Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bad Yeast Nutrient

When it comes to brewing beer I have never had a need for yeast nutrient.  I used some last time I made wine with grapes and I may have used some for dandelion wine also.  More recently I used it with my Watermelon Strawberry experiment.  During primary fermentation I noticed a strong ammonia type smell.  I am used to strong smells during primary fermentation and I am used to my wife not liking them sometimes, but this was definitely not a good smell.

This led me to check my yeast nutrient, and I discovered it had gotten moist and clumpy and it smelled just like the bad smells I picked up from the fermentation.  I just racked that off it's yeast and the smell has gotten calmer but it is still there.  I think the wine is great (if you hold your nose while you sip) so I don't think it's a bad recipe and I expect to try it again.  Has anyone else had a similar experience?

I added some extra sugars (dextrose) when I racked it.  I am hoping the yeast will get back to work and maybe eliminate whatever that odor is and maybe I can salvage this wine.  Moving forward I have purchased a new yeast nutrient with a screw cap that I can tighten.  It is a mead yeast nutrient that has no urea and I keep the screw cap bottle in a zip lock bag that also contains some silica gel to absorb moisture.  I am told as long as it is dry the nutrient really will not expire.