View Full Version : Aiming for "Best Procedure". Critique Please!

03-07-2009, 07:50 PM
Hi everyone, I'm about to make another mead. I'm keen to be doing things in the best way possible, I'm trying to establish a "best procedure" from everything I've been reading on this site.

Can you please critique my procedure below.


Aiming for a Medium-Sweet Mead.


• 1.5kg (approx) Orange Blossom Honey
• Water to 4.5L
• Lalvin D47 Yeast
• Fermaid K 2g per 4L Total amount
• GoFerm

Rehydrate Packet of D-47 yeast with appropriate water and GoFerm.

Dissolve honey into warm water to get a SG of 1.120 (should finish at 1.015)

Aerate using airstone and normal air for 30mins while must cools.

Once must is 19C (66F) pitch yeast and stir.

Once fermentation shows activity add of the required nutrients (1g per 4L FermiadK)

Aerate each day until 1/3 sugar break, also check PH and adjust in necessary to keep above 3.7.

At 1/3 sugar break add remaining nutrient (1g per 4L FermaidK).

Once fermentation is complete, allow yeast to settle then rack to a clean container for aging.

What do you think?

03-08-2009, 12:31 AM
It looks good. This may be dry to medium. The sugar/yeast tolerance are close enough the yeast might just decide to keep going. You can backsweeten if it does. I'm sure the experts will add more.

Watch your fermentation temperature. It looks like Bisbane is in the mid/high 70s to low 80s. Don't ask me to convert! :D Keep the fermentation temps in the low 70s. Eighty-six is listed as the high end of the temperature tolerance. If it gets that hot, which is possible, it will through higher fusels that take a while to age out.

Oh, and you may want to chemically stabilize before bulk aging to protect your mead, but you have time to decide.

Good luck.

03-08-2009, 01:02 AM
Thanks Kee!

Yep, It certainly is hot here in Brisbane, but I use a fermentation Fridge, so I can set any temp I like. I've read I should keep the temp below 70F for D47 to avoid nasty flavours/esters. So I'm going to set the fridge at 66F for the duration of the fermentation, I could go lower if its better?

If the yeast does decide to ferment past the 14% mark, I can always backsweeten like you suggest.

I like to try to avoid adding chemicals if at all possible. I figure if the mead has fermented and attenuated well, and bulk aged for a while, there is little danger of bottle bombs. Or is there other reasons to stabilize before aging?

Thanks everyone.


03-08-2009, 02:34 AM
Glad to hear you can control the temp. I'm in a desert with no extra fridge so it's harder. The experts here will tell you the best temp for D-47, but it sounds like you've done your homework.

The chemicals will help with prevent oxidation as well. It's up to you whether you use them or not. I understand wanting to avoid them.

Good luck,

Medsen Fey
03-08-2009, 10:56 AM
Hi davewaldo,

It sounds like you are on your way to a very good mead. ICV-D47 makes a nice OB traditional mead. Temperature wise, I shoot for 17C. The fermentation might go a little slower, but it will come out nice.

D47 can actually tolerate low pH pretty well. The ideal range for yeast is between 3.4-4.0. Unless it drops to 3.1 or lower, I'd probably avoid pH adjustments as it should work fine.

Your nutrient addition is probably a bit light. Fermaid K 2 grams in a 4 liter batch is around 50 PPM nitrogen plus the GoFerm which may add around 25 PPM (If you use about 3 grams). In addition, the Nitrogen in the honey will probably be less than 30 PPM. I like to have a minimum of 150 PPM. However, I keep finding that "GoFermed", well-nourished, well-aerated, temp-controlled yeast keep blowing past their expected alcohol tolerance and giving me higher alcohol levels than I desire.

In addition to aerating with the stone, it will be good to swirl the container at least daily to keep the yeast suspended.

I hope your batch turns out great!

03-08-2009, 06:44 PM
Thanks Medsen Fay!

I made the must last night and all went well.

I have adjusted the fridge down to 17C and I've just added my first nutrient addition which I doubled to 2g Fermaid. The lag phase was very short.

I've never used GoFerm before and BOY, it really gets the yeast going!

I will add another 1-2g Fermaid at 1/3 sugar break.

This seems to be a lot higher dosage than the Fermaid recomendation of 1g per gallon. I doubled the amount initially to 2g, but now I wil end up with 4g.

I understand your justification aiming for 150ppm (I've read this is a good amount), is there a table, graph or formula online which could help me work out the PPM for future meads?

Thanks again,


03-10-2009, 12:20 PM
Page 6 of this pdf: http://www.vinquiry.com/pdf/LallemandNutrientAdditions.pdf contains a chart with the YAN levels of DAP, FermaidK, and GoFerm. The first page also has a chart with dosage recommendations for different starting nutrient contents. You'll notice the one that starts with low nitrogen (like mead musts) recommends additions at end of lag and 1/3 break. Also remember to consider the nitrogen needs of your particular yeast strain.

There is an upper limit listed for FermaidK additions due to thiamine levels. That was new to me. Can't imagine a little thiamine overdose would really hurt you though, look at multivitamins. Be warned however, excess B-vitamin can make you whiz highlighter yellow! ;)

Medsen Fey
03-10-2009, 01:48 PM
There is essentially no syndrome of thiamine toxicity, especially from oral consumption. The only problems seem to be related to intramuscular injections.

Still, the TTB has various regulations limiting the amounts of additives to commercial wines. While we homeys are free to disregard those limits, it may not necessarily be wise to do so.

To avoid excessive Fermaid K, you can use some DAP as a nutrient (1 gram in 4L gives 50 PPM nitrogen).

03-10-2009, 03:16 PM
There is essentially no syndrome of thiamine toxicity, especially from oral consumption. The only problems seem to be related to intramuscular injections.

"Don't shoot up with FermaidK." Cool, I'll keep that in mind. :p

03-11-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks Guys!

However, now I'm faced with a new problem.... From reading these forums I was under the impression GoFerm & FermaidK were basically all the nutrients I needed.

Using 2g FermaidK in 4L I am already well over the highest recomended dose of FermaidK (which is 1g).

So Should I only add DAP at the 1/3 sugar break (which should be tomorrow)?

Or should I have been adding 70/30 Fermaid & DAP from the start?

At the moment I estimate my YAN concentration to be less than 100ppm. I could either add 2g more fermaidK which would be 4x the recomended max, or add 1g DAP to contribute another 50ppm to obtain the recommended 150ppm.

What is the best practise here?



03-11-2009, 08:21 PM
Again, the recommended maximums for Fermaid K and Go-Ferm are based on Lallemand's desire to keep the included nutrient additions in commercial wines under those US Federal TTB requirements. You are free to add more, and in your particular case you might want to do that. Inorganic sources of nitrogen (such as DAP) are most easily assimilated by yeast early in their lifecycle. As fermentation progresses and the level of ethanol in the must rises, the yeast are then increasingly only able to assimilate organic sources of amino nitrogen, such as those found in part in Fermaid K, or 100% in Fermaid O or Fermaid 2133. Adding straight DAP late in fermentation (say after the 1/2 sugar break) will do little to make that nitrogen available to the yeast.

So going forward your best strategy with this batch would be to use more Fermaid K, or preferably Fermaid O if you can get it, and to in future batches add the 70-30 mix of Fermaid and DAP during nutrient doses early in the fermentation.