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View Full Version : how to tell when lag phase is over



beekind
09-14-2009, 01:52 AM
hey everybody. i am mighty perplexed about the lag phase. the big question is: how can i tell when the lag phase is over and that i need to pitch my fermaid k/dap mix?

what i've been doing is rehydrating the yeast with go-ferm, then pitching when the temps of the must and yeast are close to the same temp (within 10F). then, generally, i go to bed (most my mead making is in the evening). when i wake up, i assume that i am post lag phase, so i through in the fermaid k/dap mix. sometimes there is obvious airlock activity-but always pretty dern slow.

is this a poor system? is it better to pitch the mix as soon as the lag phase is over? what are the physical signs of lag phase being over (airlock activity and/or gravity changes, etc.)?

thanks for any help,
dave

Medsen Fey
09-14-2009, 10:53 AM
Lag phase is over when you see visible signs of fermentation such as little bubbles forming, or foam, or a cap forming, or when you hear the fizzing sound of fermentation.

wayneb
09-14-2009, 10:54 AM
Rather than airlock activity, I watch for small bubbles of CO2 being released from the liquid surface. If you look carefully and listen carefully, you can see the bubbles popping and you can hear a faint "fizz" sound.

BTW - I don't do primary fermentations under airlock until after the 1/2 sugar break. The yeast need O2 early on, so I find that covering my fermenter with a sanitized towel (or a loose bucket lid) to keep out airborne nasties, is as effective as a tight cover with a lock at preventing spoilage, and it both gives my yeast a little more O2 and makes inspection, stirring, etc. that much easier.

wildoates
09-14-2009, 04:00 PM
I don't have the courage to do that, Wayne...

/Picturing a cat with no tail investigating that buzzing sound, and SPLASH!

akueck
09-14-2009, 11:04 PM
I don't have the courage to do that, Wayne...

/Picturing a cat with no tail investigating that buzzing sound, and SPLASH!

This is what they invented closets for. ;)

beekind
09-15-2009, 12:41 AM
thanks, for the answers. that's pretty much what i've been thinking-that it's the point when the yeasts get comfortable in their new surroundings and get to work.

how 'bout for the second question: should i be pitching the fermaid k/dap mix as soon as i see that they are working, or is my lazy man style okay? does a couple of hours make much of a difference?

wayne, thanks for your advice about open(ish) fermentation. i've only done that a couple of times, with great results. but living in washington state, the walls seem to breed fruit flys and that makes me nervous (they can seem to get everywhere). basically, i do that when i'm feeling a bit more bold.

-dave

akueck
09-15-2009, 01:08 AM
I don't think a few hours are going to make a huge difference. Try to catch it as best you can, but don't rework your life around it.

Medsen Fey
09-15-2009, 10:59 AM
I don't think a few hours are going to make a huge difference. Try to catch it as best you can, but don't rework your life around it.

Heresy, I say! Heresy!

It is essential to mark to end of lag phase. One must stay up all night if necessary watching the fermenter and waiting for it to give it's first little burp. How can one expect to make great mead without sacrifice and commitment! LOL. :rolleyes:

beekind
09-16-2009, 01:39 AM
well, i have an eighteen month old, and have become quite accustomed to getting by on about four hours of sleep a night. i'm sure i can do fine with a little less :eek:. there goes the coffee budget.

i am so glad y'all approve of my laziness. if you said (seriously) that i needed to pitch the nutrients right at the end of the lag phase, i was going to have to tell the wife that i need to get one of those 47 gallon fermenters so i could really make it worthwhile to stay up all night. (wait...maybe i should tell her that, anyway.)

Medsen Fey
09-16-2009, 10:38 AM
i am so glad y'all approve of my laziness

As Mazers, we turn procrastination into an art form. ;D