The fermentation nutritional requirements for seltzers are unique to beer. Like any product, brewers need to understand their core medium. In the case of Seltzer, that means sugar substrates like sucrose and dextrose – which are extremely nutrient-devoid ingredients. For successful fermentation, yeast must feed greedily to be happy, healthy, and productive, so a complex mix of nutrients will need to be added. These are powders and tablets (full of nitrogen, proteins, peptides, etc.) added at the end of boiling or in the whirlpool from the start of fermentation. Here’s a tip: don’t add nutrients to boiling sugar seltzer water too early in the process. Too much heat could negate the benefits of this important food. Here is another tip:
“We recommend mixing the nutrients with water and adding the nutrient mix to the fermenter at the start of fermentation, prior to inoculation with yeast,” said Nate Siats, Sales Manager-Beverages East. Coast/Midwest and Business Development Manager at Gusmer. “This ensures that the nutrients don’t clump together and that there is an abundant supply of nutrients for the yeast to grow and complete fermentation under high stress conditions. Depending on the capabilities of the process, some customers may choose to add nutrients to the kettle or to the hot tub. This is perfectly acceptable. This ensures correct mixing and ease of preparation to get the nutrients into solution and into the fermenter.
Gusmer is an expert supplier of processing aids and fermentation equipment (and a whole host of other equipment and supplies). Gusmer’s MicroElements Brewing Nutrient Tablets are a diverse blend of vitamins, minerals, polypeptides and amino acids that are essential precursors needed to build yeast biomass in beer brewing. Gusmer also now offers a MicroElements Hard Seltzer HG, which is a powdered blend of complex fermentation nutrients formulated specifically for high gravity seltzer fermentations.
“MicroElements Hard Seltzer HG is a new addition to Gusmer’s MicroElements product line,” explained Jasmin Sahota, Technical Applications Manager – Beverages at Gusmer. “The nutritional and fermentation needs of brewing are different from those of seltzer. For example, MicroElements Brewing Nutrient Tablets contain organic nitrogen, amino acids, sterols, zinc, among other essential vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to use the tablets during the last 15 minutes of boiling in the kettle. MicroElements Hard Seltzer HG is a powdered blend of complex fermentation nutrients optimized for high gravity seltzer fermentations. It is composed of organic and inorganic nitrogen, vitamins, trace elements, amino acids, sterols, proteins and peptides. The combination of these nutrients is important for overall yeast health, metabolism, ensuring good fermentation kinetics and optimized production of neutral flavor and aroma versus off-flavor compounds in seltzers.
Unhappy yeasts lead to inferior products. Nutrient-deficient fermentations lead to poor yeast health, limited or stalled fermentations, low alcohol yields, and off-flavors. Sahota notes that Gusmer focused on these critical parameters in developing a hard seltzer-specific nutrient blend with the goal of achieving neutral flavor and aroma, fast fermentation times and high alcohol yields. As mentioned, this product comes in powder form.
“Powder mixes are more cost effective to produce and allow the user to easily weigh out the specific amounts needed for their recipe,” Sahota said. “Our soluble tablets have been optimized for set volumes and are designed to be an easy to use solution for our customers to count the number of tablets needed without having to weigh their recipe and simply add to the kettle towards the end of boiling.
Gusmer offers a wide range of products and treatment equipment to ensure the production of high quality seltzer water. Processing products include: Yeast offerings from Renaissance and Chr. Hansen; IFF enzymes; fining agents from Nalco, PQ and BASF; Gusmer’s own line of filtration products ranging from sheets, lenticular stocks and bulk cellulose fibers, including carbon media in lenticular sheets and stacks. Gusmer processing equipment includes a complete line of Denwel’s premium systems in categories such as inline carbonation and nitrogen, inline dosing and blending, and flash pasteurization. The company also has fine packing, canning and kegging equipment available through Malek.
“The hard seltzer space has taken the beer market by storm and over the past few years it has grown at an incredible rate,” Siats said. “Now that the market has stabilized and matured a bit, there are only a few large producers who represent the bulk of the hard seltzer we see on the market today. Product differentiation allows a producer to compete with these top brands, and it all starts with a clean, neutral base up front. The cleaner your base is up front, the less downstream processing you need to do. We spent a lot of time testing with various nutrient combinations, yeast strains and even competing products to arrive at our final formulation which is MicroElements Hard Seltzer HG – to offer hard seltzer producers a nutrient that can be used to achieve high alcohol fermentations .in a clean and neutral way.
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