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A Few Words About Nutrients

By Ed Kraus

One of the nutrients naturally lacking in most wines is nitrogen. Having sufficient nitrogen in the fermentation allows wine yeast to reproduce more readily. The higher the rate of reproduction, the higher the wine’s rate of fermentation. Nitrogen also helps the yeast to produce higher levels of natural enzymes, which means your wine will clear and age quicker. Having plenty of nitrogen will also increase the yeast’s tolerance to alcohol.

The most common source of nitrogen is Yeast Nutrient it comes either in powder or tablet form. Yeast Nutrient supplies nitrogen to the yeast in the singular form of a phosphate. Yeast Nutrient is sufficient for make wines from grapes and other fruits that are similar to grapes such as currants and berries.

In certain situations Yeast Energizer may be more beneficial than Yeast Nutrient. Just like Yeast Nutrient, the Energizer supplies the wine yeast with much needed nitrogen, but from a wider range of nutrients than just phosphate. Yeast Energizer contains over a dozen yeast extractive proteins, along with B1 Vitamin, and di-ammonium phosphate. All are valuable sources of nitrogen.

Yeast Energizer should be used when fermenting certain types of wines such as meads, vegetables, herbs, etc. The more the produce is unlike grapes, the more likely Energizer will be of benefit. Unlike grapes, these type of musts are typically deficient in the set of nutrients wine yeast are used to receiving. Yeast Energizer compensates for these deficiencies. 

Another essential nutrient that aids the fermentation process is lipid. Lipid is what makes up the outer wall of the yeast cell. Every time a yeast cell reproduces itself (budding), a single yeast cell is split in half to form two cells. During the budding process the amount of lipid available for each cell is cut by half. So as available lipid is decreased through each generation of budding, the ability of a yeast cell to reproduce itself diminishes.

Ghostex is a product we offer that is designed to replenish the supply of lipid to the yeast during its reproductive stage. This will help to eliminate a sluggish fermentation later on. Ghostex also causes the yeast to remain suspended longer. This will be a beneficial factor later in the fermentation as alcohol levels rise and sugar levels fall.

Be sure to check out our selection of wine making equipment and wine making supplies.

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Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.