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Newest FAQ (updated 8/21/17)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:11 pm
by ezcaps
Section I: EZ Cap use FAQs

Question #0: How can I get freebies, like buy-on-get-one free yeast replacements, etc?

Answer: Sign up for our free user group at http://ezcapsforum.com Not only is it a great SPAM FREE forum to exchange EZ Caps recipes, ideas, and experiences, list members regularly get special offers like free yeast refills, free shipping, and other members-only promotions.

Question #1: How can I increase the alcohol content of my EZ Cap beverage?

Answer: Add sugar to your fruit juice. For example, adding 1-2 cups of table sugar to 2 liters of apple juice can yield a cider up to 16% alcohol. You can't get an alcohol content much higher than 16%. Once you get to that level, the alcohol becomes toxic to the yeast and fermentation stops.

Question #2: I fermented my juice too long and it's too sour to drink, is there any way to save it?

Answer: Yes! Add sugar, a little at a time, (to taste) to replace the sugar used up by the yeast. Make sure your beverage is refrigerated and add sugar in small amounts or else you'll have a mess.

Question #3: Is there anyway to speed up the fermentation process?

Answer: Yes. The speed of fermentation is dependent upon many factors, such as the amount of yeast originally added, the sugar content, the type of juice, but mostly, the temperature. Juice fermenting in a cold basement may take 10 times longer than in a 75- 80 degree environment. I 'speed up' my batches by placing them someplace warm, such as on top of a water heater. You can even put your bottles on a heating pad on the LOW setting.

Question #4: I tried using tropical fruit juices and it looks like it's curdling!

Answer: That is a natural process of fermenting many juices such as pineapple/orange mixes and other "pulpy" fruit juices. Don't fret. When you clarify the beverage in the refrigerator, that stuff will settle to the bottom.

Question #5: Can I re-use yeast? Is it useful for starting "stuck" fermentation?

Answer: Yes. After clarification, carefully pour the fermented beverage into another container, being careful not to disturb the sediment on the bottom. Then add more fruit juice (and sugar if desired), shake, and replace the EZ Cap onto the bottle with the old yeast. You can make several consecutive batches this way without cleaning or adding yeast. When you re-use the yeast you are starting a batch with billions of more active yeast cells than if you were starting a fresh batch. This can be useful for starting or restarting hard-to-ferment recipes. Don't reuse the same yeast more than four times. Eventually normal biological mutations will create a new strain that could develop off flavors.

Question #6: I'm looking at the Welches white grape juice concentrate label, and it lists preservatives. Can I use it with my EZ Caps?

Answer: Yes. I have never had a failure fermenting any kind of juice, even the ones that list preservatives. Welches white grape juice concentrate actually ferments very quickly. I normally add sugar to prolong the fermentation process and increase the alcohol percentage. If you think the preservatives are causing a stuck fermentation, please see questions #19 and #5.

Question #7: I want to try a non-sparkling fermented beverage. Can I do this with EZ Caps?

Answer: Yes. Follow the beverage making instructions but after two days unscrew the EZ Cap most of the way. The juice will ferment, but the CO2 will escape, and the beverage will not be carbonated.

Question #8: Can I make soda pop with EZ Caps?

Answer: Yes. The secret is to sweeten the beverage just the way you want it, and then ferment it for only a day or two. It should carbonate and have very low (about 1/2%) alcohol content. There are many soda pop and ginger ale recipes on the internet that work well with EZ Caps.

Question #9: I drank some of the yeast. Is that OK?

Answer: Yes. Yeast is actually high in vitamins and beneficial to your health. Some people buy brewer's yeast in health food stores and sprinkle it on their food.

Question #10: What kind of water do you recommend when I'm making juice from concentrate?

Answer: Tap water will do but filtered water is better. The cheapest form is the type that screws onto your faucet. Make sure your water and juice is a tepid (lukewarm) temperature. Too hot will kill the yeast, too cold will delay fermentation. Remember, your final product is only going to be good at it's ingredients, and the primary ingredient is water.

Question #11: After brewing wine should it be refrigerated or will fermentation start again and can it be bottled for extended shelf life?

Answer: Fermentation is complete when one of the following occurs: 1) All the sugar is consumed and the yeast dies of starvation. 2) The alcohol content reaches 16-18% which will kill the yeast. 3) The beverage becomes toxic to the yeast due to natural or artificial reasons (such as the addition of chemicals specifically designed to kill the yeast such as a Campden tablet). 4) The temperature of the beverage rises above approximately 104 degrees for a period long enough to kill the yeast. Fermentation is complete when no more bubbles are rising to the surface when the beverage is at room temperature. If you place a beverage into the refrigerator that isn't completely fermented, it will continue to ferment in the refrigerator at a VERY VERY slow pace (i.e what you use to count in days now takes months). If you take such a beverage out of the refrigerator, it may begin active fermentation again. It is important to ensure fermentation is complete or almost completed before bottling your beverage at room temperature. Failure to follow this rule can result in burst bottles and possibly even personal injury. I don't use additives in my beverages but that is a personal choice . I let the yeast die naturally by letting the yeast dine until it dies of it's own alcohol poisoning or by starvation. Bottling your beverages is fun and it allows different flavors to develop over time.

Question #11a: How long does bottled EZ Caps last before going bad?

Answer: This depends on many factors including temperature, alcoholic and sugar content of the beverage, and storage conditions. In worst conditions the beverage will last about a year, in average conditions several years, and in best conditions, several decades.

Question #12: Can I contact you with other or specific questions?

Answer: Yes. In fact the information may be added to future FAQs!

Question #12a: My EZ Capped beverage is fermenting, and it looks like the EZ Cap is bulging and there is a slit in the middle of the EZ Cap. Is this normal?

Answer: Yes. The bulge is proof that the EZ Cap is maintaining the proper amount of pressure. When carbon dioxide needs to be released, it will exit through the slit.

Question #12b: There is the hole in the caps you sent ,there is the foam, rubber inside whatever you call it ,that cover the holes you drill in this caps. Now this start to crack and small hole show up like a cut ,hole on this rubber in the caps you sent and I try to use.

Answer: The "crack" is an important feature, not a problem. Please see answer #12a above.

Question #12c: You sent me a defective product! There is a crack in the center of cap!

Answer: The "crack" is an important feature, not a problem. Please see answer #12a above.

Question #12d: I received your product, but there is a break in the center of the cap and there is gas coming out of it. I want a refund for defective product.

Answer: The "break" is an important feature, not a problem. Please see answer #12a above.

Question #12e: I received this item a few days ago and it is an awesome product and I am using one of the to make hard cider in time for the holidays. However, the other lid i had received had a crack or slit or something in the rubber part. I was wondering what can be done about this?

Answer: The "crack" or "slit" is an important feature, not a problem. Please see answer #12a above.

Question #13: My beverage is done fermenting and it's in the refrigerator. Can I replace the EZ Cap with a normal bottle cap?

Answer: Absolutely. The sooner you replace the cap, the sooner you can start your next bottle fermenting. I highly recommend putting the beverage into the refrigerator, letting it cool, and then swapping the caps. Otherwise you can have a champagne-style overflow.

Question #14: How long does an EZ Cap last?

Answer: They are reusable many times and last for many years.

Question #15: I'm making my first drink with EZ Caps and my EZ cap isn't venting! The bottle feels really hard, is it going to blow?

Answer: When they are brand new EZ Caps hold more pressure than usual. Although the bottle may feel firm the cap will vent.

Question #16: Can I use the EZ Caps yeast to make beer?

Answer: Yes. However, bear in mind that each variety of yeast makes a specific flavor of beer. You use ale yeast to make ales, lager yeast to make lagers, etc. You can brew beer with the EZ Caps yeast but the end flavor may be different than if you used the strain of yeast specific to the type of beer you are brewing.

Question #17: When making beer, how do you add carbonation without priming?

Answer: Unlike traditional brewing methods that produce an uncarbonated first fermentation, the EZ Caps will maintain carbonation during the brewing cycle, so no secondary fermentation or priming is necessary. The end result is an excellent, natural, cask-conditioned style fermentation. And by eliminating an extra step your beer will be ready sooner.

Question #18: How much yeast is too little? How much is too much?

Answer: There is no such thing as too much yeast. The moment you add the yeast it starts to multiply. The more yeast you add, the quicker the fermentation will start (and end). Yeast is added in small amounts only to stretch it out but if you add too little yeast, fermentation will start very slowly allowing wild yeasts, bacteria, and molds the opportunity to out compete your yeast. If this happens, your yeast could die and your beverage will not ferment. We recommend 1/16 - 1/4 of a tsp (a broad range) because it is difficult to find a measuring apparatus to measure such small amounts and we want to reiterate that there is no "exact amount" required. Just eyeball your best guess and add it. Remember that you cannot add too much yeast. If you added yeast, waited a day, and see no signs of fermentation, add more yeast, shake vigorously, and let it try again.

Question #19: I followed the directions and nothing is happening. What do I do?

Answer: If you don't see signs of active fermentation (bubbling, yeast residue beginning to float on the top of the liquid, etc) after 24 hours, add more yeast and shake the beverage vigorously. Also check to see if your juice ingredients list preservatives as they are difficult to start fermentation. If still no fermentation after another 24 hours, contact us for further instructions and give details about the ingredients you have added.

Question #20: My drink is too sour at end of fermentation OR I want to end fermentation early OR I want to stop fermentation without refrigeration. What do I do?

Answer: You can buy Campden tablets at a local homebrew store or online to stop fermentation by killing the yeast with chemicals: "Campden tablets are also used towards the end of the fermentation process to halt the ferment before all the available sugars are converted by the yeast, hence controlling the amount of residual sweetness in the final product. This balancing between sweet, dry and tart flavors is part of the artistry of wine and cider making." (reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campden_tablets ) Note: If you kill your yeast with a Campden tablet, you generally cannot re-use it as explained in question #5.

Question #21: Using two liter bottles are great, but other sizes of bottles are available in my area. Do you make other sizes of EZ Caps?

Answer: Not yet. But we're always watching the availability of other sizes of bottles and considering them for EZ Caps. Remember, only bottles that were manufactured to hold carbonated beverages are suitable for EZ Caps.

Question #22: Can I put my EZ Caps beverage in a Grolsch bottle?

Answer: Yes, but if it is not completely done fermenting (or almost done fermenting) store them in the refrigerator.

Question #23: Why don't I have to sterilize everything like traditional wine/beer/cider/mead making?

Answer: A rinse with regular tap water is all that is required for almost any recipe. EZ Caps yeast produces alcohol so quickly it does the sterilization for you.

Question #24: I can't tell if it's fermenting. How do I tell? When do I stop?

Answer: When a beverage begins to ferment small bubbles will rise to the top. As the fermentation gets more vigorous foam may form at the top of the beverage. You may occasionally hear a hissing sound as the EZ cap vents CO2 gas. Eventually, fermentation becomes less apparent. The foam may disappear but if you look closely you can still see bubble rising to the top. Another way to tell: If it is quiet, and your hearing is good, you can actually hear it fermenting if you put your ear to the beverage. It will sound like quiet static. When you can no longer see small bubbles rising, fermentation has ended. It is important to note that you may not want fermentation to end on it's own. Depending on how much sugar you added to the recipe, a completely fermented beverage may taste very sour. For the purposes of alcoholic beverage making, fermentation is either completed when the beverage tastes the way that you want it, or all the yeast has died or gone dormant because either all the sugars were used up or the alcohol level got so high it killed the yeast.

Question #25: Can I brew with the bottle on it's side?

Answer: No. It will make a huge mess.

Question #26: Is EZ Caps yeast kosher? Is EZ Caps yeast vegan?

Answer: When the yeast arrives in bulk it is both kosher and vegan (vegan using the definition that no animal products are added or used in the manufacture- some vegans may consider the yeast itself to be non-vegan based on their own individual interpretation). From the bulk package it is rebottled in the yeast vials that come with the kit. It is not labeled as kosher or vegan because the bottling facility has not been certified by a rabbi and the "vegan" label has government requirements to put that word on the label. Getting "approved" for kosher or vegan labeling is expensive and time consuming and we have no plans to pursue those expenses in the near future.

Question #27: What is the exact PSI that EZ Caps holds, can I ferment in glass bottles?

Answer: NEVER USE EZ CAPS WITH GLASS BOTTLES. EZ Caps hold slightly more pressure when they are new compared to having been used a few times. The first use generates a carbonation level similar to champagne and after that, more like beer or pop. They are designed to be used exclusively with plastic bottles engineered to hold a wide variety of pressure ranges (the average soda pop bottle) and are never to be used with bottles made of glass or other materials.

Section II: Alcohol-specific FAQs

Question #1: How does the fermentation process produce alcohol?

Answer: In a nutshell, yeast is a simple life form. As it lives and multiplies in your fermenting beverage, it consumes simple sugars (it's food) and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol as wastes. All alcohols, even distilled spirits, would be impossible without yeast.

Question #2: I tried fermenting Kool-Aid (or other non-juice sugar mixture) and the alcohol content was too low.

Answer: Sugar is food for yeast, but it contains no nutrients. Kool-Aid powder or other non-juice sugar mixtures contains no nutrients. You can add a tablespoon or two of frozen orange juice concentrate to the mix and supply nutrients for the yeast. I also recommending adding more sugar than Kool-Aid or other mix normally requires. Lastly, it's best to ferment the sugar/water/nutrient mixture first, and add the Kool-Aid flavoring later. Kool-Aid contains chemicals that have unpredictable results to a yeast habitat. When fermenting non-juice mixtures or difficult-to-ferment juice mixtures, it also helps to shake the bottle gently daily to mix up the nutrients.

Question #3: How do I know exactly how much alcohol is in my beverage?

Answer: To determine the actual alcohol content, you need a hydrometer. They are cheap (under 10 bucks, you can buy one online). To determine alcohol content you take a reading before fermentation and again after fermentation, the difference between the two is the actual alcohol content.

Question #4: I want to make alcohol content higher than 18%. How do I do it?

Answer: Legally, you probably can't. Although there are turbo yeasts (actually, very specialized yeast/nutrient mixtures, and rather expensive) that can achieve alcohol content between 18-20%, you can't go any higher without distilling. Federal law in the United States allows any individual to produce alcoholic beverages via fermentation, but not through distillation. (this is throw-back to the repeal of prohibition) Distilling is the process of purifying a liquid. Just like distilled water is nearly 100% pure water, distilling a fermented beverage containing alcohol can produce nearly 100% pure alcohol. Alcohol has a much lower evaporation temperature than water, so a fermented beverage placed in a water distiller will collect all the alcohol first. There are instructions on how to do this in abundance on the internet, but it's only recommended if you live in a country where beverage distillation is legal!

Question #5: I've heard of people going blind or dying from drinking homemade alcohol. Are EZ Caps dangerous?

Answer: NO! Juice and grain fermentation produces only ethanol (the alcohol people drink). The methanol in "home made" alcohol is deliberately added by unscrupulous people looking to boost the potency by using a cheaper industrial solvent, it is not the by-product of making alcohol at home. Modern methanol is usually made by mixing natural gas with steam and then putting the resulting gas mixture through a liquid conversion and distillation process to create pure methanol. Industries use a large amount of ethanol (the type of alcohol people drink) that has been "denatured" (meaning deliberately mixed with methanol to avoid ATF regulation and alcohol taxes). This is the stuff that "moonshiners" frequently mix into their products. If they mix it right, nothing happens. If they use just a little too much, people can go blind or die. You can't make methanol at home and EZ Caps are safe. The type of alcohol produced by EZ Caps is the same type of alcohol you buy at a liquor store, except that many of the vitamins and health properties native to fruit juices are retained by using EZ Caps. Of course, overindulgence of any alcoholic beverages has serious health consequences, and alcohol should never be consumed by pregnant or nursing women, or children, or people with specific health problems.

(C) Copyright 2017-infinity Steve Robertson

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 10/24/2010)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:08 am
by lheo
These are very useful. Now I have learned that using cold water in making juice can delay the fermentation. According to your tips, we should use lukewarm water so that we can easily mix it. That is another great knowledge we got from you.

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 11/24/2011)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:25 pm
by benjie414
hi.
is ez caps yeast 100% vegan?
thanks.
bye.

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 11/24/2011)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:49 pm
by ultraputa
benjie414 wrote:hi.
is ez caps yeast 100% vegan?
thanks.
bye.


It depends what you mix with it :mrgreen:

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 11/24/2011)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:59 pm
by ezcaps
benjie414 wrote:hi.
is ez caps yeast 100% vegan?
thanks.
bye.


I've forwarded this question up to the yeast guys. Last I checked, the answer was sometimes, but that was a few years ago.

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 11/24/2011)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:11 pm
by ultraputa
ups!

animal yeast?

I need to learn a lot of this stuff...


Acc. to wikipedia:

Saccharomycetales is an order in the kingdom of fungi that comprises the budding yeasts and includes twelve families.

and according to my knowledge fungi are not animals, so suitable for vegans

Could we learn more about the ez-caps yeast?

It is just curiosity, I'm not vegan (To be a vegan in Spain is quite difficult, could anybody life without Iberic Ham? not me :mrgreen: )

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 11/24/2011)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:52 pm
by ezcaps
When the yeast arrives in bulk it is both kosher and vegan (vegan using the definition that no animal products are added or used in the manufacture- some vegans may consider the yeast itself to be non-vegan based on their own individual interpretation). From the bulk package it is rebottled in the yeast vials that come with the kit. It is not labeled as kosher or vegan because the bottling facility has not been certified by a rabbi and the "vegan" label has government requirements to put that word on the label.

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 05/15/2014)

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 2:18 am
by fyfe
do you have to refrigerarate yeast? don't you have do clean the alcohol because you would still be drinking fermented alcohol

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 05/15/2014)

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:42 am
by ezcaps
fyfe wrote:do you have to refrigerarate yeast? don't you have do clean the alcohol because you would still be drinking fermented alcohol


Yeast doesn't have to be refrigerated, however it will last much, much, much, much longer if it is.

Re: Newest FAQ (updated 05/15/2014)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:39 am
by KnudsenR
ezcaps wrote:
fyfe wrote:do you have to refrigerarate yeast? don't you have do clean the alcohol because you would still be drinking fermented alcohol


Yeast doesn't have to be refrigerated, however it will last much, much, much, much longer if it is.


Can you freeze it?