View Full Version : Growth in first batch

Nate PT
03-29-2010, 12:23 AM

My first batch is in a 1 gallon glass carboy (jug). It's a basic clover/basswood honey with Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast. It's been in primary for 10 days, and is currently at about 10 bubbles per minute (it took almost 3 days to really start bubbling).

There hadn't been much of anything on the top for a couple of days, today I noticed a bubble with some white stuff around it. The bubble was not really clear like you would expect a bubble to be and it's now about a half inch in diameter. Should I agitate the mixture and try to pop the bubble and get rid of the white stuff? The white stuff looks like the sediment on the bottom kind of so I'm not too worried about it and assume it will sink to the bottom again.

I'm sure it's nothing, but just wanted to post anyway just in case I should rack it off or anything like that.

Thanks for any info!

Medsen Fey
03-29-2010, 08:30 AM
Welcome to GotMead Nate PT!

It is common to see some yeast trapped on the surface and from your description, I think that is probably what you are seeing. So nothing to worry about.

It is helpful when you have questions to post the full recipe and process you've followed so that folks can get a good understanding of what is happening.


Nate PT
03-29-2010, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the welcome and the response!

I used 3 pounds of honey and I did not boil or even heat the must at all I just shook it up to mix it for about ten minutes before adding the yeast. I did use a bit of nutrient and energizer. I added about a fifth of a package of yeast and pitched it in water first. I used not quite a gallon of spring water.

After about 3 days there was very little evidence of fermentation so I aerated a bit and added a little more nutrient/engergizer/and a sprinkle of dry yeast and it really kicked off then and has been fermenting pretty consistently since (it's been around 10-15 bubbles per minute since then).

I probably did not need to add anything after a few days, I'm sure it just needed to be aerated (the instructions I was following said nothing about aerating after adding the yeast).

The coloring is similar to the sediment on the bottom so I'm sure you're right it's just some yeast. If it doesn't go away in the next couple of days I'll snap a pic and post it to see if anyone has any further ideas.

Thanks again

Nate PT
04-05-2010, 12:46 AM
Well I ended up racking into secondary as the bubble/growth thing was not going away, it was at 4-5 bubbles per minute when I racked it last Wednesday, and since then it has been at about 2 bubbles per minute. I understand I took it off of a lot of yeast/yeast food and that is why the bubbles have slowed down, but did I rack too early?

Medsen Fey
04-05-2010, 10:16 AM
Not necessarily. What's the gravity now?

Nate PT
04-05-2010, 07:36 PM
I stupidly did not take a starting reading, but I just took a reading and it is at 1.084. It tasted like honey and water, it didn't really have an alcohol taste to it. When I had it in the sampling tube it was very bubbly at first, but then the bubbles dissipated. Thanks for any input!

Medsen Fey
04-05-2010, 07:42 PM
Your starting gravity with 3 pounds of honey was probably close to 1.105, so I'd say yes, you racked it too early and probably left a lot of yeast behind. You should aerate it again to help the yeast grow more.

How much nutrient/energizer did you use?
What temperature are you maintaining?

Nate PT
04-06-2010, 12:00 AM
I used the about half a teaspoon of both nutrient and energizer. It's in the basement where it's almost always 65 degrees. I will try aerating it a bit. Should I add more nutrient or anything?
Thanks for the help Madsen

Medsen Fey
04-06-2010, 08:42 AM
Another 1/2 teaspoon of energizer might be helpful. If it seems sluggish, raising the temp up to about 70 F might also help it, but for now, I think I'd just try the aeration and nutrients.

Nate PT
04-09-2010, 06:21 PM
Well, I aerated 3 days this week, added nutrients and energizer, and moved it upstairs where it's closer to 70 F. The first night I aerated it the whole thing shot up like a geyser....that was not fun. I added some water to make up for the liquid I lost when it geysered when I added the energizer. There still isn't much activity out of the airlock, should I keep aerating? If it doesn't get going soon should I add more yeast? At what point do I just give up and try again with a new batch?

04-09-2010, 06:24 PM
If it gyser'd on you then it's definitely doing something, airlocks don't mean much (there's almost always some tiny leak or something causing it to look inactive).

What's the SG at now?

Nate PT
04-13-2010, 06:17 PM
I haven't taken another reading as there have been around 4-6 bubbles per minute for the last few days so fermentation seems to have taken off again. When it slows down I'll take another reading, but until then I plan to just leave it alone so I don't screw it up again! Thanks!

Nate PT
04-24-2010, 11:43 AM
What should the finishing gravity be? It's still bubbling 2 or so times per minute, but I figure it must be close to being ready to get off the lees and age.

04-24-2010, 01:21 PM
Hard to guess the FG, depends a lot on the conditions during fermentation and this one has seen some unique handling. What you can do is measure the gravity, wait a few weeks, and measure it again. If it's the same, you might be done. If not, keep waiting. :)

Nate PT
04-29-2010, 08:00 PM
It's now at 1.014, should I get it off the lees at this point or let it go as there is still some airlock activity?

04-29-2010, 10:06 PM
Personally I would not be in a rush to get it off the lees just yet. K1V is fairly neutral.