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Miel
02-18-2013, 11:36 AM
Hello, I started my first mead last night! I steeped 2 oz ilex guayusa, 1 oz damiana, 0.5 oz Tulsi for 15 minutes in 3 gallons boiled spring water. Cooled to 120 F then added 10 lbs honey. I drilled into the end of a poly stir spatula and vortexed must for 10 minutes (alternating direction every minute).

I pitched a packet of red star cuvee at 105 F. Then secured lid and placed Io star solution in air lock. At this point, I should have left good enough alone, but I was worried that I didn't let the therm read long enough and that my must was actually 110 F +. So decided to retake temp and pitch another Cuvee. After doing this, when securing the lid, my air lock Io star solution was sucked down into brew. Probably less than 1 ml of Io star got in.

My questions / concerns:

Would 1 or 2 ml of Io star have much of an effect on 3 ga on acclimating yeast. Should I pitch another Cuvee?

12 hours later at 70 F and still no active bubbling. My consolation is the head space due to 3 ga in 5 ga bucket. Is this unusual?

Roughly, how many bubbles per minute should I be expecting to see by tonight (24 hours after pitch)?

Is 1 oz tea / Ga a sufficient N source for optimal Yeast health? FYI: Guayusa is full of caffeine, theobromine, L theanine, chlorogenic acids (no Chloride despite name), but it doesn't contain tannins.

Thanks, Miel

akueck
02-18-2013, 12:38 PM
Assuming your sanitizer was diluted to normal strength, it will have no effect.

I'd not worry about bubble rates in the airlock, especially in a bucket. Most buckets leak at least a little, so the airlock is very misleading. The SG will tell you if it's doing something or not. Also, 12 hours is not an unusual lag time. You might not get visible activity (bubbles on the surface of the liquid, etc) for 24-48 hours.

I doubt your tea has enough nitrogen for the yeast. With 2 pitches of yeast in there, you probably don't need *too* much in the way of nitrogen additions, but I'd still add some. 2 g/gal of FermaidK and 1 g/gal of DAP would be my minimum recommendation.

Cal
02-19-2013, 08:52 AM
I'm brewing in a bucket now and it took almost 24 hours for a consistent bubbling and I only have a 2 gallon bucket. Bubbles per minute can depend a lot on what's in it. My apple brew was bubbling a little faster than a bubble a second at first where as my bochet is bubbling steadily around one bubble every 1.5 seconds.

Like your self I'm need to making mead. I'm quickly learning to put it together and leave it alone unless absolutely needed [aeration, nutrients, clogged airlock].

Miel
02-19-2013, 02:39 PM
Great input. I've got the three piece style airlock and it's not bubbling at all, but when I open the lid to check on surface bubbles, it's clearly working. Lots of bubbles and smells great!

I am curious if you recommend the one piece airlock for primary?

I will be picking up the recommended nutrient after work but am curious what it is derived from? Trying to keep it as GMO free as possible (not that any honey really is anymore). Do I need to stir the nutrient in? or now that I am 48 hours into my primary fermentation, is it best to avoid disturbing?

Big thanks,
Miel

Cal
02-19-2013, 07:20 PM
Are you sure your bucket has a good seal? My 2 gallon was bubbling pretty quickly. then again it is also a lot smaller.

I honestly cannot say the diff between the S airlock and 3 piece. Some prefer the 3 piece since it is easier to clean if it over flows and it is quieter. Others like myself like the 1 piece S airlock that is more simple, will not back flow and less evaporation.

akueck
02-19-2013, 08:25 PM
If you don't fill the 3-piece above the line, it won't backflow. You'll just get a bubble going the other way, like the 1-piece will do.

Chevette Girl
02-23-2013, 08:47 PM
If you can see/hear evidence of fermentation in your bucket but have no airlock activity, it's probably a crappy seal on the bucket. To check, press down on the bucket lid until the level in the airlock moves, then hold it there, if it returns to where it started, it's definitely a bucket sealing issue. Don't worry about it for primary, it's going to be spewing out so much carbon dioxide that there shouldn't be anything coming into the bucket that you have to worry about. I've got one bucket with such a lousy seal that it's never once made airlock bubblesm but I still use it, there's nothing wrong with using it unless I leave something in it for a few months after it's done fermenting, at which point there's the danger of oxidation to consider. Lots of folks don't even bother putting their bucket lids on all the way for the first half of fermentation, they just sit them on the top of the bucket to keep dust out.