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"Proofing" Dry Yeast

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Hi guys.

 

Yesterday I was looking around John Palmer's "How To Brew" website as I do from time to time mainly for clarification purposes, & found myself looking through the information back in Chapter 1 - Brew Day.

 

In that chapter it mentions the process of using dry yeast & re-hydrating etc. It also included the step of "proofing" the yeast after it's been re-hydrated, much like bakers do. I'd never really thought much about this step &/or the benefit of it until just now.

 

If I'm understanding this step correctly it serves two purposes. One to test the viability of the yeast, & two, to move the yeast from a dormant state into an active one prior to pitching into your main brew wort.

 

This process is pretty much the exact same thing that occurs when using Wyeast's liquid yeast smack packs. The nutrient contained in the inner sachet is burst releasing it into solution with the liquid yeast awakening them & placing them in an active state just prior to pitching. Having yeast in an active state prior to pitching into your main brew wort is generally accepted to reduce lag time, & minimize the risk of outside infection(s).

 

I reckon I'm going to make this "Proofing" of dry yeast a regular part of my routine from here on.

 

I'd be interested in other peoples views on this.

 

Cheers,

 

Lusty.

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Makes sense. For those who don't have time to read the link, it's basically adding a bit of DME to rehydrating dry yeast. My first thought was at 30 - 40c rehydration temps maybe it'd generate some pervasive off-flavours but at only a teaspoon of fermentables, I doubt it. I'm thinking maybe a small amount of wort once it gets to the boil set aside for this could work? I'm going to rehydrate my yeast this weekend for the first time, so might give it a go.

 

I'd be wary of the idea that if there's no activity in 30 minutes "your yeast is dead," though. Especially with such a broad range of yeasts available these days and how differently they behave, I think that's a bit of a drastic assumption.

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I think I remember reading this was a bad idea with many modern yeasts, might be good with cheap bakers yeast, or really old school brewers yeast.

 

Some mention of it here:

http://howtobrew.com/book/section-1/yeast/preparing-yeast-and-yeast-starters

 

 

Note: Lallemand/Danstar does not recommend proofing after rehydration of their yeast because they have optimized their yeast's nutrional reserves for quick starting in the main wort. Proofing expends some of those reserves.

 

 

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Personally I think it's unnecessary. The yeast become biologically active when they're re-hydrated anyway. Depending on when this proofing is added it may do more harm than good due to osmotic pressure rupturing cell walls of the yeast. It would have to be added prior to 30 minutes; as the recommendation is to pitch re-hydrated yeast into wort within 30 minutes for that same reason.

 

Liquid yeasts become biologically active when they're removed from cold storage, and while that inner nutrient/wort pack inside the Wyeast smack packs is probably unnecessary, it certainly comes in handy for telling that the yeast is viable before it goes into a starter or whatever.

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250ml of wort... 20-25 degrees! with 11g dry yeast, with one teaspoon of DME and quarter teaspoon of yeast nutreant for 15-30 hour, should be active...

 

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Yeah, the version of "How to Brew" posted for free online is an old version of the book. I seem to recall hearing John Palmer say in an interview that he no longer recommends proofing dry yeast (just rehydrating)....Maybe if someone has a hard copy of the most recent version of the book they can look it up and let us know. Cheers. -Christina.

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Don't knock it till you try it I certainly wouldn't rehydrate yeast in 35 degreees,

 

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250ml of wort... 20-25 degrees! with 11g dry yeast' date=' with one teaspoon of DME and quarter teaspoon of yeast nutreant for 15-30 hour, should be active...

 

Makes a quicker start, than simply adding rehydrated yeast

 

[/quote']

 

Hi Waylon. I know you believe in your method, as this has come up before in other threads, but I am just alerting newbies that what you recommend is contrary to what the manufacturers recommend.

 

Manufacturers say yeast should be rehydrated in plain water which contains minerals (so not distilled) but no chlorine. Adding sugar or DME to rehydration fluid creates too much osmotic pressure and can lead to cell wall rupture. And what do you mean by yeast nutrient? Do you mean DAP or something like Go-Ferm? The white crystals most home brew shops sell in little bags as "yeast nutrient" is actually DAP/diammonium phosphate, which is toxic to yeast in the early stages; this should not be used until later. There are specialized yeast nutrient products for rehydration and starters, for example Go-Ferm Protect by Lellemand, which do not contain DAP....I have never seen Go-Ferm in any LHBS, only online.

 

From the Go-Ferm Protect product label: "Go-Ferm Protect does not contain any DAP, as DAP is harmful to the yeast during the rehydration process. Go-Ferm is usually used in conjunction with our Fermaid K yeast nutrient; where Go-Ferm Protect is used at yeast hydration then Fermaid K is added at the first signs of fermentation." Note, Fermaid K does contain DAP. A generic version of this is sold in many home brew shops as "yeast energizer."

 

Cheers! -Christina.

 

PS BTW Waylon, I consistently see visible signs of fermentation with rehydrated dry yeast within 6-12 hours* by using the manufacturers recommended temps, plain water, and no DAP. I have never had to wait 18 hours, and 30 hours seems really long. No offense intended Waylon, but if you are having to wait 15-30 hours, maybe try following the manufacturers recommendations? lolwinksmile

 

* Excludes dry yeast known for long lag times such as Mangrove Jack's West Coast, and BRY-97. I usually stick to Coopers and US-05, and occasionally S-04, S-33, S-23, Windsor, and Nottingham.

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Which is exactly what I was alluding to in my previous post, Christina.

 

The idea of proofing yeast isn't to directly pitch dry yeast into wort like Waylon is describing, it's more to add the malt extract or whatever to it after it has been re-hydrated in the water.

 

I don't think either method is necessary, certainly not pitching it straight into wort, because that's no different to just sprinkling it into the FV really.

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Ive only used the the proofing a couple of times!

I wouldn't say im all for it at all!

But im not against it either!

 

Its something have done in the past and the brews have worked well...

 

In the last 6 months ive rehydrated only with dry yeasts with just as good results,,,so I couldn't be bothered proofing these days!

 

And lately experimented making a starter with;

brew of 27 litres using 11.g saflager yeast; OG 1048- FG 1008-

 

 

Worked well but a lot of trouble when I could have just rehydrated 23g of the same yeast

 

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Yeah' date=' the version of "How to Brew" posted for free online is an old version of the book. I seem to recall hearing John Palmer say in an interview that he no longer recommends proofing dry yeast (just rehydrating)....Maybe if someone has a hard copy of the most recent version of the book they can look it up and let us know. Cheers. -Christina.[/quote']

 

I have a copy of Palmer's "How to Brew" - published in 2006.

In the section on yeast on page 73 he says:

"Note: I used to recommend that the yeast be "proofed" by adding a spoonful of sugar after re-hydration to check the viability. The yeast manufacturers do not recommend proofing after rehydration, because modern manufacturing procedures have optimized the yeast's nutritional reserves" etc, etc.

 

Anyway, I followed Palmer's instructions in making a yeast starter, & with a couple of little diversions from his technique, I managed to do reasonably well with an experimental starter in my most recent batch.

Just the Coopers Pale Ale brew with some hops & malt, & made a starter from the yeast with the pack, just for the sake of getting my head around making starters.

 

It worked quite well, & I had a healthy krausen in under 24 hours, which collapsed after about 3 days, & has now left a quite clear looking brew with the majority of the yeast settled at the bottom of the FV by day 6.

Previous batches where I've simply dry pitched have taken a day or two more to form krausen, & certainly haven't looked almost ready to bottle so soon.

 

I'll still give it another week at 21c, then 4-5 days at 5c, but using a starter does seem to speed up the process, & obviously if done properly, reduces your risk of infection in the brew.

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Hi again guys.

 

We have been over this topic just last year actually.

 

https://www.coopers.com.au/coopers-forum/topic/10699/?page=74

 

I accept much of the written documentation from the dry yeast producers about best practice with their product. That said, you can't deny the firsthand information being relayed by home brewers about their experiences using this 'mini starter' or 'proofing' technique & what they are experiencing in terms of positive outcomes with their yeast & subsequent fermentation(s).

 

In that thread link above our ol' mate antiphile was having great success with it. I remember him mentioning strong fermentations regularly once he began using this method. Waylon seems to be getting positive results from his early experimentation doing this, & I feel is copping some unfair criticism.

 

If I took everything I've read on brewing beer as gospel, I wouldn't be half the brewer I am now.

 

I just think there is a bit of contradictory information out there that doesn't seem to support some of the facts.

 

This is an area of dry yeast preparation I'm willing to sacrifice a brew over to find out whether there are some benefits to adding in this step.

 

Thanks for your input guys (& Ben 10 from last year! tongue). Much appreciated. smile

 

I'll report back after trialing it on my next brew.

 

Lusty.

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Yeah, I guess my perspective is that I would sooner trust advice that is built from proper scientific method, in a proper lab. Repeated testing, repeated results. Rather than a few Joe's doing some experiments in their garage, with no gauge of what's really happening aside from that the brew ferments, which it would anyway.

 

The question is, are the results they are getting any different from simply re-hydrating? Yeast don't start chomping sugars in 20 minutes, so it's not as if it's being pitched while actively fermenting.

 

On the other hand, if the yeast has been re-hydrated correctly, it seems like there would be little difference between pitching this yeast into a wort, or throwing a spoonful of extract into it, in regards to it causing the yeast harm.

 

These questions need to be answered by repeated scientific testing I feel, before any concrete claims can be made either way.

 

I'll certainly be interested to hear how it goes though!

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

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Hi again guys.

 

We have been over this topic just last year actually.

 

https://www.coopers.com.au/coopers-forum/topic/10699/?page=74

 

I accept much of the written documentation from the dry yeast producers about best practice with their product. That said' date=' you can't deny the firsthand information being relayed by home brewers about their experiences using this 'mini starter' or 'proofing' technique & what they are experiencing in terms of positive outcomes with their yeast & subsequent fermentation(s).

 

In that thread link above our ol' mate antiphile was having great success with it. I remember him mentioning strong fermentations regularly once he began using this method. Waylon seems to be getting positive results from his early experimentation doing this, & I feel is copping some unfair criticism.

 

If I took everything I've read on brewing beer as gospel, I wouldn't be half the brewer I am now.

 

I just think there is a bit of contradictory information out there that doesn't seem to support some of the facts.

 

This is an area of dry yeast preparation I'm willing to sacrifice a brew over to find out whether there are some benefits to adding in this step.

 

Thanks for your input guys (& Ben 10 from last year! [img']tongue[/img]). Much appreciated. smile

 

I'll report back after trialing it on my next brew.

 

Lusty.

 

Hi Lusty. Can you please clarify which process you are going to use? Are you going to rehydrate in plain water and then "proof" it with sugar as per John Palmer's former advice? Or are you going to sprinkle the dry yeast directly into a warm, weak wort as per our old friend Antiphile? And how long are you going to leave it before pitching into the wort? Not sure if you have enough FVs or space, but it would be great if you could split your batch into two, carefully weigh out and divide the yeast, and rehydrate one half as per the manufacturer's recommendations and the other half with your test method. Then you can more meaningfully compare things like lag time, finish time, and FG.

 

If memory serves me correctly I think Dr Clayton Cone of Danstar/Lellemand said that the trehalose reserves of dry yeast are more-or-less used up in 45 minutes, and that is why it is important to pitch it into the wort by the 30 minute point. Cheers Lusty! I will be interested to hear your results.

 

-Christina.

 

Cheers. -Christina.

 

 

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Never tried proofing with danstar yeast,

 

At the end of the day we have liquid yeasts for starters...

 

Dryed yeast pitches fine eather sprinkled on top or rehydrated or proofed,

 

Some would say why bother rehydrating, and quite frankly ive never seen I fail simply sprinkled on top!

 

How ever I choosen to rehydrate to be on the safe side & use saf 05 or danstar Nottingham for most brews to date,

 

Im now moving away from dryed yeast to liquid yeasts and brewing 10-15 gallon batches with starters,

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Do not proof in water there is no food for the yeast, it will activate and die ,if you are quick you can get them into the wort which has the food component its just not worth the risk, starting in some wort is better than water, I would just add to the fv as per the instructions from the manufacturer

 

Remembering back to cookery school, successful yeast culture needs correct levels of moisture(or water), correct ph, correct temperature, and nutrients (food - sugars or carbohydrate)

 

If pitching at the high end of the manufacturers range for my beer 21-27 the yeast will multiply many times faster at 27 than at the 21 end of the range

 

Some here say there isn't enough yeast in the brought packs , there is for the range of temps listed

the ones needing more yeast brew outside the recommended temps on the lower end of the scale (which gives better results for the taste) many degree points below 21 ,so for them more yeast is beneficial, with the exception of the lager style yeast that grow at a lot cooler temps

I had a packet yeast finish in 4 days running at the upper limit so there is definitely enough there. Without a doubt lower temps produce better results as far as flavour is concerned

 

 

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Madmead the idea of proofing is to make a tiny mini wort say double the mls per yeast g...

 

Lager yeast needs more pitch rate at lower temps, proofing wont achieve anything for this...

 

Proofing is done by using 11.5 g yeast in 230ml sterile water 20-23 degrees with teaspoon of LDM,

by doing this you proof the yeast and have yeast activity as soon as 15-30 minuts...

 

so its kinda of like a mini starter that does basically nothing for cell count!

 

I true starter is done at a much larger scale and builds tons of yeast cells!

 

Ive tried this proofing and yes it worked fine as instructed...

 

However with the negative feedback I received from our good mate Kelsey last year I decided to simply rehydrate my yeast... and save myself the time and trouble...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do not proof in water there is no food for the yeast' date=' it will activate and die ,if you are quick you can get them into the wort which has the food component its just not worth the risk, starting in some wort is better than water, I would just add to the fv as per the instructions from the manufacturer

[/quote']

 

That completely flies in the face of the manufacturers' instructions. It's not proofing in water, it's simply re-hydrating, and no, it won't kill the yeast if done correctly. If it did then nobody would recommend it be done, not least the yeast labs themselves. Yes, it will activate, and it will start consuming the trehalose that the lab has built into it; this is why it should be pitched into wort within 30 minutes, otherwise the process will do more harm than good.

 

IN regards to recommended pitching rates, no there are nowhere near enough cells in a 7g pack of dry yeast; going off the average figures for the Fermentis yeasts of how many billion cells per gram of dry yeast there are, you'd be lucky if there were 70 billion in there. And then you factor in the shitty storage conditions most of them are put through which would affect viability as well. However, the Coopers yeasts may be different and contain a bit more. An average size batch and OG of ale requires around 180-200 billion cells and lagers at least double that. That doesn't mean that the brews won't ferment out of course, but pitching at the required rate reduces lag time and ensures a healthy fermentation, which in turn reduces the chances of some nasty bug taking hold before the yeast does.

 

At the end of the day, you can do whatever you want really, but there is a damn good reason why these recommendations exist.

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

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Hi Lusty. Can you please clarify which process you are going to use? Are you going to rehydrate in plain water and then "proof" it with sugar as per John Palmer's former advice? Or are you going to sprinkle the dry yeast directly into a warm' date=' weak wort as per our old friend Antiphile? And how long are you going to leave it before pitching into the wort?[/quote']

I'll be following John Palmer's method. Rehydrate the dry yeast in 250mls of cooled boiled water (15 minute timeframe). Add 1 teaspoon of LDM (not sugar) to 150mls of cooled boiled water in a separate vessel, then combine with the fully rehydrated yeast & allow to sit for no more than 30mins, obviously looking for signs of bubbling & that the yeast has shifted from a dormant state to an active one. Then pitch into the main brew wort.

Not sure if you have enough FVs or space' date=' but it would be great if you could split your batch into two, carefully weigh out and divide the yeast, and rehydrate one half as per the manufacturer's recommendations and the other half with your test method. Then you can more meaningfully compare things like lag time, finish time, and FG.[/quote']

It would make for an interesting comparison. However the shift in lowered lag time I'm looking for should be an obvious one, & if it turns out that there is no obvious improvement in that area, I won't bother with the practice in future.

On the other hand' date=' if the yeast has been re-hydrated correctly, it seems like there would be little difference between pitching this yeast into a wort, or throwing a spoonful of extract into it, in regards to it causing the yeast harm.[/quote']

That is my thinking exactly.

 

As Christina quoted from Dr. Clayton of Danstar/Lellemand, the timeframe for this is important, & I plan to make sure I work within it.

 

I might even use the "dead sea" BRY-97 for this little experiment. If this method can wake this shit up, it'll work on anything! lol And if the brew fails, I'll just blame it on the BRY-97! Win-Win for me! biggrin

 

Seriously though, the aim is to mimic the process of a Wyeast liquid yeast smack-pack by rehydrating dry yeast, then moving them from a dormant state into an active state prior to pitching into the main brew wort. As a consequence of this, I'm hoping for a reduced lag time.

 

Thanks again for the added input guys, it's made for interesting reading from my end. smile

 

I'll update down the track.

 

Lusty.

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Interesting thread with a fair bit of ill informed bollocks.

 

Dry yeast should be REHYDRATED in WATER.

 

 

 

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Interesting thread with a fair bit of ill informed bollocks.

 

Dry yeast should be REHYDRATED in WATER.

I'm not sure where you are aiming that comment Ben' date=' but as stated, I'll be rehydrating my dry yeast in pure tap water that has been boiled & then cooled. [img']innocent[/img]

 

Though for pure interest sake, it appears antiphile was rehydrating in low gravity wort. Make of that & his subsequent comments what you will. wink

 

Lusty.

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I'm not sure where you are aiming that comment Ben' date=' [/quote']

 

Not at you as you think things through (although we may vehemently disagree on MANY things)

 

 

 

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All good Ben. smile

 

As a bit of a "dig" though on my part, & for those interested in your thoughts (as I always am), can you please elaborate a little further on the "Interesting thread with a fair bit of ill informed bollocks" comment to clarify what you are perhaps taking exception to?

 

Cheers,

 

Lusty.

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Yeah perhaps tomorrow will be better for that though.

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