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View Full Version : D47 and Looooooooooong lag time



Dwhite
03-03-2008, 07:37 PM
Here's the recipe (Started 3/1/08 at 2:30pm) This was my first 5 gallon batch. Been making 1 gallon batches for years with no issues.

for 5 gallons
12.5 lbs honey
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp grape tannin
3 grams di-ammonium phosphate
OG 1.100 - just what I wanted

re-hydrated D-47 per package instructions. Yeast purchased in December.
no activity after 24 hours.

Ran to homebrew store for new package of yeast. Re-hydrated per package instructions
no activity after 24 hours.

Placing a weight on top of fermentor lid displaces fluid in airlock which holds it's level over time so the fermentor is sealed.

Opening fermentor it's obvious there is no activity.

Now what? Is this salvageable?

I have a packet of 71B-1122 and a Red Star Montrachet. Do I try these?

All the Best,
D. White

akueck
03-03-2008, 08:25 PM
2 quick things for you to check for us:

Current SG reading
Current pH

Thanks!

GrantLee63
03-03-2008, 08:27 PM
What are temps where you have your fermenter? I just made a batch of a relatively high-gravity (1.133) sweet mead on Saturday and used D-47 - my lag time was about 16 hours with temps in the mid to upper 60's.

- GL63

fun4stuff
03-03-2008, 09:54 PM
Here's the recipe (Started 3/1/08 at 2:30pm) This was my first 5 gallon batch. Been making 1 gallon batches for years with no issues.

for 5 gallons
12.5 lbs honey
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp grape tannin
3 grams di-ammonium phosphate
OG 1.100 - just what I wanted

re-hydrated D-47 per package instructions. Yeast purchased in December.
no activity after 24 hours.

Ran to homebrew store for new package of yeast. Re-hydrated per package instructions
no activity after 24 hours.

Placing a weight on top of fermentor lid displaces fluid in airlock which holds it's level over time so the fermentor is sealed.

Opening fermentor it's obvious there is no activity.

Now what? Is this salvageable?

I have a packet of 71B-1122 and a Red Star Montrachet. Do I try these?

All the Best,
D. White


i had same experience as you using a very similar recipe, including yeast. i didn't think it was fermenting because there were no bubbles in air lock. i checked it 6 days later and it had went from 1.090 to 1.010... 8 days later it was 1.000. So at least give it a week and see if SG has changed.

beachfrontmeadman
03-03-2008, 10:48 PM
if it comes down to it and you think your yeast is dead, i'd go with the 71 not the red star

Medsen Fey
03-03-2008, 11:27 PM
Check your Sp Gravity, and if it is not dropping,

Check the pH - those acid additions can sometimes stall things, and if that is okay (3.4 or above),
Aerate the must well, and if no improvement,
Pitch another yeast - but I would make a starter and acclimate it to your must in a couple of stages.

I believe there is usually a Date on the D47 package. It wasn't sitting on the store shelf for years was it?
How did you sanitize your fermenter?

I hope your batch gets going.

Medsen

Oskaar
03-04-2008, 12:05 AM
As indicated below by several folks the things to look for are:

1. pH - Generally D47 doesn't really take off like a rocket if the pH is below 3.4, it will get going, but it may take two to three days
2. Aeration - Did you aerate the must and continue aerating twice a day?
3. Ambient Temperature - D47 seems to not like cooler must temperatures to start up. Once it gets going though, all bets are off.
4. What kind of sanitizer did you use in your fermenter and in your container that you rehydrated the must?
5. What was the temp of the water you used to rehydrate the yeast?

Enquiring minds want to know,

Cheers,

Oskaar

Teufelhund
03-04-2008, 10:40 AM
Hi guys,

quick observation: isn't 12.5 lb honey going to be too little for the 5 gals, leaving it bone dry?

:cheers:

DD

Angus
03-04-2008, 11:44 AM
DD,

Yes, 12.5 lb of honey gives a potential ABV of around 12.5%, which D-47 can eat through to dry given the right environment. If the goal is to make a dry Mead, then it is fine. If a sweeter result is desired, then backsweetening or halting of the fermentation may be needed.

Angus

Dwhite
03-04-2008, 05:50 PM
Well, last night I finally got some activity. I was getting a "burp" every three minutes or so.

This morning I was getting one every 62 seconds. It's about the same now.

Temperature in fermentor location is 70F.

Current SG is 1.096. The PH strips I have only go down to 4.6 and it's apparently lower than that.
The taste is not terribly tart though. I've used 1 tsp of the same acid blend in recipes with similar OG's
made in one gallon batches. I tried to be sparing on the acid blend planning to add more later, if
necessary.

I opened it and stirred it again this afternoon. There's obviously CO2 being produced. I'm less nervous
now and willing to give it more time like it is.

I'm still open to advice.

As for only 12.5 lbs of honey. I wanted it dry. I've got LOTS of sweet mead sitting around.

Yeast was re-hydrated in 104F water per package instructions.

Sterilized fermentor with Iodophor solution. I never sterilize the container I rehydrate yeast in.
I always use a very clean glass for rehydrating.

All the Best,
D. White

Oskaar
03-04-2008, 06:56 PM
See if you can get the temperature up to 74 F and aerate the heck out of it. Wrap a blanket around the carboy and let it get going. Aerate about 4x/day for a day or so and if it doesn't kick up I'd suggest that you get some K bicarbonate and a pH meter to make sure you're not down below 3.4 or so.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Dwhite
03-04-2008, 07:30 PM
I just wanted to say thanks for all the suggestions. What a great bunch of people.

All the Best,
Dwhite

Dwhite
03-06-2008, 08:17 PM
I was away from home and out of town overnight so I couldn't do anything with it.

This evening when I got home it's still bubbling along very slowly. I opened it and
stirred it again. Gravity is 1.092 so it is moving. I have is setting in a warm bath
right now trying to jump start it. I'll wrap it in a blanket overnight to see what
happens.

I have not gotten anything to measure the acidity yet though. This will have to
wait until this weekend.

All the Best,
Doug White

Dwhite
03-07-2008, 03:37 PM
After doing some research I found a reference to D-47 needing a LOT
of nutrient during the initial (aerobic) stage of fermentation.

I grabbed my di-ammonium phosphate and dissolved two and a half
teaspoons (about 10 grams) in a cup of water and added it to the
fermentor and stirred it in.

This morning (6am) I had a burp every 20 seconds. It's now (2:30pm) burping
every 10 seconds. I guess it was just hungry?

After pulling it out of the bath last night it was about 75 degrees. I
went ahead and put a light blanket around it to help hold the heat.

All the Best,
D. White

Medsen Fey
03-07-2008, 04:19 PM
I'm glad your batch is going strong. When using D47, I have found that at 75F I get an awful lot of fusel alcohol production. I hope you are luckier than me with it.

Medsen

Dwhite
03-12-2008, 07:13 AM
This burped along at about 6-7 burps a minute and gradually slowed to 4 burps per minute
by Sunday afternoon. Monday evening I measured the SG at 1.080. I expected it would have
dropped further. I added another 2 teaspoons of di-ammonium phosphate Monday
evening and we're back up to 10 burps a minute. This seems very nutrient intensive.

All the Best,
D. White

Oskaar
03-12-2008, 11:24 AM
The thing that's killing you here is the acid, not the yeast. D47 is a high nitrogen needs yeast, but that is relative and by comparison to other yeast. Whenever you alter the environment (especially with regards to pH) you compromise the ability of the yeast to take up nitrogen and regulate osmotic pressure.

DAP isn't buying you anything at this point in the fermentation either since the yeast are looking for a different form of nitrogen. It may help your ferment if you add 5 grams of Fermaid K. It has amino nitrogen and several other micronutrients that will be more beneficial than DAP at this point.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Dwhite
03-12-2008, 05:07 PM
Thanks Oskaar. I'll try to find some fermaid-K.

All the Best,
D. White

skrapiron
03-25-2008, 08:48 AM
I'm having a similar lag with the D47 I used in my cyser.

My recipe was:
2 gallons unflitered cider
4 lbs wildflower honey
3 sticks of cinnimon
4 whole cloves
1 pack of D47 dry yeast

I rehydrated the yeast as per package instructions (@ 100*f) and pitched it into 102* must. It is currently stored in my basement with an ambient temp of 70*. Did I pitch the yeast at too high of a temp? Should I have added nutrient supplement to the must or is it too late?

I pitched the yeast at noon yesterday and the water in the air lock hasn't moved once. I'm used to brewing beer and seeing much faster fermentation. Perhaps I am just rushing and panicing over nothing?
:help:

Medsen Fey
03-25-2008, 10:45 AM
Welcome skrapiron!

I wouldn't get worried yet. Yes, 102F must is too warm but give them a little time. In the meantime, you want to aerate the must really well at least daily for the first few days. In the future, for best results, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for rehydration and use GoFerm. That will get your yeast ready to move.

The cider has a lot of nutrients in it, so I don't think you need to add any at this stage. If by tomorrow it is not going, you may want to repitch the yeast.

Endeavor to persevere!
Medsen

Dwhite
03-25-2008, 06:15 PM
My SG has dropped .002 over the last week. I finally got ph papers and found my
must at about 2. I added 15 grams of potassium bi-carbonate and 1 teaspoon of
Fermaid-K. After gently stirring it all in and watching the foaming I now measure
ph 3.8. Hopefully it will get moving now. At 1.064 there is still a lot of sugar left.

Would I have had lower initial acidity if i used more honey in the beginning? I
understand the acid blend didn't help.

This is my first 5 gallon batch. I've made the same recipe by the gallon before using
a full teaspoon of acid blend in the must and had no problems. I realize that the
gallon had five times the pitching rate. Did this eliminate the acid problem?

All the Best,
Doug

Medsen Fey
03-25-2008, 06:21 PM
I'm glad you got to the root of the problem. My second favorite tool after my hydrometer is my pH meter. They are well worth the investment.

skrapiron
03-25-2008, 08:41 PM
All is well!

I popped the top to add some energizer and found what I was lloking for. Fermentation had begun in earnest. There wasn't the float of foam on the top (like I'm used to seeing with beer) but there was a definate change in smell and color. The top was (slightly) foamy and it had a pleasant 'hard cider' aroma.

I added a 1/4 tsp of nutrient (just in case), closed the top and proceeded to aerate. (My method is to vigorously shake the fermenter (as long as it is less than half full). That released ALOT of trapped CO2. I guess I will have to aerate at least once a day (through out the primary fermentation at least.)

I plan to pass the finished cyser through my wine filter after the clearing.

Once I bottle it, how long should I wait before serving it? Or can I serve it right away (after clearing?)

Ok, one more question. I wanted to make a sparkling cider using this same method. I was planning on priming the pint beer bottles I have with corn sugar to induce carbonation. With the alcohol level so high (12+%) will there be enough yeast left alive to carbonate the cider?

Thanks again!

wildaho
03-25-2008, 11:31 PM
Hi skrapiron and welcome to GotMead? !!

I think your best bet to get specific answers is to start a Brewlog on this recipe. That way we won't confuse your recipe with Dwhite's when we respond. It's hard to keep straight who has done what!

Cheers! :cheers:

Wade

Dwhite
03-26-2008, 04:58 PM
This is moving along and very well. Getting 12 burps per minute which is a big improvement. Smells good. Anyone care to comment on how this will turn out? I still have good expectations.

All the Best,
Doug White

Dwhite
04-01-2008, 08:24 PM
SG is down to 1.030. It has a medicinal taste almost like cough syrup. Smells ...... acceptable.
I'll probably add some acid blend to this at bottling. It's not as tart as I'd like it however dropping
another .035 in gravity may change that.

Oskaar, thanks for the acidity tip.

I'm going to let this work down some more before racking.

All the Best,
D. White

UDV
04-01-2008, 08:27 PM
On this topic, I have a question about temperatures. Where i ferment the temperature the room is 72 to 74 basically all year around. Is this the ideal temperature? I didn't find much on people cooling/raising the temperatures. If it is in this range, I shouldn't have any problems?

And grats on bubbling! it's always scary to me when you wait a day and there's no bubbling!

wayneb
04-01-2008, 11:03 PM
The best temperature for fermentation is dependent on the strain of yeast that you are using. Every commercial yeast has a range of temperatures recommended by the manufacturer -- for example Lallemand's D47 recommended range is 15 to 20C (59 to 68F). In general to minimize the generation of fusels and other off-flavor producing compounds, it is best to keep the fermentation in the lower half of the recommended range.

Medsen Fey
04-02-2008, 09:22 AM
75F temps with D47 yeast consistently gives me medicinal odors/flavors and plenty of fusel alcohols. The good news is that a few months of aging mellows these things out considerably.

I hope it continues well.

Medsen

Dwhite
04-02-2008, 06:04 PM
What's "a few months"?

All the Best,
D. White

Oskaar
04-02-2008, 07:59 PM
Check it in 6 months and see where it is.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Launcelot
04-02-2008, 08:34 PM
Patience the force is for a uhm... meadmaker ....

Damn, I had this whole Yoda vibe going too...

--L

Dwhite
04-29-2008, 07:36 PM
This hit SG 1.000 a couple of weeks ago so I racked it to secondary. It's clearing very nicely but I'm going to have about 1/16 inch of yeast on the bottom when it's clear. How long can I leave this on the lees without any problems? I realize I should have let it sit longer in the primary.

All the Best,
D. White

vanoob
04-29-2008, 07:41 PM
D47 is a yeast known for being well suited for aging on the lees. As long as you do some batonage... But that also depends on what effect you are looking for. I know Oskaar has a few posts on the topic.

Oskaar
04-29-2008, 11:54 PM
Give it one more very slow stir and don't let it splash, just let it move the yeast into suspension again. Give it one day to settle then rack.

Once racked stir 2x/week for 2 months, then 1x every other week for 6 months. Rack sample and bottle.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Dwhite
04-30-2008, 04:39 PM
Thanks everyone!

All the Best,
D. White

Dwhite
07-22-2008, 06:50 PM
I finallly got this off the lees and into a tertiary fermentor. I added 2-1/2 teaspoons of Potassium sorbate as I intend to back-sweeten this. Now, however this mead has darkened over the past three weeks. THere was not a lot of suspended yeast left at last racking so I wonder if I'm experiencing oxidation in this batch? It's darkened quite a bit. I racked carefully however I have some airspace in the top of the carboy. Could this darkening be from the sorbate?

This has a LOT of fusel alcohol in it. My gut tells me to dump the whole thing and start over, correctly this time.

All the Best,
Doug White

Medsen Fey
07-22-2008, 07:11 PM
If you have the space to store it, try letting it age longer. The first mead I did with D47 was fermented at about 75F and tasted like paint thinner going into the secondary. After one year it tasted hot and not too pleasant. After nearly 18 months, it is hot but decent. Either my standards are dropping or the mead is slowwwllllly getting better (it's a 50/50 bet which). Plan on aging it a loooooooooong time and it might yet surprise you - and a little backsweetening can also help to cover the fusels.

Dwhite
01-16-2009, 07:13 PM
This has now been sitting for about 8 months. The medicinal flavor has diminished greatly. This is still very acidic measuring about PH 2.0. I'm planning on letting this set for a while yet.

When I do go to bottle it what would be a good ph range or shoot for? I'm planning on back-sweetening this also.

All the Best,
Dwhite