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Preliator
01-27-2007, 06:07 PM
I am setting out to make a 5 gallon batch of mead (traditional) tonight and had a question regarding the yeast nutrient.
I decided to make my mead using

12 pounds Maine Raspberry honey
white labs yeast "WLP720" sweet mead yeast
topped off with water to 5 gallons.

the question i have is this, I have worked with dry yeast before but never this liquid stuff. the guy at the LHBS told me to just introduce it to the mead as is. but the last time i made a cyser i needed to add the nutrient. he also said it is a complete starter and there shoudl be no worries.....
any input on this would be most helpful as i said i plan to pitch this sometime this evening. hoping that once fermentation is completed i can break it down to 5 one gallon batches and ad some different flavors, fruits, herbs etc........
thanks for reading this
anthony

Add to edit: correction of a hand to eye boo boo...sorry i meant the white labs wlp720 sweet mead yeast and i put white labs wyeast sweet mead yeast....2 different compaines...my mistake

yabodie
01-27-2007, 06:33 PM
I have only used WL yeast for beer and only use dry Lalvin yeast. If the WL liquid yeast for mead/wine are like the ones for beer, you should be good to go for pitching directly in the must.

Avoid the mistake I did in the past and pitch the yeast into 1/2 gallon of your must then pour the rest of the must onto the 1/2 gallon with yeast. This way the little buggers will not get shocked into hibernation.

I am not sure about nutrient requirements for the WL yeast during fermentation, but the Lalvin yeast should be hit up with Fermaid-k at 1/3rd and 2/3rd sugar break or when the SG drops to 2/3rd and 1/3rd of your original reading.

According to WL the yeast you plan to use will go to about 15% ABV and you honey will go to about 12% and dry so if you want a sweet mead increase your honey to about 18lbs and that should get you to about 18% possible ABV, which should leave you with some residual sweetness.

I hope that helps and if others with more batches wish to chime in please correct my mistakes…

:cheers:

Preliator
01-27-2007, 07:55 PM
Didnt do the math right, i think you are right and it will go dryer then i orginally had planned.
I also planned to possibly backsweeten some, flavor some, maybe make some sparkiling and leave some still....hummmm wonder if the organic food store is still open.....thanks for the input
anthony

kace069
01-27-2007, 09:34 PM
Hope you read this before you mix your must!!!!

Tonight I am going to make what will probably be my last attempt with WLP 720.

Do not pitch as is make a starter!
Yes you need nutrients!
Ferment warm!

I started this yeast some time last week. I just used some cider, I wanted to bulk it up some more yesterday but the grocery store was all out. This has got to be my 10th pitch of this yeast prolly more, I think I have all the vials, I'd have to count,I really need to send in for the voucher. I really like this yeasts character, but it is a very finicky yeast.

I may repitch this after this mead just to see, but other wise I am tired of fighting with it.

I have a love/hate relationship with it.

Rhianni
01-27-2007, 11:10 PM
I am very lucky to have the local college make up batches of wlp720 from their courses. I get plastic test tubes of very healthy wlp720 fresh from an active batch then chilled and stored in a fridge. I usually just pitch in with only about 1.5 tsp of nutrient and energizer into the 5 gallons and pitch as is. Its my prefered yeast...

Having said that you dont have the same stuff. Pretty much everyone else who has used wlp720 that I have read about have been hit or miss. Be sure to aerate the must and use plenty of nutrients.

Preliator
01-27-2007, 11:31 PM
yes Kace069 i did read it as i was warming the jars to pour them....... :cheers:
And i took your advice, well so far so good,
I made the up the must and when i tell ya this had to be the sweetest honey I have ever tasted......such a nice flavor.
I did add (according to directions on bottle) the proper amount of yest nutrients as well, i figured why not...honey has had its discredits with fermenting and all the advice seemed to point in that direction.
instead of directly pitching the yeast, i took approx 1/2 gallon of must and made a starter. then approx 1 qt. of must and mixed the nutrients. after both were well settled in i then transfered them to the primary. then i added the rest of the must to the top side of the starter..... hit it with 3 1/2 minutes of pure/medical O2 at 5 ltrs. per minute and set the stopper and the air lock.
already seeing small changes in the pressure of the lock and even one nice burp, i think this will be okay....
thanks for the help and the advice
anthony

kace069
01-27-2007, 11:47 PM
Let me see if I got this right. You mixed up your must and then poured off a 1/2 a gallon and added yeast. Then added nutrient to your must and then added all of it back together again. You did this all today?

Preliator
01-28-2007, 12:15 AM
:BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead:
yes i did and from the sounds of it i shouldn't have. reading your post mid strife i thought i was following your lead but i thinks i may be wrong.....
the orginal recipe i was using was slightly different using a dry yeast not even rehydrated along with the nutrients, I figured i was doing right by mixing the nutrients out of there dry state being i was using what i understood to be a pitchable yeast.
please dont tell me i just pissed 50.00 bucks worth of honey and yeast down the drain, can this be fixed, or do i wait and see, possibly re-pitch? i have another wlp720 in the frig, they got to the lhbs direct from white labs on thursday so i know there fresh.....
uggggggggg let me know please
anthony

kace069
01-28-2007, 12:27 AM
No you did just about everything right. But I think you have missed the boat on what a starter is.
Ususally you make a starter 24+ hours before you make your must. This time I took the easy way out and bought a gallon of cider and added some nutrient. Or you can mix up a small mead must and pitch the starter to that.

The idea is to reactivate the yeast so to speak. You want to put them in some a smaller must batch about 1040 OG and get the yeast to start reproducing. After a day or two you will have 2-3x the yeast that came in the vial. When the yeast use up the sugar they are ready and raring to go and hungry. At this point you can pitch or drain some of the liquid off and add some more fermentables, like you did to start. This will then get them to reproduce again and add an even higher yeast count. With WLP 720 you really have no choice but to do this, I mean it will ferment if you don't but you would rather have a nice amount of slurry to pitch. Slurry is all the crap at the bottom.
With dry yeast you don't really need to make a starter just a good rehydration.

With that said. I know this sucks but I would pitch the other vial of yeast. Pull it out of the fridge and let it warm up. You want the vial temp to be about the same as that of your mead. I know how much them vials cost, but like you said you already have $50 into this, as insurance add $6.

From your recipie I would imagine your OG is hanging around 1090? Once you hit an OG of 1070 you really need a big yeast count to pitch.

Preliator
01-28-2007, 12:35 AM
okay kace you just made me feel a whole lot better....and insurance is a good thing. never working with liquid yeast before and being very new to the hobby i think i jumped the gun a bit.
so i am going to pull out the other yeast tube and let it warm up....now i have another question....should i use some of the must i already prepared or should i start fresh with this starter. being i already pitched the yeast and the nutrients in the must i dont want to over nutrient it or screw this up even more. i did hit it good with pure o2 as well.
thanks for the help on this one i really appreciate it
anthony
add to edit:
my OG readings were right as you said, 1.090 thanks again

kace069
01-28-2007, 12:50 AM
Just pitch the other vial straight in. I just finished up my must and pitched with less than I would have liked to, but oh well I got lazy and had plenty of other brewing related stuff to do today.
White Labs is notorius for needing to make a starter. This is the only liquid wine yeast I have ever used. But I have used plenty of liquid beer yeast. I may try the Wyeast sweet mead yeast next, but I think I am going to go stock up on some D-47.

Tommorow I will get up and give it a good stir as Oskaar advises, a rather new technique for me but I have been doing it for my last few batches and it is worth taking the time to sanitize a spoon and open up the fermenter.

You really want to keep this must warm, 70 atleast. I may try to get this up around 74 but I don't have very good control over my fermentation tempratures, not like I would like to atleast.


Don't sweat it, your mead will be fine. As long as you were clean you are going to have a very drinkable mead in a few months.
Your money was well spent!
Welcome to the club!
This is exactly why $25 to support GM is worth every penny.

Preliator
01-28-2007, 01:08 AM
Kace again thanks for putting my mind at ease, the yeast is sitting on the counter on its way to room temp.... funny, i wrote my money order out to vicky when i got home from the lhbs lol.....yes i agree this place is worth every cent....as for the temps i am good there, i have a closet that i use that is directly off of my boiler room. it is a steady 72-74*f and i have had great results thus far using it to brew.
finders crossed and thankful for the advice..ill keep you posted :notworthy:
anthony

kace069
01-28-2007, 02:29 AM
Just keep an eye on it. Once fermentation starts the temp is going to rise.

Preliator
01-29-2007, 01:18 AM
kace,
thanks again for the help on this one. the mead is looking good and all seems right as rain.....going good at about 1 burp per second maybe a bit faster.
wheeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww i thought i lost this.....and i spend the entire night reading article after article about the importance of a yeast starter......i wont be so fast next time, sometime over excitement gets the better end of me.
thanks again, and thanks for a great forum to ask these questions.
anthony

kace069
01-29-2007, 11:48 AM
I just made a small nutrient addition to mine you may consider doing the same.
I know the excitement of brewing. Its easy to get carried away when you are thinking of the end product and can't wait for that day, months away.

Preliator
01-30-2007, 09:24 PM
kace,
you mention stirring your mead? that is was a suggestion from oscar. how do you find that it works? i have not tried that with anything other then my strawberry wine but if it will make a difference ill give it a shot.
secondly you mentioned a small nutrient adjustment/addition, i have noticed that my airlock activity is less then yesterday when i got home form work tonight. from approx 40 bpm's to 30bpm's. i figured over the first couple of days this would have been higher....any advice?
thanks again
anthony

kace069
01-31-2007, 02:56 AM
I never pay much attention to my airlock activity. In fact for some reason I can't get a good seal on this bucket, so I am getting no airlock activity, but I know it is fermenting.

If I remember correctly Oskaars reasoning for stirring the mead is.
1. To let some more oxygen get to the yeast, the first few days here you want the yeast to have some oxygen.
2. Get some of the CO2 out of solution.
3. Keep the yeast in suspension. My OG was 1.120, thats a lot of work for the yeast.

I have just recently started a nuitrient regimen also. Yesterday I just put less than a tablespoon of DAP in the mead when I gave it a stir. I first put it in some hot water and let it cool a bit, then just stirred it in. This will help energize the yeast and get them working again.

At this point I think stirring is a must, especially if there is fruit in the primary.

Preliator
02-02-2007, 12:03 AM
hey kace,
the stirring sounds interesting, as well as the nutrient bump. I get a good seal as i use a glass carboy for my primary, there is no fruit and it is just easier for me to see what is going on in the bottle.
you said that oskaar recomends the stirring to help add )2 and remove Co2 from the must, would that be compairable to de-gassing like some wine makers do? hmmm interesting concept.
I do know the must was well saturated with O2, i used sterile medical O2 to give it a good shot but will also lend some time to the stirring method.
thanks for the input
anthony

Preliator
02-10-2007, 11:12 AM
well after 15 days in the primary the bubbles have slowed to less then 1 per minute, a hydrometer reading showed me a 0.996-0.998 which is where i figured it would end up.... a bit dryer then i would have liked but i plan to backsweeten and flavor in the secondaries.
how long of a period of time should i allow the mead to stay in the primary without racking it off to the secondary? I understood that as long as fermentation has all but stopped, 3 like readings within a week on the hydrometer and its ready...any input? I want to get the mead off the dead cells before they impart any harsh flavors but i dont want to do it so fast i muff it up(I get excited easily ;D). as it is still very milky looking in its appearence i figured to let it sit a few more weeks and let it clear down then perhaps rack it over
thanks again for all the help,
anthony

ucflumberjack
02-10-2007, 11:58 AM
i would rack it now as its got to be done, and if its not then its just going to get a tiny bit drier. if you plan to backsweeten then youve got nothin more to gain from a little more fermentation.

Preliator
02-27-2007, 11:44 PM
well i stole a thief tonight to taste and get a reading, color is outstanding a light golden yellow, taste is very dry, dryer then i thought it would go and the hydro reading tells the story of .992 . if my math is right thats 13%abv.
still got a bit of hot on the back end but i am sure it will mellow with time as it is only a month old.
I plan to break the batch into 5 one gallon batches to flavor, ill let it sit another 2 weeks in the secondary as i am moving next week and dont have much time to work on it. but i am planning a few interesting flavors with a few basic ones as well. thinking of a vanilla (got some nice beans this week from trader joes), a blueberry, was considering a mango, an ancho chile, red rasberry, and a mixed berry.
just wanted to say thanks for all the help it was greatly appreciated and needed at times, hoping in a few months to have a few nice bottles to enjoy with friends and family...
thanks again
anthony