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thomasaaron
07-21-2009, 08:54 PM
After pitching the yeast and adding 1 tsp. of Fermaid K in a 5-gallon batch of must, I thoroughly mixed / aerated my brew.

Do I need to add any more Fermaid K or aerate again? I've seen some posts that indicated someone added a tsp of Fermaid K and aerated each day for three or four days in a row. Does that sound right? Or is one time a charm?

Medsen Fey
07-21-2009, 08:57 PM
Can you please provide the recipe details? This will help folks to give you better answers.

thomasaaron
07-21-2009, 09:02 PM
Sure.

http://meadlog.blogspot.com/2009/07/onward-and-upward.html

Medsen Fey
07-21-2009, 09:22 PM
Okay, you are making a high gravity, sack-strength mead (which is going to give you an ABV north of 16% ABV). 1 tsp of Fermaid K in a 5 gallon batch gets you about 20 PPM nitrogen. You probably should aim for at least 200 PPM if you want a healthy, speedy fermentation.

I would add:
DAP 10 grams now
Fermaid K 5 grams now.

Fermaid K 10 grams when the gravity is about 1.080 (1/3 fermentation point)

You should aerate it daily until the gravity is about 1.080 then keep it airlocked and swirl it daily to help keep the yeast in suspension.

There are many ways to provide nutrients, this just happens to be the approach I would take to get the nitrogen up to a level to support the yeast.

I would not plan to keep adding honey to this batch. That is something we call step-feeding (try a search on that term). It will drive the alcohol level higher (perhaps well over 18%) and will leave you with a batch of rocket fuel that will not be pleasant to drink for a few years (if ever).

If you don't want the mead dry, try letting it finish dry, then stabilize the mead with sorbate and sulfite. After that you can add honey to bring the sweetness up to a level you like without having the yeast ferment it and driving the alcohol higher.

By the way, which honey did you decide to use?

Bonne Chance!
Medsen

thomasaaron
07-21-2009, 09:30 PM
Thank you.

I don't have any DAP. Can I compensate by using more Fermaid K now?

I've been debating whether to step feed or backsweeting after stabilizing. I'm sure you are right about this. I'll definitely take your advice on it.

For this batch, I'm just using some clover honey I got on sale at Sam's club. However, I found a good supply store nearby in Denver, and I'll be purchasing some varietal honey from them for my next batch. I've primarily been trying to learn the ropes before investing in expensive honey.

Medsen Fey
07-21-2009, 10:26 PM
You can use more Fermaid K (which does contain DAP) but it will far exceed the recommended amounts. As homeys, we are free to do that, but it could potentially have some affect on flavor.

Fermaid K has about half the YAN of DAP, so you'd need about twice as much.

I'd certainly suggest getting some DAP from you local HBS at your earliest convenience.