Yeast Growth: The effect of tap water and distilled water on yeast fermentation with salt additives

Lauren Lenaburg, Mackenzie Kimmons, Leah Kafer, Emma Holbrook, Dylan Franks


Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is widely used in the industries that specialize in baking, brewing, ethanol production, and biofuel production (French 2015). In order to increase the speed of the production of baked goods and alcoholic beverages, various ways of growing S. cerevisiae have been studied to find the most effective method that results in the most profit. We hypothesized that if yeast is grown in the tap water of Stillwater, Oklahoma, with salt additives then yeast production will decrease because the high conductivity of the tap water and the small amount of salt added will decrease the growth of the yeast. In deionized water, we believe that yeast growth will be the greatest in a .01% salt concentration since there is not a high conductivity and there is little salt added which enhances yeast growth. Our results showed that yeast growth in tap water continuously decreased at .01% and .05% salt concentrations. In deionized water, the yeast growth was highest in a .01% salt concentration and lowest at .05% salt concentration. These results supported our hypothesis and show that optimal conditions for S. cerevisiae growth is in deionized water with a .01% salt concentration. These results give way to a better understanding of the fermentation of baker’s yeast to help industries thrive.


yeast, conductivity, salt, fermentation, additives, growth, water hardness, tapwater, distilled water

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