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Old 02-11-2009, 01:15 AM   #1
stephelton
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Default Will vodka kill yeast?

I'm trying round two at a yeast starter/reconstitution. I've boiled some water + light DME to get about 1.040 SG and am letting the liquid cool before I throw my yeast in there. I threw on an air lock filled with vodka, and perhaps a bit too much at that. A small amount was pushed from the airlock into the jug and is now thoroughly mixed with my wort.

Only a small amount -- probably about 3-4 ml. Will this cause problems for the yeast?

Thanks!

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Old 02-11-2009, 01:21 AM   #2
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Don't sweat it at all bud. Folks been using vodka in air locks (myself included) with no issues at all.

Your safe....

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Old 02-11-2009, 01:24 AM   #3
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Most people just put foil on a starter not an airlock, it benefits the starter to have a fresh supply of oxygen through the process. Give this a listen, tons of good starter info.

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Old 02-11-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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OH yea, you don't want any alcohol to get into contact with the yeast, otherwise it will kill it for sure!










OK I'm totally kidding. But I had you going, didn't I? Yeast is quite alcohol tolerant (hell, it makes alcohol as a byproduct, one of the reasons we do this, right?) and a few drops won't hurt anything.

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Old 02-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #5
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Vodka won't kill it, but nothing can grow in it.

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Old 02-11-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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Straight Vodka will kill yeast, but a few ml in a batch of beer isn't a problem. Even an entire fifth in your fermenter wouldn't hurt anything.

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Old 02-11-2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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so what abv does yeast typically start to slow down / die at?

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Old 02-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CnnmnSchnpps View Post
so what abv does yeast typically start to slow down / die at?
Entirely yeast-strain dependent.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:38 PM   #9
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Some strains can ferment up to 25%.
Most are around 10.

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Old 02-11-2009, 07:22 PM   #10
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And even then, the yeast doesn't necessarily die at those percentages, but they start to get so wasted that they have a hard time doing yeast-like things, like reproducing and making more alcohol.

Like the guys in the movie Beerfest, yeast can be trained to deal with higher ethanol levels if done slowly and methodically. Vodka drops that hit the wort will only contribute to a teeny % of alcohol in the mix. Think butterfly flapping its wings and *not* causing a hurricane.

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