“Yeast nutrient” is a blanket term for the complex mixture of trace elements, minerals and vitamins which are necessary for the life functions of yeast cells but which cannot be created by the cells themselves – these compounds must be supplied by the environment. Copper, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, and zinc (to name a few) are essential to proper cell growth and metabolism. Deficiencies in available levels of these nutrients can lead to underperforming fermentations and higher levels of congeners (particularly sulfur compounds) than may be desirable.
A mash comprised of 100% barley malt or whole fruits harvested after an ideal growing season will contain adequate levels of these nutrients for an orderly and complete fermentation. However, in a mash without malt or fruit; or where the native nutrients of malt or fruit are diluted by a large fraction of unmalted cereal grains or simple sugars, the yeast cells can struggle during fermentation leading to reduced yields. Additionally, malt or fruit from a poor crop will provide lower levels of nutrients than may be optimal.
Relative to the cost of a run, nutrients are inexpensive insurance and can help maximize yield.
Startup Nutrient is excellent for rehydration of dried yeast prior to inoculating a mash or wash, or for reinvigorating a slow or stalled ferment.
Superfood® is a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals with balanced nitrogen additions that promote yeast growth and survival during the anaerobic stress of fermentation, in doses that are most advantageous.
Whatever your fermentation regimen, BSG Distilling is here to help. Please contact us for assistance determining the optimal nutrient additions for your mash or wash.