Did the Brita filter spoil my homemade wine?
September 19, 2009 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Does Brita filtered water work for making wine? My experiment got no yeast fermentation in four batches of wine using Brita filtered water and great yeast fermentation in three batches of unfiltered tap made similarly as a control.

I know yeast needs trace nutrients to live and multiply. Does the Brita filter out enough of these that the fermentation will fail?
Due to the success vs. failure rate this seems like the likely reason.
Unless the filter leaves some type of inhibitor residue in the water?
I plan to add some unfiltered water and then more yeast culture.
posted by kturner to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just tried filtering well water for beer, and discovered that (even with a fresh filter) there was still plenty of iron in the water. The nutrients yeast need include potassium & nitrogen; don't know if these are filtered well or not. However, iron isn't highly soluble, and still passed through the filters.

That being said, your experiment points the other way. Bully for you, for taking careful note of conditions!

The simplest solution (no pun intended) is to buy some yeast nutrients from your brewing supply store. You should probably either Brita, boil, or age your tap water, to remove chlorine; if you add nutrients, it doesn't matter whether the water has them or not.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:11 PM on September 19, 2009

Brita filters increase the amount of potassium in the water apparently (according to the booklet which came with my filter). Maybe this is affecting the yeast? It's something to look up anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 5:43 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know about Brita, but my boyfriend uses distilled water for his mead-making and gets good fermentation. I don't think the filter could be stripping something out of the water that is needed for fermentation - mainly because the water isn't really contributing anything anyway. Perhaps it is adding something, like shelleycat suggests, or there some other contamination messing with your results.
posted by cabingirl at 8:43 PM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, forgot to add that he uses yeast nutrient, too.
posted by cabingirl at 8:43 PM on September 19, 2009

Brita filters have silver to prevent bacterial growth.. Perhaps some silver leaches out and interferes with your yeast?
posted by crenquis at 2:20 PM on September 21, 2009

« Older *cricket chirps in my head*   |   Public media business models Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.