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View Full Version : How long should i let my cyser sit on lees before racking?



Shard
10-17-2012, 10:22 PM
Hey all, I made a cyser with cinnamon dates and raisins, let it ferment for about 3-4 days in a bucket with the lid set on, stirring it daily and checking SG, I siphoned it into a secondary carboy once it hit the 1/3 sugar break and added the cinnamon and such, However its only been in there about 2 and a half weeks and the lees have already settled, the stopper has stopped bubbling co2 out, and the mead has cleared. My question is how long should i let it stay like this, I want to get as much of the cinnamon taste into the mead as possible, but I the newbie guide says you should rack to prevent the lees from flavoring the mead. How long can I leave it like this before the lees start breaking down? Should i just rack it and put in another cinnamon stick? Thanks in advance.

fatbloke
10-18-2012, 12:41 AM
Just because it seems to have stopped bubbling, don't presume its finished. Confirm that with a hydrometer. Because its feasible that its still going and racking too early can cause a number of issues.

Most wine yeasts don't seem a problem, though 71B is often used with apple based batches and is one where you'd be better placed in getting it off the lees within one or two months of the completion of ferment.

Shard
10-18-2012, 12:01 PM
Im using EC-1118, and ill get a hydrometer reading later today i hope.

fatbloke
10-18-2012, 04:53 PM
Im using EC-1118, and i'll get a hydrometer reading later today i hope.
Well, personally, I don't like using any champagne yeasts. They just seem to blow too much of the aromatics and more subtle flavouring characteristics straight out the airlock, but, to my knowledge, the cyser can sit on that one for a while if you don't want to rack it just yet.

You can probably let it clear all the way down if you wanted too, then just rack off carefully and let it bulk age.

Just remember, it can prove a bit of a monster of a yeast, and depending on the starting gravity, it will often still ferment any more fermentable sugars you add (it's tolerance is 18%).

To confirm that the ferment has finished, you should get 3 identical readings, taken across a period of about a week i.e. each one 2 or 3 days apart. Any movement will suggest that it's still fermenting, albeit slowly.

Shard
10-19-2012, 06:05 PM
Well, it did smell really good while fermenting :( The truth is that its really hard to find any yeasts besides EC-1118 and another lalvin yeast i forget which one. Most of the local stores only stock the 2, and a variety of weird wet yeasts. My plan is to start with a limited sugar, sorbate, and ressweeten

fatbloke
10-20-2012, 03:30 AM
Well, it did smell really good while fermenting :( The truth is that its really hard to find any yeasts besides EC-1118 and another lalvin yeast i forget which one. Most of the local stores only stock the 2, and a variety of weird wet yeasts. My plan is to start with a limited sugar, sorbate, and ressweeten
Ha! that's better than here, my local HBS just stocks a few locally packed and branded ones with very generic naming. So I can get little information about them.

I resort to mail order. If you're in the US, the place to look for that is probably Morewine (http://morewinemaking.com/search/103218///Lallemand_Lalvin_Yeasts) (hell, even outside the US, it's a good place to check on the costs and order from if feasible). A click on that like should give you more choice than just about anywhere else.

The liquid yeasts aren't bad at all, just that dry yeasts give a much higher cell count and they're usually much cheaper. I find that with most liquid yeasts, when making meads it seems better to make a starter too increase the yeast cell count prior to pitching......

Soulpanda
10-20-2012, 10:46 PM
My new LHBS is like that for beer yeast. I have to reeeeeally plan ahead. Luckily they focus on wine so I can get Lalvin and Red Star strains. Heh, I went from a store with all beer stuff to a store with all wine stuff. Well, I guess you can't have everything right?

Chevette Girl
10-21-2012, 11:59 AM
Well, it did smell really good while fermenting :( The truth is that its really hard to find any yeasts besides EC-1118 and another lalvin yeast i forget which one.

Most likely it's K1V-1116, which as far as my experience and research goes, is a pretty good all-around general purpose yeast that's especially good for higher gravity ferments and ciders.

Shard
10-21-2012, 05:28 PM
Ah, yes it is that one. Would you say its better then EC-1118 for most meads?

Chevette Girl
10-21-2012, 09:43 PM
I have no complaints with either of them, EC-1118 has been my go-to yeast for years,although some folks find that it blows some of the delicate flavours and aromas out the airlock. My to-do list includes starting several batches with all the different yeasts I use and seeing how they affect things...

EC-1118 is a champagne yeast so it's good for sur lie aging or bottle carbonating, its lees won't give nasty flavours to the wine/mead. K1V-1116 is good for warmer ferments, doesn't make nasty fusels when it's too warm, just fruity esters, and they both have pretty high tolerances.