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Rehydrating Dried Yeast

by Alberta Rager
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Tips & Tidbits

Rehydrating Dried Yeast

Dry yeast should be rehydrated in de-aerated water before pitching. Do not just sprinkle it over the wort or must as most manufacturer’s instructions suggest. The concentration of sugars in the wort or must is so high that the yeast cannot draw enough water across the cell membranes to restart their metabolism. To maintain maximum viability and vitality, limit the yeast’s exposure to dissolved oxygen until it is pitched into the wort or must. For best results use a minimum of 10 grams of dried yeast per 5-6 gallons of beer or wine.

• Sprinkle the dried yeast over the surface of clean, sterilized (boiled) water at 110-115 degrees F for wine yeast or 95-110 degrees F for beer yeast and cover with plastic. Do not use wort or must, distilled or reverse osmosis water as loss of viability will result.
Do not stir. Leave undisturbed for 15 minutes until the yeast cells have absorbed the water, sink and begin to bob up and down or froth.
• Gently stir to suspend the yeast completely, recover and let it sit for 10 minutes to complete rehydration.
• Check the temperature of the rehydrated yeast and the temperature of the wort or must then adjust the temperature of the rehydrated yeast to less than 10 degree variation from that of the wort or must. A temperature variation of more then 10 degrees F will cause temperature shock. Temperature shock will cause the formation of petite mutants leading to long-term or incomplete fermentation and possible formation of undesirable flavors.

This article was published on Thursday May 14, 2009.
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