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View Full Version : Can ya just put the brakes on like this?



joemirando
07-16-2013, 08:29 PM
Ok, another question that will more than likely show just what a newbie I am:

I have a 1 gallon batch fermenting now. I step fed it (if you can call 1 after the initial addition 'stepping') and fed it energizer/nutrient initially and 3 days later when I added the additional honey aerated it.

Day 1 was the initial must, 2 lbs honey and 3/4 tsp each energizer and nutrient.

Day 3 was the addition of 1 lb of honey and 1/4 tsp each energizer and nutrient.

The calculator figures that my OG was 1.102 (3 lbs honey total in a 4 liter mix), and the SG now is 1.020. Tomorrow it will be 1.010, giving me an ABV of 12.x.

This is plenty of alcohol for me. It also leaves about 0.3 lbs of un-eaten honey.

Had I let this ferment to dry, I would have backsweetened with half a pound of honey after anyway, but do I really need 14.x% alch?

If 12% ethanol is enough for me, is it advisable to knock them thar beasties out at 1.010 SG, leaving the 0.3 lbs of honey for sweetness and NOT taking the ABV out to 14.x% and requiring months more aging time? Can I just give it a dose of k-meta followed by k-sorbate and call it done? Should I chill it first to slow the yeast down, or just dose it and say nighty-night?

How would this affect clearing, since I'm basically cutting out the secondary entirely? I HAD planned on reusing this yeast stock for another batch, but if I do this, I cant. There's no lees in this one. Everything is in suspension, so racking first would do no good.

Hmmmm, unless I stick it in the freezer for a couple of hours then the fridge for a while to get at least some of the yeast to bed down.

Also, what about oxygen? It has only been a couple of days since I last aerated it. Will k-meta/k-sorbate 'fix' this?

Any/all help greatly appreciated.


Thanks,

Joe

joemirando
07-16-2013, 09:29 PM
Oops. I almost forgot. The yeast is 71B

Chevette Girl
07-16-2013, 10:04 PM
As I understand, you'd probably want to cold-crash it first, and then rack onto your chemicals. The cold will make a lot of the suspended yeast go dormant and fall out of suspension, and the fewer viable yeast cells you have, the more likely your chemicals will work.

I wouldn't worry about the aeration, the yeast have probably already used whatever they were going to use and the rest has been chased out by the carbon dioxide production.

joemirando
07-16-2013, 10:08 PM
Thanks, CG.

How long are we talking about cold crashing it for? Until it clears? or just a day or two until things calm down?

fatbloke
07-16-2013, 10:15 PM
Thanks, CG.

How long are we talking about cold crashing it for? Until it clears? or just a day or two until things calm down?
When I tried that I crashed a batch for a week......

joemirando
07-16-2013, 10:27 PM
When I tried that I crashed a batch for a week......

Okay, thanks Bloke. I'll be checking the SG in the morning, then cold crashing. I hope this cuts down on aging a bit. We'll see.

Thanks,

Joe

joemirando
07-24-2013, 06:44 PM
Ok, newbie question about cold crashing...

I've got a 1 gallon batch of traditional that I cold crashed a week ago tomorrow. The SG was 1.010 when I crashed it. I put it in the freezer for about 2 hours then into the fridge. Its just now beginning to really clear in the neck of the jug, with lees piled up on the bottom (about 1/4 to 1/3"... maybe 8-9 mm).

Is the objective of cold crashing to render it clear, or just to get most of the yeast out of suspension?

My aim here is to rack it onto sorbate and crushed campden tablet, let it clear, either on its own or with the help of bentonite, bottle it and have it ready for the holidays, using the lees for my next batch.

So do I rack onto the sorbate/K-meta or wait till its clear?

Okay, I guess I've got TWO questions. ;) ...

Can I just dump a portion of the warmed lees into a new batch of must, or do I have to clean the dead stuff from good healthy yeast somehow? How does having the other constituents of the lees other than live yeast affect nutrient/energizer feeding?


Thanks,

Joe

akueck
07-24-2013, 07:30 PM
You don't need to wait until it's totally clear before racking onto the stabilizing chemicals. You just want most of the yeast out of suspension. It won't hurt to wait longer, as more will continue to drop out, but you're probably fine now.

Generally I don't repitch yeast if it has gone above 10% abv. Stressed yeast doesn't repitch well, and the mutation rate is much higher. Besides, another pack of yeast is only $2.

joemirando
07-24-2013, 07:34 PM
You don't need to wait until it's totally clear before racking onto the stabilizing chemicals. You just want most of the yeast out of suspension. It won't hurt to wait longer, as more will continue to drop out, but you're probably fine now.

Generally I don't repitch yeast if it has gone above 10% abv. Stressed yeast doesn't repitch well, and the mutation rate is much higher. Besides, another pack of yeast is only $2.
IF your LHBS has it.

And IF you've got the two bucks.


Thanks,

Joe

Chevette Girl
07-24-2013, 07:59 PM
I've done a lot of second runs using once-fermented fruit and the lees from the initial batch, and it's kind of hit and miss. Usually hit, but now and then something goes wrong and there's no way of figuring out whether it was something I did or whether the yeast were just tired/spent/mutated...

joemirando
07-24-2013, 08:05 PM
The yeast was active for less than a week, was step fed and aerated, temps were well within range, SG was not too high or too low, and it didn't get near alch tolerance. Its a traditional mead with nothing but hunney.

I'll take the chance and see what happens. So do I just dump some or all of the lees into the must? Feed it to wake it up first? Cull the dead stuff from it somehow?


Thanks,

Joe

Chevette Girl
07-27-2013, 01:54 PM
Maybe apply your google-fu to washing beer yeast? I think if you run water through it and let it settle out for a few minutes then you get mostly suspended yeast and all the heavy crap settles out.

joemirando
07-27-2013, 05:16 PM
Maybe apply your google-fu to washing beer yeast? I think if you run water through it and let it settle out for a few minutes then you get mostly suspended yeast and all the heavy crap settles out.
Thanks, CG. I did google and found a rather more involved process than what I was looking for right at the moment. It'll come in handy later on down the road, but for right now I just wanted to be sure I wasn't wasting two batches of must.

I ended up agitating the lees and dividing it up between two batches of must, 'dead stuff' and all. I figure that'll reduce the need for nutrient/energizer. <G>

Thanks,

Joe