Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

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Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Jimbo » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:02 pm

Im starting a thread here to talk about yeast health, and yeast nutrition in all grain mashes. :esurprised: WHAT?! you say?

It is my observation that in all malt recipes, and even bourbon recipes with 20-30% malt, yeast health is rarely an issue. The explanation is hidden in the magic that happens when a seed germinates, enzyme production to so much more.

But more and more people are doing ALL GRAIN mashes with 100% raw grain and using a variety of lab produced enzymes for the conversion. It is my observation that these raw grain and enzyme based mashes do not ferment happily all the time and are more prone to stalling and infections. In another post Booner commented that an all corn mash done with enzymes just doesnt have the goods to make the yeast happy. I completely agree, and have had to really nurse all corn mashes along to get them to finish well, and have plenty of failures along the way too. Booner suggests prenatal vitamins crushed up for corn. I havent tried that yet but I will. Here's my suggestions for yeast health for these finicky enzyme based mashes. The sugarhead guys have some tricks too in their threads, see RAD and others for related info on sugarheads using vitamins, fertilizer, tomato paste etc.

DONT use anything urea based. Often they are marketed as Yeast Energizer. Urea reacts with ethyl alcohol to produce Ethyl Carbamate. Its a carcinogen, and is getting quite a bit of attention in the industry at the moment. So whether or not it comes over in the distillate or not, I dont much care. Its not going in my hooch.

DO use products labeled Yeast Nutrients. These are generally comprised of Diammonium Phosphate and Dipotassium Phosphate. The better ones add more ingredients. Crosby and Baker makes a product called Fermax that adds Magnesium Sulfate (yeast need Mg), and autolyzed yeast (yeast are apparently happily cannibalistic). Im using this Fermax product now for all raw grain mashes. You can get 2 lbs from ebay for $20 US, free shipping.

DO be careful with your water. Yeast hate salt (water softeners) and Iron (unsoftened hard water). So if youre screwed with bad water, as I am , suck it up and buy water or put in an RO and resupplement the water with minerals. Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate and Epsom salt (for Mg) will put the right minerals back in distilled or RO water.

Anyway, hope that helps. Curious others observations and solutions to this problem?

Cheers,

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by pfshine » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:55 pm

I got nasty water here so I bought a small in line filter for my mashes. All I do is at and piggyback now but I want to try a boomer soon so thanks for the heads up.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by T-Pee » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:04 pm

Good points, Jimbo.

I suppose any of the non-urea-based yeast bombs would be appropriate. For 10-gallon rum ferments I use "autolyzed" yeast (great term, btw), a couple multi-vitamins and a couple B-complex tabs. Sure seems to keep the yeasties happy.

tp (with good water)

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by woodshed » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:13 pm

My water is filtered as well. For damn near everything. IMO every mash can benefit from a pre natal vitamin. Not much different from us at these basic stages :eugeek:

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by S-Cackalacky » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:20 pm

Something else to feel paranoid about - old(er) man buying prenatal vitamins.

That said, how many of those prenatal vitamins should I add to a 5 gallon raw grain enzyme converted wash? Do the prenatal vitamins contain something that is especially important to raw grain ferments?

Posted while others were posting.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by woodshed » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:42 pm

Half a tablet at the most. I go the equivalent of two at thirty gallons. Not so much for the grain as for the yeast. And the enzymes.
Formulated for healthy cell growth. Yeast are all about that.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by 3d0g » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:50 pm

From what I've read (yeah, yeah) you've gotta REALLY overdo it on urea based nutrients (or add them extremely late to the ferment ) for ethyl carbamate to be a concern. I'm definitely interested in the discussion though. Time is money in a distillery and healthy ferments are critical. Ordering some Fermax to play with now...

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by S-Cackalacky » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:07 pm

woodshed wrote:Half a tablet at the most. I go the equivalent of two at thirty gallons. Not so much for the grain as for the yeast. And the enzymes.
Formulated for healthy cell growth. Yeast are all about that.
Thanks Steve. When you say, "And the enzymes.", does that mean I should add them along with the enzymes during the mashing process, or add them to the wash during fermentation to promote further enzyme action?
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by woodshed » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:47 pm

Put them in fermentation. Mine are crushed into powder. I find better returns and a higher complexity of spirit from the still.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by buflowing » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:52 am

My first all corn attempt stalled after a couple days. It restarted and finished after adding an old man multivitamin and a teaspoon of DAP per 5 gal bucket. This is the dosing I've been using since, prior to pitching yeast. Seems to work. I know you'll groan Jimbo, but I use softened well water and redstar bakers yeast. Yup, I'm cheap and lazy. Anyway, another interesting Jimbo thread. Looking forward to remediation.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by S-Cackalacky » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:51 am

buflowing wrote:My first all corn attempt stalled after a couple days. It restarted and finished after adding an old man multivitamin and a teaspoon of DAP per 5 gal bucket. This is the dosing I've been using since, prior to pitching yeast. Seems to work. I know you'll groan Jimbo, but I use softened well water and redstar bakers yeast. Yup, I'm cheap and lazy. Anyway, another interesting Jimbo thread. Looking forward to remediation.
I draw mine off before the conditioner and let it air out to dissipate the hydrogen sulfide. My sugarhead ferments go like crazy. Of course that doesn't really mean much - well water can vary greatly from one location to another. If you have a conditioner that uses salt, you can usually put most of them in bypass mode for the time it takes to draw off your fermentation water. I do it the way I do it more for convenience. I don't have running water in my basement other than the valve on the main line out of the pressure tank. I put a short piece of hose on it to fill my water buckets.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by yakattack » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:59 am

My first few runs were sugarheads. I unintentionally used brewers yeast ( dead yeast sold as a nutrient) instead of reg bakers yeast. When my ferments weren't taking off I added regular old bakers yeast and away they went.

I then tried some ferments just with bakers yeast and they were very slow. So I went back to using the brewers yeast as well as a nutrient.

I've also used bananas as a nutrient source quite effectiy


YMMV.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by jedneck » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:13 am

woodshed wrote:Half a tablet at the most. I go the equivalent of two at thirty gallons. Not so much for the grain as for the yeast. And the enzymes.
Formulated for healthy cell growth. Yeast are all about that.
Is there anyharm in using one per five gallons. I have been using one per six gallon ferment. I will be going to half tablet.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by rad14701 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:38 am

Just want to add here that "brewers yeast" is a term that usually describes dead leftover yeast from commercial fermentation that is marketed for health supplement purposes... More than a few novices have come here looking for answers as to why their attempts to ferment washes were unsuccessful, only to find that they were trying to use dead rather than active yeast...

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by rtalbigr » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:49 am

To all my AG's I add gypsum, Epsom salts, zinc, and a multi vit. The yeast do great.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by woodshed » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:03 am

I see no harm in it a full vit per 5 gallons.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Jimbo » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:55 am

buflowing wrote:I know you'll groan Jimbo, but I use softened well water and redstar bakers yeast. Yup, I'm cheap and lazy.
Na, I must be a cheap lazy bastard too cause I used filtered softened water for a long time, and beer yeasts that I harvested FO FREE from batches of beer. The filtered softened water worked ok for malt based whiskeys, but it was a problem in beer (flavor), and might be part of the problem I'm seeing with all raw grain/enzyme mashes that Im doing more of now. Altho wheat went off like a rocket. Might just be corn. Damn shit must be a barren landscape of nutrients. Anyway, I put in a cheap 3 stage RO ($65 on Amazon) and a 55 gal collection tank, post on here somewhere.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Brutal » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:24 am

I'm glad we are talking about this. I always thought the grains were all that the yeast needed for nutrients. The most famous recipe, UJSSM, states that the cracked corn added all the nutrients the yeast need to be happy. I figured adding a boatload of corn and tearing it to shreds with enzymes would provide and overabundance of nutrients. We live and learn don't we?
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by skow69 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:25 am

Excellent thread! Thanks, Jimbo. That explains some things.
Jimbo wrote: Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate and Epsom salt (for Mg) will put the right minerals back in distilled or RO water.
Jimbo
My city water is pretty soft. The report says hardness = 30-55 ppm. So I have always added Calcium Carbonate and Epsom salt. Do I need Calcium Sulfate in addition to these?

I'm a big fan of Fermax. I've been using it only for sugarheads up till now. I read someplace to add it in three doses as the sugar is consumed. Looks like I'll be getting some pregnant-lady vitamins, too. Gotta be good stuff in them.

Thanks for the info, guys.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Jimbo » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:58 am

Skow, I usually use more Calc Sulfate, Gypsum, as it helps lower pH too. Ive also read Calcium Carbonate is not very soluble in water. But I add them both now for whiskey washes. In beer I only add Gypsum and nothing else, as that doesnt seem to be broke and ferments just fine with 2 tsp gypsum per 5 gallon of RO, probably because its 100% malt.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by skow69 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:54 pm

Oh, right. I got ya. I seem to be the odd man out for pH. I start with a half gallon of backset and a tsp of cal carbonate in 4 gallons of water and my pH is always in the low 5s so I have to raise it for the hi temp amylase. Other people always seem to be trying to get low enough. I don't want to cut back on the backset, so I use more cal carbonate or sodium carbonate. It works fine, just seems strange.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Jimbo » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:57 pm

I can see that. Backset is more acid than people give it credit for. I never go higher than 20%, about where you are. Any higher and the mash is too acid.
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by shadylane » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:16 pm

A little off post and based on my limited experience.
Grain heated in water has a pH that's close to what alpha amylase needs to convert starch into dextrins.
Gluco amylase needs the pH lowered to do it's job. Backset is good for this.
The backset has the nutrients that cannibalistic yeast likes to eat.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by buflowing » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:13 pm

Jimbo wrote:
buflowing wrote:I know you'll groan Jimbo, but I use softened well water and redstar bakers yeast. Yup, I'm cheap and lazy.
Na, I must be a cheap lazy bastard too cause I used filtered softened water for a long time, and beer yeasts that I harvested FO FREE from batches of beer. The filtered softened water worked ok for malt based whiskeys, but it was a problem in beer (flavor), and might be part of the problem I'm seeing with all raw grain/enzyme mashes that Im doing more of now. Altho wheat went off like a rocket. Might just be corn. Damn shit must be a barren landscape of nutrients. Anyway, I put in a cheap 3 stage RO ($65 on Amazon) and a 55 gal collection tank, post on here somewhere.
So far, I've been ok with softened water on the stillin side, with adjustments noted. For brewing, I've always, and continue to, use bottled water. And of course, a good ale yeast, no bakers.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Brutal » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:35 am

Jimbo wrote:Im starting a thread here to talk about yeast health, and yeast nutrition in all grain mashes. :esurprised: WHAT?! you say?
DO be careful with your water. Yeast hate salt (water softeners) and Iron (unsoftened hard water). So if youre screwed with bad water, as I am , suck it up and buy water or put in an RO and resupplement the water with minerals. Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate and Epsom salt (for Mg) will put the right minerals back in distilled or RO water.
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Is the iron you are talking about the same or different from the one added to many foods? I've been interested in rice as an adjunct or a primary base and found a 50 pound bag for cheap recently. I was about to take it home but I flipped it over and read about it being "fortified" with several things including iron. Do you think this would be bad for yeast if used in a ferment?
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Jimbo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:04 am

Brutal, the level of iron in fortified food is tiny. Its the rusty yellow water iron that stains your toilet that is a problem
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by S-Cackalacky » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:09 am

I've been pretty lucky with my well water. I have recently been drawing it straight from the pressure tank. I usually fill a few 5 gallon buckets and let it sit for a day or two to dissipate the small amount of hydrogen sulfide smell. I've never had it analyzed, but my ferments are usually strong without much (if any) adjustments.

Water quality seems to be one of the biggest variables in success or failure of ferments. Many of the deficiencies can be fairly easily dealt with, but I would say that iron seems to be the most difficult if it's present in your water supply. Jimbo, is that the reason you're doing reverse osmosis (RO)? If so, is it a DIY solution you're using?
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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by humbledore » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:33 pm

I have been doing all corn fermenting on grain, no backset, no vitamins or minerals, filtered tap water. It ferments out in a week, it really goes to town. My most recent one was the one where I lautered the grain and dumped it, did not ferment on it. Had maybe 1/2G of backset in it. Stalled out at 1.020 with a pH of 4.5. I added baking soda last night, I hate that crap. I need to get some oyster shells. I too have been thinking I'm atypical because adding backset usually lowers my pH to far. My water is around 7 to start with.

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by buflowing » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:17 pm

Jimbo wrote:Brutal, the level of iron in fortified food is tiny. Its the rusty yellow water iron that stains your toilet that is a problem
In your experience Jimbo, what's better for distilling? Rusty yellow water iron that stains my toilet? Or softened water enriched with sodium?

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Re: Supplementing Nutritionally Deficient ALL GRAIN Mashes

Post by Jimbo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:18 pm

Neither. Soften then RO the water. RO takes out 98% of the sodium (cloride ions) just fine but iron kills the RO membrane
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