directly to your ferment. It is better to make a yeast starter.
    1. Take 10x sterilized water at room temperature (don’t use boiling water that will kill the yeast) temperature between 25-30 degrees Celcius is ideal. Remember body temperature is 37 degrees. so if it feels hot, it is too warm for yeast to survive.
    2. For a 5gm yeast pack: 50ml sterilized water with 1/2 tablespoon of priming sugar (2.5gm) and 0.1gm of yeast nutrient is ideal as a starter.
    3. Allow the mixture to hydrate for at least 30 minutes. It should start foaming (which means the yeast is alive). If you are making a large batch, you can feed more priming sugar and increase your active yeast cell count.
    4. Always pitch the yeast at room temperature for 15 minutes in sugar solution before adding it to your wort or must. This way at least you can be sure that active yeast was used.
  3. If you happen to keep them refrigerated, then either consume the whole packet in one go or wait for an hour for it to be at room temperature before opening the sachet.
  4. Reseal the sachet immediately after taking the required amount. Moisture and oxygen will only hamper your yeast vitality.
  5. Keep some backup yeast with you always. Yeast is temperamental creatures and creates a lot of unique variances.
  6. Unless you like the stressed yeast sulfide smells in your brew, it is advisable to use either some yeast nutrients or yeast energizer.
  7. 6. If you still happen to get some sulfide smells, clear it using copper sulfate. (don’t overuse)

Follow these safety and common sense tips and you will have a wonderful brewing yeast experience.

Some amateur brewers experiment making wine and beer using baking yeast. While they might be able to achieve making alcohol, this is not craft.

Essentially Baking yeast is vigorous which means it creates a lot of gas that will strip your wine/beer of all aromas that you are looking for.

Secondly, it has a very low alcohol tolerance. Your beer and wine will end up with incomplete fermentation and huge amounts of residual sweetness. This is especially true when we use maltose negative strains of yeast to make beer (i.e. the malt is not completely fermented)

Thirdly if the wine has less than 10% alcohol, it will be prone to infection. Achieving 10% levels through bread yeast is not possible. So you will have to stabilize through food preservatives.

Arishtam stocks more than a dozen different variety of yeast for various fermentation purposes.

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Ankur

21 years of experience in Home Brewing and author of Arishtam (India's first homebrew Guide Book).

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