PDA

View Full Version : Failure Already?



R4mmR0d
02-03-2010, 07:00 PM
Brew Day mk1 wrapped up about four hours ago, and i'm a tad concerned already as there is only the occasional (perhaps ever five minutes, irregularly) "blurp" through the airlock. No Krausen has formed, and while this may be premature i fear failure may be nigh.
Recipe:
14 pounds Spanish orange blossom Honey
4 gallons water
gervin Wine yeast varietal B (black label)
18 teaspoons tronozymol
approx sugar 230
potential alch 14.3%
initial SG: 1.085
Initially, we added 18 teaspoons of tronozymol tbs to the must, (pre pitching) as per "what it says on the tin." I'm now concerned that this immediate nutrient enema could have slaughtered the yeast. Also, when re-hydrating the yeast I, the moron that i am, left a small metal spoon in the container, leading to a temperature drop from a recommended 35 C to 26C. I attempted to remedy this mistake by slowly introducing portions of the 34C must to the re-hydrated yeast in an effort to gradually raise the temperature. There were small bubbles for a time but those have entirely dissipated and there is a sort of thin, spiderwebs oil-like sheen on about 5% of the surface of the must. Anyone know if I have gone horribly wrong?

edit: I've just been informed that my friend had capped the water during the entirety of its 36 hour (had to call it off for a day) campden treatment, could this have affected the survivability of the yeast?

AToE
02-03-2010, 07:13 PM
Sounds like you're probably totally fine, and that slow aclimatization you did with the yeast is a good idea any time there is a significant difference between rehydration temp and must temp.

Airlock blurps aren't good for much other than if you see some blurps that means something is happening, the rate doesn't mean much. More likely that you have a tiny leak that is slowing down the blurps - or, the bulk of the yeast simply haven't come out of lag yet, it has only been a short time since pitch (some people experience long lag times, like 12 hours long).

I almost never get krausen on meads, only really dark honeys have given me any at any point in the fermentation.

wayneb
02-03-2010, 09:59 PM
Yes, it is entirely possible that your "captive" campden treatment held more SO2 in the water than would have been there had it been open to the air, but if that is the problem, it is easily remedied. Simply try a new pitch of yeast after an additional day or two has elapsed. But as AToE noted, airlock bubbles are no indication of fermentation progress. Instead, check the SG a few times over the course of the next 24-36 hrs, and if there has been no change, pitch again.

How much campden was added? And, do you have the ability to check must pH?

R4mmR0d
02-05-2010, 09:27 AM
thanks a lot for the input. day 2 sg= 1.092. I'm using a very ghetto sample tube for the hydrometer that tapers slightly as it rises, could this be influencing my reading? It appears as though my new-parent paranoia was unfounded, as the surface of the must is sparkling/discharging co2 at a prodigal rate.There is a ton of co2 discharge going on and even after a lot of aeration the hydrometer is getting buffeted around by co2. Is it correct to infer that the hydrometer is just getting floated by the co2, rather then increasing in density? Will this effect diminish soon because i'm pretty sure all the sg readings i take for the next few days will be invalid as a result. I almost redecorated the interior of my friend's boiler room during my second aeration session. I learned a valuable lesson about the metabolic power of yeast in those panicked three minutes of death-locked grip.

edit: I added four crushed campden tablets, but it seems as though the sulfur dioxide had diminished enough to allow yeast growth. I had uncapped it for about an hour prior to the start of brew day and i think that might have done the trick. I have a man on the inside of the chem department who is getting me ph strips tomorrow.

wayneb
02-05-2010, 11:51 AM
Is it correct to infer that the hydrometer is just getting floated by the co2, rather then increasing in density? Will this effect diminish soon because i'm pretty sure all the sg readings i take for the next few days will be invalid as a result.

Yes. In fact you will see in older posts on the subject, we recommend rapidly spinning the hydrometer (a quick flick between thumb and finger) as you drop it into the test sample, which will keep bubbles from adhering as easily to the glass. You have to practice a bit to get good at reading the scale while it is still rotating, before the CO2 effect starts corrupting the measurement again.

And also yes, the effect diminishes as fermentation slows.

R4mmR0d
02-06-2010, 11:02 AM
i took another sg reading and the sg has dropped to 1.046 from 1.085 in two days. Is this unusually quick?

akueck
02-06-2010, 01:24 PM
I'd call that fast but not alarmingly so. Under the right conditions you can ferment a 1.110 must in about 3 days, but for me the "normal" time is more like 7-10 days.

fatbloke
02-06-2010, 09:48 PM
R4mmR0d, you list "18" teaspoons of tronozymol ? 18 ?

That's probably enough for a 10 gallon batch.

If I use that (and not FermaidK), I use it at about 1 tsp per gallon of must.....

You may end up with a "chemically" after taste.....

As for the rest of it, if the gravity readings are going down, then it's fine.

Not all batches produce foam, some do and it then disappears, some foam and it stays on top, some just don't foam.

If you did add a bit more honey when the gravity gets down, and you think about adding more nutrient etc, then don't put the nutrient in dry, mix it with a little water...

Medsen Fey
02-06-2010, 10:28 PM
R4mmR0d, you list "18" teaspoons of tronozymol ? 18 ?

That's probably enough for a 10 gallon batch.


If you did add a bit more honey when the gravity gets down, and you think about adding more nutrient etc, then don't put the nutrient in dry, mix it with a little water...

18 teaspoons? Ouch.
I'll be curious to know if it winds up tasting a little salty or metallic.

If you did add a bit more honey when the gravity gets down, and you think about adding more nutrient etc, then don't ......
Seriously, you've got enough nitrogen in there already so I wouldn't add anything with DAP.

fatbloke
02-07-2010, 05:29 AM
18 teaspoons? Ouch.
I'll be curious to know if it winds up tasting a little salty or metallic.

If you did add a bit more honey when the gravity gets down, and you think about adding more nutrient etc, then don't ......
Seriously, you've got enough nitrogen in there already so I wouldn't add anything with DAP.
Well spotted Medsen, my bad.......

From memory, R4mmR0d is making his brew in Scotland, so it's unlikely that he'd find just "pure DAP" (most of the HBS don't seem to sell it like that - only as "combined nutrients" - like tronozymol).

Yes, I suspect that I'd just be thinking about chaptalizing with honey/water as I seem to recall that one of the few things that does mask a salty/metalic taste like that is sweetness/sugar.....

R4mmR0d
03-11-2010, 09:37 PM
Medson/Bloke you're right on target with that salty/metallic hypothesis. I racked the mead yesterday, and there is a quite detectable metallic/salty quality. What do you guys think, i only have about 1/6 lb of the honey i used for the must left, and more of the same isn't readily obtainable. I can buy some tesco orange blossom honey, and fire away with that, but it seems like i'd be sacrificing a lot of good honey if i just drop the tesco crap in. I was unable to test the PH after my Chem major friend didn't come through with the ph strips, but it seems a bit acidic as well. I eagerly await your expertise.

Medsen Fey
03-11-2010, 09:54 PM
For now I'd let it sit until it is clear. If it still has that off flavor, you'll probably be able to mask it with more honey, but you may need to stabilize with sorbate/sulfite first. Once it clears, you'll be able to better determine how much sweetness is needed - you can take a glass and add honey a little at a time until you get to the point that it tastes okay. You can measure the gravity at that point and you'll know what your target gravity should be.

If you get lucky, that flavor will fade as it clears.

Medsen