How Long Does Turbo Yeast Take to Ferment?

So, you’re experimenting with Turbo Yeast, and you have questions. What is it, anyway? And how long does Turbo Yeast take to ferment? These are good questions, and it is essential you understand everything about a new product you decide to work with, especially if you are going to invest your time and money. Let’s get started clearing things up.

What Is Turbo Yeast?

First, what is it? Turbo Yeast is a chemically designed product that combines a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and yeast nutrient. Several companies produce their own Turbo Yeast to sell on the market, and the key selling point is that Turbo will ferment fast and produce a high ABV. Typically, you can expect to get up to 14% ABV for medium Turbo and up to 24% ABV for high Turbo.

Yeast nutrient is included in the design because one of the things that prevents many yeast cells from producing higher alcohol percentages is that they run out of the energy to produce. The alcohol in the beverage overwhelms the yeast cells, and they lie dormant or even die.

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Thus, an exact combination of a high ABV tolerating S. cerevisiae and nutrients to support that strain are included in the yeast package you’ll use to ferment your beer.

In general, when Turbo Yeast is used by brewers it is because most brewer’s yeast will not tolerate high alcohol percentages. Beer rarely goes above 10% ABV. The manufacturers of Turbo created a product specifically aimed at brewers hoping to ferment higher alcohol levels.

How Long Does Turbo Yeast Take to Ferment?

In general, Turbo Yeast can take up to 7 days when it is producing 18% to 24% ABVs. However, if you are aiming lower, say around 14%, you can get Turbo Yeast that will ferment within 24 hours. It all depends on the outcome you are hoping for. Be sure to do your research and read all the requirements to get the outcomes you want.

For example, if you want a much higher alcohol percentage, you will have to trade some time. If you simply want quick fermentation, you will have to settle for a lower alcohol percentage.

It can get tricky in terms of specifics, and if it goes wrong, you may ruin a batch of what could have been perfectly delicious beer!

Turbo Yeast Compared to Other Yeasts

When compared to other yeasts, the two biggest factors that differentiate Turbo Yeast from more “natural” strains are time and variety.

You will definitely get a sped-up process with Turbo Yeast. No doubt about it. Yeast from nature calls for a minimum of five to seven days just for primary fermentation. Then, if you want a secondary fermentation, you’re looking at another week. Turbo Yeast will cut that time down.

However, you are stuck with the single strain manufacturers have included in their yeast packet, so you will always be sacrificing variety.

Which brings us to the downsides of Turbo Yeast.

Are There Downsides to Using Turbo Yeast?

Turbo Yeast is indeed a one-hit wonder. One of the greatest selling points of craft beer is the craft element. You get to experiment, explore, try this and that, mix things up, and move things around.

With Turbo Yeast, you are stuck with a single option in terms of flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, and beyond.

Turbo Yeast is also pretty picky about its sugar. These packets are generally designed for sugar/water combinations, so if you wanted to experiment with different grains or different sugars, you run the risk of getting a stressed-out batch that stagnates during fermentation.

Another downside to Turbo Yeast is the potential for off flavors.

One of the reasons for secondary fermentation is to allow yeast time to “mop up” off flavors and aromas and produce a smoother, cleaner finish. You miss this opportunity with Turbo Yeast because the yeast cells are spent by the time they have completed primary fermentation.

You Have Yeast Options

Note that if you want a higher volume of alcohol in your brew, you can always experiment with other strains of yeast that will tolerate it. Many brewers today are using champagne and wine yeasts and producing amazing results.

When you take this approach, you have more control over the process, and you can expect more interesting complexities.

In the end, you should absolutely try out various Turbo Yeasts to see how they perform for your brew, to your expectations, and for your customers. But once you do, don’t forget to continue to experiment with other hundreds of strains of yeast that will continue to surprise you, and even explore your options with wild and local yeasts.

So much room still exists in the craft beer market for innovators.

Cheers!

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Sources:

  1. https://brewerylane.com/spirits/turbo-yeast
  2. http://www.turboyeast.co.uk/turbo-yeast-fermentations/turbo-yeast-what-is-it.html

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