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Julian
04-20-2012, 04:40 PM
Hi guys, I'm not brand new but probably newer than most here. I've made 3 cysers so far. A true cyser, and two apple cinnimon and with my friends (who I introduced to mead so they've only tried mine) it was a roaring success but in my efforts to improve I came across an interesting technique that some seem to use, outgassing the co2 by stirring.

When I made my batches I just let everything go naturally. Taste was fantastic, but the bouquet (if you can call it that) smelled more like a whiskey that would jump up and slap ya, imagine their surprise when they tasted and it was sweet and smooth with no bite or hint of dry.

My real question is do I outgass during the primary fermentation and the yeast is still going nuts (don't wanna harm the lil guys) or wait till after first rack. I confess my total ignorance to this technique and would love to have some advice. Maybe even what the differences are between a mead that has had this procedure and one that hasn't.

thanks guys (and gals)

mmclean
04-20-2012, 05:10 PM
Hi Julian.

Welcome to GOTMEAD?

You should be aerating your mead up to the 1/3 sugar break, this will also release the Co2. After the 1/3 break just gently stir to keep the yeast suspended and working their best. This will also get rid of the Co2. After I rack I just let it sit. The rest of the Co2 will dissipate.

Julian
04-20-2012, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the info, but to be honest, before I came here I have never heard of a sugar break. If you could explain or post a link to a post explaining it to me it would be a huge help.

Thanks again for your reply nm found it

Not exactly plain english but I guess I can figure it out (too bad it wasn't in number of days lol )

Sugar Break – A term used to describe the point where a specific amount of the fermentables have been used up. There are two important ones to note: the 1/3 sugar break (1/3 of the fermentables have been fermented to alcohol), and the 2/3 sugar break (2/3 of the fermentables have been fermented to alcohol). These two points are usually when additional nutrients are added, if needed. Example: if the starting gravity of your Must is 1.120 (28 Brix), the 1/3 sugar break will be when the gravity reaches 1.080 (19.2 Brix). It is at these points that nutrient additions such as Fermaid K, yeast energizer etc. are usually added. Recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon (5 grams) at each sugar break.

fatbloke
04-20-2012, 07:15 PM
Have you read the NewBee Guide (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=108&Itemid=14) yet Julian ? Sure it's a bit of a read, but it answers quite a few of the new mead maker questions.

Plus there's the glossary of terms (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/vbglossar.php) that's being compiled, which may also define some of the terminology you're unfamiliar with.

As mmclean says, the agitation of a must in the first 1/3rd of the ferment, is more to do with getting air/O2 into the must which is about aiding yeast development, but also removes some of the CO2 that builds up in solution as carbonic acid. You do have to start it slowly if you're using a carboy type fermenter as it can come out of solution quite quickly causing a liquid eruption (hence, it's often better to remove the fermenter to a sink, just in case......)

If you're using a bucket type fermenter, it's still possible to get an eruption, but the larger surface area of the top part of the liquid means you usually just get some foaming, but not enough to over spill a bucket - as long as you're not cutting the liquid level too close to the top of the bucket.

The point of referring to the agitation as "aeration", helps describe where you're at with the ferment, as the term "de-gassing" more clearly describes when you are carrying out some sort of process after the ferment has finished to help remove the CO2, which can aid both flavour, as well as how quickly a batch will clear naturally (unless you're using finings to clear it quickly - impatience is one of the things we have to learn to get over).

The actual method of removing the CO2 deliberately, after the ferment has finished will vary, depending on what kit you have available. You can just put a bung in the top of a carboy and shake the hell out of it, but therein lies the rub, it's easy with a 1 gallon carboy, but not so with something of 5 gallons plus volume.

Actually, one of the easiest and cheapest methods, is to get hold of a Mityvac brake bleeding pump (small, handheld, manual) and fit the pipe through the top of a holed bung, then pump it to create a small vacuum. As soon as there's enough vacuum in the airspace above the liquid, you'll see the CO2 coming out in bubbles.

So with that in mind, I'd suggest a read of the NewBee guide and then follow the guidance for the management of the ferment, but leave the actual de-gassing until it's finished/racked.

Oh, and a third thing about the aeration stage. Not only does aeration get air/O2 into the brew to help the yeast development, and also get some of the CO2 out of solution quicker, but as the CO2 is present as carbonic acid, the aeration also helps reduce some of the pH swings that are commonly seen in fermenting meads - a lot of freshly mixed musts will give a pH value between about 3 and 5, the process of the ferment can cause it to drop and if it goes below about 3, the ferment can become to acid and cause the yeast to become stuck.....

Dunno if any of that helps any.......

fivecats
04-20-2012, 09:50 PM
What fatbloke said. (NewBees Guide... Glossary...etc.,)

Also, I'm about to rack my second batch of mead over to the secondary. This was the first batch of mead that I degassed. The process was entirely new to me (I've made lots of beer before. Beer doesn't need to be degassed...) and I wrote up a bit of it in my thread about my Orange Mead (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19591). As a fellow newbie to degassing, you might find some of it interesting.

Julian
04-21-2012, 06:10 PM
Dunno if any of that helps any.......

You're kidding right? That was a huge help. I've browsed the newbie guide and have done a fair amount of my own research but my "set up" as you might imagine is quite basic....soon to change of course.

Really like the brake bleeder pump idea, definately gonna look into that.