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I'm trying my first, 1-gallon batch of dandelion wine. Some recipes say "1 packet" of brewer's yeast, and mine doesn't even specify an amount. It also specifies to add "yeast nutrient," which my local store does not carry and I've heard it can be made without if you have patience. What's a good amount to use?

Edit: Sorry, to be clear, my local store does not sell "packets", they sell a fist-sized bag (with no instructions on it), which I'm pretty sure is dozens of times more than what I need for a gallon batch. I can't seem to find a recipe that specifies the volume of a "packet".

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what's the expected OG or abv? –  mdma May 10 '13 at 21:28
    
Sorry, I'm new to homebrewing in general. What does OG stand for? As for alcoholic content (ABV = alcohol by volume, yes?) I have no clue and the recipe doesn't say. –  Kev May 10 '13 at 22:16
    
OG is original gravity. If you took a gravity reading with a hydrometer once the water and other items were mixed, this would be your OG. If the OG is really high, then you may need more energizer to ensure the yeast can power through all of the sugars without caving under the increasing alcohol content. I've never done wine, but I think you sometimes deliver energizer at the outset, and then again at a specific gravity to allow it to finish. –  kenyabob May 11 '13 at 14:36
    
Oh...well, I don't have a hydrometer. I put 2 lbs instead of 3 lbs of sugar called for in the original recipe, since I found another recipe that only used 2 lbs for the same amount of dandelion. Is there a formula for how much yeast depending on the OG or ABV? –  Kev May 11 '13 at 19:13
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's said that lemon juice and raisins can provide nutrients to the yeast. Despite the fact that "yeast nutrient" is an ingredient in the dandelion wine recipe I'm using, so are lemon pulp and raisins, so maybe it will be okay in the end.

My official answer is 2 Tbsp of brewer's yeast. Time will tell...

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I'd do the packet. I suppose you run the risk of over pitching, but unlikely. Make sure you rehydrate if the instructions tell you to. On the nutrient, I'd just do a teaspoon. Looks like some people advocate one teaspoon per gallon.

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My store doesn't carry nutrient, as I mentioned in the title and post. What I'm wondering is if adding more or less yeast (than the still undefined-volume "packet") would help with the fact that I don't have yeast nutrient, but really I just needed to know the most appropriate volume in the end. I'd still like to know, but it's moot for this batch, to which I went ahead and added 2 Tbsp of yeast and, of course, no nutrient. –  Kev May 13 '13 at 11:02
    
Ah, I see now. Unfortunately, I do not think that pitching more or less yeast will lessen the damage by not having nutrient. Its possible that pitching less yeast would be better since they would eat up fewer of the already scarce nutrients, but then again, they may never finish the job. You will at some point in wine making need to get a simple hydrometer, so you can tell whether the yeast you pitched did in fact ferment all the way. If not, you can buy some nutrient online (inexpensive and should last you) and repitch. Wine needs nutrient, no way around it I fear. –  kenyabob May 14 '13 at 18:53
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