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Old 11-10-2010, 09:28 AM   #1
mikefox
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Default DAP substitute

Hy, I'm new to meadmaking and was just wondering if I can substitute DAP(Diammonium phosphate) with ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3)
since it also has ammonium which contains the nitrogen yeast needs and the bicarbonate should just break down into CO2,so am I right or is my chemistry all wrong ?

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Old 11-10-2010, 01:52 PM   #2
MedsenFey
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Interesting question.

The yeast can use ammonium ions wherever they come from. Ammonium sulfate is commonly used in addition to DAP. There's no reason ammonium bicarbonate wouldn't work, and it would have the added benefit (or drawback) of raising the pH. This might prevent the sudden pH drops that often occur in a traditional mead. If the pH is not low, this could be a negative.

Where can you get ammonium bicarbonate? and is it pure enough to be used in food/wine?

Medsen

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Old 11-11-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
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Well I think it's pure enough because it's used in baking as a raising agent insted of baking powder,and it's all I have to use since there are no homebrew shops near me and I'm also stuck using baking yeast which I hear works for mead. for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_bicarbonate

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Old 11-11-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Yeast need more than ammonium to function properly. What you can do is to take bread yeast, and boil them (or nuke them) and that will turn them into food for other yeast as they are quite happy cannibalizing each other. If you add 0.5-1 Tbsp of boiled yeast per gallon along with some ammonium, you'll probably get better results. I would suggest getting a pH meter if you are using ammonium carbonate as you may need to make some adjustments.

Where can you order ammonium bicarb?

Medsen

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Old 11-12-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
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Good idea Medsen!
Here's something on the subject from Jack Keller's site, I've never tried making it but you might find it useful:

There are numerous authorities that cite different ingredients and proportions. Proprietary yeast nutrients usually contain DAP (diammonium phosphate), which supplies nitrogen and phosphorus; urea, which supplies nitrogen; citric (and perhaps other) acid; trace amounts of biotin; and yeast hulls. The formulations of these nutrients are not generally public knowledge.

Less secret are the formulations of yesteryear. Pre-World War II recipes used malt extract and lemon juice as nutrient, while many post-war recipes used to use ammonium sulphate, magnesium sulphate, potassium phosphate, and citric acid for yeast nutrient. Both, I am told, worked well enough, but not as well as today's formulations. I would suspect that it would be easier to order a packaged nutrient from an out-of-country supplier and pay shipping than to find DAP and the other constituents locally and experiment with proportions. Still, a chemist (druggist) might be able to mix the following nutrient for you without problem:

ammonium sulphate...........130 grains
magnesium sulphate........... 20 grains
potassium phosphate.......... 70 grains
citric acid ...........................260 grains
This makes an ounce of nutrient, enough to make four gallons of non-grape wine or two gallons of mead. While not as good as commercial formulations, it still should work well enough. The absolute against-the-wall substitute is malt extract and citric acid (lemon juice) mixed half-and-half

Hope that helps. Regards, GF.

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Old 11-12-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply,I already have pH strips.You should find ammonium bicarb in grocery stores or wherever baking soda or other food grade chemicals are foud.

Speaking of food grade chemicals, if the pH is too high is food grade citric acid good for lowering it, and what should be the perfect pH for yeast to fertelize in.

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Old 11-14-2010, 07:18 AM   #7
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You can buy yeast nutrient with DAP on eBay. The Bruhaus Store in particular sell it and have pretty good customer service.

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Old 11-14-2010, 02:18 PM   #8
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thanks for the tip on The Bruhaus Store.
does anyone else know any more online stores that have low international shipping costs?

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Old 11-15-2010, 02:06 PM   #9
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Ideally the pH should be in the range between 3.6-4.0, but the yeast can function in a very wide range. They get impaired when the pH is significantly below 3.0.

Medsen

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Old 06-20-2013, 07:09 PM   #10
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does anyone know where i can get dap cheap and locally? like can i just walk into a brew store and ask/

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