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View Full Version : Speed of fermentation? and should I aerate?



mediaguru
07-25-2012, 02:19 AM
Okay, this might be a dumb question, but...

is there a general range of what can be expected for fermentation speed? (I'm guessing... no. I figure it is going to vary wildly and have to do with yeast, must, nutrients, volume being brewed, temperature, etc.)

I started my fermentation Saturday evening; now, 3 days later, it has gone from OG 1.10 to 1.082

I aerated the first 24-36 hours or so, but since then it has been under airlock the whole time until my hydrometer reading just tonight (5 gallons of 1-hour-boiled 15-lbs-honey bochet must, pitched with 10g D47 and stored at 65 degrees.) Not sure if I should continue to aerate since it hasn't reached 1/3 fermentation point, or if it really matters (was bubbling about once per second yesterday... once every 3 seconds or so when I checked tonight before measuring gravity and giving it a few swirls of aeration)

Also, there appear to be brownish "chunks" floating on the surface with the effervescent foam. Is this normal?

Deacon Aegis
07-25-2012, 02:32 AM
Okay, this might be a dumb question, but...

is there a general range of what can be expected for fermentation speed? (I'm guessing... no. I figure it is going to vary wildly and have to do with yeast, must, nutrients, volume being brewed, temperature, etc.)

I started my fermentation Saturday evening; now, 3 days later, it has gone from OG 1.10 to 1.082

I aerated the first 24-36 hours or so, but since then it has been under airlock the whole time until my hydrometer reading just tonight (5 gallons of 1-hour-boiled 15-lbs-honey bochet must, pitched with 10g D47 and stored at 65 degrees.) Not sure if I should continue to aerate since it hasn't reached 1/3 fermentation point, or if it really matters (was bubbling about once per second yesterday... once every 3 seconds or so when I checked tonight before measuring gravity and giving it a few swirls of aeration)

Also, there appear to be brownish "chunks" floating on the surface with the effervescent foam. Is this normal?

As you guessed, there is a wild variation of conditions that can impact fermentation times. That said, you would not do badly to aerate the ferment until it reaches the 1/3 sugar break and stirrring the lees back into the fermentation well into the 1/2 sugar break and beyond to get those yeasties back into suspension is also a good idea. If you are adding nutrients using an SNA schedule, that will also impact your fermentation rate.

As for brown chuncks, it is not uncommon for me to see all sorts of wild and gross looking stuff for as the yeast do their job mainly as brown globs of yeast and other forms of particles and such that congeal into viscous masses durring fermentation...

fatbloke
07-25-2012, 05:53 AM
As a vague guide, the Lalvin yeast chart (sorry cant link it from my phone) will give you a reasonable idea for their yeasts, but remember that it alludes to grape musts. Their stated tolerance for alcohol content can be exceeded with the appropriate fermentation management, by 1 or 2%.

Noe Palacios
07-25-2012, 06:16 PM
Okay, this might be a dumb question, but...

is there a general range of what can be expected for fermentation speed? (I'm guessing... no. I figure it is going to vary wildly and have to do with yeast, must, nutrients, volume being brewed, temperature, etc.)

I started my fermentation Saturday evening; now, 3 days later, it has gone from OG 1.10 to 1.082

I aerated the first 24-36 hours or so, but since then it has been under airlock the whole time until my hydrometer reading just tonight (5 gallons of 1-hour-boiled 15-lbs-honey bochet must, pitched with 10g D47 and stored at 65 degrees.) Not sure if I should continue to aerate since it hasn't reached 1/3 fermentation point, or if it really matters (was bubbling about once per second yesterday... once every 3 seconds or so when I checked tonight before measuring gravity and giving it a few swirls of aeration)

Also, there appear to be brownish "chunks" floating on the surface with the effervescent foam. Is this normal?

Hi Mediaguru!

Under conditions you described, the 1/3 SB should be reached by the end of the 5th day after the pitching day.

Don't forget, the best mead ingredient is time and the best procedure is - patience.

Saludos,

mediaguru
07-26-2012, 12:06 AM
Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for it...

Reading today was 1.078 (it was actually 1.084 yesterday, I didn't realize it was 2 per marking)

Decided to taste a few drops off of the aerating stick. Pretty tasty! But I know it's still practically sugar water right now. But reassuring to notice a lack off off flavors or smells. Looks and tastes a lot like fresh-pressed, unfiltered apple cider.

at this rate of fermentation, if it were to stay linear it looks like it would take 17 days to complete. I'm assuming fermentation doesn't work that way, and will actually slow down as it goes, so I'm going to estimate a total of 3-4 weeks in primary...

Noe Palacios
07-29-2012, 01:10 AM
Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for it...

Reading today was 1.078 (it was actually 1.084 yesterday, I didn't realize it was 2 per marking)

Decided to taste a few drops off of the aerating stick. Pretty tasty! But I know it's still practically sugar water right now. But reassuring to notice a lack off off flavors or smells. Looks and tastes a lot like fresh-pressed, unfiltered apple cider.

at this rate of fermentation, if it were to stay linear it looks like it would take 17 days to complete. I'm assuming fermentation doesn't work that way, and will actually slow down as it goes, so I'm going to estimate a total of 3-4 weeks in primary...

In 17 days you'll reach dryness, but it won't be ready for racking. I usually rack after 8 weeks because cold crash is not an option at these latitudes.

Saludos,

mediaguru
07-30-2012, 06:22 PM
In 17 days you'll reach dryness, but it won't be ready for racking. I usually rack after 8 weeks because cold crash is not an option at these latitudes.

Saludos,

Won't be ready for bottling, I'm sure... but couldn't I rack to secondary at that time (once fermentation "complete") to get it off of the lees, and I could also add meta and sorbate at that time to slow/preserve for bulk aging in secondary?

Noe Palacios
07-30-2012, 11:27 PM
Won't be ready for bottling, I'm sure... but couldn't I rack to secondary at that time (once fermentation "complete") to get it off of the lees, and I could also add meta and sorbate at that time to slow/preserve for bulk aging in secondary?

At the 17th day won't be enough lees. If it was my mead at 60th day 99% of lees will be on fermenter's bottom so it will be a good day for racking and adding to racked mead meta and sorbate.

Saludos,