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hagfan
05-18-2012, 10:26 AM
Brand new Meadmaker.
Let me start by saying that this forum has a lot of great info. After reading numerous posts I decided to start a batch of Mead. I started this batch this morning.
The recipe is a one gallon recipe:
1 Gallon Spring Water
1 qt. Honey ( I used a Raw Southern NJ varietal that came from a friend of mine that has his own hives, I just have to share the finished product with him)
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (LD Carlson)
1/2 tsp Yeast Energizer (LD Carlson)
1/2 pkg RedStar Cote des Blancs dry yeast. (Recommended by the man at the brewing supply house)

First I sanitized everything that could possibly come into contact with my must.
Then I mixed the honey and the water, rehydrated the yeast using the method in Ken Schramm's book 'The Compleat Meadmaker'
I heated the water to 110, removed from heat, put in bowl and temp dropped to 103. Yeast package said 100 to 105. I added the yeast and let sit for ' 15 minutes, no longer ' according to Ken Schramm.
While it was rehydrating I noted the OG at 1.110.
After 15 minutes exactly, I stirred and pitched the yeast.
Then I aerated the must for 5 minutes using a whisk,
sealed the fermenter, installed the airlock and put it in the pantry.
( I know that airlocks aren't perfect by reading numerous posts here )

The rehydrating part is where this all comes into question because a couple of hours after I pitched the yeast and put the must up to start fermentation I found a spec sheet for the RedStar Cote des Blancs on the internet.

This info came directly from their spec sheet:
The rehydration time should be between 20 to 25 minutes.
This strain should be rehydrated in ten times its weight of sugared water or in a mixture of one-third of must
and two-thirds of water. The mixture temperature should be 38/40C (100/104F). Stir during 20 minutes.
Slowly sprinkle the culture media into 3 times the weight of the must in order for the yeasts to adapt to their
new fermentation media (temperature difference, osmotic pressure, SO2), then wait for 10 minutes.
This mixture can be added directly into the fermentation tank with uniform mixing. The difference of
temperature between the rehydrated yeast and the tank should not exceed 10C, optimum being 5C.

So, my question is:
Did I screw up by following Ken Schramm's method for rehydration or will it be OK?
Next batch I will search for a spec sheet for the specific yeast that I am using so that I can follow the company's directions.
Thanks in advance for any input.

The_Bishop
05-18-2012, 10:51 AM
I wouldn't worry just yet. Give it some time for the fermentation to start up. If you don't see signs of fermentation in a day or two, just re-pitch new yeast.

fatbloke
05-18-2012, 11:37 AM
The instructions you allude to from Kens book are basically the same as those printed on Lalvin brand packs. So there's no problem.

People do get impatient when starting with meads, expecting almost instant results......

Hence at the moment, your brew will be in the "lag" phase, where its building up the yeast colony to a level where they can get on with alcohol production.

So just let it get on and give it 3 or 4 days before thinking on what you might need to do...

Have a good read of the NewBee guide and you'll know how you want to progress...

Nathan K
05-18-2012, 04:09 PM
Good choice on yeast selection, I love that strain for mead and I know a few others who use it almost exclusively.

You should be fine. The only thing I should mention is that Cote de Blancs can be a little temperature sensitive. Just keep it within the temperature range on the package.

Medsen Fey
05-18-2012, 05:53 PM
So, my question is:
Did I screw up by following Ken Schramm's method for rehydration or will it be OK?

Your yeast should be fine. The most important part of rehydrating the ADY is the temp. For time, anywhere between 15-30 minutes is OK. Using a little sugar in the rehydration may be helpful for maximizing the viable yeast count, but it certainly is not essential. Using a rehydration formula such as Go-Ferm is also helpful. Acclimation of the yeast is never a bad idea, particularly with stressful musts.

Many people have successful fermentations without doing any of these steps because yeast are quite tough. Using proper rehydration is still a good idea because it improves your odds for success especially with tough fermentations.


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hagfan
05-18-2012, 11:07 PM
First of all I would like to thank everyone for your help.
I took a look at the airlock when I got in from work and it looks like things are moving along nicely. I am getting a bubble about every 15 seconds so I definitely have some fermenting going on.
Now the waiting process begins;D