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View Full Version : To Rack or Not To Rack - that is the question



Honey
04-13-2012, 06:32 PM
I started a Joe's 2 weeks ago, but I added cacao nibs. It is doing great and still bubbling (so I am guessing still fermenting - has a balloon on top). It's getting a lot of fallout on the bottom and I am tempted to rack it (especially as I want to try out all my new racking and siphoning and airlocks and carboy stuff, lol). Will it hurt it to rack whilst still fermenting?

Honey

HunnyBunz
04-13-2012, 06:39 PM
If you rack before the ferment is complete (or mostly complete) it can stall the fermentation. So, it's best to be patient, and if you're following the JAO recipe from this forum (if you used bread yeast) it's not going to hurt to leave it alone for a couple months and rack it then. Plus you'll be giving more time to allow those cocoa nibs to infuse some flavor.

P.S. I bet TAKeyeser posts before I do! :)

fatbloke
04-13-2012, 06:39 PM
I started a Joe's 2 weeks ago, but I added cacao nibs. It is doing great and still bubbling (so I am guessing still fermenting - has a balloon on top). It's getting a lot of fallout on the bottom and I am tempted to rack it (especially as I want to try out all my new racking and siphoning and airlocks and carboy stuff, lol). Will it hurt it to rack whilst still fermenting?

Honey
Irrespective of whether you've varied the ingredients in the batch, if it's made to the JAO method/technique, then leave it alone till it's done.....

TAKeyser
04-13-2012, 06:53 PM
If you rack before the ferment is complete (or mostly complete) it can stall the fermentation. So, it's best to be patient, and if you're following the JAO recipe from this forum (if you used bread yeast) it's not going to hurt to leave it alone for a couple months and rack it then. Plus you'll be giving more time to allow those cocoa nibs to infuse some flavor.

P.S. I bet TAKeyeser posts before I do! :)

You beat me to posting :)

I agree with the advice though. Let it finish and you'll be happy you did. Time is Your Friend when it comes to mead making.

Honey
04-13-2012, 09:49 PM
[QUOTE=HunnyBunz;189130]...and if you're following the JAO recipe from this forum (if you used bread yeast) it's not going to hurt to leave it alone for a couple months...

I am inferring from this that if I had used another type of yeast it would not be so good to just leave it? (I'm lost on yeast types, lol)... why would it make a diff had I used wine yeast (assuming it actually WOULD make a diff??)? And yes, I'll leave it alone (alas, I'll just have to start a new batch to use my new toys, lol).

Honey

HunnyBunz
04-13-2012, 10:53 PM
I am inferring from this that if I had used another type of yeast it would not be so good to just leave it? (I'm lost on yeast types, lol)... why would it make a diff had I used wine yeast (assuming it actually WOULD make a diff??)? And yes, I'll leave it alone (alas, I'll just have to start a new batch to use my new toys, lol).

Honey

Some wine yeasts are fine for aging on the lees, others - not so much. Lalvin 71B-1122 for example will start getting stinky at about 6 weeks. Others I've heard mixed reports on. Bread yeast usually does not impart any off flavors, I think partly because it has a low alcohol tolerance, and it is used in the JAO recipe with those points in mind.

I'm still learning about the different strains of yeast myself, but you can learn a lot just by following all the advice given in these forums. Many of the people here are very experienced and very generous with sharing their knowledge.
You might try doing a search on lees aging to get more information.

Soyala_Amaya
04-13-2012, 11:05 PM
I don't know about low alcohol tolerances, but I just took two JAOV into secondary yesterday that should be between 14-15%. I had 15lbs of honey in one meth that went to 1.005, and 15lbs of honey+1 gal of fruit juice in another that went a point lower. I think bread yeast might really shock everyone on how tolerant it truly is.

HunnyBunz
04-15-2012, 02:46 AM
I don't know about low alcohol tolerances, but I just took two JAOV into secondary yesterday that should be between 14-15%. I had 15lbs of honey in one meth that went to 1.005, and 15lbs of honey+1 gal of fruit juice in another that went a point lower. I think bread yeast might really shock everyone on how tolerant it truly is.

Yeah, I know that others have said that with proper fermentation management (which the JAO doesn't require) bread yeast would be able to last longer and produce a higher ABV mead.
I should have just said that following the JAO instructions would produce a lower alcohol content, rather than referring to the alcohol tolerance.

THawk
04-16-2012, 03:34 AM
I started a Joe's 2 weeks ago, but I added cacao nibs. It is doing great and still bubbling (so I am guessing still fermenting - has a balloon on top). It's getting a lot of fallout on the bottom and I am tempted to rack it (especially as I want to try out all my new racking and siphoning and airlocks and carboy stuff, lol). Will it hurt it to rack whilst still fermenting?

Honey

You did a JAOM with cacao nibs? What's your recipe? It's now gotten me awfully curious...

Chevette Girl
04-16-2012, 02:03 PM
You did a JAOM with cacao nibs? What's your recipe? It's now gotten me awfully curious...

Me too, that's on my to-brew list but I haven't procured nibs yet...