View Full Version : Too much yeast?

02-01-2011, 09:11 AM
Is it possible to start with too much yeast?

I had rehydrated and pitched 2 packets of Lalvin yeast for my first 5-gallon batch of mead. But for my second batch, I want to make a 1-gallon batch so that I can start to experiment without mistakes being so costly. But how much yeast should I use?

Is 1 packet too much yeast for a 1-gallon batch?

A related question, I assume that the more yeast, the more vigorous the fermentation. I am planning on fermenting my 1-gallon batch in a 1-gallon carboy (it's the only thing I've got, other than my 6-gallon primary) with an airlock. I don't want a fermentation so vigorous that it vigorously exits my airlock and all over my carpet!

I appreciate your guys' help!

02-01-2011, 11:32 AM
It is possible to add too much yeast, but that usually takes on the order of 10 to 20 times more than the recommended amount, so using one packet designed for a 5 gallon batch in a 1 gallon batch is not an issue.

In general, more yeast is actually better, at least at first. But you can, if you severely over-pitch, end up dosing your must with so many ravenously hungry yeast cells that they over compete for the sugar and nutrients, resulting in stressed yeast and resulting production of off flavors. Also, lots of marginally developed cells can die off early, and that can also contribute to funky flavors in the mead.

But again, using one packet of yeast in a one gallon batch is not a problem! ;D

As far as preventing MEAs (mead eruption accidents), keeping your mead on the cool side as it ferments will help to prevent eruptions. Also, you can use a blow-off tube instead of an airlock for primary fermentation -- or you can do what I do, which is simply to loosely cover the top of your fermenter with a sanitized cloth. Giving the CO2 an easier route out of the container during the course of the most vigorous part of primary fermentation will help to prevent eruption accidents.

Medsen Fey
02-01-2011, 02:09 PM
And don't forget the anti-foam drops. :)