Wednesday, April 15, 2020

yeast test

So here's how the yeast test went. I have two containers of yeast, one of which is a store-bought Korean brand, the other of which is some vacuum-packed French thing. Until tonight, I hadn't opened the French package, and the yeast in the Korean container can't be more than a few months old. Is that old for yeast stored at room temperature inside a dark cabinet? I don't know, but I'm learning: with bread, the little details aren't so little.

The two yeasts:

You can logically deduce this from what I wrote above, but to be clear: in both of my recent, abortive bread-making attempts, I used the Korean yeast on the right. It smelled yeasty, even when dry, which led me to think it might be fine. I had also initially thought that the French yeast's expiry date was in 2017. See below:

It turns out the expiry date was 2019. I should've read the gray labels up top:

In the image below, I've just poured the yeast into some hot—but rapidly cooling—tap water. I hadn't started the timer yet because I needed to stir the yeast particles. Here's the initial state:

I used two ends of a metal chopstick to do my stirring so as to avoid cross-contamination. Here's what the yeast looked like after the stirring (French is on the left):

Something seemed to be happening a mere minute after I stopped stirring:

After ten minutes, it was obvious that the French yeast had had some kick in the initial phase, but nothing seemed to happen after that. By the time I'd hit the ten-minute mark, I saw there was no drama. Note how the following photo looks a lot like the photo from Minute 1:

In the pic below, 20 minutes have gone by:

Between 10 and 20 minutes, not much seemed to happen with the French yeast. The Korean yeast was obviously dead: after I stirred it, it basically settled down into the bottom of the dipping-sauce dish. The French yeast was lively during the first minute, but from the moment of stirring to Minute 20, almost nothing happened. Should I have added sugar?

Tentative conclusion: both packages of yeast seem dead and worthless. I expected at least a little bit of bubbling from the French yeast, but as usual, the French proved to be stubbornly uncooperative. So I'm tossing my yeast, and I need to go in search of more. Sigh...


John Mac said...

Maybe they have succumbed to a virus. You know, a yeast infection. (Sorry, couldn't stop myself).

Charles said...

Do not toss the yeast! Read my email before you do anything hasty!