Whey as yeast nutrient

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Whey as yeast nutrient

Postby hefezelle » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:19 am

From this old pdf:
The results in Table 3 show that the addition of yeast nutrients was not found to be necessary for fermentation of whey wine. Neither the fermentation rate, nor the cercentage of alcohol produced was increased significantly. It appears that the whey itself contains sufficient nutrients for yeast growth, and additional nutrients are of no value.

Whey has calcium, phosphorus, some magnesium, amino acids (->nitrogen) and even B vitamins. Seems like all the good stuff that we feed to our little yeast buddies through nutrients is already in there. However, whey is mostly lactose sugar, which can not be metabolized by most yeasts, so you will have some sugar permanently in solution and increasing osmotic pressure. Also, there's a good amount of sodium in whey, which acts detrimental towards yeast, as i read somewhere on here.

Has anyone here tried using whey as yeast nutrient? Liquid whey is pretty much a waste product, so you might even get that for free (or insanely cheap) from your local cheese dairy. Would be interesting to do a simple sugar wash with whey used instead of water. Alternatively whey powder could be used i guess. Fresh liquid whey i assume would need to be heated up first to pasteurize it, but that should be easily integrated into wash preparation work flow.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
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Re: Whey as yeast nutrient

Postby The Baker » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:14 pm

hefezelle said, 'Also, there's a good amount of sodium in whey, which acts detrimental towards yeast, as i read somewhere on here.' ....

Sodium in the form of common salt is essential in bread making; it is needed in the mixing and stretching process which develops gluten in the dough so that the cell walls are strong enough to expand with the expansion of the gases.
So obviously it is not harmful per se to the yeast.
But the amount should not be excessive nor should it directly contact the yeast; mix either the yeast or the salt into the flour or the water before adding the other.

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