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trashcan79
11-15-2007, 11:44 AM
Hello-
First time poster. I searched and didn't see a brief answer, so I'm posting here. I started my first batch (Medium Sweet from Ken Schramm) last Saturday (11/10) and things are moving along quite nicely. I have the patience for the long process, but I need a few things clarified to ease my nerves.
1-I pitched 10 grams of 71b-1122, and fermentation started up rather quickly. I never got a head/foam cap on my mead (I'm a brewer, so I'm used to having lots of foam in my fermenter). Is this usual?
2-How long should I expect the 'vigorous' fermentation activity? Right now it's bubbling at a rate of about 1 bubble every 1.5 to 2 seconds.

OG - 1.106, Temp - 68-72 F

I guess that's it for now. I'll try to channel my inner Papazian (relax, don't worry, have a homebrew) while I waot for some responses.

Thanks,
-Chris

wayneb
11-15-2007, 12:37 PM
Hey Chris! Welcome to GotMead!!

Let me put your fears to rest... Mead doesn't kreusen up like beer. There just aren't enough proteins from the honey to support much of a heavy head while the yeast are doing their thing. However, melomels (honey plus fruit in the fermenter) will form a cap that needs to be periodically punched down into the must to keep it from forming a barrier to CO2 release, and to allow full extraction of the essences of the fruit.

If you supplied the yeast with appropriate nutrients, your vigorous activity for a must at this OG will last maybe a couple of weeks. If you are practicing a staggered nutrient protocol, then vigorous primary fermentation can be over within a week to 10 days, especially if you oxygenated the must prior to pitching and if you keep the yeast in suspension by slow stirring of the lees every day or two. Honey musts without nutrients and without the oxygen needed to build up a large vigorous yeast colony can take several months to complete primary -- not the recommended way to go.

Let your hydrometer be your guide; rack it to a secondary when it has reached a gravity that you'd like to be near final. Oftentimes wine yeast will stop fermenting when you rack off of the lees, since a lot of active cells continue to ferment from the top of the lees layer. That way you'll have a kind of gross control over final gravity -- the fermentation may continue after racking; if you don't want it to you can try cold crashing to drop more yeast out of suspension at that point.

Your temperature is perfect for 71B, and your OG is well within the ideal range for this yeast. You truly can "Relax, don't worry...." :cheers: