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How Important is Go-Ferm?

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fivecats

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 12, 2012
272
1
0
Outside Raleighwood
I'm starting to formulate my Orange Mead recipe in my head. After going through the NewBee Guide and lots (and lots and lots) of forum posts I think I have a good idea of the various additive chemicals I'll need.

I called my FNHS to check on the availability of these items and it turns out they do not carry Go-Ferm. I know Go-Ferm is used to ensure a healthy start to rehydrating yeast, but just how important is it?

The Orange Mead will be a 5 gallon batch, using about a gallon of orange juice with orange peel in the primary and possibly in the secondary, depending on the flavor when I rack it over.

Thanks all!
 

TAKeyser

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 4, 2012
1,228
3
0
47
Detroit, MI
My LHBS is always out of it so I hardly ever use it, I do make a starter following the directions in "The Compleat Meadmaker" by Schramm instead of just rehydrating the yeast and I've never had fermentation issues. That being said when I can get it I do buy it, but I still make a starter (habits are hard to break).
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Go-Ferm is a useful adjunct that gives your yeast a little extra edge during rehydration by supplying the cells with both amino nitrogen and the vitamins and minerals that yeast cells need to "harden" themselves against the stresses they face during fermentation (primarily a high dissolved CO2 and ethanol levels that increase as time goes on).

It isn't, strictly speaking, necessary, but if you're wanting to make sure that the highest concentration of cells actually becomes active in your must in the shortest possible time, and especially if you are planning on fermenting a very high initial gravity must, Go-Ferm can give your yeast enough of an edge that they will certainly meet or exceed rated ethanol tolerance, and they will be relatively stress free during the ferment (which means you'll end up with less off flavors that are the result of yeast stress).
 

tweak'e

NewBee
Registered Member
Jan 31, 2011
396
1
0
NewZealand
its something i'm just starting to test out.
previously my main yeast is dry direct pitch yeast. manafacture specificly says not to rehydrate.
however i recently got some 71b and goferm.

used it in my pyment and its brewing a bit quicker than i had expected. eg drop 30 points in the first 2 days.
i'm hoping its due to much more yeast surviving the pitch. typically dry yeast you over pitch as the failure rate is higher compared to liquid yeasts.

if i can get better healthier yeast at the start i can reduce the pitched amount. the avantage should be that less yeast eat less nutrients, which reduces your need to feed them so much.
so overall trying to get smaller amount of heathier yeast which will do a better ferment.
i hope that makes sence!
 

fivecats

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 12, 2012
272
1
0
Outside Raleighwood
Go-Ferm is a useful adjunct that gives your yeast a little extra edge during rehydration by supplying the cells with both amino nitrogen and the vitamins and minerals that yeast cells need to "harden" themselves against the stresses they face during fermentation (primarily a high dissolved CO2 and ethanol levels that increase as time goes on).

It isn't, strictly speaking, necessary, but if you're wanting to make sure that the highest concentration of cells actually becomes active in your must in the shortest possible time, and especially if you are planning on fermenting a very high initial gravity must, Go-Ferm can give your yeast enough of an edge that they will certainly meet or exceed rated ethanol tolerance, and they will be relatively stress free during the ferment (which means you'll end up with less off flavors that are the result of yeast stress).
Thanks for the overview, Wayneb. It's very helpful.

I'm looking at using 12 lbs of honey with 1/2 of a gallon of OJ and one quart of orange zest topped off with OJ. I'm not sure of the dry yeast I'll be using, (recommendations would be appreciated!) and I'm not sure how essential Go-Ferm would be to the mead. I'm not overly concerned with the alcohol content for the finished mead and patience isn't much of an issue.

Would you recommend that I order some online and wait for it to arrive before preparing the must? Or do you think I'm fine without it?
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
I agree with skunkboy - but that amount of honey doesn't sound like it would be too much of a yeast stressor, no matter which strain you use. GO-Ferm probably isn't absolutely necessary. Of more concern would be the low pH created by the OJ. I'd opt for a fairly aggressive strain like K1V-1116 (which will probably take this dry, but will not be as phased by the low pH as other strains and which will still leave lots of orange aromatics behind).
 

mccann51

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 8, 2010
637
2
0
Southwestern USA
Since Go-Ferm affects the number of viable cells going into the ferment, would pitching more yeast be a good alternative to using Go-Ferm? Or is the yeast also being less stressed going into the ferment a big enough factor beyond simple cell count to warrant it's use?

At what kind of OG is it suggested to really start considering using Go-Ferm; ie what kind of gravities are considered especially stressful for wine yeast?
 

Bugleman

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 23, 2011
69
1
0
Aloha, Oregon
rehydration

For me, rehydrating is so easy and benificial, it is a very important step for my fermentations. Additionally go-ferm is so cheap it is well worth the moola.
 

brian92fs

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 24, 2011
323
0
0
Sacramento, CA
Two thoughts on this:

1) Some yeast strains benefit more than others. If you look at Lallemand's yeast descriptions, you'll see GoFerm specifically mentioned for some of them.

2) GoFerm provides specific nutrients that aid yeast with rehydration and the lag phase. I don't think a higher inoculation rate is a substitute for GoFerm. Just my opinion though... I could be mistaken.
 

speedreader

NewBee
Registered Member
Oct 18, 2010
127
0
0
Never once used it and I've only had one fermentation that had problems starting (and that was an agave mead, and apparently agave is particularly troublesome).

That said, I just ordered some last week and will start using it because a) it's cheap and b) why not give your yeast every advantage you can.
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Go-Ferm not only maximizes the number of viable yeast that make the transition to your must, but it also "pre-loads" those cells with the micronutrients needed to minimize stress related problems.

Even for wine yeast strains dealing with "average" initial gravity musts (i.e. those in the 1.090 to 1.110 range), ethanol stress plays a part in every fermentation. But for anything much above 1.110, I've found from personal experience that I have more successful fermentations, and they go quicker and more cleanly, when I use Go-Ferm than when I don't. For seriously high initial gravity musts (those above 1.125) Go-Ferm can be the difference between a complete fermentation and one that sticks. I can't say enough good about it, especially in those instances that I've worked with uber-gravity musts that would challenge any yeast (i.e. those in the 1.140-1.150 range).
 

mccann51

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 8, 2010
637
2
0
Southwestern USA
Go-Ferm not only maximizes the number of viable yeast that make the transition to your must, but it also "pre-loads" those cells with the micronutrients needed to minimize stress related problems.

Even for wine yeast strains dealing with "average" initial gravity musts (i.e. those in the 1.090 to 1.110 range), ethanol stress plays a part in every fermentation. But for anything much above 1.110, I've found from personal experience that I have more successful fermentations, and they go quicker and more cleanly, when I use Go-Ferm than when I don't. For seriously high initial gravity musts (those above 1.125) Go-Ferm can be the difference between a complete fermentation and one that sticks. I can't say enough good about it, especially in those instances that I've worked with uber-gravity musts that would challenge any yeast (i.e. those in the 1.140-1.150 range).
Do you think there's significant benefit to add it to low gravity musts (<1.060, say)? How about for rehydrating dry yeast for beer? I guess I'm curious how important you think it is in less stressful fermentation situations.
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
To be perfectly honest with you, in hydromel strength (less than 1.080) musts, it probably makes no noticeable difference whether or not you used Go-Ferm, as long as you supplement with some nutrients immediately after lag. There may be some small but measurable increase in the fermentation rate, but given how quickly these ferment out anyway, I doubt that most people would notice. And as for beer, given all the micronutrients and YAN that are made available (and virtually all of it is from amino sources) from the grain, there also is no need for Go-Ferm.
 

Sadie Lady

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jan 10, 2011
135
1
0
South Carolina
Never once used it and I've only had one fermentation that had problems starting (and that was an agave mead, and apparently agave is particularly troublesome).

That said, I just ordered some last week and will start using it because a) it's cheap and b) why not give your yeast every advantage you can.
All I know is the first 5 batches of poison (aka wine) I made, I didn't use Goferm or SNA, now my new batches with Goferm and SNA are going great. I'd be afraid not to use it now ;)
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
Moderator
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Apr 27, 2010
8,398
18
0
Ottawa, ON
I've never used it (none of my local brew stores carry it and I hate having to order stuff online), and the only batch I've ever had that wouldn't start was eventually determined to be a dead packet of yeast, and the only batches I've had that stuck permanently high ended op having potassium sorbate in the juice I used.

That said, now that I'm getting into SNA and better fermentation management, I'm not sure what differences I'm seeing as a result (I'd need to do side-by-side comparisons, and a "yeast abuse test" is on the to-brew list) but as speedreader said, why not give your yeast every advantage you can?
 

brian92fs

NewBee
Registered Member
Jul 24, 2011
323
0
0
Sacramento, CA
I suspect that the importance of GoFerm might depend on your goals for the batch. Are you making a sweet mead or a dry mead that you want to take to 0.2% residual sugar. I've personally found it a bit more challenging to make very dry meads. Most of mine seem to finish in the 0.5% - 1.0% residual sugars range. I have yet to take one down to below 0.5%. I imagine that GoFerm may provide a bit more assurance if you're trying to make it as dry as possible. Just a guess though.
 

!Wine

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 22, 2012
25
0
0
Never used it...

Anyone else use a pinch of epsom salts, a pinch of potassium chloride (Morton salt substitute) and a teaspoon of yeast instead? That supplies Magnesium, sulpher, potassium and yeast hulls.

I usually simmer that in a cup of water with sugar or must for 5 minutes.... then use it for a starter when cooled down. Great fermentation with various yeasts, including several types of bread yeast... even on lemon wines (with real lemons... not sulfited juice from the store). :D

Happy Fermenting! LOL
 

mccann51

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 8, 2010
637
2
0
Southwestern USA
Never used it...

Anyone else use a pinch of epsom salts, a pinch of potassium chloride (Morton salt substitute) and a teaspoon of yeast instead? That supplies Magnesium, sulpher, potassium and yeast hulls.

I usually simmer that in a cup of water with sugar or must for 5 minutes.... then use it for a starter when cooled down. Great fermentation with various yeasts, including several types of bread yeast... even on lemon wines (with real lemons... not sulfited juice from the store). :D

Happy Fermenting! LOL
Do you use this as a rehydrating medium? Wouldn't the salt keep the solution hypertonic making it difficult for the yeast to rehydrate?
 
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