PDA

View Full Version : Re: Is it done yet?



Chimerix
01-25-2007, 02:58 PM
I saw this on the big screen, despite it having 2 of my most-despised "actors" (Kenny Reeves and Winona Whiner). I've been a big fan of the book for, well, ever. I thought they did a pretty decent job of not screwing it up.

And yes, the bicycle scene is EPIC!

Oh, don't want to get too off-topic..... mead!

Chimerix
01-28-2007, 12:32 AM
Back to the mead...

Well, aside from the sediment having settled out nicely, there's been no visible change since I added the calcium carbonate. I'm willing to believe that these yeast are on strike for the duration.

I've got everything I need to repitch with Lavlin K1v1116. GoFerm for rehydrating, yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, and DAP, all from LHBS, Fermaid K from B3, and a new aeration machine that I am just dying to try out. Oh, and the yeast, of course.

So, my plan is to rack to a clean carboy, then treat it as if I was starting a new must from scratch. Yeast, nutrients, aeration. I'm going to follow the steps in Ken's Zymurgy article, and both feed and aerate twice daily for 3 days.

I'll probably undertake this tomorrow (Sunday) morning, but I'll check the forum first to see if anyone says "For the love of God, DON'T DO THIS!"

Meanwhile, the JAO continues to bubbly slowly away...

Oskaar
01-28-2007, 07:04 AM
"For the love of God, DON'T DO THIS!"

Heh heh heh. Tension breaker...had to be done!

I'd recommend making a starter out of your K1-V1116 and giving it 24 hrs to build up and get ready to take on your batch.

Make a 1/2 gallon of 1.040 must. Rehydrate your K1-V1116 with Go-Ferm and atemperate if necessary (see here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=88&topic=4638.msg38258#msg38258) for rehydration and atemperation information)

Once you're at correct pitch temperature, pitch and allow your starter to run for at least 24 hours, or more. Pour off some of the liquid and then pitch your yeast into the stalled must.

You stand a much better chance of getting your must started again with a large starter of K1 than by just rehydrating the yeast and adding additional nutrient to the must. Check your pH and then go ahead and add some Fermaid-K or yeast nutrient/energizer. Whatever you have on hand.

If you want to get medieval on you're yeast's ass, the follow my K-Sorbate re-start regimen here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=88&topic=4880.msg39877#msg39877) and substitute the 1.040 must for the cider, using similar amounts.

Let me know if you have questions.

Oskaar

ken_schramm
01-28-2007, 12:30 PM
"For the love of God, DON'T DO THIS!"

Heh heh heh. Tension breaker...had to be done!

I'd recommend making a starter out of your K1-V1116 and giving it 24 hrs to build up and get ready to take on your batch.

Make a 1/2 gallon of 1.040 must. Rehydrate your K1-V1116 with Go-Ferm and atemperate if necessary (see here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=88&topic=4638.msg38258#msg38258) for rehydration and atemperation information)

Once you're at correct pitch temperature, pitch and allow your starter to run for at least 24 hours, or more. Pour off some of the liquid and then pitch your yeast into the stalled must.

You stand a much better chance of getting your must started again with a large starter of K1 than by just rehydrating the yeast and adding additional nutrient to the must. Check your pH and then go ahead and add some Fermaid-K or yeast nutrient/energizer. Whatever you have on hand.

If you want to get medieval on you're yeast's ass, the follow my K-Sorbate re-start regimen here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=88&topic=4880.msg39877#msg39877) and substitute the 1.040 must for the cider, using similar amounts.

Let me know if you have questions.

Oskaar


My red flag: Aerate the living crap out of the Starter, but not the main volume of must, as that could pose a risk of oxidation.

Carry On.

KDS

Oskaar
01-28-2007, 12:49 PM
My red flag: Aerate the living crap out of the Starter, but not the main volume of must, as that could pose a risk of oxidation.

Carry On.

KDS


Totally agree with that red flag!

Oskaar

Chimerix
01-28-2007, 05:51 PM
Make a 1/2 gallon of 1.040 must.

<snip>

Let me know if you have questions.


This may be an inauspicious beginning but... how do I determine that? I spent a bit of time playing on the mead calculator, and the closest thing I could get to an answer was -.549 lbs of honey. Obviously I can't put in a negative half pound and expect to have predictable results ::)

Thanks!

Rhianni
01-28-2007, 06:37 PM
I can never get that thing to work very well either.

Oskaar
01-28-2007, 10:01 PM
This may be an inauspicious beginning but... how do I determine that? I spent a bit of time playing on the mead calculator, and the closest thing I could get to an answer was -.549 lbs of honey. Obviously I can't put in a negative half pound and expect to have predictable results ::)

Thanks!


Is this a trick question? If you don't have an hydrometer then it's time to get one. To make .5 gal must get a sanitized bucket add 1 quart water, add honey and stir in well, measure with hydrometer, add more honey until it reaches 1.040.

The mead calculator is pretty simple, put .5 in the TARGET VOLUME field and click the box, put 1.040 in the TARGET GRAVITY field and click the box. Click the calculate button and the amout 0.549 pounds will show in the ADDITIONAL SUGARS #1 field.

That's about as easy as I can make it.

Oskaar

Chimerix
01-28-2007, 10:52 PM
No, not a trick question. Not at all.

Of course I have a hydrometer. I just assumed there was a method for pre-determining the amount of honey needed, as opposed to a series of add-then-measure steps. And, as I mentioned earlier, the mead calculator returned a negative value when I followed those very steps. Maybe I confused it by trying various other routes along the way, but I assure you, it was a nonsensical answer.

And, for the record, I'm plenty ignorant, but not stupid.

MtnBrewer
01-29-2007, 12:08 AM
It's about 9 oz. (by weight) of honey and enough water to make a half gallon.

Oskaar
01-29-2007, 07:20 AM
And, for the record, I'm plenty ignorant, but not stupid.


All of us are ignorant of something :fart:

Cheers,

Oskaar

Rhianni
01-29-2007, 10:42 AM
The mead calculator is pretty simple, put .5 in the TARGET VOLUME field and click the box, put 1.040 in the TARGET GRAVITY field and click the box. Click the calculate button and the amout 0.549 pounds will show in the ADDITIONAL SUGARS #1 field.

That's about as easy as I can make it.

Oskaar


I finally figured out what I was doing wrong cause it wasnt calculating for me. You have to check the box AFTER putting the value in. As the checkbox is above the value I click on that then enter in my value which doesnt take any new values. so if one were to change their values you'd have to uncheck the box, change your value, then recheck.

Chimerix
01-29-2007, 06:59 PM
Ok, the yeast starter is, well, starting.

Proving once again that I'm not the cleverest of human beans, I labored to sanitize my free carboy and siphon at the beginning of the project. It wasn't until I was rehydrating the yeast that I realized I was at least 24 hours premature!

1/2 lb-ish honey (from Hungarian flowers, no less!)
water to 1/2 gallon-ish
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
Shake vigorously to stir and aerate (this is SO much easier in 1/2 gallons!)
1 packet Lavlin K1-V1116, rehydrated with 1/2 tsp GoFerm for 15 minutes, pitched at about 103F.

Now, do I just leave this alone for the next day-plus, or should I feed and aerate bi-daily?

ken_schramm
01-29-2007, 07:27 PM
Ok, the yeast starter is, well, starting.

Proving once again that I'm not the cleverest of human beans, I labored to sanitize my free carboy and siphon at the beginning of the project. It wasn't until I was rehydrating the yeast that I realized I was at least 24 hours premature!

1/2 lb-ish honey (from Hungarian flowers, no less!)
water to 1/2 gallon-ish
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
Shake vigorously to stir and aerate (this is SO much easier in 1/2 gallons!)
1 packet Lavlin K1-V1116, rehydrated with 1/2 tsp GoFerm for 15 minutes, pitched at about 103F.

Now, do I just leave this alone for the next day-plus, or should I feed and aerate bi-daily?



Aerate as often as you wish, every couple of hours won't hurt. I'd feed it 1/2 tsp of nutrient and energizer at 12 hours.

KDS

Oskaar
01-29-2007, 11:46 PM
Ok, the yeast starter is, well, starting.

Proving once again that I'm not the cleverest of human beans, I labored to sanitize my free carboy and siphon at the beginning of the project. It wasn't until I was rehydrating the yeast that I realized I was at least 24 hours premature!

1/2 lb-ish honey (from Hungarian flowers, no less!)
water to 1/2 gallon-ish
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
Shake vigorously to stir and aerate (this is SO much easier in 1/2 gallons!)
1 packet Lavlin K1-V1116, rehydrated with 1/2 tsp GoFerm for 15 minutes, pitched at about 103F.

Now, do I just leave this alone for the next day-plus, or should I feed and aerate bi-daily?



Hungarian flowers .... in Hawaii? That's just wrong dude! LOL

Also, just a quick idea for you on batches going forward. I really encourage you to get your hands on some of that varietal honey that Hawaii is famous for producing. Macadamia nut, Lehua, Snowberry, Christmasberry, etc are all stellar honeys in my book. Do a straight varietal with them and don't heat them because you'll totally kill off the things that make them unique and treasured honeys to begin with.

I'm with Ken on the aeration frequency.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Chimerix
01-30-2007, 04:26 AM
Actually, the batch of JAO I have perking is made with Mac nut honey! Funny story, there was a sale, and it was actually the cheapest honey in the store! Fermentation has slowed to a virtual stop, and I'm looking forward to it clearing up any day now.

I used "plain" honey on this troublesome batch just because it was my first, and I was a lot more comfortable buying 20 lbs of the cheap stuff than the local stuff. I am definitely looking forward to doing a set of show meads with whatever I can get my hands on, though. Mac nut is the most easily available, so I'll probably start with that. Lehua is easy to find, but very pricey. Kiawe is a little bit more rare. I've only seen Christmasberry at craft fairs, priced accordingly. I guess I've got my next 4 meads planned!

Things I have learned so far...
-it's ok to not cook the honey
-don't be afraid of oxygen
-don't forget to feed your mead
-materials ordered from the mainland may or may not arrive in time to be of use
-GotMead is an awesome resource!
-cut twice and measure once. It still ends up working! (with a little help from my friends, of course) ::)

The starter is just boiling away! The airlock is cycling as fast as physically possible. I'm about to feed and aerate it on my way to bed. I'll do so again in the morning, and if all looks well when I get home from work, I'll proceed with the re-pitching.

Chimerix
01-31-2007, 04:16 AM
I've transferred the must to a new carboy, added 2.5 tsp each of yeast nutrient and yeast energizer, and pitched the starter. Gave it a nice, slow, deep stir.

It's been about 2 hours, and I'm not seeing the kind of activity I was hoping for. There's already a nice thick layer of sediment, but no airlock activity yet. I know, it's only been a couple of hours, I should give it some time. There seems to be waaaay more sediment than can be accounted for by what I put into the carboy, so I'm taking that as a sign of lots of yeastie sex going on.

When I was siphoning, I stopped when I could see that the sediment was really starting to get sucked in, leaving about 1/2" of liquid behind. I was REALLY surprised at what I saw when I poured that last bit out. The sediment may have looked white and fluffy from the edges, but the stuff coming out from the mouth of the carboy was a really dark grey, nearly black. Ugh.

I poured a glass full of this foul-looking sludge, curious to see if it would settle out. It still looks the same 2 hours later... very dark in color, very cloudy. Not unlike a glass of pond water. However, there is active fermentation going on in the glass! Lots of little bubbles breaking the surface. More activity than is going on in the carboy at the moment. :icon_scratch:

Oskaar
01-31-2007, 06:22 AM
Aerate that sucker at least 2-4 times a day and WTC out of it!

Oskaar

Chimerix
01-31-2007, 03:59 PM
Got up this morning and there was airlock activity!!!!! :cheers: Not so much as I would like, maybe 40 seconds per blip, but steady!

Read Oskaar's post, decided WTC probably meant "whip the crap". Opened the carboy, stirred it aggressively. Since I had it open, and my teaspoons were handy, I fed it again. 2.5 tsp each of nutrient and energizer. It is currently aerating. And I've forgotten to eat my breakfast, I'm so excited!

I got an aeration kit from B3, basically an aquarium pump and a stone with a midline filter. I expected to see bubbles popping up, but instead it's got the must circulating, and a foamy head is forming on the surface. Much fun to watch with coffee!

Things to wish for:
-a more effective way to stir 5 gallons of must inside a carboy. A racking cane is awkward, and my siphon starter works well but steals about a cup of must every dip.
-an airlock lid with a 2nd hole big enough for a 5/8" hose. I'd love to be able to just leave the aeration stone in there for the next few days, and plug in the pump at will.

My plan is to stir and aerate again once I get home from work, then again before bedtime. I think I'll feed it again at bedtime as well, unless that's not a good idea.

Look, Ma! I'm making mead!! :wave:

Chimerix
02-01-2007, 02:27 AM
Got home late, so it just got attention once this evening.

It was perking along, about 3 blips per minute. I gave it a good stir, and aerated for about 30 minutes. I'm a little fuzzy on the exact time, because I sat down at the computer.

After looking back over Ken's article in Zymurgy, I decided the yeast would probably be fine if I didn't feed them til morning.

Chimerix
02-03-2007, 03:12 AM
We're now at the end of day 3 of intensive love and attention. Every morning, feed, stir and aerate. Every evening, stir and aerate.

This whole process has been rewarding. While the airlock is pretty quiet for an hour or 2 after my ministrations, by the time it's mucking about time again, that thing's boiling away at 15-20 bpm! It's been a real challenge for me not to post twice a day simply saying "It's still working!"

The SG dropped to 1.062 when I pitched the starter, a change I attribute to adding half a gallon of liquid. (I know, the idea was to drain off some of the starter liquid and pitch the slurry, but the yeast were pretty much suspended, and by the time I had racked off that old sediment, there was about a half-gallon of space.)

Now that I've got a healthy, happy yeast population situated, do I just leave it be? I'm actually capable of leaving it alone, as long as things are progressing as they should! I figure I won't touch it until the blips slow down noticeably, then I'll start with weekly gravity checks.

Oskaar
02-03-2007, 03:44 AM
...snip
Things to wish for:
-a more effective way to stir 5 gallons of must inside a carboy. A racking cane is awkward, and my siphon starter works well but steals about a cup of must every dip.
-an airlock lid with a 2nd hole big enough for a 5/8" hose. I'd love to be able to just leave the aeration stone in there for the next few days, and plug in the pump at will....snip


See here (http://morewinemaking.com/product.html?product_id=19688&PHPSESSID=539aaab0a33e38167d0c32451cea0df2) for a lees stirrer which is what I use. You may also use a long handled plastic mixing spoon available at most LHBS that I've seen. Instead of using the spoon side, use the handle end. It works very well as well. I like the lees stirrer the best. You may also want to get the Northern Brewer Mix/Stir which is a stainless steel rod, with the plastic propellers on the bottom, as opposed to a fully plastic device.

You've fed your must enough nutrient, keep up the oxygenation, but only in doses of about five minutes at a time.

That should help,

Oskaar

Chimerix
02-05-2007, 02:07 AM
You've fed your must enough nutrient, keep up the oxygenation, but only in doses of about five minutes at a time.


I'm taking you literally, and aerating, but not stirring (or feeding, obviously). How long should I keep this up? At some point, won't I start running the risk of (gasp) oxidization? :sad4:

Thanks for the tips on the stirring. I don't think I'm quite ready to add power tools into the equation, but I do like the idea of the inverted spoon. I'm starting to develop an idea for a "brew cart" that would have casters, hold up to 4 carboys, have a power strip attached and either drawers or hanging space for all the little things you regularly need. Maybe when this idea comes to fruition, I'll come back to the power stirrer!

Chimerix
02-12-2007, 01:12 AM
Project update:

2/11/07

It's still boiling away, although the rate has slowed a bit. We're down to about 12 bpm. SG is down to 1.030 / 4% / 8

It's no longer cloying, not even all that sweet. There is a yeasty taste, but it is a lot less pronounced than I expected given how active the fermentation is.

Chimerix
02-23-2007, 12:30 AM
project update, 2/22

Airlock activity down to around 4 bps

SG 1.016
pH 4.0

Chimerix
03-17-2007, 10:45 PM
3/17

SG 1.014 / 3% / 3
pH 3.58

Oh... so THAT'S what they mean by "clear." Wow... this is beautiful. A gently undulating plain of yeast under a golden amber sea!

Taste is very alcoholic, not much else. I'm about to tie up my other 5 gallon carboy with a Heffeweizen, but once that's bottled, I'll rack this beauty over to get it off the lees. I have some oak chips... any thoughts about whether I should do that when I rack, or give this some time to come into its own first?