Getting the most from your Brewers Yeast
To help get the most out of your brewers yeast I usually suggest putting only a little bit of brewers yeast into your brew and then allowing it to multiply. In good brewing conditions yeast can multiply hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
However in less than perfect conditions only putting a little bit of brewers yeast into your brew may lead to a stuck fermentation as the yeast struggles to multiply and eventually becomes overwhelmed by the large amount of sugar that needs to be fermented.
There are a few things that you can do to aid and prevent a stuck fermentation.
Add More Brewers Yeast to your struggling batch
Firstly you can add more brewers yeast to the batch to help out any struggling yeast. That’s the obvious solution. An even better continuation of this solution is to make sure you are adding yeast that is already in a successful fermentation. Maybe you have another batch that is brewing nicely or maybe a batch has just finished fermenting so instead of throwing away the brewers yeast from that batch simply add it to the struggling one.
Many brewers don’t like to add dry yeast to their brews. Instead they put their dry brewers yeast through a re-hydration process. It’s very simple. You simply add the dry yeast to 50 ml of luke warm water containing half a teaspoon of sugar, leave it for 15 minutes and then stir vigorously. Then you add this mixture to your brewing bottles.
The other solution is to improve the conditions under which the brewers yeast is fermenting.
Brewers Yeast – Aeration (Oxygen Supply)
Brewers yeast requires oxygen to multiply. This is one of the reasons why you should leave an air gap at the top of the bottles when brewing. To increase aeration (oxygen supply) you can leave the home brewing cap unscrewed by a couple of rotations. Then after 24 hours when the brewers yeast has multiplied you can tighten the cap fully again and allow the drink to carbonate.
Brewers Yeast – Brewing Temperature
Other brewing conditions that need to be adhered to are temperature controls. Optimal brewing temperature is between 20 – 24 degree Celsius. It is also important to keep the brewing bottles out of direct sunlight.
Brewers Yeast – Sterilization and Cleanliness
The final important brewing condition to note is to do with cleanliness. If any piece of brewing equipment you are using has not been sterilized then you run the risk of creating an infected batch. Things like wild yeast and bacteria will thrive under good brewing conditions if cleanliness is not looked after. Even if you have been careful to clean all of your equipment and then you accidentally stir your brew with an unsterilized spoon you are likely to have just added some small colony of bacteria to your brew so be very careful.