View Full Version : Help! Yeast question - URGENT

06-19-2008, 08:14 PM
I was going to start a batch tonight, and my Sweet Mead Yeast (White Labs Liquid Pitchable, WLP720) has been out of the fridge for just over two hours. I am now informed there was someplace else I was supposed to be tonight. Can I put the yeast back in the fridge and do this tomorrow or the next day, or will I be killing/damaging $7.69 worth of perfectly good yeast? Anyone who's on right now, can you answer this for a newbie? I'm in a time crunch here, one way or another... ??? :o

06-19-2008, 09:09 PM
Honestly, you're actually better off dumping it and buying some active dry yeast by Lalvin.

Post up your recipe and we'll help.



06-20-2008, 12:42 AM
This is probably too late to be of any help, but I know from experience with their beer yeasts that you will not lose too much if you have to re-refrigerate after bringing it to room temp once, or twice, but I wouldn't suggest doing that any more often with any liquid culture.

That said, Oskaar is absolutely right. The active dry yeast strains available from Lallemand, or Red Star, or DSM in Europe, all tend to perform better in wine and mead musts than any of the available liquid strains do.

06-20-2008, 01:25 PM
Well, it went back in the fridge, and I went to my meeting. And since I'm doing this batch on a budget, I'd really rather not dump almost $8 of yeast. What, precisely, is the problem with this type of yeast? Other than "others do better", can anybody quantify this for me?

06-20-2008, 04:34 PM
Basically, what I'm trying to do is make something quick and inexpensive that I can have ready by August 1st to bring to an SCA event - yep, I'm one of those damned medievalists ;) - and I really am not into the Ancient Orange type thing or what have you. My basic ingredients, since I'm on a budget, are plain old regular clover honey (got eight and a half pounds of that sitting in the kitchen right now), filtered or unfiltered apple juice without any preservatives (got a couple gallons of that sitting out there too) and some pomegranate-cherry juice, no preservatives, since there's a big bottle of that in my kitchen as well. We keep several gallons of spring water on hand for drinking, so that's the water I plan to use. Oh, and I was thinking fresh ginger root, cinnamon sticks, cloves... that's the inventory of spices that I can see using, anyway. I've spent the past week or so reading through various recipes, and this is kind of cobbled together in my head from elements of about three of them that looked interesting and at least claim to be able to produce something quick, drinkable, and fairly tasty. Not looking for perfection here, since this will be my first batch, but just something decent. As it's a bit of an experiment, I'm not looking to spend a ton of money, either. The main thing I'm brewing for the same event is ale, but I wanted to have a mead or melomel or something for variety's sake.

Okay, now that I probably look even more clueless than before, have at it. Whatever I do, I will be doing it this weekend...

06-20-2008, 05:54 PM
I can tell you that from my experience, along with many others, the yeast you have is notoriously unreliable, and will definitely not be ready in time for your August 1, deadline. Both the Wyeast and White Labs in my frank opinion suck ass. If you want more do a forum search.

As to your recipe. Here's what I suggest to do with what you have:

Five Gallon Batch:

12 lbs Clover honey (yeah, I saw that you only have 8.5 but you wanted something that will be ready by Aug 1, and I think somewhat palatable)
3.5 Gallons cider
0.5 Gallons pom-cherry juice
10 grams Lalvin 71B-1122

Rehydrate your yeast in pure water at a temperature of 104 degrees.

In a plastic fermentation bucket, or in a 6.5 gallon carboy, add 6 grams of DAP to the primary before you pitch your yeast. Aerate well. DO NOT airlock your mead, just cover the bucket or mouth of the carboy with a sanitized cotton cloth for the first 3 days.

At the end of the lag phase (when you see noticeable foam on the surface of the mead after several hours) add 4 grams of DAP. Aerate well.

Aerate your mead twice daily for the first four days, then airlock it and swirl the bucket or carboy every other day. You may also stir, but do so slowly so as not to aerate at this point since you will be risking oxidation.

If you see your fermentation slowing after four days have some inert yeast (yeast hulls, yeast ghosts, etc.) available and add at a rate of .75 grams/gallon of must, this will help to pick up the fermentation.

As soon as the airlock activity slows to two beats per minute, rack to secondary on top of your spices.

Rack again with all airlock activity has ceased.

This should put you on schedule for your August 1 delivery date.

Other things:

Skip the ginger root as it will tend to clash early on with the tannic elements of the cherry, the acid of the apple juice and the mustiness of the pomagranate.

Add your spices to the mead after you have racked from primary in a grain back.

Don't heat your honey and juice, just blend them together and use a long handled plastic brew spoon to mix and aerate if you do not have a whip degasser or lees stirrer.

Hope that helps,


06-23-2008, 02:04 PM
Sorry for somewhat hijacking this thread -

Oskaar:: why do you suggest to not use the airlock and instead cover with a cloth?
Personally I'd be worried about the cat or a kid falling into the fermenter. Would using a lid with a drilled hole but without an airlock work? Just trying to figure out all this non-beer making out!


06-23-2008, 08:03 PM
Sorry to hijack O's answer, but it is to make oxygen available to the reproducing yeast population. It is good practice.


06-23-2008, 08:31 PM
Good advice! No worries Ken!