HERE'S OUR SIXTH article for home distilling beginners, drawing a line under all we could find for you about yeast.
Our previous Beginners’ Gems posts containing helpful hints, tips and techniques for home distillers, include the following:
This sixth article wraps up any remaining issues you might have with your home distillers yeast.
Couple of facts about re-start yeast strains:
The 'special thing' about re-start strains is they have in-built tolerance to around 10% ABV but if added to 12% ABV they die.
If a yeast sticks, often times the ABV percentage will be above 12%ABV because even when the wash has overheated during fermentation it would usually hit 12%ABV anyway.
Alternately, it may be because the wash has cooled down below 15°C (59°F). In this case, warm the wash up and stir vigorously to get the yeast back into circulation. Once the wash is warm fermentation should continue normally.
I have tried to get the wash going again but nothing seems to start it?
Distill it anyway. You will not get as much alcohol as you would from a normally fermented wash. Watch the temperature on the condenser and stop when you have reached the appropriate maximum temperature for your model.
My wash has turned to jelly!
The problem described is the result of a bacterial contamination from Leuconostoc. Under certain conditions, this bacterium produces a polysaccharide. This polysaccharide looks like jelly. Whilst it is totally harmless, customers would definitely complain if they saw such a contamination.
This bacterium can live on surfaces within a brewing environment, especially where there is a lot of repeat brewing, this is likely to be the source of contamination. But, for leuconostoc to contaminate a brew would require very low temperatures - under such conditions, very little ethanol would be produced during the first 48 hours allowing the Leuconostoc to take hold.
Until next time... Happy Distilling!