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View Full Version : Nutrients schedule, aeration, when to rack, and other questions



Lost Tyger
02-12-2011, 05:38 PM
I went whole hog today with a buddy of mine who has some experience.

We have three in various stages now. One is a one gallon with honey & some lemon juice, one is a one gallon with honey & maple syrup, and one is a 5 gallon that will get some teas and spices in the secondary.

First question: nutrient schedule. Using KV116 yeast, rehydrated with goferm and must. Did the starter / rehydration with must taken from the honey & lemon, used that starter for all 7 gallons (scaled for 7 gallons). When I pitched the yeast, adding 1/2 teaspoon per gallon fermaid K. Over the course of the next three days I will aerate twice a day, and at one of these aerations, I will add 1/4 teaspoon per gallon DAP. After 3 days, I plan to go to once daily aerations, without nutrient addition, until I hit the 1/3 break. At 1/3 break, add 1/4 teaspoon per gallon fermaid K, aerate one last time. Does this sound right? I don't want to over nutrient it, or stress it....

Second question: I intend to rack into a secondary when my gravity drops to 1.010. I will then add some spices to one, but the others will just get racked into clean vessels. Is it traditional to stay in the secondary until bottling? I am planning to cold crash, then stabilize with some sort of chemical. Is 'bulk aging' done in the secondary, or is it normally done after a second rack to an 'aging' vessel?

Third question: I recently saw it suggested that, after the 1/3 break, it is a good idea to stir without aerating until the first racking; is that a common practice? I would just as soon try to leave the thing alone as much as I can....

I will post the brew logs once I get all three batches pitched! Who said this was an additicion?

Lost Tyger
02-13-2011, 10:06 AM
Question 4: When I added the DAP, the must instantly fizzed; common?

Question 5: When degassing & aerating, what is the sign of good aeration? Should I be doing it to some time, or just until I feel good about it? I used the foamy appearance of the must as a sign of aeration when I pitched, but now, with so much degassing, the foam comes from the degassing as much as the aeration.

mmclean
02-13-2011, 10:35 AM
Question 4: When I added the DAP, the must instantly fizzed; common?

Yes, this is common. You can mix dry powers in a little warm water before adding to your mead to prevent this.


Question 5: When degassing & aerating, what is the sign of good aeration? Should I be doing it to some time, or just until I feel good about it? I used the foamy appearance of the must as a sign of aeration when I pitched, but now, with so much degassing, the foam comes from the degassing as much as the aeration.

If your using a lees stirrer with a drill in a five gallon, 3-5 min. should be good. Stirring by hand, a lot longer. Shaking a full 1 gallon carboy, 5 min. + hard sharking.

You can only get so much oxygen into the mead at one time. Better to aerate often, than longer.

Chevette Girl
02-13-2011, 11:05 PM
1) I don't think this sounds excessive. Total additions of 1 to 2 tsp DAP per gallon, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp energizer is what I usually aim for but what you've outlined should be fine.

2) The definition of "secondary" is a bit nebulous. Most of us follow something along these lines: rack off the lees and fruit bits and into a secondary fermentation vessel, keeping headspace to a minimum, once fermentation has died down enough that it won't blow out through your airlock (anywhere from 1.010 and lower sounds like a good general guideline). Then every few months, rack it off any sediment that has dropped out, again keeping headspace to a minimum. There it can safely stay until it's clear enough to bottle, and pretty much the time period after the SG stops dropping can be considered "aging".

3) The reason you might want to stir without aeration in the second third of the fermentation process is that you want your yeast to stay in suspension so that they're continuing to do their thing instead of getting choked off at the bottom as they settled out. Also, bigger particles settle out faster than smaller particles but small particles sometimes stick to bigger particles, so as counter-intuitive as it may seem, keeping the must well-mixed during fermentaiton can help it clear up faster once it's completed. Also some experiment results I tripped over somewhere around here where someone used a mixing plate for the entire fermentation and got a very quick, clean ferment.