Too much sugar starves yeast (junior high sci project to find out)
So instead of baking this weekend I embarked on a science experiment currently in progress to find out if too much sugar starves yeast. This is something you occasionally hear and may have experienced proofing yeast before with too much sugar in the water mixture. Fortunately my eldest boy who is in Jr high has an experiment and got somewhat interested in the biology and chemistry and together we can up with a hypothesis that it's not really too much sugar but saturation we levels that prevent enough h20 to pass the yeast cell walls. As it turns out the cell must break sucrose into glucose and the funny thing is that splitting C12H22O11 into two molecules of C6H12O6 (sucrose and glucose respectively) leaves us 2 H and 1 O atom shy of achieving that goal or in other words, one water molecule.
So the hypothesis is that with overly saturated solutions of sucrose we are starving the cell of the requisite water and suppressing glucose metabolisms. We have a little setup currently where the same quantity of yeast has been introduced to a control solution, a saturated solution as well as a test solution that contains the same amount of yeast, 4 fold sugar and 4 fold water hoping to prove is the solution saturation is ideal regardless of how much sugar then equal yeast portions should produce equal gas output.
just thought it might be fun to to post and follow up with results (apologies if this is all basic known stuff but that's about the level of chem I remember)