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View Full Version : Average lag time for this recipe (JAO)?



OrionMead
03-31-2011, 02:39 AM
Howdy! My wine making kit came in from Strange Brew the other day (Monday), and I put that 7.8 gallon fermentation bucket to good use!

My first batch of mead, lovingly titled "Thor's Piss" by myself and a group of friends when discussing possible label names, is happily aging away in it's 1 gallon carboy, with no signs of fermentation at all. The hydrometer read about 1.3 (or is it 1.03?) and 4.9% Alc.

My second and third batches are going along nicely as well, although each of them "blew up" within 24 hours of starting (Green-Apple mead, Strawberry mead) by foaming up so bad that it pushed the fruit up into my balloon "airlock"...and all the liquid in the neck of the carboy looked like I was boiling water ;-) It's calmed down now, after I punched the fruit cap on each and gave it a quick stir.

However, my fourth (and by far, largest) batch is 6.5 gallons. I took the ingredients list for JAO, measured out the ingredients for 6.5 gallons compared to 1, and followed the directions EXACTLY (except for the part about that being only 1 gallon, and mine is 6.5 gallons).

The honey used was 1 pound of Orange Blossom, the rest was Wild Clover.

Yeast type was Lalvin D-47 (1.5 packets, as I used .5 of one packet on another experiment I was running). Yeast was not rehydrated at all (as per Joe's instructions). I know I didn't use his exact yeast, but I didn't have any of that type on hand.

Average temperature of the water was around 80-82 degrees, as I had to heat the honey up a little bit to ensure that I got every last bit of it out of the containers ;-)

Average temperature of the must right now is 72-74 degrees. It's sitting on the floor in the corner of the kitchen. Not dark, but not light, either - no light directly hits anywhere near that spot, but it's not "pitch black". And it's a cool spot to sit at.

I opened up the fermentation bucket a few hours ago to see if I could see any activity at the top, smell anything, etc...but all I've got is a layer of foamy bubbles at the top, which is the same as it was on Monday night when I mixed everything together (I couldn't pick up and shake that heavy of a container, so I stirred it pretty vigorously for about 10 minutes, which created the foam up top). It's not a thick layer, mind you...sort of like the layer of foamy bubbles at the top of your container when you make some southern sweet tea after having boiled the tea bags in water.

Allspice, Nutmeg were both at 5 "pinches" (as 1 pinch was called for in the 1 gallon, and I like the taste of the spices), and 5 cinnamon sticks were used (again, adding more due to the larger batch).

Anyway, is there anything else I should be doing, or is a 48 hour lag time (as of 36 minutes ago) normal for JAO in large quantities? Should I open up the bucket and aerate it some more with stirring? Should I reyhydrate some D-47 and pitch that in, to see if it kicks off a love-making session with the rest of the yeasties in there to make happy yeast babies that pee alcohol all over my bucket?

Unfortunately my brew log got tossed by the Spousal Unit of Doom because she thought it was just an ingredients list to pick stuff up from the store, and I can't remember what the initial SG/Sugar levels were. I can take readings again if it's required...I was goign to do another tomorrow (I figure, take a new reading every week or so until 1st racking, and then do it once a month until it's ready for bottling?).

Any advice would be great.

I DID try to use the search function, but nothing came up with any combination of "JAO" and "lag", or even "Joe's".

Medsen Fey
03-31-2011, 10:02 AM
The search tool won't search for 3-letter words. "lag phase" (in quotes) will get you some hits.

A layer of foamy bubbles on top sounds like something is happening. If you stir it does it foam up and fizz? If so, it is fermenting. The best way to be sure that it is progressing is to measure the gravity. Check it today; check it tomorrow; if the gravity is dropping you're on your way. Proper rehydration (and use of Goferm) will dramatically shorten the lag phase in most cases

Chevette Girl
03-31-2011, 10:14 AM
I find with the bread yeast, JAO's are usually up and going within a couple of hours. I've never tried it with a wine yeast before, but a wine yeast might take longer, especially in a high-gravity must (my JAO's always come out somewhere around 1.125-1.130) when it wasn't rehydrated.

And I'd suggest keeping all your brewlog stuff in a folder, binder, duo-tang, something...anything to keep it all together so it looks official and won't be tossed AND you only have to look for one thing rather than going through piles of papers later, papers always get lost or left around, says the voice of experience...

mmclean
03-31-2011, 10:18 AM
Try reading through this tread.

Joe Mattioli's Foolproof Ancient Orange, Clove, and Cinnamon Mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6885)

Be sure to start with 1 and your find all that you need to know about JAO. :)

mmclean
03-31-2011, 10:21 AM
My lag time with JAO was as little as 10 min. on some batches.

Chevette Girl
03-31-2011, 10:29 AM
I've had lags that short too, but never with wine yeast! I think a big part of what makes it Joe's is the bread yeast...

mmclean
03-31-2011, 10:41 AM
I've had lags that short too, but never with wine yeast! I think a big part of what makes it Joe's is the bread yeast...

Without the bread yeast, it's not JAO... just my MHO.

tatgeer
03-31-2011, 12:00 PM
Without the bread yeast, it's not JAO... just my MHO.

I agree. There's no such thing as "I followed the recipe exactly, except..."

And this is coming from a very experimental cook/brewer. I frequently make substitutions and use recipes as guidelines, but then it's not following the recipe "exactly".

JayH
03-31-2011, 12:46 PM
I tried it once with EC-1118 It wasn't bad, after a year and a half of aging.

OrionMead
03-31-2011, 01:19 PM
I agree. There's no such thing as "I followed the recipe exactly, except..."

And this is coming from a very experimental cook/brewer. I frequently make substitutions and use recipes as guidelines, but then it's not following the recipe "exactly".

Symantics aside, you can say "I followed xxx exactly, except" or "with the exception of" - meaning that you followed everything exactly as prescribed, up until the change you made. It alleviates the tedium of restating that "I used xxx of xxx and yyy of yyy".

:D

OrionMead
03-31-2011, 01:21 PM
The search tool won't search for 3-letter words. "lag phase" (in quotes) will get you some hits.

A layer of foamy bubbles on top sounds like something is happening. If you stir it does it foam up and fizz? If so, it is fermenting. The best way to be sure that it is progressing is to measure the gravity. Check it today; check it tomorrow; if the gravity is dropping you're on your way. Proper rehydration (and use of Goferm) will dramatically shorten the lag phase in most cases

There IS a layer of foamy bubbles at the top, just no real activity that I can see (maybe I'm spoiled and used to seeing it in the 1 gallon jugs? Hard to tell sometimes in the big bucket, it seems!). I'll take the gravity over the next few days and see what it reads and report back.

If it's NOT going, would getting some GoFerm and then mixing that in work out? Or should I try pitching more yeast? I'm not sure what to do if it just doesn't take off at all...

mmclean
03-31-2011, 04:18 PM
Symantics aside, you can say "I followed xxx exactly, except" or "with the exception of" - meaning that you followed everything exactly as prescribed, up until the change you made. It alleviates the tedium of restating that "I used xxx of xxx and yyy of yyy".

:D

You could and I think you would be wrong and unfair to Joe. If you don"t want to use his recipe, you could call it OrionMead's Ancient Orange Mead.

Chevette Girl
03-31-2011, 09:54 PM
There IS a layer of foamy bubbles at the top, just no real activity that I can see (maybe I'm spoiled and used to seeing it in the 1 gallon jugs? Hard to tell sometimes in the big bucket, it seems!). I'll take the gravity over the next few days and see what it reads and report back.

If it's NOT going, would getting some GoFerm and then mixing that in work out? Or should I try pitching more yeast? I'm not sure what to do if it just doesn't take off at all...

I usually give things 24 hours before I start planning corrections, if it's not doing anything by 48 hours (ie, fizzing if you stir), I'd re-pitch, but at least rehydrate your yeast before you toss them in.

OrionMead
03-31-2011, 10:35 PM
You could and I think you would be wrong and unfair to Joe. If you don"t want to use his recipe, you could call it OrionMead's Ancient Orange Mead.

Haha, but wouldn't it then be "OM's 3 Day Orange"? :rolleyes:

OrionMead
03-31-2011, 10:48 PM
I usually give things 24 hours before I start planning corrections, if it's not doing anything by 48 hours (ie, fizzing if you stir), I'd re-pitch, but at least rehydrate your yeast before you toss them in.

It's been 72 hours now, and all I have is the slight layer of foam at the top...but it doesn't seem like it's active. I took my spoon out (sanitized of course), and moved an area of it over so that I could see the mead, and didn't see any "tiny little yeast farts" coming to the top (like you see when looking into a carboy).

I ended up scoring some Fleishmann's yeast from the grocery store...so I might do as you suggested and re-pitch it after rehydrating them.

I went to take a reading with the Hydrometer, but...and this is going extremely stupid...I put it in, and went to move an orange out of the way...and the damned thing snapped at the stem (the hydrometer).

So now i'm off to go order another one (and some nutrients as well, I guess)

Chevette Girl
03-31-2011, 11:49 PM
Heh, if you've got bread yeast, you probably don't need to rehydrate it, remember, Joe's breaks all the rules :)

And it's possible that the D-47 may wake up once there's a bit less sugar to contend with, I had that happen once... had some frozen once-fermented pear pulp (I'd used EC-1118 ), added the same amount of honey as a JAO, gave it a couple days, when nothing happened, I gave it its teaspoon of Fleischmanns, which usually stops around 10% alcohol for me, it started going and didn't stop till it went right dry, 18%.

OrionMead
04-01-2011, 12:59 AM
Oh! I just checked and it looks like I'm getting about 1 burp every 10 to 15 seconds...this is after I gave it a good stirring earlier. My thinking was that the top is covered in foam, oranges, and raisins...so it might have run into the whole "fruit cap" issue. Hopefully this increases...if not, I've got a packet of Fleishmann's ready to get pitched (I wonder if I should use 2, since the packet says it's 1-4 gallons and my batch is about 6.5 gallons?).

My gosh, it's like wondering if your child is sick.

My poor sick yeasties!

Chevette Girl
04-01-2011, 01:01 AM
If they're doing something, you're probably good. They might take their time to get up to full force, but if they've gotten started, that's a good sign. :)

OrionMead
04-01-2011, 02:54 AM
Hehe, my daughter gave me the idea to leave an iPod next to the bucket so they have something to listen to.

Wow, I'm so gullible.

tatgeer
04-02-2011, 08:35 AM
I'm glad your yeasties started doing their thing! It's a nice feeling to know things are moving along.


Symantics aside, you can say "I followed xxx exactly, except" or "with the exception of" - meaning that you followed everything exactly as prescribed, up until the change you made. It alleviates the tedium of restating that "I used xxx of xxx and yyy of yyy".

:D

I went back and looked, and you didn't say you followed the ingredients for JAO "exactly," it was the process that was exactly.

Sorry if I come off too crabby - this is just one of those things that bugs me, and I see it a lot. I think I would have felt differently if you'd put your changes right up front when you said you used the JAO ingredient list, but it was 2 more paragraphs before you mentioned the yeast change (a big deal when you're asking about lag time) and several more before you mentioned the spices you used.

I think it'd be much clearer if people said they'd started with JAO and made some changes (then list them right up front), or said they used JAO as inspiration, or something like that.

Like I said, I love to improvise when cooking and brewing, and it's hard for me to hold myself to following a recipe 100%. However, if I cook something and someone asks for the recipe, I do my best to tell them what I *actually* did so they have a hope of replicating it.