The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yeast Gout and Sourdough

drboyd's picture
drboyd

Yeast Gout and Sourdough

Hi,

I recently started baking with fresh ground whole wheat flour that I grind myself  and bakers active yeast. After my husbands gout flared badly in his ankle, research showed that bakers and brewers yeast are the worst for gout! I was thinking sourdough may be the answer but it also produces yeast, even though it is not the same yeast as Bakers.

 

Does anyone have any info on sourdough yeast and gout?

 I am trying to find if it is just the bakers yeast, Sacchyromyces cerevisiae that causes the gout to flare or ALL yeasts.

 Thanks

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

breads made with yeast,

From :    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/144827.php

There are many lifestyle and dietary guidelines that can be followed to protect against future flares or prevent gout from occurring in the first instance:

  • Maintain a high fluid intake (2-4 liters a day)
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Limit fish, meat and poultry intake.

If attempting to lose weight, avoid low-carbohydrate diets. If carbohydrate intake is insufficient, the body is unable to burn its own fat properly, releasing substances called ketones into the bloodstream. This results in a condition called ketosis that can increase the level of uric acid in the blood.

It is most important to avoid foods that are high in purines, to ensure that the levels of uric acid in the blood do not get too high. Here is a list of high-purine foods to be wary of:

  • Anchovies
  • Asparagus
  • Beef kidneys
  • Brains
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Game meats
  • Gravy
  • Herring
  • Liver
  • Mackerel
  • Mushrooms
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Sweetbreads.

 I would lose some weight by walking or other exercise, avoid meats and all alcohol plus the foods listed above.

Happy baking

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

I've found that when I use dry baker's yeast (it's all I can purchase locally), if I use anything less than a 4-hour fermentation period, I get increasingly upset stomachs. It's really bad when I make anything with a 2-hour rise. To my knowledge, "gout" is not involved, but then I stay away from doctors as much as possible.

I have been unable to understand this problem, but it suggests something, perhaps an additive, in the dried yeast itself as the issue. Any long fermentation period builds up the yeast numbers through generational multiplication, thus it wouldn't seem to be the yeast organism itself, as I don't have any problem with long-fermented breads.

Perhaps try some long fermentation periods?

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

Yes, I remember now - here it is. Some of the terminology is a little off, perhaps, but the general approach strikes me as sound. Basically, I think you are barking up exactly the right tree but possibly for the wrong reason. I don't think it's a problem with the yeast itself, as such - I think the more important point is that broadly speaking commercial yeast is used in place of longer fermentation, and the lack of long fermentation - rather than the addition of yeast - is what makes for inferior bread and digestive issues. (Insert here apologies and disclaimers about over-generalization; of course there are exceptions, etc., but you  know what I mean.) Upshot is the same, of course, but the logic arrives at the same destination via a different path.

BTW re your other comment - I've had very good luck with frozen yeast, starting from both fresh and packaged dry. Current supply of frozen fresh has been in freezer for about 6 months and is still going strong.

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser


It's an interesting hypothesis, but the same wheat flour baked into crackers using baker's ammonia, or quick breads made with baking powder don't produce the same problems, so I'm pretty skeptical that it's changes in the wheat dough.  Ultimately, I don't know what the issue is, other than I need to practice 4 hour or greater dry yeast fermentations.  And those same longer fermentations also taste better.

"Freezing does not cause immediate death of yeast cells, although the number of survivors in a frozen state decreases with time....

Compressed yeast would seem to have little water remaining on the outside.  It's good to know that it may now be stored in a frozen state. Here's a 2008 thread that discounted the possibility of freezing fresh yeast. I believe there has been a lot of recent work regarding frozen doughs. Freezing fresh yeast might be a way for me to justify purchasing a block of it to play with! Otherwise, my baking frequency just isn't often enough to support purchasing it mail order.  When I was a kid, the local grocery stores all carried it in little foil wrapped cubes. If I do that, I guess it would be prudent to check with the seller to make sure they guarantee it can be frozen without significant losses.  I think I saw that Ginsberg's nybaker's site sells it.

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

Heh - I hadn't even thought about crackers or quickbreads. Re crackers, though, there are other factors to consider. I mean, that's really not a fermented dough at all, in most cases, but also it's baked in a whole different way, to a greater degree of doneness, etc. Similarly, many quickbreads are not fermented at all. I'm thinking that the general theory I'm buzzing around is that NO fermentation whatsoever is a whole different kettle of fish... but that if there is any dough fermentation at all, then under-fermented, as compared to fully-fermented, is where the problem lies. I'm being madly unscientific about this, but you see where I'm going, yes? So the culprit I'm trying to trap here is not the flour itself, but the partially, i.e. insufficiently, fermented dough.

Fresh yeast - yes, I too used to buy in the little foil-wrapped cakes. Those were the days, but you had to be damn careful about expiration dates - and so did the stores, which I imagine is why most of them stopped carrying it. Presumably the market died and it wasn't worth it to them. I got back into using it a few months back when my local Stop & Shop suddenly had a supply... probably ordered by mistake. I bought everything they had and froze most of it. I also talked to a supply person there, suggesting that the market has changed and that it might be worth re-evaluating this item. We all know where that suggestion went - nowhere. Guy was very nice but I'm sure he was skeptical. Maybe I just didn't go high enough up the food chain, but by then I'd already ordered a pound from nybakers, so I didn't push it.

As for the viability of frozen yeast, the proof is in the baking, if you'll pardon the stupid pun. I test these things empirically. Bought a block of yeast from NYB, crumbled it up* and put the bits in a ziploc bag and froze them. Have been using them ever since - 6 months or so, as I said - with no perceptible decrease in power! I don't use much, because most of my baking is more SD-ish, with the occasional mini-boost from a couple of grams of the stuff, so I'll have a good long test period. Seriously, I'm not seeing any degradation at all so far. Granted, again, my testing is unscientific. But if I bake the same bread and get basically the same rise action with the same fermentation times, then hey, the yeast is working. Only problem I'm starting to see is that there's some formation of ice crystals in the bag, so my weight measurements may or may not be slightly off. Then again, I'm assuming that most of this moisture comes from the yeast cake anyway. For my purposes, so far, it's close enough! After all, I'm weighing quantities on the order of 1g-3g with a scale whose precision is limited to 1g, so it's already an inexact science. What matters to me is... I'm getting the bread I want. When that changes, I guess it'll be time to re-evaluate my approach. Meanwhile, I always have a supply handy. And the cost, even with overnight shipping, still comes out lower than buying a comparable amount of the pre-wrapped cakes even if they were available. So overall I feel I'm ahead of the game.

*Crumbling is to make it easier to handle and measure in small quantities when frozen. Maybe next time (depending in part on how long this supply holds up and keeps performing) I'll cut it into larger neat blocks and see how that behaves. As I recall, I used to do that with the smaller blocks discussed earlier, and it worked fine.

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/157316#comment-157316

He basically says the yeasts die and their spores survive. 

When you have fractured yeast cells in your dough, their, is it called endoplasm or cytoplasm (?), leaks out, which is rich in proteolytic enzymes, and that is reported to increase dough extensibility, which is an awesome technique, particularly for doughs like pizza! But it might not be something you always want in your dough. I keep homemade dead yeast in my freezer now, make it up ahead of time from IDY in sort of a poolish, since none of the retail establishments seem to carry dead yeast for that same purpose (unless it's under some trademarked name I'm unfamiliar with, it is available to pizza establishments). With the poolish I make, it doesn't take much, nowhere near 30% or even 20% of the flour weight, though I have a particular process I use to make it.  Just a little goes a long way.

Nice chatting with you.

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

Fascinating.

So I guess at this point I've got a freezer-ful of homemade dead yeast. Which, as you say, may explain a thing or two about why my pizza doughs have worked so well in the last few iterations. ;-)

Actually, now you mention it... when I've frozen the smaller cakes in the past they have indeed remained cakey - though I don't have any data for how long that lasted, since I used them all up relatively quickly. But this certainly supports the notion of cutting the block that way instead of crumbling it. Or crumbling some, for use in pizza and other high-stretch applications, like onion boards and such, and cutting the rest into neat blocks, since evidently that protects them at least for a while.

So much to learn.

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

You wrote,

"Heh - I hadn't even thought about crackers or quickbreads. Re crackers, though, there are other factors to consider. I mean, that's really not a fermented dough at all, in most cases, but also it's baked in a whole different way, to a greater degree of doneness, etc. Similarly, many quickbreads are not fermented at all. I'm thinking that the general theory I'm buzzing around is that NO fermentation whatsoever is a whole different kettle of fish... but that if there is any dough fermentation at all, then under-fermented, as compared to fully-fermented, is where the problem lies.

I was thinking a little more about what you said in that quote, and realized it could be consistent with my experience.  Yes, it's true there is no yeast fermentation with some crackers or quickbreads, but other than the lack of yeast as an ingredient, they are very similar.  What I was attempting to say earlier was based on the ratio of dry yeast to the yeast that grows and multiplies during fermentation. The yeast numbers right before the dough fall will be at a maximum, and I'd think they'd be of roughly similar total numbers of organisms whether it was a fast or slow rise, but I don't know what that number is, so call it M for maximum yeast number. Were I to use ADY instead of IDY, in a fast sponge fermentation of 2 hours, I would use 1.05% ADY (based on flour weight).  In a slower sponge fermentation of 4 hours, would use use 0.496% ADY, very roughly half (and even less for longer periods).  This means that the ratio of dry yeast to M is higher for the fast fermentation, and lower for the slower fermentation, i.e., (1.05%:M) versus (0.496%:M).  That's why I suspect the dry yeast form as the culprit.

 I would love to experiment with fresh yeast, but there are no local sources of small quantities that I know of, so that means the only option is growing it myself (similar to homebrewing, but with a bread yeast strain).  Oh, another big process!  Since I don't have a centrifuge or other fancy lab equipment, I don't have confidence I'd be able to match the density of commercial compressed yeast, thus how much to use would be more like guessing how much of the homegrown yeast to add.  Again, all these issues are likely solvable via experimentation and some kind of standardized process, but it's a matter of the time spent doing them.  I'm not that zealous, all I really want is some bread of higher quality than I can get by purchasing commercial bread, with the additional consideration of saving money.

One benefit of purchasing bread from a large commercial bakery is that they would likely use cream yeast, something not even available to a small commercial baker, who may or may not use fresh yeast (and query could be made of their yeast source).  But as an infrequent home baker, my only choice right now is dry yeast, so I use slow fermentations to solve the digestibility issue, and it takes a longer time to make bread.

balmagowry's picture
balmagowry

1) When I first discovered fresh (cake, I mean) yeast, I didn't have a convenient local source as such, either - was in NYC and at the time the markets on the Upper West Side didn't have it. So I cozied up to William Greenberg and occasionally picked up a little 4-oz. blob from him. Am still thinking of doing that here - there are lots of smallish bakeries and pizzerias in the nearby town, and I bet at least some of them work with compressed yeast and would be amenable. Is that an option for you?

2) Another variable to play with here: Yeast waters. That's actual Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, isn't it? but of course without any of the additives you're hypothesizing. I have a couple of jars going - one raisin, one juniper - though I confess I haven't experimented extensively or very scientifically with them.

Yeah, not even sure what point I'm making, if any. Just free-associating, really.

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

One of the local grocery stores is now carrying it, but it's pricey.  Prior, I had checked a couple of bakeries, one offered me dry yeast instead, the other said, "No way."  I'd guess there's some legal reason.

Anyway, I made one batch of sweet dough, used a slightly faster than 2-hour ferment inoculation, and I did not have any stomach problems (nor swollen ankles), but delayed, I did have undesired symptoms, but different ones.  That could be explained as different strains from two different manufacturers.

Now it's my turn to say, "Wow, you never know what you might learn here"! Yeast waters is a very interesting search phrase, I've found a similar technique useful in selecting for yeast growth with sourdough, and now I find out it's been known all along for many years!  Sucrose. Yeast will feed on it (as long as the strain expresses invertase), but Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis wants to wait for maltose, though it will eventually adapt.  Sort of out of context of this gout topic though.

I just wanted to follow up on the dry yeast vs. fresh and upset stomach.  Nice free associating with you.

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

Yeast does not like to be frozen, it typically dies. If a sourdough culture contains any group C obligately heterofermentative organisms, it will stil produce CO2. Thus, if a sourdough culture contains that group, you could freeze it and kill off most if not all of the yeast, and after thawing and refreshing, it would still have some leavening power, though probably or possibly somewhat less than if it had yeast. Lactobacillus growth is favored at culture temperatures of about 90 °F.

Edited to add, in the case of sourdough after freezing, using bleached flours for refreshments would probably be preferable.

drboyd's picture
drboyd

 I found one purine content chart and bakers and brewers yeast were the two highest.

Thanks for the responses but does anyone know about the yeasts themselves as associated with gout flareup?  One of the main culprits is beer -- ie brewers yeast.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but beer sugar and alcohol are the problems, not the yeast.  If you can bake without adding sugar (half fructose) you're a step ahead.  ;)

Hint: look at the amounts of yeast being listed.  You ever bake or eat a solid 100g block of yeast?  Go for long fermentations and/or wet times or soaks or poolishes.   Drag out the process of the dough so the bread is less irritating and the defensive chemicals in the grain itself can dissipate to feed instead of irritate helpful gut bacteria.  Sourdoughs have bacteria possibly changing the way we digest the baked products.  Fresh yeast doesn't have that advantage.  Yeast would have to be combined with other ingredients for long wet times to get similar effects.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I stand corrected 

http://www.acumedico.com/purine.htm  I'm guessing it it is the beer though:-)

drboyd's picture
drboyd

Mini Oven,

You are saying you think the sugar started the flare up and not the yeast?  

Dabrownman - Before the flare up he had 2 beers with the TN football game.  Don't think its the  beer. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for medical advice.  Do your own research into Gout, Fructose, alcohol etc   and read read read.  Be sure to know the sources of the information.  There is a lot of bad info out there and in this thread.  Check out Vit D and Gout as well.  Also ice water and uric acid.  Fruit juices vs whole fruit.  Reducing inflammation through diet.  And low carb diets and Gout.

In the 1960's there was a lot of positive studies done on Gout and diet.  Go find them.  At the same time a Gout medication came on the market and toted as the cure for Gout, not really, it just allowed sufferers to continue with bad habits and be dependant on the drug to help rid it of the over abundance of Uric acid.  It has very bad side effects with long term use.  Good in the short run though and should be used in my opinion to help with the increase of uric acid when undertaking weight reduction.  Diet can control Gout flare ups and the list of purines will only drive you and your husband crazy.  There is no easy one step cure because the condition is complicated and deals with metabolism and chemical reactions and chain reactions inside the body.  

Sourdough and other pre-fermented foods and vegetables seem to help.  Getting a good variety of intestinal bacteria growing inside to help digestion is also a good idea.  Stay away from the sugars, Fructose especially and easy on the fruits.   Read labels.  Get the Gout sufferer to read labels. <the hardest part    And avoid prepared foods.  There is just too much stuff in them you can't control.   

Flare ups are telling the sufferer the build up of uric acid in the body has tipped too far.  Reduction in the flare up does not mean it won't happen again.  The uric acid is still high and needs to be reduced to avoid flare ups.  That is the hardest concept, one thinks that with no symptoms the problem is solved but it isn't.  Major changes have to be made to reduce the storage spots of uric acid in the body.   Diet changes have to be made to prevent the build up.  I've found that this doesn't mean avoiding high purine foods so much but avoiding the foods that block the body from eliminating the build up of uric acids and including the foods into diet that help with reducing uric acid.  

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

Get plenty of lime in your diet. A daily drink of the juice of 1/2 lime in some water will greatly relieve the condition.

drboyd's picture
drboyd

Lime juice?  The only juice I have read about that helps is cherry juice.  I'll look this up.

drboyd's picture
drboyd

Thanks but I am not asking for medical advice.  As per my original question,  I want information on the yeasts in sour dough , not on gout treatments/prevention.  Please see original post.

 

BreadEric's picture
BreadEric

Mini Oven, thanks for the good advice.

drboyd, I don't know about yeasts, and haven't noticed a correlation with my gout, but alcohol is well known to correlate with gout flareups. I have noticed the correlation with my gout and rarely drink alcohol in order to reduce the chances for my gout to reoccur.

drboyd's picture
drboyd

BreadEric

Thanks about the comment yeast vs gout. That is the kinda info I am trying to find. The change from Meritta Bread products to homemade wheat bread is the only new thing in the house is what lead to all the research on yeast.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Bread contains a fair amount of alcohol...,

Wild-Yeast