posted on Feb, 22 2008 @ 07:29 PM
Yeast is a living microscopic organism which converts sugar or starch into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which is why beer brewers, wine makers and
bread bakers like it. Baker's yeast is what we use most often for leavening when cooking. Baker's yeast is either active dry yeast (where the yeast
is alive but inactive due to lack of moisture) or compressed fresh yeast (where the yeast is alive and extremely perishable as a result). Brewer's
yeast is a non-leavening yeast used in brewing beer and can be eaten as a food supplement for its healthful properties (as you would wheat germ),
unlike baker's yeast which is used for leavening. Brewer's years has a bitter hops flavor. Nutritional yeast is similar to brewer's yeast, but not
as bitter because it is grown on molasses. You should not use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because it continues to grow in
the intestine and uses up vitamin B instead of replenishing it.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Active dry yeast comes in envelopes, jars or bulk and can be regular or quick rising. Quick rising will half the time needed for rising
to occur. Because you are purchasing live organisms, please note the expiration date on the package when using (fresh yeast will only last 1 week).
How to store: Always store in a cool, dry place, preferably the refrigerator (a must for fresh yeast), but bring to room temperature before using.
Fresh yeast is extremely perishable and should be used within 1-2 weeks or date on package.
How to prepare: Yeast needs both a warm environment and food to grow. The process is often called "proofing the yeast." Yeast should be dissolved in
warm water (100-110 degrees F), but not hot water or it will die. Sugar is usually added to "feed" and grow the yeast. You should see activity
within 5 minutes, bubbling and expansion during yeast activation. If you see no activity, your yeast is too old, the water was too warm or too cold.
Time to start over.
In response to the question about Brewer's yeast -
Yeast is added to growth media for the complex proteins, vitamins,
co-factors, hormones, and enzymes that come from the yeast cells. The yeasts
rarely grow in tea to much extent, but they are good for the additional food
resources they provide.
So, fungal or bacterial food? Both, depending on conditions.
I know that some tea makers think it's really important to add the yeasts,
but I'm not so sure. If the source of your compost seems a little iffy, then
yeast would be good to add. But if you have really good, alive, happy
compost, I don't think it is needed.
And is Brewers, or Bakers yeast better? Or maybe Champagne yeast? Or wine
Depends on the compost, and the general health of the soil or the plant
surfaces you are applying the tea to. The more generally dead the soil, the
more recent the application of a toxic chemical, the more likely it would be
to need as many food resources as possible.
The healthier your soil and plant surfaces, the less need to add lots of
stuff, because the biology already present is making it already. Someday we;
ll have the methods and the knowledge so we can tell you which yeast you
need. Don't have that level of knowledge yet. We need everyone to be
testing, and figuring this out.
So, help us out by observing when addition of the yeast seems to make a big
difference, and when it doesn't. I'd love it if you all would let me know
your results. We need a central database of knowledge about teas, where we
track these bits and pieces of information and try to make sense of it all.
I'd like to have SFI serve in that capacity, if you would all like to keep me
up-to-date on what you are observing!
But in my opinion honestly i would collect lots of fruit and buy loads of sugar...
the yeast on the fruit turns the sugar in alcohol!