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slarson
12-16-2009, 06:51 PM
I'm a mead newbee and been learning as much as possible for the past 5 months. I've been reading like crazy on the site, trying to learn as much as possible. I've gone through the basics of JAO and Joe's Grape Pyment and started a prickly pear mead (modified a little) and have a question. After fermentation slows to around 1 bubble every 20-30 seconds, I have been racking to a secondary. Is it acceptable to add some of the original unfermented must or will that stress the yeast?

My recipe is as follows: 1 gallon batch

3.5 lbs. OB Honey
2.25 lbs. Prickly Pears
1 gallon spring water
1 pkg. K1V-1116 yeast
1/2 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient 24 hours after pitching yeast
1/4 tsp. Fermax at 1/3 sugar break (I've got Fermaid K and Go Ferm on my Christmas list)
S.G. 1.138 adjusted for temperature

12/2 I boiled 1/2 gallon of water with prickly pear tuna for 20 minutes then strained and cooled to just above room temp. I added the rest of the water to container and added the honey and stirred like mad. I poured the must into a 1 gallon glass carboy, leaving room for bubbles, etc. I put the remaining must in a quart jar and refrigerated. I rehydrated the yeast and pitched into the carboy. I added the 1/2 tsp Fermax on 12/3 and the 1/4 tsp on 12/6 with the S.G. at 1.100.

I hope I got everything in there and I look forward to any comments.

AToE
12-16-2009, 06:55 PM
I do the same thing with all my batches, and have asked around about it. The verdict I got was that this sugar addition will not stress the yeast because: A) it is fairly minor, and B) stress from step feeding usually is a result of using step feeding to push the yeast past their normal alcohol tolerance, not a result of the step feeding itself. Since this isn't what's being done with a late addition of more must, it should cause problems.

Medsen Fey
12-17-2009, 01:23 PM
I don't like to add more unfermented must at the end of fermentation. It causes the yeast to kick up again (or it sweetens the batch), and it is a form of step-feeding. I prefer to make batches large enough to fill my secondary container, (or I use inert gas to keep the headspace purged). However, you'll still get good mead using additions of must at the end.