Yeast are fungi widely used in cooking around the world. They form a fundamental part in the production of bread, wine and beer. Some varieties can be used as nutritional supplements and a nice source of vitamin B, selenium and chromium. Yeast is marketed both fresh and dry, the latter requiring specific handling. Fortunately, activating the dry yeast is pretty easy to do.
Step 1. Determine the type of yeast you have
Dry yeast is sold in two types of varieties: Instant and active. If you have instant yeast (or yeast), there is no need to activate it. Just add to the other dry ingredients. If you have active dry yeast, the activation process improves its performance.
Step 2. Set the appropriate amount of yeast
Consult your recipe to measure the amount of dry yeast needed.
Step 3. Fill a container with some warm water
The temperature needs to be between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius. If the water is too cold, the yeast will not "wake up". If it's too hot, he could die. Do not use more water than your prescription requires.
Step 4. Add a pinch of sugar to the water
Stir until dissolved. This will provide some food for the fungi, stimulating their metabolism. If you don't have sugar, a little molasses works well too. A pinch of flour will also do.
Step 5. Pour the yeast into the sugar water
Stir vigorously until you can't see yeast grains in the water. Cover the container with a towel, as yeasts work best in the dark.
Step 6. Let it sit for 1 to 10 minutes
This process is called "tasting" the yeast. It means giving the yeast a little time to metabolize the sugar and start propagating. A minute or 2 is sufficient for most purposes. However, if you really want a very active yeast, wait for about 10 minutes and check the mixture. If the water has a bubbly foam on the surface, your yeast is healthy and working.
Step 7. Add the solution to your dry ingredients
Finish running your recipe as planned.
If you are using dry brewer's yeast, follow the same steps described above. Alternatively, you can put the dry yeast directly into the beer wort. However, there is a risk of killing the yeast if the temperature is not optimal
Step 8. Ready
Active dry yeast has a shelf life of about two years. After that, the yeasts will probably not respond if you try to activate them
- Do not use bread yeast to make beer. Bread yeast usually has lactobacilli cultures, which will give your beer a sour taste.
- Be aware that the nomenclatures for yeast are quite confusing. In stores you can find "bread machine yeast", "fast growing yeast", "instant yeast", "active dry yeast", among others. Unfortunately, these names are not used in the same way among all manufacturers.